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Welcome to Outlook Express Problem

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There's nothing that can be done about this problem now, but I wonder if geeks or readers have any insight. This week, when I logged on, I saw "new programs installed" -- often a bad sign when you haven't deliberately installed anything.

The next thing I notice was that all of my inbox and folders were missing in Outlook Express, and all I had was the one, new message "Welcome to Outlook Express". Very bad sign. I checked in the store folders, and all the dbx files were there, showing large numbers of bytes, but they simply wouldn't read. I tried recopying a clean set from a back-up file into the OE files, it still couldn't read them. I tried making other folders, like "Microsoft" and "mail" and so on to get it to read them (I had read that folders could be at issue) but OE simply couldn't read the dbx files. I looked in the regedit, and I saw that OE 5 folders existed, but not OE 6, so I reinstalled OE 6 -- it still didn't read the dbx stored folders and I couldn't even find the folders I created to test the newly-installed OE where the rest of them were. I still didn't see the folders showing up in the registry, who knows.

Now stuck with the problem of having the crack open those dbx files, I got a good, very inexpensive dbx extractor for $5 (unlike the $49.95 advertised everywhere) here: http://www.oehelp.co...ct/Default.aspx.
This is SL Cochran's extractor. It worked great, except that it orders the mail in a giant batch file by alphabetical order of subject heading, whereas I would really need to see my thousands of e-mails by date to find them.

I researched this issue and saw that it was an issue for a small minority of MacAfee customers. I see no reference to Norton having this problem, yet Norton is what I have installed, and I don't have MacAfee. I don't know how to prevent this! I'm also wondering if anyone has any bright ideas about how to reorder extracted dbx OE e-mail files by *date*.

This article explains that this is not a virus, but a glitch inside MacAfee AV itself. I'm not aware that they or Norton have fixed it. I don't know what triggered it, except that I did see downloaded programs installed, and shortly after this, developed a bunch of other problems like the pesky Home Search.

I've also got a problem now where Norton will not automatically enable upon boot. This is odd because Norton's option to automatically load and enable upon boot is definitely checked off. I can't find anything on Norton's help pages about this, and they want $29.95 just to talk to me about this. Any ideas?

Murder on the Outlook Express
By John Leyden
Published Wednesday 24th October 2001 07:00 GMT
Outlook Express users who also use McAfee's antivirus software have reported suffering from mysterious cases of disappearing email.

An intermittent problem involving the interaction of Windows 2000 or XP with McAfee VirusScan 4.5.1 and Outlook Express 6 means that the index file to existing email folders can become damaged when a user downloads new mail. In extreme cases folders are trashed - all users get is a message saying Welcome to Outlook Express 6 as if they were a new user.

A similar problem involving Outlook Express 5.5 means that all saved mail in a user's Inbox goes away when users download new email. The messages are still present in the .dbx file used by Outlook Express but as the index is damaged, users can't read them from the email client itself.

Jack Clark, product marketing manager from the McAfee division of Network Associates, said the company is aware of the issue but describes this as an "isolated problem", reported by just 12 of its 70 million users.

McAfee has released a hot fix, available from its technical support, which addresses most of the reported problems, but doesn't fix the apparent loss of a user's In-box, according to Clark.

McAfee Beta testers report that this hotfix can result in the deletion of mail picked up via Hotmail, but this remains unconfirmed. Outlook users are apparently unaffected.

The root cause of the problem may be that Outlook Express tries to compress emails before VirusScan has released control of them, resulting in corruption of the index file. However this remains only a theory, though McAfee have promised to get back to us with a more detailed response.

Users have suggested workarounds involving creating another Inbox (i.e. Inbox2) and creating a rule to send all messages into this new folder. Disabling email scan and auto-update on McAfee have also been suggested, but we can't verify if these measures are effective ourselves.

The only real solution is a definitive fix from McAfee. We trust that this will come sooner rather than later. A clear explanation of this intermittent problem would be nice too. ®
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