Import from Outlook Express - can't access mail folder

I am importing old mail messages into Outlook 2007 on Windows 7 from Outlook Express on another machine.  I have located the old mail store and copied it acrosss.  It is a folder with several .dbx files - one for each mail folder from OE.  It's about 955Mb.

In Outlook I select File / Import and Export / Import Internet mail and Addresses. Deselect Import Address Book and it shows a folder selection window.  I select the folder that contains the .dbx files.  The message appears immediately.  "The mail folder could not be opened.  If another process is using this file, please close it and try again."

 

I have rebooted, and nothing else is running.  Security access for the file looks OK as far as I can tell (I can copy it to a different location, for instance).

 

Any advice much appreciated

 

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Last updated October 29, 2018 Views 2,113 Applies to:

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Outlook cannot use files from Outlook Express. You must open those files in a program that is a successor to OE, then import them from there into Outlook: http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/migratefromoewlm.htm
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Thank you for the response but that information is not correct.  The Import and Export option in Outlook includes the option to import Internet mail and addresses, and this includes Outlook Express and Eudora, as they are listed as options available under this import procedure. 

The procedure I am following is described at this Microsoft site:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/import-your-messages-or-account-from-outlook-express-to-outlook-HA010079919.aspx

"Microsoft Outlook Express is a free, basic e-mail program. You can import e-mail messages and account information from Outlook Express into Microsoft Outlook."

The versions (Outlook 2007 and OE6) match the description at that site. 

I can follow the procedure described there exactly and everything works properly until the stage where it attempts to open the folder, and the message appears that the folder could not be opened.  The address book is imported and is working properly - it's just the messages that I have the problem with. 

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Your problem is that Outlook Express hasn't been available since the release of Vista (or to put it another way - only available on Win'XP or earlier systems) which is why you can't import anything from it on a Win7 system - OE doesn't exist which is what the Outlook importer is looking for).

 

Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP]
"Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt"
http://www.contactgenie.com
http://www.contactgenie.info

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Your comment provided the hint I needed.  The message about not being able to open the folder does not refer to the folder where I have placed the OE messages - it refers to the Outlook folder which the messages will be imported into.

I logged on as administrator (who does not have an Outlook account) and was able to import the messages without a problem.

It appears that the comment in the instruction about cancelling the offer to create an account is critical - it means that if the account already exists the messages will not be imported.   If the account already exists then presumably your could delete that account from Outlook and restart the process.  Then you will get the offer to create the account, which you must refuse.    In my case it was easier to simply do the import as a different user. Now that I look at it, the solution is obvious - the message quite clearly states that the problem folder is a mail folder, not a file system folder.  

<Edit> In fact, it is even more explicit than I realised.  The comment is "If another process is using this file, please close it and try again." which makes it quite clear that it is the Outlook messages file that is in use, not a file system folder, which was the way I read it.<\Edit>

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The information I provided is entirely correct and well documented in the reference I provided. OE must be installed on the same paritition in order to import from it and OE does not exist in Windows 7. Repeating: You must import your OE files into a successor program before you can import them into Outlook.
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Thank you for the commentary but I prefer to follow the MS documntation at the site I referenced, which sets out the necessary process for the case where OE is installed on a different machine, rather then some third party 'well documented' alternative unverifiable source.   It simply requires a bit of reading between the lines (not unusual for MS documentation) and a careful examination of the error message, to work out where the problem lies and what the required fix is.

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You might want to open your mind a bit. To elevate Microsoft's documentation above Roady's ingores reality and does him a disservice. We are talking about Microsoft Outlook here. You already recogninze how limited Microsoft's documentation is. This forum is replete with Outlook issues that Microsoft has failed to recognize, fix or document. I would trust anything an Outlook MVP posts before I wait for Microsoft to post a solution (if they ever do). But, then, what do I know? I'm sure you know better than I.
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My mind is quite open to alternative solutions - that's why I enquired here when I had trouble with the instructions.  But your attachment to the 'well documented' alternative solutions and your previous experience with MS documentation may have clouded your judgement of this particular item. The Microsoft description of the process is correct: it works, as is evidenced by the fact that my OE messages are now part of Outlook.   My mind is as open to the possibility of the MS documentation being correct as it is to the possibility of there being other ways to tackle the same problem.  

It is quite possible that adding another application and the associated conversion in the middle of the process would have also worked, but it is patently not essential.  In my case it was easier to carefully read the documentation, and correctly interpret the error message, than to install yet another email program and go through those additional steps.  Other people's experience may be different.

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Just quickly looking over the Microsoft article you identifed - under the followng primary section:

When Outlook and Outlook Express are installed on different computers

item #7 states the following:

7.On the computer where Outlook is installed, open Outlook Express. If you are prompted to create an e-mail account, click Cancel.

 

Your original post shows Windows 7 as the OS so the question becomes

"If you are using Win7 - are you saying that you have OE installed on this computer in order to be able to follow the instructions in that article?

If the answer is yes, how did you install OE on this system?

 

Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP]
"Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt"
http://www.contactgenie.com
http://www.contactgenie.info

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Odd. The instructions you used don't even apply to Windows 7 since OE cannot be installed there. The method you need to use is documented in the article I referenced unless your setup is not what you indicated it was.
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