Recover Outlook Express email after compression

165 pts.
File compression
Microsoft Outlook emails
Microsoft Outlook error messages
Microsoft Outlook Express
Hi guys, I had a problem awhile ago on a users PC. What happened was outlook express prompted for emails to be compressed and without thinking the user hit the ok tab and most of the users email vanished. I was called out to try and recover the mail but I failed to do so. After a good amount of playing around to recover the mail i turned to Google and was still unable to find a solution. Has anyone out there encountered this problem and found the fix. I would really be grateful to find out what the hell happened to the mail and what can I do to recover it. I tried a few mail recovery programs but none of them could find the mail it is almost as it the mail never existed. Help! Thanks

Answer Wiki

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Normally Outlook Express stores the folders on the system drive. .dbx files are used by Microsoft’s Outlook express email application and contain your email messages.

Go to Tools > Options > Maintenance and clicking on the Store folder button.

Follow that path and open that folder
Each Outlook folder is a file in this folder with the extension *.dbx.

NOTE: It is possible that Outlook Express has created another file with the same name and replaced the existing one.

Now have created another file for Inbox and the older one renamed to Inbox(1).dbx.

If this is the case, then at least you can get messages.

First copy all these files to another folder.

Now close Outlook Express. It is necessary Folders.dbx to be in that same Store Folder, if u found the .dbx files mentioned but Folders.dbx is not in the Store Folder, do a Search on folders.dbx and move it to the Store Folder as well.

Remember: Rename the files and reopen Outlook Express.
Make sure to copy all the files to another folder.
Remember: It may need these files again, if Outlook Express behaves alike.
I am not sure, but you may also try with DBXtract….

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  • KyleFreeman
    Another thing you might try is to check for a backup file of the original inbox.dbx file. Whenever you compact any of the folders in Outlook Express, the program itself makes a backup of the folder before it begins. It calls the original inbox.dbx file, if that's one that you back up, inbox.bak. It does the same for every folder you compress. It may be that this . bak file still exists. Just do what Rechil advised on the last answer, that is, make copies of the bak file or files somewhere, then change the name of the inbox.bak file to inbox.dbx file, make sure it's in the place where the Storage button in Outlook Express says it goes to get its files, and reopen OE. All the emails that were in the original dbx file should be available now. Also, often Outlook Express will put its bak files in the Recycle Bin. You might look there first for the bak file; if you don't find it there, do a search of your entire system for files ending in .bak. Be sure to tell the search to include hidden files and folders. You might also do a search for all files called inbox.* It may have made a copy of the inbox.dbx file with a different file extension.
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