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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    Hey Guy's

    I'm considering reformatting my hard drive. I have heard of many people doing it and I have not in the two years that I have owned this computer. My number one concern is saving all my email in Outlook. What's the best way to go about this? Do I just look for the Outlook folder and copy the whole thing to a zip? I'm think once I return it to my computer I will have to re-install anyway, won't I lose everything?

    eagerly waiting a reply,
    Bob Messinger
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    On the File menu, choose “Import and Export”. Then choose “Export to a file”. Then choose “Personal folder file (.pst)”. Then choose the top level item, mine is called “Personal Folders”. Also select “Include Sub-folders”. Then write down the name of the directory and file you saved it to. Obviously, you need to save it to a floppy. Choose “Replace duplicates with items exported” because you are doing it to a new file, and it doesn’t matter anyhow.

    After you have re-installed outlook, reverse the process. Choose “Import from another file or program”. Choose “Personal Folder File (.pst)”. Choose the file you backed up to and “Replace duplicates with items imported” because you have an empty install.

    Tadaaa! You’re done. I just did this to my computer. It should work. Have a good backup of your outlook directory regardless. The file on my machine is in “\windows\local settings\application data\Microsoft\outlook”

    This doesn’t save all of your email account setup. Be sure to write those down.

    I have taught my employees to backup Outlook in this manner often. It is a good safeguard.
    Jim Lewis
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your reply. I am having one problem though. On the file menu in Outlook it only lets me choose "import" or "export" individually, but more importantly when I do choose "export" it doesn't allow me to choose where I want to export to. I dialogue box appears and says "This will export messages from Outlook Express to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange". Any ideas? anybody?
    Bob Messinger
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  4. #4
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    Know what. I exported all of my messages using the above method, and why I tried to re import after formating, it wouldn't let me. I don't trust that method at all. Do that, but also make a copy of the data in the "Application Data" folder. Just in case...

    Owen

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Exporting in Outlook and Outlook Express is different. The Export feature in Outlook Express isn't very helpful, so I recommend you go to c:\windows\Application Data\Identities\ then open the gibberishy folder, then open the "Microsoft" folder, then the "Outlook Express" folder. Copy all the *.dbx files to a ZIP disk or other type of mass storage.

    Don't forget to back up EVERYTHING that you want to save (except CDs and programs).

    When you format your computer, you will loose everything that is on it. If you have all the CDs for your programs, you can install them, but if you don't have them you will be out of luck. If you have a Restore disc that came with your computer, you can use that. The process is very simple. If you don't have that disc, you can format your main hard drive and install Windows from a CD.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Sorry, I didn't know you had Outlook Express. Good luck.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    No problem Jim. I greatly appreciate your efforts.

    Originally posted by abahta
    If you don't have that disc, you can format your main hard drive and install Windows from a CD.
    abahta: I do plan on using the QuickRestore CD that came with my computer. After I reformat I will have to re-install windows also? I'm not sure if I read that right.

    Copy all the *.dbx files to a ZIP disk or other type of mass storage.
    Once I do this and reformat, how do I go about importing them back into Outlook 2000? (That is probably what I will get once the formatting is done)

    Bob Messinger
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    The QuickRestore CD will set your computer exactly as it was when you bought it. All the preloaded programs included. You won't have to install Windows.

    If you are going from Outlook Express to Outlook 2000, I am not sure what you'd do...I'd probably say that you'd copy the *.dbx files to your C: drive and run the import wizard from Outlook 2000. If you are staying with Outlook EXPRESS, just copy the files to your Hard drive and run the import wizard.

    Feel free to post @ sitepoint if you need help along the way

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help abahta..This is all pretty scary , but once I get everything on a zip disk I will give it a go and let ya's know how it went.
    Bob Messinger
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Once you've done it once, you'll get the hang for it and love it...its nice to start off clean now and then.

    Best of luck!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    Whal-laa..I survived pretty well I think, but it sure wasn't glitch free. I am having some problems with the email. I saved the whole outlook folder on to a zip disk, but I am not able to import anything. Everything is saved as .dbx, but I don't know how to import them. (by the way I Think I am using Outlook 97) Apparently Outlook 98 is not available anymore? Anybody have any ideas how to do this. I am in some deep stuff If I can't import or atleast view the .dbx files somehow.
    Bob Messinger
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Hmm...

    Before you were using Outlook Express right? Now you are using Outlook 97? I am not sure how you'd import...I have never tried this myself.

    Outlook 98 can be downloaded (I think). There was a recent discussion on this...search around.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    I'm sorry..My mistake. It is infact Outlook Express. The import feature on express gives me these options for importing..

    1. Eudora pro or light (through v3.0)
    2. Microsoft exchange
    3. Microsoft internet mail for windows 3.1
    4. Microsoft Outlook
    5. Microsoft windows messaging
    6. Netscape communicator
    7. Netscape mail (v2 or v3)

    It doesn't seem like any of these are helpful.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Try this:

    File: Import: Messages

    Now, choose Outlook Express 5 (thats what you had, right?) Now click the "Import mail from an OE5 store directory" radio and click OK. Browse for the folder, confirm settings, and you are set!

    This is in Outlook Express 5.0 and 5.5.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot BobM's Avatar
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    Abahta: It worked!! I had to download IE 5 seeing as the restore disk that came with my comp had IE 4 on it. Once I waited the 2 hours to download and install the importing went beautifully. I really appreciate your help and patients, hopefully I will be able to return the favor some day! Now I can sleep good tonight
    Bob Messinger
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Glad to help

  17. #17
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    Hi everyone,

    I re-formatted my computer, and now I'm having trouble importing my saved Outlook Express 5 emails. Here' are the steps I followed:

    (1.) Before the drive re-format, I copied the contents of the "application/windows/identities/{big number}" folder onto a cd.

    (2.) After the drive re-format I re-installed Outlook Express (downloaded off the web using "Windows Update"), copied the saved files from the cd into a temporary directory on the harddrive, and then removed the read only flag from them.

    (3.) I then started up Outlook Express and went to the "Files | Import |Messages" option and tried to import the messages.

    (4.) After choosing to import from an Outlook Express 5 data store, and then specifying the location of my files on the drive, I hit the OK button to make the import program look in the chosen directory and discover the boxes I want to import.

    But I get an error telling me that the directory I specified does not contain any valid message accounts, etc..

    Basically, it looks like the import process doesn't recognize the file formats that I had backed up and restored. Here's what I've found out.

    The files I backed up and restored are *.idx and *.mbx (ie: inbox.idx and inbox.mbx) files. It looks like Outlook Express is expecting *.dbx files. But I am SURE that the old version of outlook express I was using was version 5.

    So what can I do? I have 30 megs worth of critical email messages that I can't import into outlook express!!! Is there a conversion program from this "older" format to the new format? HELP ME!!!!! I don't know what to do!

    Thanks very much.
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  18. #18
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    I think I may have found the answer here..

    http://support.microsoft.com/support.../q264/8/72.asp


    I'll try it tonight.
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