Help me find my lost emails

Over the weekend I installed MS Works Suite 2003 on my home computer. I am running Windows 98 on a 486. I did the full install, which ended up installing several other things, including Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express 6. Previously I was using earlier versions of both of these. When I opened Outlook Express after the install was complete, I found that all of my emails since November 2001 were gone, in all the mailboxes.

I suspect that this may have something to do with the fact that I installed Windows ME some time around last November for a brief period, and then backed it out because it was such a dog. I am guessing that it created some kind of backup of my emails, and for some stupid MS reason, the latest install went back to that backup.

There are also some other problems with the new install, but this is the most serious. Can anybody tell me how to restore my lost emails?

One of the other problems that I am seeing is that when I am in Internet Explorer, and link to some other site, or even ask it to print a page, it will frequently lock up. It doesn’t show that it is trying to access the site or anything, and anyway I am on a cable modem, so accessing is normally pretty fast, and I experienced the same problem at 4:30 am, so I don’t think internet volume is the problem. When this happens, I can’t close or minimize the window, and the stop button is not active either. If I wait a long time (several minutes), sometimes it goes to the next page, but sometimes it doesn’t. If I go to task manager, it says Iexplore is not responding.

I don’t recall exactly what the problems were when I installed Windows ME, but some of these look very familiar. I’m now thinking that maybe Windows ME wasn’t a dog, but the problems were with OE and/or IE.


The following is from memory, since I don’t have Outlook Express in front of me, but I think it should be basically correct:

The Outlook Express mail archive should be stored in a .dbx file. Run a search on all drives for files with this extension; if you find one that looks likely, use OE’s import command (File | Import, I think) to import it.

RedNaxela’s method should give you ALL of your emails, your ones prior to Nov 2001, and the ones since.

If you just want them back the way there were (still missing the Nov 2001 emails), go through the same search routine, but note the path to the .dbx file. Then, in Outlook Express 6, go to Tools, Options, Maintenance, Store Folder, and click Change, then navigate to that directory, click OK.

Regarding your other problem, you didn’t mention the clock speed of the 486, but perhaps it is your computer that is the dog!

I’m not where the computer is now, and I don’t recall the clock speed, but it’s not terribly fast. However, it worked just fine with the previous version of IE. Should I expect that IE 6 is much slower than previous versions?

You always expect that of newer versions of MS software. Remember, what Andy giveth, Bill taketh away.

Thanks, RedNaxela, that did it. I don’t really understand what was going on, because it appears that the same physical files are used for both OE 4 and OE 6, so it was essentially importing the data into the same file it was already in, so I don’t know why it wouldn’t show all the records before, or how it decided which ones it would show and which ones not. Anyway, they are all back now, and it appears that OE is running ok.

However, Internet Explorer 6 is still extremely slow, and locks up frequently. In particular, any time I try to print a web page, it locks up.