Outlook Express Sucks

or how to fix friggin outlook express!

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File Corruption in Outlook Express

By Tom Koch Published: November 18, 2004 stolen by waptek 11:55 AM 12/17/07
Ten Steps of Prevention
If you follow the ten stops outlined here, you will greatly reduce the chances that your DBX files will become corrupt.
1. Disable the e-mail scan in your anti-virus program.
2. If you have not installed Windows XP SP2, disable automatic background compaction.
3. Keep the Inbox as empty as possible by moving messages to other folders you create.
4. Be careful that the Sent Items folder does not grow to an unmanageable size (2,000 or so messages).
5. Compact all folders on a regular basis, such as bi-weekly, or more often if you make extensive use oe
6. When compacting, do not use your computer until the process is finished.
7. Purchase a copy of DBXtract for emergency use.
8. Keep your computer and anti-virus products up to date with the latest patches.
9. Backup your entire Store Folder on a regular basis.
10. Remember that you can store important messages outside of Outlook Express simply by dragging them from the message list and dropping them in a folder on your desktop. Then delete the original message in the message list to keep the DBX file smaller.

Signs and Symptoms of DBX Corruption
You might notice that Outlook Express feels sluggish when starting, or when switching folders.
Simple tasks like marking a message as read might take several seconds.
Such performance issues usually mean that some minor corruption has occurred but has not yet reached a critical level.
If the corruption is more extensive but involves a single e-mail or news folder,
Outlook Express might crash with this error when you try to open the damaged folder:
"Msimn caused an exception C0000006h in module Directdb.dll. The message could not be sent. There is not enough Disk space."
Finding Your Store Folder
1. In Outlook Express, click Options on the Tools menu.
2. Click the Maintenance tab.
3. Click the Store folder button.
4. Press the TAB key to highlight the Store Folder path.
5. Press CTRL+C to copy the path to the clipboard.
6. Click OK, then again OK to close the Options panel.
7. Click Start, and then click Run.
8. Press CTRL+V to paste the path into the command line.
9. Click OK.
10. If you do not see any files in the folder that opens, click Folder Options on the Tools menu, click the View tab, and then click "Show hidden files and folders" and click OK.

Corruption can usually be repaired by compacting all your Outlook Express folders.
To minimize the chance of errors during the compaction process:
1. On the File menu, click Work Offline so that no new messages will be arriving.
2. In the Folder list, click on Outlook Express so that no e-mail or news folder is open.
3. Close the Folder list by clicking the X in the upper right-hand corner of the list panel.
4. On the File menu, point to Folder, and then click Compact All Folders. Do not use your computer until the process is complete, which might take several minutes.
5. If an error occurs, close Outlook Express, restart your computer (or log off and then log on again), open Outlook Express and then begin again.

If compacting does not correct the corruption, if possible move all messages out of the damaged folder while in outlook express , close Outlook Express, and then delete the associated DBX file for that folder. If you cannot open the folder, move the damaged DBX file out of the Store Folder into a new folder you create. In cases of severe corruption Outlook Express will no longer recognize that the DBX file exits, and so the corresponding folder will disappear from the Folder list. If however the corrupt file is Inbox.dbx, Outlook Express will sometimes create a new one and append a number to its name, such as Inbox(1).dbx. If this happens when you open the Inbox, you will see your Inbox messages disappear as you open it

Special Folders
When a special folder becomes corrupt, the first sign is usually just that the folder stops working,
you might find that messages you send are no longer being saved in the Sent Items folder
or that you are suddenly unable to delete messages, or you cannot open messages in the Drafts folder.
If the Inbox is corrupt you will usually see just an empty folder, although sometimes new e-mail will not be downloaded.
In the case of the Sent Items or Outbox folders, Outlook Express might crash when you attempt to send a message, presenting this error:
Unknown error has occurred. Protocol: SMTP Port: 0 Secure: No [SSL] Error: 0x800c0131
If the Inbox is corrupt, Outlook Express might not start, but in most cases it will do so by creating a new DBX file named Inbox(1).dbx. In all these cases compacting all folders often fixes the damage. If it fails to do so, you will need a new DBX file for the damaged folder.
1. If possible, drag all messages in the non-working folder into another folder you create just for this purpose. You can create a folder by pointing to Folder on the File menu, and then clicking New folder (or by pressing Ctrl+Shift- E).
2. Close Outlook Express.
3. Open your Store Folder in Windows Explorer.
4. Delete (or rename) the DBX file associated with the non-working folder. For example, "Sent Items.dbx" or "Deleted Items.dbx" or "Drafts.dbx". Since these are default folders, new DBX files will be created automatically for the special folders when you restart Outlook Express.

In the case of one important file, corruption can cause Outlook Express not only to crash but also to be completely unable to start, presenting just the "working" hour-glass cursor or one or more of the following error messages:

MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module Msoe.dll
MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module Msoe.dll at address
Outlook Express could not be started. It may not be installed correctly. Make sure that your disk is not full or that you are not out of memory. Contact Microsoft support for further assistance. (0x800c012e)
Outlook Express could not be started because Msoe.dll could not be initialized. Outlook Express may not be installed correctly.

In these cases the corruption is probably in the file "Folders.dbx". This is the master index of the entire Store Folder and without it, Outlook Express cannot do anything.
Should you find yourself in this situation, the only solution is to delete the corrupt file from the Store Folder. That will allow Outlook Express to start and to build a new "Folders.dbx" by re-indexing all DBX files it finds in the Store Folder. This is not something to do unless absolutely necessary. You will have to do some work to replace the information lost, namely:

Re-create your mail folder hierarchy by dragging folders into place in the Folder list. Note that any folder you have created to group sub-folders but that does not itself contain messages will not appear in the Folder list and so must be created again.
Re-download the list of newsgroups from each news account.
Reset your subscribed newsgroups and download messages again.
Reset synchronization options on IMAP and newsgroup folders.
Edit any message rule that moves or copies messages to folders other than the Inbox.

Compact All Folders vs. Compact Folder
You can always compact a single folder by pointing to Folder on the File menu, and then clicking Compact. This is recommended every time you make large changes to any folder. But in order to compact "Folders.dbx", the crucial index of the Store Folder, you must instead click Compact All Folders. Outlook Express will first compact all your e-mail and news folders, and will finish by compacting "Folders.dbx".
The Most Common Cause of Corruption
Almost every anti-virus program for Windows installs by default a system scan that runs in the background every time Windows starts. This scan is necessary to protect your computer. If you receive a virus in an e-mail attachment, the virus cannot do anything at all until you actually open the attachment. At that time Outlook Express extracts the attachment from the message and saves it to the Temporary Internet Files folder on your hard disk and attempts to open the file. And at that moment a background system scan will detect the virus, provided it is able to do so, and stop the virus from executing. The system scan will usually delete the infected file from the Temporary Internet Files folder, or else move it to quarantine. To remove the infected e-mail message in Outlook Express, simply hold the Shift key while you press the Delete key.
If the system scan is unable to detect the virus, the e-mail scan will fail to do so also.
Antivirus scans add more complexity to the read and write actions in the dbx file and can lead to corruption
To lessen this risk you should disable the e-mail scanning module in your anti-virus program. This is usually easy to do by looking at the user-configurable options in the anti-virus program.

Disable compact messages automatically in the background?:
Compacting all folders in Outlook Express frequently repairs mild corruption. Outlook Express is configured by default to compact files automatically after Outlook Express had been inactive for some minutes.
Although Outlook Express might have been inactive, the same could not always be said for other programs being used when compaction began. On some systems, particularly those with limited amounts of RAM or slow processors, the sudden drain on computer resources sometimes caused the compaction process to hiccough, and a damaged DBX was the result.
For this reason that the background compaction feature has been removed in Windows XP SP2.
Now Outlook Express will compact automatically only after you have opened and closed Outlook Express 100 times. It will do so not in the background, when you might be busy doing other things on the computer, but rather when you close Outlook Express for that 100th time.
Do not cancel this compaction, nor use your computer until it is finished.
You should still compact all folders on a regular basis, such as weekly or bi-weekly.
You should disable the background compaction to lessen the chance of it damaging your files.
To do so: 1. Click Options on the Outlook Express Tools menu.
2. Click the Maintenance tab.
3. Clear the checkbox for "Compact messages automatically in the background".
4. Click OK.

Minimizing the Risk Is Also Minimizing the Loss In Outlook Express don't save all your messages in one folder
By keeping your DBX files small, you minimize the risk of corruption while at the same time minimizing the loss . This is especially true for the Inbox since it is the folder that changes the most. So keep your Inbox lean and healthy by using it for what it is not as a place to store most of the e-mail you've received. Not only will Outlook Express be less likely to lose your e-mail, it will also perform more efficiently.
Don't Forget Sent Items Be sure to move messages out of Sent Items and into sub-folders from time to time to lessen the risk of corruption. A good rule of thumb is to keep no more than 2,000 or so messages in Sent Items.
Recovering from Corruption
In the event one of your mail folder's DBX file suffers from corruption that is not cured by compacting all folders, there is hope for recovering the messages it contains.
Close Outlook Express immediately.
In Windows Explorer, navigate to your Store Folder and move the damaged DBX file into a new folder you create.
Copy the latest backup of the DBX file from your backup media into the Store Folder.
If you are copying from a CD-ROM, verify the copy is not set as 'read-only' by right-clicking on the DBX file and clicking Properties.
Restart Outlook Express.
Compact all folders as described earlier.

An Outlook Express basic repair kit

By Tom Koch Published: May 24, 2005 stolen by waptek 11:35 AM 12/17/07

Restart the computer
solve some problems resulting from improperly closed files, memory corruption, and damage to system files.
Close other programs
This allows your repair steps to do their job without other programs making demands on your computer at the same time.
Delete the Temporary Internet Files
1. In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.
2. In the Temporary Internet files panel, click Delete files.
3. In the pop-up alert window, select the Remove all offline files check box, and then click OK.
If you do not select the check box, the temporary files used by Outlook Express will not be removed.

Remove all offline files to delete Outlook Express temporary files.
Each time you display a message, either in a message window or in the Preview pane, Outlook Express creates a temporary file to help it display the contents of the message. Sometimes one or more files in this folder are damaged, and that can cause Outlook Express to exhibit strange symptoms when displaying messages. Doing so will not delete the actual messages in Outlook Express.
Compact all folders
In Outlook Express, click Work Offline on the File menu so that no new messages will be arriving.
In the Folder List, click on Outlook Express so that no e-mail or news folder is open.
Close the Folder List by clicking the X in the upper right-hand corner of the list panel.
On the File menu, point to Folder, and then click Compact All Folders. Do not use your computer until the process is complete, which might take several minutes.
If an error occurs, close Outlook Express, re-open it, and begin the process again from the top. If the same error occurs again, close Outlook Express, restart your computer (or log off and then log on again), open Outlook Express and then begin the whole process again.
Let the compaction process finish before you try to use your computer.
Many bizarre behaviors in Outlook Express are caused by small errors in the file Folders.dbx. This file is the master index of the message store folder and damaged entries there can create all sorts of errors When you compact all folders you are also updating this master index. If you donít compact all folders from time to time, you are more likely to see problems.

Reregister Outlook Express
Damaged or missing entries in the Windows registry can prevent Outlook Express from being recognized as the default e-mail client. That it turn can cause odd behavior when replying to a newsgroup message or clicking an e-mail link on a Web page.
1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type msimn /reg, and then click OK. (Note that you will not see anything happen.)
3. In Internet Explorer click Options on the Tools menu.
4. Click the Programs tab and select Outlook Express as the default e-mail client and as the default news client. You can change those later if you wish.

Reregister Dynamic Link Libraries
DLLs are files that contain functions that may be shared by other programs, These specific DLLs are used by Outlook Express, and can cause glitches in the visual display if they are damaged. Reregistering a DLL using regsvr32 is similar to reinstalling those functions and thus makes sure they are installed and working correctly.
1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type regsvr32 urlmon.dll, and then click OK.
3. Repeat step 1 for each of the following commands:
regsvr32 mshtml.dll
regsvr32 shdocvw.dll
regsvr32 browseui.dll
regsvr32 msjava.dll

Create a new identity
This will create a new message store folder as well as all new registry keys. This should not be necessary unless our previous efforts have failed.
1. Export your e-mail and news accounts in Outlook Express so that you can import them into a new Identity.
1. Click Accounts on the Outlook Express Tools menu.
2. Click the Mail tab and select the default account.
3. Click the Export button and select a location for the exported file. Make sure the extension remains iaf (for Internet account file).
4. Repeat steps 1.2 and 1.3 for all accounts.
5. Click the News tab and repeat steps 1.3 and 1.4 for all accounts.
6. After all mail and news accounts have been exported, click Close.
2. On the File menu, click Identities, and then click Add New Identity.
3. Type a name for the new Identity, and then click OK.
.A new Identity allows you to start Outlook Express with all default settings, a useful way to work around registry or file damage.
4. Click Yes to switch to the new Identity.
5. Click Cancel to close the New Account wizard. If you are prompted to import settings or messages, select "Do not import at this time" or Cancel.
6. Click Accounts on the Tools menu.
7. Click the Import button and select the first *.iaf file from step 1. Repeat until all accounts have been imported.
8. Import the mail messages from your old Identity.
On the File menu, click Import, and then click Messages.
Select Microsoft Outlook Express 6 from the list of programs, and then click Next. Select the name of the Identity to import, and then click OK.

If all else failes,, Reinstall or repair Outlook Express

Third-party repair tools
It is possible to recover messages from a corrupt DBX file.
Unfortunately there is no built-in recovery tool in Outlook Express to do this.
There are several third-party applications that are written specifically to repair Outlook Express. If you type "repair Outlook Express" into your favorite search engine you are sure to find several to consider.