Outlook Express, years of lost emails and DBXpress the unattainable

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help and Support' started by Kahilia, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Kahilia

    Kahilia

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    Hello, first timer here.
    I'm in total desperation and disarray after my Outlook Express just deleted all inbox email after 31/12/2018.
    I must have happened after OE told me to compact the folders, which old forum posts say are a common cause of it.
    The .bak files were in my recycle bin just a couple days ago, but I haven't been able to retrieve them even after I tried (deep) scanning with both Recuva and Donemax Data Recovery.

    I came across lots of posts about this and a program by a Steve/Stephen L. Cochran, which sounds like it would be a help, which can bypass the file system and recover from disk. But it can't be found anywhere!
    Does anyone have DBXpress.exe? The program is no longer oehelp.com, which seems to have been changed into some entirely different site.
    Hope some other vintage enthusiasts out there has some idea.
    Best regards
     
    Kahilia, Jul 14, 2021
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  2. Kahilia

    red Guest

    red, Jul 18, 2021
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    Kahilia likes this.
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  3. Kahilia

    Kahilia

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    Sorry, I didn't receive any email notice. Many thanks for the reply, red.

    I tried downloading from all those software/share sites. Software.informer, solvusoft, and whatnot. They all point to the oehelp site that doesn't contain anything :(.
    And I just tried searching on archive.org, nothing found :(

    Long live XP!:)
     
    Kahilia, Jul 22, 2021
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  4. Kahilia

    xphelper

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    Outlook Express had been working really well for me UNTIL one day I was persuaded to try IMAP which seemed fine to begin with. Then I noticed that lots of messages in some mailboxes had disappeared.

    The mailboxes are arranged in alphabetical order. The lost ones are at the very bottom. The mailbox names are still there but empty. When I went to the DBX directory, the DBX files are still there, the lost ones have been renamed with a number in brackets. I believe that using a DBX viewer can still view those messages. Unfortunately I was unable to install a DBX viewer (needed something else I think a later version of dot NET Framework). So since it wasn't urgent, I thought maybe a project for another day. I wished I had never tried IMAP.

    I know OE on XP has a limit of 2GB in the DBX directory (or is it Microsoft Outlook?). Perhaps IMAP has an even low limit. Or perhaps my OE had reached 2GB without me noticing.

    Since OE has a size limit, perhaps getting a DBX viewer is a better option for very old (archived) messages. Does anyone know of a good DBX viewer that can run on dot NET framework 3.5 ?
     
    xphelper, Aug 11, 2021
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  5. Kahilia

    Kahilia

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    Sounds horrendous.
    In my case, all of my .DBX files and email folders themselves were still there, but all the latest email after 31/12/18 within the inbox were gone, after OE compressed.
    The only kind of tool I've read being able to retrieve this loss was DBXpress, from what I could read, but can't download it anywhere. So I was hoping some other vintage user might have it.

    I wonder, if a DBX viewer should be able to find deleted emails, they should also be possible to find via usual DBX extraction tools. Sounds like in that case the email would just be hidden, not deleted.
     
    Kahilia, Aug 13, 2021
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  6. Kahilia

    xphelper

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    If the messages have not been permanently deleted already, you should still be able to view them using a DBX viewer.

    The current folder path is displayed in OE: Tools> Options...> Maintenance> Store Folder>
    Try using DBX viewer to display Deleted Items.dbx and Deleted Items(1).dbx if exists.

    Having said that, I can't imagine OE compress means OE delete. It's such a shame as OE is a good email tool. Losing messages without a good reason is disappointing.
     
    xphelper, Sep 6, 2021
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  7. Kahilia

    Kahilia

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    Unfortunately, they were. Tried any thing I could, even professional hdd data search.

    But which DBX Viewer are you thinking of? There seem to be several. Can these viewers see more than OE itself, when there's corruption?

    And yes, absolutely right. At least now I'll never delete those .bak files before backup again, or let the DBX folders grow so large instead of splitting them up.

    Excuse the delay.
     
    Kahilia, Oct 14, 2021
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  8. Kahilia

    xphelper

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    I have a feeling I might have misunderstood your OE problem, as what you've just described doesn't seem to make sense to me.

    When you said HDD data search, did you manually look in the folder where you specify the OE path ?

    DBX viewer is not to do with OE directly. You can use any DBX viewer to directly open /view a DBX file.

    Where do those .bak files come from ? Did you manually rename them ?

    I don't know what you mean by splitting them up. Maybe other users can shed some light.
     
    xphelper, Oct 14, 2021
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  9. Kahilia

    Kahilia

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    No not completely, I think.
    Pardon the miswording then. I did a data recovery such with a firm on the HDD, besides checking after the emails myself and looking the folders too. Searched the whole drive without finding anything.

    Yes, I know. Only asked because maybe you had a particular one in mind, but I'm try that out if DBX viewers might see more than Outlook Express itself in case of corrupted dbx's.

    The bak files I talked about are just the ones that end up in recycle bin after OE compresses the DBX files - they're copies of the old email folders from before that, which could've been used if I had known.

    By splitting I referred to the fact that OE apparantly tends to corrupt these files much more often when they're several hundred MBs large. So I mean to divide the email archives to avoid this loss again.
     
    Kahilia, Oct 16, 2021
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  10. Kahilia

    xphelper

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    If your Outlook Express has gone wrong, I think any DBX viewer might help by viewing every single DBX file. If you think the missing messages are in Inbox, then yes it's worth using a DBX viewer to view Inbox. Please let us know if you have any success finding them.

    I'm not aware of the bak files in Recycle Bin after compression. Interesting. I only know that the missing messages are still in the Outlook Express folder, the DBX files (with the missing messages) get renamed with an appendix like JaneDoe(1).dbx JohnDoe(1).dbx ... etc (they can be viewed using a DBX viewer. Outlook Express will not show these.

    re splitting: I'm unaware if it's possible to divide the email archives. I think a work around is to create another Outlook Express user. Then move some of the DBX files over.

    Outlook Express was such an excellent piece of software, without it how does one manage multiple email accounts (all under one roof). Another advantage is that, the user can view email offline. We wouldn't have to endure the annoying adverts in web mail.

    It would be nice if they continued to fix the bugs. Obviously not possible now. We just have to be careful to avoid such problems in future.
     
    xphelper, Oct 18, 2021
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  11. Kahilia

    Kahilia

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    Hello - very late answer, long periods of illness. My apologies.

    I didn't, as the emails were gone. They were deleted from Outlook Express from the compression. Only the .BAK files that briefly remained in recycle bin contained those.
    When OE compresses the folders it creates a copy of the dbx folder files prior to the compression and sends them there. Didn't know back there.
    I've never seen OEx make duplicates of the .dbx files in the folder.

    But those DBX viewers are some very handy tool - I can use that for something - thanks. Makes it easier to browse earlier email archives.

    Yes, emails can easily be dragged & moved out into explorer from within OE.
    I just move the entire OE archive when done and then start

    It is great. But isn't some of the other Outlooks or Windows Live Mail also user-specifically stored? I'd think so. And also viewable offline, since they're local applications. Thunderbird too, but doesn't have all the same options I need.
    Happy new year.
     
    Kahilia, Jan 5, 2022
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  12. Kahilia

    xphelper

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    Hope you are well. GMAIL and GMX recently stopped users from using Outlook Express (from June 2022), so I had no choice but to switch. OE Classic seemed like a good alternative until I realised it had the same problem (unless you pay), what a pain. Now I have no choice but to switch to use Thunderbird which is great EXCEPT that it is more complicated than it needs to be. Most Outlook Express users just want something simple that works.

    Thunderbird does not allow global account settings so you need to go through each account. The SMTP is a pain too. However, on the whole Thunderbird is great (easy to back up too, just back up the folder).
     
    xphelper, Jun 8, 2022
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