There are a few possibilities. Were they subfolders and the tree
collapsed? (i.e. check the + in front).
Has he checked in Deleted Items?
The worse case is that they disappeared during compacting due to being
bloated. Here is my entire 'canned' reply. You will have to adjust it into
something simpler if this is what happened.
The two most common reasons for what you describe is disruption of the
compacting process, (never touch anything until it is finished), or bloated
folders. More on that below.
Why does OE insist on compacting folders when I close it?:
Why Mail Disappears:
About File Corruption:
If you are running XP/SP2, or SP3, and are fully patched, then you should
have a backup of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin, (or possibly the
message store), copied as bak files.
To restore a bak folder to the message store folder, first find the
location of the Message Store.
Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder will reveal the location of
your Outlook Express files. Write the location down and navigate to it in
Windows Explorer or, copy and paste it into Start | Run.
In WinXP, the .dbx files are by default marked as hidden. To view these
files in Explorer, you must enable Show Hidden Files and Folders under
Start | Control Panel | Folder Options | View.
Close OE and then 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
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 is not 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
If the messages are successfully restored, you can go ahead and delete the
old dbx file that you moved to the Desktop.
If you do not have bak copies of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin, then:
DBXpress run in Extract From Disk Mode is the best chance to recover
A general warning to help avoid this in the future:
Do not archive mail in default OE folders. They will eventually become
corrupted. Create your own user defined folders for storing mail and move
your mail to them. Empty Deleted Items folder regularly. Keep user created
folders under 300MB, and Default folders as empty as is feasible.
Turn off e-mail scanning in your anti-virus program. It is a redundant
layer of protection that eats up CPUs, slows down sending and receiving,
and causes a multitude of problems such as time-outs, account setting
changes and has even been responsible for lose of messages. Your
up-to-date A/V program will continue to protect you sufficiently. For
And backup often.
Outlook Express Quick Backup (OEQB Freeware)
MS-MVP Oct. 1, 2004 ~ Sept. 30, 2010
Imperial Beach, CA