We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Tech Helproom


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Backing up email files before formatting HDD


stlucia2

Likes # 0

I'm about to format my C:\ drive and reinstall Windows XP, due to a few little problems that seemingly can't be solved any other way. I make regular full backups to an external HDD, and most of my data is stored on other partitions in my PC.

But what I can't figure out is how to backup email and contacts files from AOL and Outlook Express so that I can restore them after the format. With AOL I've been into their help file and found out how to restore backed up files, but I can find anything on how to make the backups in the first place.

With Outlook Express, I can export my address book, but I seem to have no control over what drive or what folder it goes to. When I try to export my emails, it says that they will be exported to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange, neither of which I have, and which is not what I want anyway.

So, is there a simple way to temporarily save/export/backup my AOL and Outlook Express contacts and emails, please? Or, is it a case of knowing where the "live" data is stored at the moment, and then copying it back from my backup HDD after I've reinstalled the software? I look in the AOL folder in C:\Program Files and I can't see anything that looks like data files; same with Outlook Express.

Like this post
Fruit Bat /\0/\

Likes # 0

Backup Outlook Express Mail, Address Book, Mail Rules, Blocked Senders List and other Settings

Export Your Outlook Express Address Book

  1. On the File menu, click Export, and then click Address Book.
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Locate the Mail Backup folder that you created.
  5. In the File Name box, type address book backup, and then click Save.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click to select the check boxes for the fields that you want to export, and then click Finish.
  8. Click OK and then click Close.

Copy Mail Files to a Backup Folder

To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express e-mail message files:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
  3. Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.
  4. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
  5. Click Start, and then click Run.
  6. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  8. On the Edit menu, click Copy, and then close the window.
  9. Right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New, and then click Folder.
    1. Type mail backup for the folder name, and then press ENTER.
    2. Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.
    3. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
    4. Close the Mail Backup window.

Export the Mail Setting Account to a File

To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express mail account:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the Mail tab, click the mail account that you want to export, and then click Export.
  3. In the Save In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.
  4. Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to export.
  5. Click Close.

Export the Newsgroup Settings Account to a File

To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express news accounts:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the News tab, click the news account that you want to export, and then click Export.
  3. In the Save In box, use locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.
  4. Repeat these steps for each news account that you want to export.
  5. Click Close.

*How to Back Up Blocked Senders List and Other Mail Rules The Blocked Senders List*

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and click the following registry subkeys (save each key to a different file):

    HKEYCURRENTUSER\Identities{Identity Number}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Block Senders

  4. On the Registry menu, click Export Registry File.
  5. In the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.
  6. In the File Name box, type blocked senders.reg (for the Block Senders key), and then click Save.

Other Mail Rules

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and click the following registry subkeys (save each key to a different file):

    HKEYCURRENTUSER\Identities{Identity Number}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail

  4. On the Registry menu, click Export Registry File.
  5. In the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.
  6. In the File Name box, type mail rules.reg (for the mail rules key), and then click Save.
  7. On the Registry menu, click Exit.

    Restore Outlook Express Mail, Address Book, Mail Rules, Blocked Senders List and other Settings

Import Messages from the Backup Folder

To import your Outlook Express e-mail messages from the Backup folder:

  1. On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
  2. In the Select an e-mail program to import from box, click Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
  3. Click Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
  4. Click Browse, and then click on the Mail Backup folder in your backup location
  5. Click OK, and then click Next.
  6. Click All folders, click Next, and then click Finish.

Import the Address Book File

To import your Outlook Express address book:

  1. On the File menu, click Import, and then click Other Address Book.
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Import.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Locate the Mail Backup folder in your backup location, click the address book backup.csv file, and then click Open.
  5. Click Next, and then click Finish.
  6. Click OK, and then click Close.

Import the Mail Account File

To import your Outlook Express mail account file:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the Mail tab, click Import.
  3. In the Look In box, locate the Mail Backup folder in your backup location.
  4. Click the mail account that you want to import, and then click Open.
  5. Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to import.
  6. Click Close.

Import the Newsgroup Account File

To import your Outlook Express news account file:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the News tab, click Import.
  3. In the Look In box, locate the Mail Backup folder in your backup location.
  4. Click the news account that you want to import, and then click Open.
  5. Repeat these steps for each news account that you want to import.
  6. Click Close.
Like this post
Fruit Bat /\0/\

Likes # 0

Backup or Copy Mail in Your AOL Saved on My PC Filing Cabinet

To backup mail in your AOL Saved on My PC filing cabinet:*

Search your computer for a file called "(your AOL screen name).abi".

If your screen name is "myscreenname", for example, search for a file called "myscreenname.abi".

You should find it in a folder called organize. A typical location is "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_America Online 9.0\organize". You can go to this folder directly, too.

Go up one directory, to the C_America Online 9.0 folder. For other versions of AOL, the folder name may be different. In any case, go up one directory from the organize folder.

Highlight the organize folder.

Select Edit | Copy from the menu of the Explorer window.

Open the desired backup location (a CD or DVD, another hard disk, a network location or a USB stick, for example) in Explorer.

Select Edit | Paste from the menu.

Recover Mail and Other AOL Data from a "Saved on My PC" Backup

To recover mail and other AOL data from a Saved on My PC backup:

Log on to AOL with your screen name at least once.

Make sure AOL is not currently running.

Search your computer for a file called "(your AOL screen name).abi". If your screen name is "myscreenname", for example, search for a file called "myscreenname.abi".

You should find it in a folder called organize. A typical location is "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_America Online 9.0\organize". You can go to this folder directly, too.

Go up one directory, to the C_America Online 9.0 folder. For other versions of AOL, the folder name may be different. In any case, go up one directory from the organize folder.

Rename the organize folder "organize.save".

Go up another directory.

Open the folder containing the backup copy of your old organize folder in a new Explorer window.

Highlight the backup organize folder.

Press Ctrl-C.

Switch to the AOL folder window.

Highlight C-America Online 9.0 or whatever the folder containing the organize.save folder is called on your system.

Press Ctrl-V.

Log on to AOL.

If everything is back in place, delete the organize.save folder.

Like this post
stlucia2

Likes # 0

Thankyou for those most-detailed responses. MS and AOL don't make it easy, do they?!? In Outlook I was trying to save my backup as a Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book, thinking that would keep it in the correct format, rather than comma delimiting it.

Fruit Bat ^0^, in that "organise" folder I see for each of my screen names files with .AUT, .abi, .aby, .ARL, and .BAG extensions and one with no extension. Do those include my contacts/address book data too, or is that only stored remotely on AOL's server?

Like this post
Fruit Bat /\0/\

Likes # 0

contacts/address book

see here

Like this post
stlucia2

Likes # 0

Thanks Fruit Bat ^0^. $25 might be worth it ... I'll think about it.

In the meantime I've created separate folders on my G:\ drive for the exported/backup data, and have copied all the relevant files from IE and AOL, as directed. For AOL, that includes the C_AOL 9.0 VR folder (one step up from the organise folder) and all its sub-folders and files.

I've got other things on today, so I'll probably be starting my format and reinstall tomorrow. I'll backup IE and AOL again just before I start, to make sure I'm up to date, and backup my whole PC to my external drive.

Like this post
stlucia2

Likes # 0

OK, everything's backed up, I've got my original Windows discs on my desk, but how on earth do I format my C:\ drive??!??

I've right-clicked on my C:\ drive in Windows Explorer, but when I click Format I get the following message, "Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is displaying the contents of this drive. Then try formatting again."

I've uninstalled AVG, ZA, and AOL, so that all that shows in my startup panel is the volume control icon and the green arrow for Safely Remove Hardware, and I've closed the main Windows Explorer window, so what else could be preventing the format?

I've also tried Start > Run and then typing "Format c:/", but it doesn't respond to that either -- a quick DOS-type window flashes up but disappears so fast I can't see what it is.

My PC is an HP Pavillion, by the way. At the beginning of its boot-up routine it displays a blue HP screen with four options -- F9, F10, F11, and Esc -- for various functions, but none of them get me anywhere that allows a format.

Before doing all that, I tried simply to install Windows from my CD, hoping to get an option menu to format the disk during the process, but it simply said it couldn't install Windows because my current version is newer than the CD version.

Like this post
Fruit Bat /\0/\

Likes # 0

First make sure you have all the drivers for your equipment backed up to another drive, mem stick or CD. Use something like Double driver from here

You need to boot from the CD and do a clean install of XP see here

Like this post
stlucia2

Likes # 0

Well, the job's almost done. I've formatted C:\ and reinstalled XP, and updated it to SP3 plus 102 other updates. Outlook Express is up and running again, with all settings, contacts, and messages restored. Double driver was a great help for getting all the drivers reinstalled -- I've still got a couple of yellow ? against some items, but I'll sort them in due course.

Thanks Fruit Bat ^0^

Like this post
Fruit Bat /\0/\

Likes # 0

Your welcome

tell what has yellow in device manager + make / model of machine we can then sort drivers.

SIW Free here will help identify hardware in your machine

Like this post
stlucia2

Likes # 0

No yellow ? now, thanks. It was my display adapter, and Device Manager sorted it out when I allowed it to go to the internet for drivers.

I do still have one other issue, but it involves data files for my Palm Desktop software, so I'm about to start another thread for that.

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

2015 visual trends: 20 leading designers & artists reveal what should be inspiring us in 2015

IDG UK Sites

Mac tips tricks & hacks: 10 things you didn't know your Mac could do