Readers often ask how to back up their Outlook Express files; others ask how to correct problems in OE itself. Reader Mordy Cohen— in the process of solving his own problem— found a great resource that addresses all those issues:
Installing IE5.5 over IE5.0 is not recommended by many (including you – if I recall correctly). Some time ago I updated my OE to version 5.5 (ver 5.50.4133.2400 in the about window) from the Microsoft site without updating IE (it is ver5.00.3105.0106IC). I then started to see some strange printing phenomenon. Some E-Mails would print with small fonts and others with larger fonts without any logical reason. Knowing that all those E-Mails where regular text – not HTML ones, I started looking in to the problem and here is what I found out.
First, the printed font size of OE is controlled by the font size in the View|Text Size menu of the IE. Second, Changing the font size in OE has no effect on the printed font size of its own E-mails only on the screen fonts!
So, I backed up all information (accounts, E-Mails, news and address book) and then uninstalled OE5.5. I used Microsoft’s OE5RegClean.exe (at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q256/2/19.asp to clean the registry, rebooted and installed OE5 from the original WIn98SE CD. The problem was solved even after I went to the Microsoft site and updated the two to IE5 SP1.
It’s worth reiterating: That page— http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q256/2/19.asp — contains full information on "How to Manually Uninstall and Reinstall Outlook Express 5," including how to back up your files and "identities." AND it links you to a special version of RegClean that roots out bogus OE5 entries in your Registry that may foul up later installations.