Recovering corrupted Outlook Express folders (repair DBX files)

What is the DBX file?

Outlook Express stores messages in files with DBX extension. Each OE folder corresponds to a single DBX file. For example, the Inbox folder corresponds to the Inbox.dbx file. Outlook Express stores all DBX files in a special folder on the hard drive. To find out where Outlook Express stores DBX files, start Outlook Express and click "Tools -> "Options" -> "Maintenance" -> "Store Folder". The maximum size of a DBX file is 2Gb (and it's a separate issue, read how to solve DBX 2Gb limit problem).

Symptoms of DBX Corruption

When you start Outlook Express or try to send an e-mail message or try to open the damaged folder, you may get one of the following error messages:
  • MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module Directdb.dll
  • Msimn caused an exception C0000006h in module Directdb.dll
  • Outlook Express: The message could not be sent. There is not enough Disk space
  • Unknown error has occurred. Protocol: SMTP Port: 0 Secure: No [SSL] Error: 0x800c0131

How it works.

Email Recovery for Outlook Express scans DBX files and finds e-mail messages stored in them. Each email itfinds is saved to a separate file with the EML extension in the folder you specify. These saved EML files are of a universal format and can be easily imported into Outlook Express.

Corrupted DBX files are recovered in two steps.

  • Extracting messages from a DBX file into a separate folder on the disk and saving each e-mail message into a separate file with the EML extension
  • Importing recovered emails into Outlook Express

To extract emails from a DBX file, do the following.

  • Click the "Regular messages" tab (if it's not active yet) to switch to the mode of recovering lost messages.
  • Select the necessary DBX file or Outlook Express folder in the left part of the window. The program will start to search for lost messages.
  • After the search is over, the program will display the list of the found messages. Right-click the message list and select the emails you would like to recover. Click the "Save recovered messages" button in the toolbar. Each message will be saved as a file with the EML extension. To open such a file, double-click it.

To import recovered messages into Outlook Express.

  • Open the folder with the saved EML files in Windows Explorer
  • Start Outlook Express and just use drag and drop to move these EML files to the necessary Outlook Express folder. (Hint: Press Ctrl+A to select all the files in the Windows Explorer window.)
image, import .eml files back to Outlook Express
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