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Windows Live Mail exporting messages error report

Win XP. Windows Live Mail for XP.
Exporting WLM using "Export messages" wizard to backup all my e mail and getting error message
"The message export has failed. An error has occured"
"run disk cleanup or delete messages"
This is a new XP pc with WLM for about 3 weeks and had no obvious problems with WLM.
I wanted to do a full Mail backup and used the "export Accounts" and "export Contact" with no problem at all.
Tried disk cleanup OK
Opened every folder and e mail and cannot see any problem with the messages.
I tried exporting messages using the option to choose a single folder but it only exported 1 message out of each folder, which is weird.
Using the option to Export ALL folders it just gives the error message I typed above.
I have about 10 folders under the e mail account which I created myself to sort e mails into some kind of order. Surely it should export all folders that are in WLM.
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I have accepted the solution although it did not answer my question.
The solution pointed me to websites that told me to do exactly what I had said I did in my question.
The question I was asking was why the process "export Messages"  did not work and why was I getting an error message.
I explained in my question that "export contacts" and "export adress book" did work. It was the "export messages" that gave an error message.
All my previous backups have been to an external HD conected by USB.
This is where I attempted to save the "export messages" new folder and got the error messages above.
I explained in my question that this was a new PC that was giving me the error messages.

This morning I did the "export messages" again but to a folder on c:\ and it worked perfectly. I then simply copied this folder over to my USB backup drive. This solved the problem.
I cannot find any reference in the links posted in the solution that say you cannot export to an external drive. Perhaps there is a reason the export messages will not work onto my external HD. If there is then I am not going to persue a solution for the problem as I have solved it by exporting to c: drive and copying it manually to my external drive.
Thank you to jcimarron for his reply.
It may be usefull to know that a backup drive connected by USB does not work with "export messages" on everyone's PC.
Thank you.