Corrupted Inbox?

Situation 1


David Vroon kindly sent me this description of how he went about fixing this problem. [Obviously some the directory names and locations will be different for your installation.]


Symptom: OE6 hangs on start. Cancelling dialogs prompting for password on connection to mail servers doesn't help.

Cause: Corrupted Inbox.dbx file.

Solution: Backup and remove inbox.dbx, then import inbox from backup.


1. Ensure OE6 is closed before starting.

2. Create a folder c:\data and copy the entire contents of my "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{YOUR_IDENTITY_STRING}\Microsoft\Outlook Express" to c:\data

3. Rename C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{YOUR_IDENTITY_STRING}\Microsoft\Outlook Express\inbox.dbx to inbox.dbx.old

4. Start up OE6; it will create an empty Inbox and will show only one message "Welcome to Outlook Express 6".

5. From the menu, open File->Import->Messages. Choose Outlook Express 6. Click Next.

6. Choose Import mail from an OE6 Identity and select your identity (Mine was Main Identity). Click OK.

7. Browse to the folder c:\data. Click Next.

8. Choose Inbox. Click Next.

9. Messages from your Inbox should appear in your new Inbox. Click Finished.

Situation 2


Tom Morin kindly sent me this description of another potential situation where outlook express locks up.


I found that if you have folders directly under the inbox that by default as you move from folder to folder and when you go back to inbox it not only has to load what is in the inbox but also any folder under the inbox directly. My outlook express would literally lock up.

Once I moved these other folders to under the Local Folders tree the issue disappeared.

Situation 3


Phil Stanton kindly made this suggestion as an extension of Situation 1


In "Situation 1", skip step 2. In step 3, go to C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{YOUR_IDENTITY_STRING}\Microsoft. Under this folder, there is a folder Outlook Express. Rename the folder to Outlook Express Old.

Now, when you restart Outlook Express in step 4, all folders are empty, but other information including the email account information is intact. New email can be read, created and sent. Although I haven't tried it, I think old inbox, sent items, etc. can be imported from the renamed Outlook Express Old folder.

A computer I was working on would freeze whenever Outlook Express was started. Task Manager showed Outlook Express was using 99% of the processor time. Something in that Outlook Express Folder was causing the freeze.

Other parameters were Windows XP Pro SP2 and Outlook Express 6.0. McAfee security was also installed and may have contributed to the freeze.