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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Recover Outlook Express emails, rules and folder structure after a crash

    Folks,
    I have a problem I hope someone might be able to help me solve.
    The quick (?) explanation of my problem is this:
    My computer (Win XP Pro SP3) had a bad software-related failure (just a mismatch of legitimate software products, nothing to do with viruses or other malware) which seriously damaged the main hard drive's MBR, MFT and Partition Boot Record. I managed to resurrect it, just, and while carrying out maintenance intended to set it up for full and proper backups (which I hadn't had before) another mismatched software product trashed the Registry leaving the system unusable. NOTHING I tried over the following weeks (yes, weeks!!!) corrected or repaired the Registry and, finally, I had to resort to a clean install of Win XP.
    One thing I *did* do while trying to repair the corrupted Registry was to put a RawCopy of the old System Partition onto a spare partition on the computer's main hard drive. (Virtually all the data on that old System Partition is intact although, obviously, that RawCopy partition has the corrupted registry and isn't bootable.)
    Now I have my system up and running and it has the standard Administrator account set up and one User account. The old set up had a User account which did all the work, and its Administrator account was virtually never used. Certainly not for any emails. Because I was unable to use my computer for some weeks, when I got the system up and going I used the Administrator account to catch up on my emails using Outlook Express as before. But now that I have a User account on the new system I will stop using the Administrator account for email.
    So I have:
    Copy of the old system with recoverable Outlook Express stuff (emails, news messages, mail accounts, contacts, rules, etc.) all under a User Account and no Outlook Express stuff under the Administrator account. (That's the RawCopy'd partition.)
    New system with Outlook Express stuff (emails, mail accounts, contacts, etc., but *no* rules) all under the Administrator account and no Outlook Express stuff under the User Account.
    I want to know how to merge all these into one set of Outlook Express stuff under the User account on the new system? My plan would be to backup the emails, and folders from the Administrator account on the new system, then transfer all the old system stuff from its User account to the new system User account and finally restore the stuff backed up from the Administrator account on the new system to the new system User account. Would this all work to give me all my email and news data (emails, mail accounts, news, contacts, rules, etc.) under the new system User account?
    The main thing that bothers me is that before the system crashed my email was sorted and separated into a large number of mail folders under the OE Inbox, and a large amount of that sorting and separating was done with email rules. If I absolutely had to, I could spend more weeks "rebuilding" my email "by hand", but it woud be much easier if I could re-instate the old structure and rules and then feed all the new emails (approx. 13,000 of them) to those rules.
    Hoping you can help,
    Regards,
    Noel Goddard

  2. #2
    Bronze Lounger
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    Hello Noel,

    You might want to try a program called OE Mail Recovery,from Recovery Toolbox. I used it on my friend's computer (XP Home with SP3) and it recovered all her emails and mail folders. The link is:

    http://oe-mail-recovery.downloadpipe.com/preview9204,1

    Good luck!

    Roy
    Last edited by royw; 2012-02-10 at 19:49. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Noel said:
    "
    I want to know how to merge all these into one set of Outlook Express stuff under the User account on the new system? My plan would be to backup the emails, and folders from the Administrator account on the new system, then transfer all the old system stuff from its User account to the new system User account and finally restore the stuff backed up from the Administrator account on the new system to the new system User account. Would this all work to give me all my email and news data (emails, mail accounts, news, contacts, rules, etc.) under the new system User account?

    The main thing that bothers me is that before the system crashed my email was sorted and separated into a large number of mail folders under the OE Inbox, and a large amount of that sorting and separating was done with email rules. If I absolutely had to, I could spend more weeks "rebuilding" my email "by hand", but it woud be much easier if I could re-instate the old structure and rules and then feed all the new emails (approx. 13,000 of them) to those rules.

    Hoping you can help,"

    --------------------------------------

    Noel, I *think* I understand what you want (blank linespaces between paragraphs helps!) - you want the folder structure back and you want the emails from two accounts to be merged together.

    I am not positive about what I am going to say - but it's something you can consider or research.

    First of all, I've restored OE more than once and not lost my folder structure. More below on that.

    Regarding message rules: MS has information on how to restore message rules and some other stuff. by copying registry keys, however, you have no registry keys so that's out - you'll have to redo your rules and other stuff like account information and sig lines by hand. If you were able to get your address book (it has a .wab for windows address book extension) and at one point resided in c:/windows but am not sure that's where it is still kept in XP you can certainly restore that. Account setup information has a .iaf extension and should have been in the same folder as your .dbx files.

    File structure: I believe if you were able to grab a .dbx file called index.dbx, then it will restore your file structure. It has been 7 years since I have had to do this so am a little foggy on these specifics but I think that is correct. When you manually navigate to and look at your list all of your .dbx files it can be hard to spot individual ones such as "index.dbx" if you had lots and lots of folders. I had tons - maybe 75, maybe more, organized into sub folders, and sub sub folders. So for instance if I had a folder labeled "family" it might have 6 sub folders under it, one for each family group I corresponded with. And yes all of that structure was restored when I imported my message store to my new clean copy of OE after a hard drive crash in 2005.

    When you navigate to your message store and look at your list of .dbx files you will see they are alphabetical and it is simply a list. There are no folders and subfolders. I believe it is the index.dbx file that remembers your file structure and puts it back.

    The above may give you something to think about and work with.

    Regarding merging - navigate to where the .dbx files are kept on your computer, and look them over. I only had a single account so do not know if each "account" has its own separate folder and message store. I suspect they do. Can you export the admin message store to the user account message store location? I don't know. Maybe. You could try having OE move its admin message store to another folder, and then telling it to move the user account message store to the same folder as the admin message store. Maybe someone else here knows if that would work.

    If you had a second computer with OE you could send a bunch of email to yourself, set up a small set of folders and move them in there, set up an administrator acct. and do the same, and then see if you could merge them byexportting the .dbx files to the same location.

    Here is a place on the MS site to look for OE information: http://support.microsoft.com/search/...%3D1033&mode=r You will find a long list of stuff there which will take a good bit of time to go through if you are thorough.

    Also: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270670

    Some email recovery programs will locate emails on your hard drive and make them into individual files with a .eml extension. I don't know if this is a good idea or not. Each is readable using Notepad. I can't recall if OE can read them or not.

    Kelliann

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    A good and efficient dbx repair tool called Kernel for Outlook Express Repair is what i used few year back for recovering emails from corrupted dbx file. this software can recover emails even when they are deleted from deleted items folder.

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