Email disappearing in Outlook
January 19, 2005 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday my Outlook Express program would not launch, instead I received an error message. Today it seems to be working fine, except that all the mail in my inbox disappeared, including a gift certificate to Any ideas?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Complain to your mail provider.
posted by smackfu at 9:00 AM on January 19, 2005

Response by poster: But this would seem to be more a problem with the software rather than the provider.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:16 AM on January 19, 2005

Install Mozilla Thunderbird and see if it'll import your old mail settings and data. If the archive files (.PBX, .MBX, etc) aren't corrupted it should import them regardless of whether or not Outlook Express is working or not.
posted by loquacious at 10:02 AM on January 19, 2005

Telnet into your mail account and see if your mail's still there.
posted by signal at 10:47 AM on January 19, 2005

On windows:
open dos shell,
type "telnet 110",
user USER
pass PASS,
retr #
posted by signal at 10:49 AM on January 19, 2005

Regarding the gift certificate, the sender can resend it—Amazon will assign a different code for the gift certificate and the old one will no longer work. That doesn't help with the larger problem, but...
posted by smich at 11:15 AM on January 19, 2005

Response by poster: Ok, I downloaded Mozilla Thunderbird yesterday, but didn't install yet as OE was working fine. My only concern right now is to retrieve the mysteriously vanishing inbox messages -- mainly the gift certificate from since there is no record of the certificate except in that email. So I will try the telnet.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:17 AM on January 19, 2005

Response by poster: No luck with telnet-- no matter what connection I try to use, I just keep getting the message that no connection is available.

I'm trying to contact the sender. So probably the gift cert. will take care of itself.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:58 AM on January 19, 2005

I'd advise going over to Thunderbird even if OE is working. It has better spam filters. I changed to T-bird recently, and it imported all of my address book and massive collection of old email fine. Be patient while it's doing that, though; it may look like nothing's happening.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:33 PM on January 19, 2005

This sounds to me more like your OX profile went kablooey. Somehow it can't access the mail in the local post office (right? this is POP and you downloaded all the mail already?), which is a file with the extension OST (Outlook Store) or PST (Post Office Store). Look for one of those that hasn't been updated since the problem -- if you're in luck Outlook did not blow the old one away when it couldn't open it or whatever. Make copies of everything FIRST in a safe place then try to point your current Outlook at it. Use regular Outlook, if available, in the case that Outlook Express doesn't work, or try Thunderbird -- which really is a recommendation for the future.
posted by dhartung at 10:27 PM on January 19, 2005

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