Outlook Express old files saved

  jimforrest 20:05 PM 14 Oct 13
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Answered

I am removing an old XP Pro desktop machine from my network and I've copied across all the files to my Win7 laptop including the OE .wab (contacts) & .dbx (messages) files. Win7 can't run OE (I'm using Live Mail now), so if it becomes necessary is there any way I can ever 'see' the file contents or is it a waste of time?

  jimforrest 20:06 PM 14 Oct 13

OOOppps - wrong Forum - should be Tech Help!

  Secret-Squirrel 08:28 AM 15 Oct 13

Jim, Windows Live Mail will happily import all your OE DBX files and the e-mails will appear under "Imported Folders" in the Folders List.

Or, you can export selected e-mails from OE as individual files and they can be opened by WLM.

Let me know which option is the most appealing and I'll give you some instructions.

  jimforrest 14:36 PM 15 Oct 13

That's great SS. I have transferred the .wab file to the comp running WLM so it would be good to import it into the WLM contacts list. The old XP desktop is still running so I could use an export feature if it's a better route. As for the individual emails - there are a lot! If it won't 'bloat' WLM too much I could just import them all en-bloc (easiest way?), or I can export individual mails from (say) the last 3 months. I have also copied across the .dbx folders for Inbox & Sent Items. I would prefer not to reconnect the old OE to my ISP's mail server as WLM is connected to it as well.

  Secret-Squirrel 15:07 PM 15 Oct 13

"............I have also copied across the .dbx folders for Inbox & Sent Items."

For things to import properly, I think you also need "Folders.dbx" too. To make things easier, copy the entire folder that contains all your old dbx files to a removable drive.

In Windows Live Mail, click the blue button top-left of the window then choose "Import Messages". Choose "Outlook Express" then point it at the folder with all those dbx files. Your old messages will appear under "Imported Folders" at the bottom of the Folders List. You can then delete the ones you don't want and copy/move the ones you do want to the Inbox and Sent Items etc.

To import your Windows Address Book, click on "Contacts" bottom-left, click the "Import" button, choose "Windows Address Book" and point it at your .wab file.

  jimforrest 16:31 PM 15 Oct 13

Nearly there SS. All messages imported and I can see them and the attachments. The only problem seems to be with the Contacts - the .wab file is only 175kb and imported just 4 contacts. There are actually over 200 contacts in OE. I exported the Contacts as a comma separated list (from within OE) and it too only has 4 names. Any ideas?

  jimforrest 16:53 PM 15 Oct 13

SS. I opened OE and under Contacts it says (relating to sharing) do not share - contacts will be stored in the Outlook Contacts Store (this option is selected). The second option is 'do not share - contacts will be stored in the WAB file'. Mean anything?

  Secret-Squirrel 17:00 PM 15 Oct 13

Before importing the contacts into WLM, have you confirmed that those two files show your 200 contacts? You can simply double-click the WAB in XP to view its contents. To view the CSV you can open it in MS Excel.

If those two files show only four files then check the default address book file on the XP PC which should be located in:

C:\Documents & Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book (you'll need to show hidden files & folders to see the Application Data folder.)

Double-click it, and if shows all 200 contacts then make a copy of that file and use it to import into WLM.

  Secret-Squirrel 17:07 PM 15 Oct 13

"I opened OE and under Contacts it says (relating to sharing) do not share - contacts will be stored in the Outlook Contacts Store (this option is selected). The second option is 'do not share - contacts will be stored in the WAB file'."

I can't see anything like that in Outlook Express and I can't even find a section called "Contacts" :(

However the second option to store contacts in a WAB file looks like the thing to go for if my previous suggestions above don't help.

  jimforrest 17:51 PM 15 Oct 13

Mine is OE6 SS. On the main screen it's 'Addresses' then 'Tools' then 'Options'. That brings up the Data Sharing Box. I clicked the 'do not share' option - then restarted (it said I had to), and JOY - no contacts at all!! Fortunately it's reversible so I clicked on the Share option, restarted and they are all back again. The .wab file really does have just 4 (random) addresses in. The Data Sharing box says that my Contacts are stored in the Microsoft Outlook Contacts Store - but I can't find it. The Search routine seems to look for files - not folders, so it can't find it.

  Secret-Squirrel 18:08 PM 15 Oct 13

"Mine is OE6 SS. On the main screen it's 'Addresses' then 'Tools' then 'Options'."

I've been supporting Outlook Express users for fourteen years so I should be familiar with it and yet I still can't find anything that looks remotely like that :(

"........says that my Contacts are stored in the Microsoft Outlook Contacts Store"

Anyhow, do you have Outlook installed as well? If so then open it up, and if it's showing 200 contacts, export it from there as a CSV file.

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