Outlook Express Inbox emails disappeared after power failure

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Last night, there was a sudden unplanned shutdown down of the PC (turn off).  After the reboot (late last night) and go to the Inbox Outlook Express, only e-mail messages today were from this time (2 / 26 +)!  I can't find any obvious backup file for old messages (more than 26/02/2010).

(1) what might have happened?  I got shut-off before without any problem.

(2) where the old emails can be (if not actually erased)?

(3) how can I get these emails restored to OE (if they still exist)?

Thank you

S

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Two reasons the most common for what you describe is disruption of the compacting process, (never touch anything until it's finished), or bloated folders. More about that below.

Why OE insists on compacting folders when I close it? :
http://www.insideoe.com/FAQs/why.htm#compact

Why mail disappears:
http://www.insideoe.com/problems/bugs.htm#mailgone

About file Corruption:
http://www.Microsoft.com/Windows/IE/community/columns/filecorruption.mspx

Recovery tools:

If you use XP/SP2 or SP3, and are fully patched, then you should have a backup of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin (or possibly the message store), copied as bak files.

To restore a folder bak on the message store folder, first find the location of the message store.

Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store folder will reveal the location of your Outlook Express files. Note the location and navigate on it in Explorer Windows or, copy and paste in start | Run.

In Windows XP, the .dbx files are by default marked as hidden. To view these files in the Solution Explorer, you must enable Show hidden files and folders under start | Control Panel | Folder options | View.

Close OE and in Windows Explorer, click on the dbx to the file missing or empty file, then drag it to the desktop. It can be deleted later once you have successfully restored the bak file. Minimize the message store.

Open OE and, if the folder is missing, create a folder with the * exact * same name as the bak file you want to restore but without the .bak. For example: If the file is Saved.bak, the new folder should be named saved. Open the new folder, and then close OE. If the folder is there, but just empty, continue to the next step.

First of all, check if there is a bak file already in the message. If there is, and you have removed the dbx file, go ahead and rename it in dbx.

If it is not already in the message, open the trash and do a right-click on the file bak for the folder in question and click on restore. Open the message store up and replace the .bak by .dbx file extension. Close the message store and open OE. Messages must be in the folder.

If messages are restored successfully, you can go ahead and delete the old dbx file that you moved to the desktop.
 
If you have not then bak copies of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin:

DBXpress run in extract disc Mode is the best chance to recover messages:
http://www.oehelp.com/DBXpress/default.aspx

And see:
http://www.oehelp.com/OETips.aspx#4

A general warning to help avoid this in the future:

Do not archive mail in default OE folders. They finally are damaged. Create your own folders defined by the user for mail storage and move your mail to them. Empty the deleted items folder regularly. Keep user created folders under 300 MB, and also empty as is possible to default folders.

Disable analysis in your e-mail anti-virus program. It is a redundant layer of protection that devours the CPUs, slows down sending and receiving and causes a multitude of problems such as time-outs, account setting changes and has even been responsible for the loss of messages. Your up-to-date A / V program will continue to protect you sufficiently. For more information, see:
http://www.oehelp.com/OETips.aspx#3

And backup often.

Outlook Express Quick Backup (OEQB Freeware)
http://www.oehelp.com/OEBackup/default.aspx

Bruce Hagen MS - MVP [Mail]

Tags: Windows

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