View Full Version : Restoring Outlook express archives

20-10-2006, 02:28 PM
I was running Windows 98 SE and had archived several years' worth of email messages as .dbx files in order to save space. I have now upgraded to Windows XP2 on a new PC with a much larger hard disk and wish to restore these messages to Outlook Express. I can find the relevant .dbx files but cannot work out how to import them to my current OE setup. The .dbx files have been saved with the same names as the empty folders on my current setup. Currently my email files are stored at C:\Documents and Settings\Phillips\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{2BE15DAC-01DD-44C9-A679-EB9D6F9FBC28}\Microsoft\Outlook Express. I thought I could copy and paste the .dbx files to this location. However, in Windows Explorer I cannot get to the last two sections of this address. I cannot see any sub-folders under the long numerical one inside the curly brackets.

20-10-2006, 03:45 PM
It's a bit tricky if you have multiple user-created DBX files, unfortunately. Have a look at this page (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q270670) for the information on Importing Outlook Express data and try experimenting with copies of your DBX files to begin with. Remember to be sure to remove the read-only attribute from the files after copying to the hard drive prior to importing, if they are on a CD, otherwise OE won't be able to use them.

If you get stuck let us know and we will try and help further.

Oh, I nearly forgot - also make sure you have View All Files enabled in Windows Explorer.

20-10-2006, 03:54 PM
Yes, but where do I copy the .dbx files to? As I stated before I don't seem to be able to get to the location where my current .dbx files are located.

20-10-2006, 04:08 PM
If you read that page I linked to it tells you how to find OE's store folder.

Copy Mail Files to a Backup Folder
To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express e-mail message files:
1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
2. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
3. Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.
4. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
5. Click Start, and then click Run.
6. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.

Does that not help at all?

20-10-2006, 04:26 PM
If you have copied various (works for one too) inbox.dbx files, then use the OE import function.

File-Import messages-(highlight the version of OE)Next
Tick box (Import mail form OE store directory)
Browse to your inbox.dbx you have saved and OK
Follow your nose

You can do the same for the other saved inbox.dbx files as they "add" rather than replace what you have already imported.

20-10-2006, 07:19 PM
If you read that page I linked to it tells you how to find OE's store folder.

Does that not help at all?

Yes, I know where OE stores the files, it is C:\Documents and Settings\Phillips\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{2BE15DAC-01DD-44C9-A679-EB9D6F9FBC28}\Microsoft\Outlook Express. But, as I said before, I cannot get to that location in Windows Explorer. I can only get to the folder between the curly brackets. I cannot access the last two sub-folders in the path.

20-10-2006, 07:23 PM
Yes, I have tried this and after browsing to the location of my archived .dbx files I just get an error message saying no messages were found. I think this only works for messages saved in that paricular format, not .dbx files.

21-10-2006, 07:18 AM
That's a real mystery then. If you are logged in to the "Phillips" account and in Administrator mode I really don't understand why you cannot get to that location.

What if you copy and paste the full path into Start>Run? Does it still not open that location?

All I can think of is to create a Documents folder on the C: drive and an Outlook Express folder within that then change OE's store folder to your newly created OE folder. Hopefully, after restarting OE, you should be able to access the DBX files. It's not a good idea to use Windows XP's default Documents and Settings to store your data anyway. If your profile becomes corrupt or a repair goes wrong you will lose all the data. Much better to create your own Documents folder elsewhere on the hard drive.

Do keep us informed on your results.

21-10-2006, 11:07 AM
What method did you use to archive these files?

Also, can you see the inbox.dbx inside your saved folde?

21-10-2006, 11:18 AM
It sure is a mystery. I checked with a friend's PC and he has exactly the same limitations I described earlier. So I copied and pasted the full path into Start>Run as you suggested anid it opened. I then copied and pasted the .dbx files into the Outlook Express folder and every thing is fine. Thank you very much.

Not sure about your comments regarding not using Windows XP'x default settings. I have never had any problems, so "if it ain't broke,,,,,,,,,". As an added precaution I regularly back up all my email to another PC using TweakIE.

Thanks again for your help.

21-10-2006, 03:18 PM
Glad to hear that you finally got it sorted. The hassles with restoring OE emails is one reason why I no longer use it. Eudora makes backing up and restoring a no-brainer in comparison.

Regarding Windows default settings - most people have no problems but when they do, they are whoppers. Making regular backups is a Very Good Idea. ;)