Tuesday, 16 June 2015

OE Emails Recovery | A Comprehensive Guide

Outlook Express is a great free email client from Microsoft and I guess at one point of time is the most widely used tool. Now time has changed a lot and Microsoft decided that they will no longer support this product. So people moved from XP to Vista OS for better product experience/support but there are still a huge population of users who uses XP as their Operating System and Outlook Express as their preferred choice for Email conversation and management.

The Common Problem for DBX File Getting Corrupt 
“The most common reason for dbx corruption is not Virus but Anti-Virus”

  • Sometime I found out that when people are compacting their dbx file and its taking up so much time that they decide to use Task Manager to kill the msim.exe process. This is disastrous for the file and you lose your .dbx files and messages inside it. 
  • Turning Off or putting your computer to standby mode during the process may also result in the loss of Outlook Emails. So one should not attempt to do that either.
  • Older version of McAfee also known to deletes your emails and your .dbx files. So if you have this antivirus installed I suggest you to either uninstall it or just disable the module for email and internet download.
  •  People either mistakenly delete their emails or the dbx files gets corrupted due to abruptly shutting down of the system, power failure among other possible reasons. 
  • DBX files also gets corrupted when the file size gets exceeded (same to assume >2gb) or when performing the dbx file compression. 

How to know if your DBX files got corrupted?

In the case of when the files gets corrupted will create a new folder with a default message “Welcome to Outlook Express” . Now if your inbox.dbx files got corrupted then OE would have created a another folder with the name inbox(1).dbx. So if you are wondering where your Outlook Express emails are the best bet is to go the folder location which is mainly located here
C:\Windows\Application Data\Outlook Express\{GUID}


C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express
And if see both inbox(1).dbx and inbox.dbx. then OE has recreated the inbox file with the name inbox(1).dbx and all your emails are in inbox.dbx file though they are corrupt. If you are in hurry there is tool that help you to view dbx file that will come handy.

Recovery from DBX File corruption
Once you identify that you’re the file is corrupt then first then you need to take the backup of the whole folder including the corrupt file and save it in some other location.

  • Now close your Outlook Express.
  • Copy the last good backup that you had into the stored folder.
  • Restart Your Outlook Express

If you do not have a backup then you as a last resort for manual dbx repair you can compact the file and if there is very minor corruption they it is highly possibility that you will get your dbx file in healthy state. Unfortunately since Outlook Express does not have in-built recovery mechanism hence as a last resort I recommended this DBX Repair Software

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