Recovered e-mails

  Aeries 10:34 16 Jul 2008
Locked

Before reformatting my hard disc recently I did a backup to an external hard drive. When I came to restore the backup I discovered it was corrupt. Next I tried 'Recover My Files' from the July 2008 PC Advisor DVD. This has recovered many thousands of my files, including lots of e-mails that had been in Outlook Express. It has been a fairly easy if very laborious task to replace these recovered files where they belong on my reformatted hard disc, except that I do not know how to transfer the recovered e-mails from my external hard drice to the proper place on drive C. If I can find out where Outlook Express stores the Inbox and Sent Items folders, presumably I could simply copy and paste the recovered ones there. I would appreciate any guidance on this.

  Gongoozler 11:07 16 Jul 2008

Hi Aeries. The emails are compressed into files with the extension dbx, hence your Inbox folder is compressed into the file Inbox.dbx. You can easily find where Outlook Express expects to find the files by clicking Tools - Options - Maintenance - Store Folder. You can even change the location of the store folder to a more convenient place such as another drive or partition. You can replace the files in the store folder with other files, or you can also rename the recovered files as, for example, recovered Inbox.dbx, leaving Inbox as a completely new folder. Another option is to leave the recovered files in a folder separate from the Outlook Express Store Folder, and use the little application DBXtract to read them. click here. DBXtract converts the contents of the compressed file to an eml file for each email, which is a pure text version of the original email. Double clicking the eml file opens it in Outlook Express.

  Aeries 19:57 16 Jul 2008

Many thanks Gongoozler. The DBXtract is not downloading at the moment from your link. Do you know if DbxTriver, which has a link below this text box is any good? I have located where Outlook Express expects to find the files as you described and have created a new folder in Outlook Express called Recovered emails. What I have not followed is how to copy the individual emails into that folder, so that they can be opened by Outlook Express. Any further guidance?

  Gongoozler 08:36 17 Jul 2008

Hi Aeries. You can't copy individual emails, only a complete folder. What I haven't tried, but it should work, is for you to rename a copy of your recovered inbox.dbx to Recovered emails.dbx, and overwrite your newly created Recovered emails.dbx with it.
I haven't tried any, email recovery software other than DBXtract. There is a more recent version of DBXtract available, but it's not free - although it isn't at all expensive. click here. The thing I like about the version of DBXtract that I use (I don't know if it also applies to the newer version) is that it runs directly from the downloaded exe file, and doesn't need to be installed.

  Aeries 12:44 17 Jul 2008

Hi Gongoozler. Sorry, I am not following you. In Outlook Express I have created a new folder currently called Recovered emails. This is empty, but shows both in Outlook Express below the other standard folders and also in the store folder. On my external hard drive I have a folder currently called Recovered Items.dbx that has in it all the individual .DBX files called Recovered Outlook Express 1,...2,...3, etc. I do not know if these files are from my previous Inbox or Sent Items folder until I am able to open them in Outlook Express. My problem is that I am not following you as to what I need to do to enable the files in the Recovered Items.dbx folder to be readable by Outlook Express.

  Carafaraday 12:57 17 Jul 2008

I don't know if this will help you at all but I use the method advocated by microsoft to back up and restore emails. I think the link is click here but if that doesn't work just go to the microsoft help pages and look for How to back up and restore Outloook Express data.

  Gongoozler 13:12 17 Jul 2008

Hi Aeries. You could try copying and pasting Outlook Express 1,...2,...3, etc into the Outlook Express store folder, but I think the safest thing to do would be to download DBXtract, even the latest version would only cost you about a fiver, and use that to examine the contents of Outlook Express 1,...2,...3, etc. It will produce a .eml file for each email it finds. You can then look at the individual emails in Outlook Express without the risk of corrupting anything.

  Aeries 19:17 19 Jul 2008

Hi again Gongoozler. Your link to DBXtract is now working and I have just downloaded and extracted the .zip file. In the box for the Input Path I have entered E:\Recovered emails\Recovered Items.dbx, the folder containing my recovered e-mails and they are being recognised. In the box for the Output Path I have entered a new folder I have created at C:\Documents and Settings\John\Desktop\Old.dbx. When I click on Extract it displays Extract Complete, but nothing is in this destination folder. Am I doing something wrong or is it likely that the e-mail has been corrupted and cannot be read?

Carafaraday, thank you for your tip and I will follow it up after I try to recover using DBXtract.

  Gongoozler 21:12 19 Jul 2008

The location you have asked DBXtract to extract to is a file, not a folder., i.e Old.dbx, that could be the problem. As you have probably noticed, DBXtract is a bit old looking, and probably isn't intelligent enough to work that out for itself. Call the folder C:\Documents and Settings\John\Desktop\Old emails and it might work

  conrail 21:18 19 Jul 2008

Hi Aeries, hope you recover everything you need/want, one tip passed onto me, for your future use, create an email address using google mail then forward any important emails to that as a backup, click here
long winded I know, or just do a search for google mail. Hope that helps, as someone who has just had to reformat and reinstall I know it's easy to lose things

  Gongoozler 21:33 19 Jul 2008

I just tried DBXtract on my pc, using similar locations to yours, and have:

Input - Path as C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{Big number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express\
File: Inbox.dbx

Output - Path C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\Old.emails\

With both Input and Output folders open, I could see the individual recovered emails being inserted. DBXtract also counts the emails as they are recovered.

I found that I had to associate teh eml files with Outlook Express by right clicking on one, selecting Open with, browsing to C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe. Don't forget to tick the box for "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file"

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