Outlook Express 5: lost messages after a complex rebuild

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Joined: 01/12/2004

Yesterday, at the advice of our company IT expert, I did a complex rebuild of my OE5 for Mac program, as I couldn't send or receive any new messages (Error Message 34 - the disk is full). After the complex rebuild finished, all the pending emails sitting in my inbox (about 20) and many of the filed messages from my folders are no longer visible.

How can I get access to them again? I haven't deleted the old files yet, and hope you can help - I need those emails back!


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Joined: 02/12/2009

It looks like the rebuild hit the wall because your hard drive was already full.

When you perform a rebuild, Outlook Express (or Entourage) makes backup copies of your data and puts the new files in the same folder (called "old database," "old messages" etc). Search your hard drive for these files to find them. ("Documents--> Microsoft User Data --> Identities" or possibly in the OE application's folder.)

First, make enough space on your hard drive for two copies of your email data (by backing up files and/or throwing out junk). Then make backup copies of the Microsoft User Data folder. Finally, replace the new ones with the "old" versions by deleting the new ones and removing the word "old " from the old ones.

But in your case the problem was caused by the disk being full. So make sure to clear off space first. And, in the future, the complex rebuild is rarely necessary. Just do a simple rebuild.

These file and folder names may have slight variations depending on the version of of OS and the MS email app you are using.

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