I can't restore the backup I made of my emails...

  DIYgirl 16:39 20 May 2008
Locked

I've had to have a new hard drive installed because my old one failed.

I've now got to a point where I've installed all the available Microsoft updates that there are, and now want to restore all my old emails and my address book.

I can't.

I backed them up by using Windows Explorer to find the folder that they were all buried in, then copying everything in there to my second HDD. That stuff appeared as lots of DBX files, with names that corresponded to the folders that I'd made, so it seemed that I'd done it right.

I've tried dragging and dropping them into the new location; I've tried copying and pasting. I've even swapped from Outlook Express to Outlook, but it still doesn't work.

I have in the past used the same technique (makes it soudn far grander than it is) to back up and restore emails with no trouble. So what is going on here, and can someone tell me how to make this work?

Thank you.

  brundle 16:43 20 May 2008

You need to import them; click here

  DIYgirl 17:09 20 May 2008

Brundle, thanks for the help. I've worked my way through that, and have received the following error message:

"No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files open. Please select another folder or try closing applications that may have files open."

I've closed everything down and tried again, and have even tried rebooting the computer then trying again, but still get that message.

When I look at the folder concerned it's full of DBX files with all the right folder names, and each one is a different size which implies to me that they've got different numbers of emails in them... yet nothing works.

I suspect I've lost them all, and really hope that's not the case. Any other ideas?

  brundle 17:16 20 May 2008

Are they write protected? OE won't import them if they are.
"When I look at the folder concerned it's full of DBX files with all the right folder names, and each one is a different size which implies to me that they've got different numbers of emails in them" - it appears everything is safe, no need to panic yet. The other thing to bear in mind is that you may need to select the folder `above` the one with the dbx files, rather than the one containing them.
More detailed help here; click here

  handful 17:18 20 May 2008

With Outlook the backup files are generally .pst files so presumably .pbx is the Express equivalent. It would be worth looking to see where these are stored so I would suggest making hidden folders visible and search for them. If they are like the Outlook folders they are in (from memory) documents and settings/Local settings/application data/microsoft/outlook. Then just paste your backups into this folder and as long as you uncheck them as being read only you should have access to them.

  DIYgirl 17:30 20 May 2008

Brundle:

"it appears everything is safe, no need to panic yet."

I'm not panicking, just worrying. Bah. I hate this.

"The other thing to bear in mind is that you may need to select the folder `above` the one with the dbx files, rather than the one containing them."

Tried that, didn't do anything different, so I'll go off to read the link you gave.

Handful:

I'll try your way too and will post back once I've worked my way through. I have to feed my children now, though, so it won't be for a while.

I hate it when life interferes with doing stuff I want.

Thank you both for trying to help me, it really is most appreciated.

  brundle 17:37 20 May 2008

Handful's suggestion will work if importing doesn't, the current folder for OE will be the one you'll find in the Tools/Options/Maintenance/Store Folder box within OE's options.

  TonyW2 18:52 20 May 2008

You need to copy or move the backed-up DBX files into the "store folder" for your Outlook Express, that is currently on your new drive.
(This can be located by opening O/E then--Tools-options-maintenance.) Ensure that hidden files are shown.
However the big problem you will hit is that if that storage folder contains current DBX folders with the same names, then moving the backed up ones will replace the current ones. (Obvious titles are the standard inbox etc) You may need to do a bit of moving and renaming to avoid this causing a problem.

  DIYgirl 19:20 20 May 2008

Good grief. I think I've done it.

It was a combination of things, so you're all due thanks. I had to rename folders, and used a lot of the information on those links that brundle gave, and it's taken me several different attempts to get everything back but fingers crossed, it seems to have worked.

I'm going to go and check back, and make sure everything's working, but meanwhile, thanks to all of you who posted, as although none of it worked on its own, it all worked once I took bits from all of your postings. I don't know what I'd have done without your help!

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