Outlook Express fails to display messages

  tallboy 08:21 13 Nov 07

Something has gone wrong in my registry (following a registry clean-up!) such that Outlook Express will no longer display any messages. OE starts OK and all the bar functions are present. It accepts incoming mail and you can compose a new mail, but alas, no folders or stored messages can be displayed.

Fearing it was a registry problem, I did a restore operation on the registry cleaner (Advanced Windows Care) to go back to the previous settings and initially this enabled me to see the list of messages, but when I tried to open one, I got the message 'Not enough memory' - even though I have 2GB RAM. (Admittedly, I do need to clean out some of the messages, but they were recently compacted, so hopefully that isn't the cause of the problem.)

On subsequent tries, I am back to the 'no messages displayed' state.

Everything else I have tried on the PC seems OK. How do I restore OE to work correctly without having to re-install it?

All suggestions welcome.

Thanks, Tallboy

  johndrew 09:22 13 Nov 07

When I had a problem with OE this fix was suggested click here for heavy mail usage. My problem turned out, eventually, to be related to something completely different (OS corruption) but it may help you.

  tallboy 09:34 13 Nov 07

Many thanks for the quick response johndrew - I'll check it out. However, one thing I did try - but it failed - was to go back to an earlier MS System Restore Point. (Windows XP) I tried this a couple of times (with different restore points) but in both cases MS System Restore gave the message' Unable to restore' - which would indicate that the registry items associated with OE are well and truely screwed up! (Having said that, I have seen comments from other people indicating that MS System Restore is not much use.)

  beeuuem 10:14 13 Nov 07

It may well be your firewall which is stopping the restore operation as they often have a self protection which prevents the settings being changed.
For example click here

  beeuuem 10:19 13 Nov 07

Another alternative is to find the Message Store and delete the 'Folders' dbx file. This must be done with OE closed.
On opening OE the message folders are rebuilt.
To find the Message Store in OE go to Tools > Options > Maintenance > Store Folder.

  tallboy 18:40 13 Nov 07

I tried the MS fix suggested by johndrew - but that hasn't fixed the problem. I also checked that the firewall (I use Kaspersky) was switched off (also the AV module) when trying to go back to a previous Restore Point, but alas XP didn't load in one of the two previous restore points I tried.

Finally I tried deleting the folders.dbx file (with OE inactive) - but again that didn't fix it.

I am open to further suggestions (if anyone reading this has any) before I 'descend' to re-installing OE 6.0 from scratch!

  beeuuem 21:00 13 Nov 07

Try the tips from click here

  beeuuem 21:01 13 Nov 07

Also try running SFC as click here

  tallboy 15:33 15 Nov 07

Many thanks for your suggestions beeuuem - OE 6.0 is now running again! First I tried the SFC method, but, as indicated in the instructions, MS asked for the XP Service Pack 2 disc to be inserted. Since my SP2 came as part of MS' online updates, I've never had a disc. I tried to locate the SP2 CD file on the MS website, but of course, on checking my PC, the MS updater found that the SP2 updates were already installed and hence wouldn't let me download a file to create my own CD. Do you know if there anywhere (eg 3rd party site) where the SP2 files can be downloaded to create a CD without it checking your PC? If not, I'll probably get one from MS via Snail Mail, in case I need it in the future.

I then went on to try the first method you suggested and after receving a couple of errors ('mshml.dll was loaded by the DLLRegister Server entry point was not found. This file cannot be registered.' and 'Loadlibrary ('msjava.dll') failed. The specified module could not be found.')I went on to create a new Identity and import the messages to that. This fixed the problem.

However, it's worth noting (for other PC Advisor readers who may encounter a similar situation) that the instructions do not tell you to export your address book to a known location and then import it to the new Identity.

Finally, I have not found a way to import my old Message Rules (i.e. mail rules & blocked senders) from my original Identity. If you know what the file(s) for this are called and where they are stored in the OE application (or if you know of another way to import them) please let me know as I have quite a long list of blocked senders.

Thanks again for your help.


  beeuuem 18:29 15 Nov 07

You can D/L SP2 from click here although SFC usually wants the installation disk and it may be assuming that,as you have the updates, you have an XP installation disk.

It is possible to move te message rules although it appears to be quite complicated.
click here and click here

You could try OEFreebie backup click here will allow you to save all your OE settings from the original identity and restore them to the new identity.

  tallboy 21:11 15 Nov 07

Many thanks for the link to the Service Pack 2 download beeuuem. I have an original XP installation disk, since this PC was supplied with Windows 98, so I'll download it and create a CD for future use.

You're right about the long-winded solution to transferred the message rules from one identity to another. It will probably be quicker to re-generate the 'blocks' as / when I receive further emails from people I don't wish to communicate with. I did try the link to the OEFreebie, but this resulted in a 404 error - file not found. (/Outlook_Express_Freebie_Backup_d4179.htmlwhich) May be this page has been deleted.

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