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Recovering Windows Mail (Vista) from Dead Computer (but working hard drive)

Posted on 2013-10-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-04
I am helping a friend restore her email files and folders that were stored on the hard drive of an old Windows Vista Business computer she is replacing with a Windows 7 Professional computer, email that was stored using the Windows Mail email client program. Before we had the chance to simply export those email files and folders from *inside* Windows Mail on that old computer, the latter died (probably MOBO failure). However, the hard drive is fully functional and I have found the folder where everything associated with Windows Mail was stored on that old computer (in User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail). Can I simply direct the Windows Live program in Win 7 Pro to access that folder, and then import the files there for use in Windows Live, or is the process of email recovery more complicated under this scenario? All help is appreciated. The email server is an Earthlink POP mail server.
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Question by:Potterjazz
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7 Comments
 
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Skyler Kincaid
Skyler Kincaid earned 400 total points
ID: 39607599
You should be able to:

1. Open Windows Mail
2. Go to File and select Import
3. Select the proper file format
4. Import the messages

The fact that it is a pop server doesn't really change anything other than the messages probably aren't stored on the server. If you are lucky she may have had her previous email client set not to delete the messages and they will all still be on the server. If you go to the webmail login for EarthLink you can login and see if they are all still there. It should be here:

https://webmail.earthlink.net/wam/login.jsp?redirect=%2Fwam%2Findex.jsp&x=-215847852&x=-201440590

That is worth a shot!

Hopefully that helps but if you have questions just let us know!
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LVL 44

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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 300 total points
ID: 39607823
Well, except Windows Mail won't open in Win7 without jumping through some hoops, even though it's installed by default in \Program Files\Windows Mail\ (and, on 64-bit machines, in \Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail\).

You can make it run by copying the appropriate msoe.dll file from the vista hard drive  (renaming win7's msoe.dll first, of course), but you're better off using Outlook if you want a standalone mail app like OE or Windows Mail instead of trusting your mail to the cloud... otherwise there are a bunch of registry settings that need to be imported to make Windows Mail work halfway decent in Win7 instead of just 'starting up'.
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LVL 93

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by:nobus
nobus earned 300 total points
ID: 39608018
here is how you can import the mail :
http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/how-to-enable-windows-mail-app-in-windows-7.137494/

you can also install windows mail on a windows 7 PC -  and export the mail from it like this :  http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/5481-windows-mail.html

**you may have to register for viewing the page
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LVL 50

Accepted Solution

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jcimarron earned 600 total points
ID: 39609133
Potterjazz --
Perhaps of help in importing from Windows Mail to Windows Live Mail.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3798-windows-live-mail-import-windows-mail-messages.html
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LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 400 total points
ID: 39612608
Excuse me, but are the mail files stored in a DB? If I remember correctly, vista's own mailer stored them as simple single files and those can be simply copied over to the new system. Search for *.eml on the old user profile..
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Author Closing Comment

by:Potterjazz
ID: 39620774
Thanks for all the various pointers. As it turned out, with Windows Live Mail installed, one can directly import all files and folders that were stored in Windows Mail under Vista, though I did not manage to export from Vista before the old machine crashed. I assume the advice about exporting Windows Mail really amounts to nothing more than creating a folder with all relevant Windows Mail files/folders that is not hidden, as are those associated with the standard WM profile and account in Vista.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39621973
Potterjazz--
Thanks for telling us the outcome.  It sounds quite similar to the procedure in
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3798-windows-live-mail-import-windows-mail-messages.html
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