When I got a new Windows 7 laptop, I wanted to copy my existing Outlook Express emails and account settings from my Windows XP Pro machine. Since I couldn't run OE on Win 7, I needed a way to convert.

It seemed the easiest way was to install Thunderbird on my XP machine and let it import all the OE settings and email files. Then I could transfer the TB files to my new machine. This all worked.

The problem is on my old machine. I still have OE set as my default email program. At least, OE says it is. Windows says it is. MS Word opens OE when I do "send as attachment." But Windows Explorer's drop down "send to" opens up Tbird, as does Word Perfect.

I have tried various fixes, including manual registry changes in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Outlook Express and MS's standard route to reregistering OE as my email handler using :
"drive:\program files\outlook express\msimn.exe" /reg

Nothing works. OE still thinks it's the default email handler, but so does Thunderbird. I can uncheck this in Thunderbird, but it will still start up if I Send To in Windows Explorer. Then I look in TB and see it has reset itself to be the default mail handler. Again, this only affects certain programs.

The obvious fix is to uninstall TB completely. Before I do this, I'd really like to know if there's something simpler or why this is happening.