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whats the best way to extract emails from an offline copy of Outlook/Express?

Posted on 2011-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hey folks,

I have a need to extract emails from Outlook (or Outlook Express, I dont have the HDD to verify) on a HDD that has been removed from the PC it was in.

It is no longer possible to boot into the OS to recover the emails, so I am looking for a way to extract all the emails, addresses and information contained within so it can be imported to a new Outlook installation.

Any suggestions? I am reluctant to buy anything without some good recommendations first. :)
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Question by:scorptec
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Expert Comment

by:Tekyguy
ID: 35163027
All emails contacts, etc. are stored in a .pst file.  Easy way to find it, is to search the hard drive for *.pst.  Just search for "*.pst".  Copy to local hard drive.  You can then open the PST in outlook or outlook express on a working computers.  From outlook, Select Open, outlook datafile - navigate to and select the .pst file.
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by:Little_K
Little_K earned 240 total points
ID: 35163031
If it is outlook you will need to find and copy the .pst file(s). You can do search for *.pst. Once you have the pst you can mount it as is or import it to the new mail profile.

Good luck
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Author Comment

by:scorptec
ID: 35163042
ok great.

Im more concerned about the Outlook Express scenario. IIRC its not at simple is copying the PST file? Any tips there?
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by:
Little_K earned 240 total points
ID: 35163096
Move the backed up dbx files into the Outlook Express folder where the other, new dbx files are (do a search for *.dbx). Make sure they are not set to read-only.
Move the folder.dbx file to another folder. Then start Outlook Express.
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Author Comment

by:scorptec
ID: 35163110
Thanks for that.

What about going from an offline Outlook Express to a new Outlook install? Will Outlook be able to import those dbx files?
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Expert Comment

by:Barry Gill
ID: 35163928
yes it will, provided they are in the right place.
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by:BillDL
BillDL earned 80 total points
ID: 35175405
Can I suggest that while you have the affected hard drive slaved to a functional Windows PC, or while you have the affected computer booted to a Linux/WinPE environment, that you search for *.WAB files and copy them out too.

You can import from a WAB (Windows Address Book) into Outlook in much the same way as you can import messages from DBX files:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/286116
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Author Comment

by:scorptec
ID: 35177077
@barrulus: Can you clarify what you mean by 'the right place'?
If I am importing them into Outlook, wont I be able to point to the dbx files instead of it needing to find them in an old Outlook Express install?

Thanks BillDL. Good tip. I might have forgotten had you not mentioned that. :)
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by:Barry Gill
Barry Gill earned 80 total points
ID: 35177338
Sorry...
C:\Windows\Application Data\Outlook Express\{GUID}
 or
 C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

These are the places that Outlook will look for dbx files to import.
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by:BillDL
ID: 35213231
Thank you scorptec
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