email lost

  seren500 13:29 16 Jan 2010

Would appreciate any guidance on this one. I have searched forum archives to some extent and tried 2 of the suggestions i found with no result unfortunately.

The problem : yesterday I removed/ deleted a whole load of old no longer used/required software I then put my XP laptop on to Disk Cleanup- was asked the usual questions about deleting temp internet files etc - i said yes to each question.
Then put the mcahine on to Defrag- then got popup box saying that it cannot defrag as CHKDSK has been scheduled for this drive. So i proceeded to run the CHKDSK which took half an hour it seemed to dealing with a whole load of files associated with the old software i had just removed.
After CHKDSK finished the machine went onto defrag which completed in about an hour.
I made the mistake of not backing up the email beforehand. Last time i did that was Nov 09. I have come to use OE today and found all the inbox empty and the deleted items folder empty. All other folders appear OK at first sight.

Would anyone have any ideas on how to try and recover these files ?

Thanks in advance

  MAJ 14:19 16 Jan 2010

I'm not using OE at the moment, but if memory serves, try going to View > Current View and click the "Show All Messages" option. Sometimes OE slips to the "Hide Read Messages" option.

  Batch 17:13 16 Jan 2010

Apart from Maj's suggestion, I don't think there's much chance of getting them back if you've done a defrag as any directory entries would have been lost or no longer point to the original files.

Another thought though. If you search for .dbx files (each OE email folder is stored as a .dbx), you might just find them somewhere else. You can then use something like OE Viewer (click here) to inspect the contents before deciding whether to import anything back into OE.

BTW, you can find where OE stores its current folders by going to Tools, Options, maintenance Tab and clicking on "Store Folder" button.

  seren500 18:30 16 Jan 2010

Thanks both I very much appreciate the responses as I have lost some important work related emails in this episode.
Maj - I tried your suggestion- but the problem remains.

Batch- I have done a .dbx search - this found all my old back-up email files (upto Nov 09) and those OE folders still with email in as you maybe would expect.
I do understand your comments about the defrag related to directory entries which probably explains why 'system restore' doesn't achieve anything for me when i run it.
What I can't understand though is why only the Inbox and Deleted folders in OE are empty or lost - all other folders appear untouched and apart from the usual folders I have about 30 work related folders which still have their contents intact.

Why should this happen ?

Another question I would like to ask related to ' system restore' is - my system offering right now only goes back to the begining of 2010 (January 1st) no system restore points offered for any part of last year or before, when I hit the back button to take the calendar back to 2009 nothing happens- so therefore does system restore only operate in the year we are currently in and we cannot get back further- if I knew how to do this it may help a bit

Look forward to hearing from anyone who can help get me out of this .

  seren500 20:11 16 Jan 2010

If no-one can help me get these files back then can anyone tell me what I did wrong to loose the email from Inbox and Deleted folders and no other folder.
Why did this happen- would really appreciate some enlightenment !! So i dont screw-up again like this.

  GaT7 20:35 16 Jan 2010

Can you confirm that you only need emails that were in the Inbox & Deleted Items folders?

If yes, follow my procedure at click here. Not guaranteed to work, but worth a try.

First drag & drop Inbox.dbx into MOEE. Extract & recover emails as explained there.

Next drag & drop Deleted Items.dbx into MOEE. Extract & recover emails as explained there.

The above files will be present in C:\Documents and Settings\[your username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{A723FD9F-4B93-4C6E-B1B2-A18F52298520}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

The {A723FD9F-4B93-4C6E-B1B2-A18F52298520} part above will differ on your PC. G

  Woolwell 21:07 16 Jan 2010

System restore will not bring back data nor does it save data. You need a back up program for that.

  Batch 18:04 17 Jan 2010

Just to expand on Woolwell's comment - System Restore restores system files (e.g. operating system and programs) and so should have no impact on your email data.

I don't think anyone will be able to explain extacly what has caused your problem. Something may have inadvertently gone awry.

Crossbow7's approach might work if the Inbox & Deleted folder still contain the actual data (if you've run "Compact Folders" you have probably had it). But from your description it rather sounded like the folders (the .dbx files) had become corrupted or deleted and so OE just created new ones from scratch). One way that you might be able to readily tell is from the size of the dbx files. New empty ones will likely be something between 59KB and 139KB or thereabouts. if they are that sort of size, as I said - you've had it. If they are (materially) bigger, you might be in with a chance.

  seren500 18:39 17 Jan 2010

I want to thank you all for your efforts. I have gone down the MOEE route (thanks Crossbow)- unfortunately it did indeed extract the inbox and deleted files but only current ones in the folder created since 16th Jan. It looks like the views of Batch are right in that the current file size for Inbox is about 500 KB (contains about 30 emails which have come in since 16th Jan) Therefore all the email prior to this date is not in this folder (would have been many MB's worth).

I have searched to exhaustion- it looks very much like your comment Batch - that the previous folders were corrupted somehow and OE has created new ones with all previous data lost.
Fortunately as mentioned earlier I do have email backed up to last Nov just missing Dec and half of Jan right now so i will be having to ask redfaced for various individuals to re-email me on a whole load of issues on Monday morning.

One last comment - after all this time (Microsoft has been working on this job for long enough) - i would have thought there could have been some failsafe built into OE to prevent mass email loss or in the event of a problem dump it into someplace from where it maybe potentially be recovered - instead of leaving it to the likes of me to protect such data.

I have a BT account and I will be making some changes on Monday to collect email via Webmail through OE and have messages kept on the BT server as a means of continuous back up.

Once again many thanks to you all.

  GaT7 19:48 17 Jan 2010

seren500, I'm sorry to hear it didn't work.

Another thing I noticed recently (that I forgot to mention earlier) is that whenever I mark messages in the Inbox 'as read', then close & re-open OE, they disappear! Could something similar be happening to you as well?

Not a big hassle for me as I've setup 'leaving messages on the server' for the last 6-12 months with all my online email accounts.

I've been thinking of switching to Thunderbird click here, & I think you should too. G

  seren500 20:11 17 Jan 2010

Crossbow- looks like i'm a dinosaur without knowing it- why didn't i set up "leaving messages on the server" years ago!! kick-kick-kick

I routinely use Firefox and have looked at T-Bird a few times and have it installed but haven't spent enought ime getting to know it- would apprecaiet any comments on its advantages .
I will be in work tomorrow game-on for changing my emailing life.


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