Problem: How can I repair my Microsoft
Outlook/Outlook Express Mailbox?
InfoHQ Answer: Apparently, all versions of Windows and Microsoft
Office ship with an Outlook .pst repair tool called scanpst.exe.
To find scanpst.exe on your system, use the Search command from
the Start Bar.
Select the Run command on the Start bar and type in scanpst.exe
(make sure Outlook and Outlook Express are not running when you
Scanpst.exe will report if it can/has recovered files. Open Outlook/Outlook
Express and rename the recovered files.
If your PST files were not recovered, run Scandisk and then run
InfoHQ Tip: E-mail Backup; Preserving
your E-mail with Eudora, Outlook Express, and Outlook
Sooner or later the time will come when you will need to backup
your E-mail Inbox and Outbox folders. Whether you want to upgrade
to a new computer system, reload Windows to a new directory or hard
drive, or you want to preserve your E-mail from future disasters;
knowing how to backup your E-mail is a must. First, let's look at
how E-mail works before diving into the subject of backup.
How E-mail Works. Your Internet Service Provider (the company
name on the other side of the "@" symbol, e.g. @aol.com,
@mindspring.com, @infohq.com) receives E-mail addressed to your
server mail folder --yourname@ISP.com. When you go online and check
your mail, your ISP transfers the mail from your server mail folder
to your computer. Your computer then stores the transferred mail
in an Inbox folder on your computer. Unless you choose the E-mail
program option of "leave a copy on the server", your mail
is deleted from the server when it is transferred to your computer.
Once the E-mail is downloaded, it becomes your job to read it, save
it, or trash it. We all know how to delete unwanted E-mail, but
exactly how does one go about saving it?
Backing up the Good E-mail. In Eudora, Outlook Express,
and Outlook, E-mails can be saved one at a time by selecting an
E-mail and then choosing the "File/Save As" menu command.
Also, you usually have the choice of saving an E-mail in an E-mail
format or as a text file (E-mail format can only be read by the
E-mail program, text files can be read by many different programs
including word processors, data bases, and spreadsheets). All well
and good, however, what happens when you want to save an entire
Inbox, Outbox, or Mailbox?
In Eudora, the files In.mbx and Out.mbx located in C:\Eudora
or C:\Program Files\Eudora need to be copied to a different directory
for backup purposes. The easiest way to read them would require
renaming your current In.mbx and Out.mbx and copying the old files
back to the original directory (remember
to rename the current files or you will write over them and destroy
your current E-mail).
If you are using Outlook Express, backup is a little easier.
To locate your Mailbox, select "Tools/Options/Maintenance/Store
Folder". You will see the local path of your Mailbox displayed
and the choices of "Change", "OK", or "Cancel".
Don't select any of these choices, instead write down the file name
(or if you're a Jeopardy player I guess you could remember it) and
then select cancel.
Use "My Computer" on the Windows desktop to locate the
Mailbox and to "copy" it to a different directory. Once
you have copied the Mailbox I suggest you rename it to something
descriptive by 'left clicking' on the copied file name and selecting
To use the backup Mailbox you would again select "Tools/Options/Maintenance/Store
Folder" and this time you would choose the selection "Change".
You would then choose the file that is your backup mailbox. Make
sure you write down the location of your current Mailbox so you
can revert back to it once you are finished using the backup.
Backing up E-mail with Outlook, is the busy man's dream.
Of the three E-mail programs mentioned in this article, only Outlook
has a "Save to File" option. By selecting "File/Import
and Export/Export to a file", not only is backup painless,
but it also becomes very useful. You can export the file as an Access,
Excel, Foxpro, dBase, or other comma delimited file. Or you can
select the PST file file type if you just want to backup your mail
without changing its format.
Again, no matter which file format you choose, name the file something
relevant and save it where you can find it.
To read exported mail, use the Export and Import command and choose
the appropriate import option.