How do I retrieve a deleted folder from outlook express?

Sometime over the weekend, I inadvertently deleted a valuable folder from my outlook express.  It appears to be in my backup files, but I can't sem to open it and get it back to where it belongs.  How do I get it back?  It contains years of valuable information and has subfolders in it.  It is also a folder that I have my "message rules" send it directly to the folder rather than my regular inbox from the server>
 

Question Info


Last updated October 9, 2018 Views 1,265 Applies to:
  1. Have you looked in Deleted Items for the folder(s)?
  2. Explain how your backup files are set up.
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☞ Avoid a post. Backup your data. ☜

Bruce Hagen
MVP: 2004 ~ 2010
2014 ~ Present
Imperial Beach, CA

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It was not in the "deleted" items.  It was in my backup files and I hit "restore".  It showed up on my desktop as a .bak file that I can't open, nor can I import it into Outlook Express.  It's now a 2 meg file sitting on my desktop.

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OK. Here is how it should have been restored so make sure the bak file is not also in the OE message store.
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All e-mail items may be missing when you start Outlook Express 6 Service Pack 1:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918069
 
To restore a bak folder to the message store folder, first locate the Message Store in Windows Explorer.
 
In OE: Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder will reveal the location of your Outlook Express files. Write the location down.
 
In WinXP, the dbx files are by default marked as hidden. To view these files in Windows Explorer, you must enable Show Hidden Files and Folders under Start | Control Panel | Folder Options Icon | View, or in Windows Explorer | Tools | Folder Options | View.
 
In Windows Explorer, click on the dbx file for the missing, or empty, folder and drag it to the Desktop. It can be deleted later once you have successfully restored the bak file. Minimize the Message Store.
 
Open OE and, if the folder is missing, create a folder with the *exact* same name as the bak file you want to restore but without the .bak. Eg: If the file is Saved.bak, the new folder should be named Saved. Open the new folder and then close OE. If the folder is there, but just empty, continue on to the next step.
 
First, check if there is a bak file already in the message store. If there is, and you removed the dbx file, go ahead and rename it to dbx.
 
If it isn't already in the message store, open the Recycle bin and right click on the bak file for the folder in question and click Restore. Open the message store back up and change the file extension from .bak to .dbx. Close the message store and open OE. The messages should now be back in the folder.
 
If the messages are successfully restored, you can go ahead and delete the old dbx file that you moved to the Desktop. 
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Now, if you do not have a bak file in the message store, then you can manually import the one on the Desktop. First, rename the file extension from bak to dbx.
 
Open OE and create a folder with the *exact* same name as the one on the Desktop. Open the new folder and then close OE. (You must do this). Go to Windows Explorer and locate the Message Store folder for your OE identity, but don't open it. Click on the Desktop and drag the file from the Desktop in the right hand pane to the OE store folder in the left pane. Prompt - "Do you want to overwrite......."? Click Yes.
 
*Note* If you have moved the Outlook Express store folder from it's default location on drive C to another drive, drag the dbx file to a location on that drive and not the Desktop.   
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☞ Avoid a post. Backup your data. ☜

Bruce Hagen
MVP: 2004 ~ 2010
2014 ~ Present
Imperial Beach, CA

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You lost me early on.  I HAVE located and saved the location of the Outlook Express files.  They are ALL .bak files

1.  I have the main folder (but not the subflders) on the desktop (but I can't open it).

2.   I have checked the box for "show hidden files".

3.  You lost me on "In Wincows Explorer, click on the dbx file for the missing....  I have NO dbx files.

4.  I DID create a folder in OE with the exact same name without the .bak.

5.  I really don't know what you mean by "message store" or "message store folder"

6.  I went to the second page where it statrs:  Now, if you do not have a bak file in the message store, then you can impirt one from the desktop.  First, rename the file extention from bak to dbx(What's a file extention?)

7.  The next step has got me lost, as I don't have the same screens that you describe.

 

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1: All folders have their own files even subfolders, so you should have bak files for all the folders either in the Windows Recycle in or the OE message store.
 
2: Then you should be able to find the OE store folder in Window Explorer. (Windows Key + E).
 
3: The path to the message store will be very similar to this:
 
C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Name\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{Long string of letters & numbers}\Microsoft\Outlook Express
Do you see your dbx files in that folder? Any bak files?
 
4: OK.
 
5: See 2 & 3.
 
6: File extensions are the letters that follow file names. Eg: .exe, .pdf, .doc, .pps, (and .bak and .dbx) etc.
This is what the path to the OE store folder should look like. DBX files at the right. Hope this helps.
 
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☞ Avoid a post. Backup your data. ☜

Bruce Hagen
MVP: 2004 ~ 2010
2014 ~ Present
Imperial Beach, CA

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All of my missing folders are .bak files and I can see them in (I guess) the OE mesage store.  I copied and pasted the location into the Windows serach and it listed ALL what used to be in my Outlook Express.  The folders that are currently in Outlook now have both the regular file# and a dbx file.   Those that are missing are just bak files.

 

I found the "store" by using the explanation you gave in the first message.... OE, tools, options, slect folder.  Then I pasted that into the Wonows search for files/folders.  I have no idea what a "Windows key" is .. my keyboard evidently doesn't have one.

 

I have no idea how to get to the "path" to the OE storage folder that you have at the end.  I can't get that screen to come up no matter what I do.

 

Thanks for your help, but I'll have to call a computer geek to manually do this your acronyms and descriptions are very hard to follow .. and I was in electroics for 11 years, just before the onset of computers.

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I have no idea how to get to the "path" to the OE storage folder that you have at the end.  I can't get that screen to come up no matter what I do.

 
 
Are you sure you enabled Show Hidden Files and Folders?
 
The Windows Key is between the left hand Ctrl & Alt keys. Clicking on My Computer and then Drive C has the same result, as well as Start | All Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer.
 
 
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☞ Avoid a post. Backup your data. ☜

Bruce Hagen
MVP: 2004 ~ 2010
2014 ~ Present
Imperial Beach, CA

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