* dbx files

  porridge 21:16 15 Aug 2006

I have tried every which way to find all the e-mails which are being saved as * dbx files but cannot find them. Using search I get hundred of things to see from my hard disks, but not one of them has the suffix * dbx.

Can anyone tell me in nice easy steps what to do to find them and when I do, how I can delete them all?

  VoG II 21:17 15 Aug 2006

You may need to enable viewing of hidden files and folders:

1. Click Start.
2. Click My Computer.
3. Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
4. Select the View Tab.
5. Under the Hidden files and folders heading select Show hidden files and folders.
6. Click Yes to confirm.
7. Uncheck the Hide file extensions for known file types.
8. Click OK.

Search for Hidden Files
By default, the Search companion does not search for hidden files. Because of this, you may be unable to find files, even though they exist on the drive.

To search for hidden or system files in Windows XP:

Click Start, click Search, click All files and folders, and then click More advanced options.

Click to select the Search hidden files and folders check boxes.

  porridge 08:35 16 Aug 2006

Thank you VOG for your extensive instructions. I have followed them to the letter but still could not find any * dbx files on any of my hard drives. (sorry I forgot to state that I am on XP home, but those were the instructions I followed)

My thanks anyway.


  Longhouse 12:10 16 Aug 2006

Are you seaching for * dbx or *.dbx files? First example (without the dot) returns massive file / folder hit whereas second (with the dot) returns only those with the dbx file ending.

  Simsy 13:40 16 Aug 2006

you need to be clear about 2 things with .dbx files...

The e-mails themselves are not .dbx files. OutlookExpress creates "folders" to keep the emails in. These "folders" are the .dbx files.

I think, (but I'm open to correction!), that you wont have dbx files if you're not using OutlookExpress as your email program. So if you use something else they wont exist to be found!.

With apologies if I'm wrong on any of that, or if you are using OE!!



  porridge 14:13 16 Aug 2006

Thank you simsy and longhouse and of course VOG.
I have now found the files, but when I tried to erase them they also erased the ordinary files in my inbox and sent box so that I no longer have my current e-mail correspondence. I again searched for the dbx files and found large files of inbox and sent items but they were all Word files. My satisfaction at having found them was soon dashed when I tried to open them in Word since all I got was computer language, mostly with rectangular squares. Does anyone know how to get them back as text files. I have looked everywhere but cannot find any way to convert them.

  Wak 15:59 16 Aug 2006

Hi, Porridge, this is a shot in the dark so it may not work for you.
Go to click here and download the FREE OEViewer program.
This program will open and read .DBX files so it just may be able to read your WORD files.

Incidentally, to remove or erase individual E-mails in Outlook Express, open Outlook Express, highlight the e-mail and then go to EDIT/DELETE.
This puts them in the Deleted Items folder which can then be emptied in EDIT/Empty Deleted Items Folder.
Deleting a .DBX folder will remove ALL e-mails in that folder, as you have just found out

Hope the above helps.

  Simsy 16:25 16 Aug 2006

restore the deleted .dbx files from the recycle bin?



  porridge 16:58 16 Aug 2006

Thank you wak and simsy. I am unfortunately no further on, so regrettably I think I will just give up for the moment.



  Gongoozler 17:28 16 Aug 2006

Hi porridge. Your emails are compressed into the dbx files. Probably the reason that yours are showing as Word files is that sometime in the past ypu've tried to open a dbx file in word, and left the box ticked to always use Word to open dbx files.

The method I use to view archived emails is this (The rest of this is from a posting I made to an earlier thread).

First find where your emails are kept. In O.E. select Tools - Options - Store folder. You will then see where your emails are stored. At this point, you can change the location if you want. I always create a folder on a second drive or partition, but that isn't necessary.

Now you know where the emails are stored, you can make a backup copy. The emails are compressed into files with the extension .dbx. There will be one dbx file for each OE folder. i.e. there will be inbox.dbx, outbox.dbx, sent items.dbx etc. There will also be folders.dbx which OE uses to decompress the other files.

Download a copy of DBXtract from click here and put it into a folder you create for the purpose. I use a folder on the C: drive that I name DBXtract. At this point I create a shortcut to DBXtract.exe on the desktop and in the Start menu.
Create another folder - I call this one Extracted Emails.

Run the program DBXtract. You will be asked for the path (location) of the Input file. This is the folder of your backed up dbx files. You will then be asked for the file name e.g.Inbox.dbx. You will then be asked for the path for the location you want the extracted emails to be put. In my case this is D:\Extracted Emails\Inbox, D:\Extracted Emails\Outbox etc

Now you can click on the Extract button. DBXtract will create a file with the extension .eml for each extracted email. Do this for all the emails you want to store. When you have finished you can burn the whole lot to CD. Double clicking on any eml file will open it in Outlook Express. Once you are confident that you have successfully backed up all your emails in a viewable state you can delete them in Outlook Express.

  porridge 09:22 17 Aug 2006

Hello Gongoozler,

You really are a saviour and I am extremely grateful to you. I downloaded DBXtract and got it going. All those current e-mails which had vanished were recovered for me. I am most pleased.

Many many thanks,


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