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How to transfer Windows Live Mail (W7) to a new drive

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2014-01-26
Windows 7 laptop with a new hard drive.  The previous drive (I'll call OLD)  had several defective sectors.  I removed the OLD drive and installed a NEW one.  I have the OS running again now on the NEW drive and am trying to move email from two different email Windows Live Mail accounts (same email provider) to the new drive.  Windows Live Mail was being used on the OLD drive and the same now on the NEW drive.  I fully understand the "Normal" process for this procedure.  However, I am unable to look at "maintenance" within WLM on the OLD drive to fully determine where the store folder is located for each email account since it is no longer installed.  I am not concerned about the account settings unless you believe that they must be IDENTICAL to the old mail in order for mail to be transferred correctly.  I think I know how to set up the accounts for a POP3.  

I am able to connect the OLD drive to the system via a USB cable and am able to navigate to the OLD files.  I believe that they are located in users,application data, local, microsoft, windows, windows live mail.  I tried an import messages into the NEW WLM from the OLD drive but when clicking on the folders that were imported, there is nothing there.  However, this was done OFFLINE so that I did not connect to the server prematurely.   Can someone suggest the correct way to move the mail from the OLD drive to the new OS?
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Question by:tonyadam
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LVL 98

Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 750 total points
ID: 39798686
You should be able to get the mail files from:

c:\users\username\appdata\local\microsoft\windows live mail

If the location is inaccessible (bad sectors) the mail may be lost.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:Reece Dodds
Reece Dodds earned 750 total points
ID: 39798781
Start menu/button > type Run, press enter.
In the Run... window, paste %LOCALAPPDATA%\microsoft\
Copy all of the Windows Live folders you can see (in case you use other Windows Live features) - or just the Windows Live Mail folder as Thinkpads suggested - to your external HDD or flash drive for use on the new hard drive.
Also take a copy of the Contacts folder from your user account folder.

Once Windows is installed and Windows Live Mail is setup on the new hard drive, you can import the mail from the external/flash drive you used.
Copy the contents of the Contacts folder from your external/flash drive into the Contacts folder in the user account on your new Windows install.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tonyadam
ID: 39810353
Thanks for your suggestions.  I am quite familiar with both processes mentioned.  Unfortunately, some of the email was in the bad sectors.  I elected to move what I could access to GMAIL via an IMAP process since I could do that in groups of emails.
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39810374
@tonyadam - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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