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OE6 urgent - dbx files corrupted by OE

By white owl ·
I have a broken OE6 as of a few days ago. It truncated my store folder and what is left (about one fourth of my email) doesn't come up as the folder.dbx file is bad. I opened that file and it now only shows four or five folders. When this problem occurred, OE overwrote both my Inbox and my Sent folder, and now the entire Inbox and Sent folders are completely empty. I checked the dbx folder and those files no longer exist...they are replaced with empty ones.

I need to salvage what I can of what is left of that dbx folder. It cuts off at folders beginnning with "D". I do have an older backup store folder, so I do have that email. However, many new folders have been created since that time. It is not too up to date, unfortunately - it's a few months old.

I did a Restore back to a few days before the problem occurred. I made a copy of my good backup store folder and changed my store folder directory and it began loading. I thought things were going well. But no, it did the same thing. Only the four or five folders appeared in OE and they were empty. I checked the dbx folder and same thing - the folder.dbx file only contained info for those few folders, and in the dbx folder all the dbx files after those beginning with D were gone! Now I knew for sure that it was OE doing this.

I have done other work while I'm at the Restore point of a few days ago. Should I return to where I was or just go from here? Would I lose any saved work in other programs I have used over the last couple days? I am not clear what is changed with Restore points.

Final question: Do I uninstall and reinstall OE6? Do I have to uninstall it first? If so, do I lose all my filters and settings? I feel very wary of using this program again. I have largee amounts of email and have to use a heavy duty client.

I am on XP Pro, custom computer, P4 2.6 ghz, two hard drives, 1.25 gig memory. The computer is running perfectly, no problems.


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by TheChas In reply to OE6 urgent - dbx files co ...

Most of the members at TR support corporate clients, and ONLY use Outlook.

My best recommendation for your situation is to take a look at DBXtract:

This program and site offer one of your best chances to recover your messages.

Many, many people have come out against OE. I even read a column demanding that Microsoft dump OE as a bad program with no redeeming value.

If you cannot, or don't want to switch to Outlook, I recommend that you give Mozilla Thunderbird a try:

Once you get your DBX files cleaned up, Thunderbird can import the recovered messages.


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by white owl In reply to

See above! I don't want to say your answer was unacceptable...but I don't seem to have a choice if I want to receive more feedback on my situation. Sorry about that! I do really appreciate all you told me.

Also, a question.... I am guessing this software cannot retrieve dbx files that are missing, correct? This seems rather impossible. But I will look it over before I start the process.

I have looked in the damaged folders, both times it happened, and they both stop after files which begin with "D", and both folders.dbx files were damagaged too. I have a backup for only the older store folder, but at least I won't lose everything. I will definitely copy and open and check both folders again before I try again.

Thanks, Layne

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by white owl In reply to OE6 urgent - dbx files co ...

Thanks, Chas, for responding. I have purchased the software, a few days ago actually (I saw it recommended somewhere else too), but have not used it yet. I have been thinking about what I have and don't have here, and how the email is in two store folders, one older and the new one damaged and with dbx files now missing and so not retrieveable, and just how to maneuver getting what remains integrated.

Today I used system file checker, hoping it will help my Outlook Express operate properly, just so I can get the email into it and integrated. I know I will have to go through a few steps to do this. (I have a zillion folders in these two store folders.)

I have decided, I think, to leave my Restore point where it is. It seems to be fine; I'll just have to rearrange a bunch of photo files and their folders...but I can live with that.

First I will get the email loaded and integrated and the folders arranged as they were (dbx files from the truncated dbx folder I will rename before importing so they stay separate, then I can go through them later). Then I will start using another email client.

It is interesting what you say about corporate clients using Outlook and that you use Thunderbird. I am deciding between these two. Do you feel Thunderbird is equivalent to Outlook in all the basic, important ways? I know Outlook is cumbersome and heavy. I used it in the distant past and went back to Outlook Express. I had some problem with it too, though I don't remember what it was now.

I will take a look at the software, however, I think I have figured out what I need to do to get all the files into OE and get the folder file operating correctly without using it. I hope to get all this done this evening.

Thanks so much for your comments and feedback!

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by TheChas In reply to OE6 urgent - dbx files co ...


I use Outlook at work, and Thunderbird at home.

The way we use Outlook, a copy of the .pst file is stored on the server. That way, if either the server or local .pst file gets damaged, we can recover.

Aside from the calender functions, the single .pst file for data storage is the advantage of Outlook over OE.

Just back up your pst file on a regular basis, and you can recover from most errors.

With OE, you need to back up an entire folder of files.

With Thunderbird, you don't have many of the problems that OE does with being integrated into IE. You do however get a LOT more files to back up depending on how you structure your accounts.

My personal method of backing up critical mail files is program independant, but much easier to use with Thunderbird than OE.
What I do for ALL critical emails, is save each mail as a file on my PC in a specific folder for the type of correspondence it is.

With Thunderbird, I just hit crtl-s and the save dialog comes up pointing to the last folder I used.

With OE, everytime you want to save a message, you must click on file / save, and the default folder is always My Documents.

I have full message redundancy because I download my personal mail accounts to 2 different PCs.

If I only had 1 PC, I would download the messages using 2 different mail clients.

You adjust the account settings on 1 PC or mail client to leave a copy of the message on the server.

Then set the second PC or client to remove messages from the server.

I do run OE on 1 PC just so I can easily check things to answer questions about OE.


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I think you can try this way

by zwr In reply to OE6 urgent - dbx files co ...

I think you can try a utility called Advanced Outlook Express Repair to repair your Outlook Express dbx file. It works rather well for my corrupt Outlook Express dbx files. Its web address is

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