OE - lost last year's sent mail!

  Damarc 11:36 23 Apr 2008
Locked

I was looking through old sent emails and noticed that there is nothing before 13th Jan 08. I haven't put them anywhere else and have no idea where they have gone. Can I get them back in any way. To prevent this happening again, I've created a new folder and have moved sent mail to it but I would like my back copies. It's as though, as with webmail, my pc is only keeping sent mail on disk for a limited time. My inbox goes back to 2005 so no problem there.

  Gongoozler 11:57 23 Apr 2008

Find the file for your sent emails - probably "Sent items.dbx". Copy it to a new folder - say Old Emails or something like that. Download, install and run DBXtract.exe click here# If there are any emails there, DBXtract should find them and make an eml file of them.

  Damarc 12:25 23 Apr 2008

Done this but it's only transferred a few emails. They only relate to 2005. I checked the details of the relevant file and it said that it was modified 13th Jan 08 which coincides with the loss of emails from OE.

OE asks me frequently if I want to compact files to save space and I usually say OK. What I don't understand is why the relevant file modified on 13th Jan 08 only extracts 05 emails. Should I avoid compacting in future? I may have done this inadvertently in the past and not noticed until I searched for an old email this week but it still doesn't explain where 06 and 07 emails have disappeared to.

  Damarc 12:49 23 Apr 2008

What's been happening is this. I have renamed 'sent items.dbx' to 'old sent items 05-08.dbx' and have saved it under my 'Sues emails' folder. This file gives properties of being created Feb 06, modified 13th Jan 08 and accessed today and is 450MB. There also appears to be a Sent Items [1] file created 13th Jan modified and accessed today this file is 42MB. As this latter file is smaller I'm assuming that was the one I actually succeeded in extracting, albeit ending up in a peculiar folder.

Now I've tried to extract the 'old sent items 05-8.dbx' 450MB file and I asked dbxtract to put the output to Sues Emails rather than the default that it originally gave me, so that I can find it easily. However there are no individual files appearing under Sues Emails as there were with the Sent Items [1] extraction, linked to OE. If I click on the original files there is no file association with them so they can't open and the list of application offerings doesn't include OE.

I've always seemed to have a mental block with finding and opening old emails sorry about the longwindedness of this.

  Gongoozler 14:01 23 Apr 2008

dbx files won't be associated with anything because they contain all your emails of that category compressed into the one file. DBXtract decompresses all the files into eml format, which is associated with Outlook Express. An eml file is a text only version of the email, but its usually better than nothing. Double clicking any of the eml files should open it in Outlook Express. Whsn a [1] version of a file, such as Sent Items [1] is generated, it usuall means that a second file has been made with the same name as the first, i.e. a second Sent Items file will be called Sent Items [1], and a third one would be called Sent Items [2] etc. I suspect that your Sent Items folder might have been corrupted and OE generated another one. If DBXtract can't find the emails they might be beyond redemption.

I haven't tried any other dbx file extraction tools, but this one looks like it might help click here, but it isn't free.

  Damarc 14:40 23 Apr 2008

It seemed that dxtract didn't like my folder destination so I used its default and it's moved everything across. I've just got to remember where they will be in future!

Final question - can I now remove the original dbx file old sent items.dbx as I don't really want to duplicate stuff now they are extracted individually. Thanks for all your help.

  Gongoozler 16:32 23 Apr 2008

You can make a new folder anywhere you like and put you recovered emails there. DBXtract should accept any folder you choose, but I think you have to create the folder first.

I'm not absolutely certain because I don't use Outlook Express, but I think that if you simply delete your Sent Items.dbx file, Outlook Express will male a new empty one.

What might also be useful to you, if you want to keep your emails somewhere other than where Outlook Express uses as default, then click on Tools - Options - Maintenance - Store Folder - Change, then Browse to a new folder of your choice.

  Damarc 18:48 23 Apr 2008

I've done that already because I never can find OE's default folder - it's usually a long string of file names. I completely forgot about copying and pasting them to somewhere more sensible. Dbxtract wanted to use the documents and settings folder whereas I was trying to put them in a separate folder directly under C:/ drive which is the folder that I set for stored folders within OE.

Everything successfully accomplished for which you have my eternal gratitude. Thanks

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