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Outlook Express - recovery of 'lost' email

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On start today, most inbox folders, etc., and their contents are nowhere to be seen!!

Recently, OE compacted files, and i found BAK copies in Recycle - so selected them, & 'Restore' - but they're not back in OE. I can find them in Local Settings/App Data etc., but a) not in a form i can use (wrong file extension), and b) not in the right place!!

Please, a) any idea why this has happened? and b) any ideas on recovering at least some of the lost messages?

There are many important (to my wife & I!) messages we dearly need to get hold of!

P.S. - it's not just that the folders are collapsed - I have clicked on the [+] to expand - they really have 'gone'!
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