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OE 6 Ate my emails !

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I posted my question within the thread of a similar one, before I read the note about starting new topics .... sorry.

So here is my message again ....

I have suffered almost the same problem as Ladyliberty.

I run XP Home with SP2 and OE Ver 6.

Everytime I close Outlook Express I used to get a window pop p, asking me if I want to recover disk space by compacting folders.
About a year ago I made the mistake of clicking on Yes (or OK or whatever), only to find that my HDD went beserk for over an hour and my machine became SO SLOW that there was no point trying to do anything before the process had finished.
DISASTER ..... when it did finish, I found that EVERY item in my Inbox had gone. Both read and un-read emails. All my other sub-folders still contained the emails I had moved into them, but the 1,500 or so items in my Inbox had gone.

Since then I have been very careful to always hit the CANCEL button in that window ......... until yesterday
My mouse pointer had disappeared off the screen and I made the error of hitting the enter key to try to make things happen. That "Compact Folders" window was still active, although not visible on my screen, and it defaults to YES.
So yesterday I lost around 3,400 emails.
It gets worse, because now the Compact Folders Routine automatically runs everytime I close Outlook Express, which means for 15 - 20 mins after each OE session, I can't do a damned thing.

Why does OE have that Compact Folders Facility if it is SO DESTRUCTIVE ?
Why don't they warn you that pressing OK will destroy lots of data without asking for further confirmation that this is what you want to do ?
How can I stop OE from automatically running this Compaction Routine everytime I close the program ? (There is nothing in "tools", "settings", or "help" relating to this problem).
Is there any way to recover the lost data ?

If I now run OE and click on Inbox ... I just get "There are no messages to display"
But if I go and look where all the email data files are stored, Inbox.dbx shows as being 1.9GB in size !
All the other sub-folders where I move my sorted email messages to, still work fine. Is there some way I can make OE read this file again, or is there any other program that can read it ?

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I found several different things.. let me pull a few quotes together for you...

I'm running Windows XP home edition and eventually found the lost email folders in C:\Documents and Settings\Kirk(This would be your name)\Application Data\Identities\{EE206DE-010C-41F-A8E-069794662C}\Microsoft\Outlook Express. The missing folders are listed there, but I can't get them to view in Outlook Express. The missing .dbx files are all listed there next to my .dbx files that do display in Outlook Express. There doesn't appear to be any difference in how they're listed between the files that will display and those that won't display.


A useful tool for viewing and manipulating .dbx files can be found at http://users.accessc...un/programs.htm
use the OEViewer link
(in truth, the only freeware utility of such nature I have found - anyone know others, I'd appreciate a heads-up)

Several pay-for utilities are easily available with a search on Google, I've long been an advocate of freeware for it's simplicity of use and clean interface.

I have seen cases where folks failed to compact folders in OE - resulting in .dbx files reaching some limitation for size. Compacting in those instances resulted in a return to functionality.

Also, it is best to compact folders manually as using the automatic compact function can result in lost or corrupted .dbx files if Windows should be shut down improperly during the automated compacting process.

Do not check Compact messages in the background. This can lead to lost emails.
(Tools->Options. Maintenance Tab)

there are no guarrenties that you will recover any lost mail, but hopefully this will help.

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