Thursday, November 1, 2007

Recovering lost email from Outlook Express


By David Gewirtz

I'm always a little bummed when I get an email from a reader asking for help with lost email. First, we get so many messages that sometimes it can take us a long time to get to an individual letter. Second, there's often not a lot that can be done. Sometimes, though, we can help.

Reader Linda Carlson sent us a plea for help last month:

I did the procedure, that popped up, to COMPACT me emails, it says it will free upn a lot of space on my computer. I have done this each time, it came up in the past with NO problem. Unfortunately, this time, I had a big problem. ALL my emails, from June9, 2007 to Oct. 21, 2007, are GONE. Please tell me there is a way to get them back. AND how to do it. I use "Outlook Express"

Linda, there is a slim chance you can get your email back. Unlike with the full Microsoft Office Outlook, which uses .PST files, Outlook Express uses .DBX files. The recovery tools for Microsoft Office Outlook won't help.

But it's possible you didn't fully compact your files and so there's a chance you can recover by compacting them by hand, fiddling a bit with your profiles, and moving some files around.

Microsoft's Knowledge Base article #918069 describes the process in some depth. I recommend you read it and follow the instructions carefully.

And good luck!