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Windows 7: Live Mail imports only partially from OE .dbx file

01 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
Live Mail imports only partially from OE .dbx file

Hi all,

I'm migrating my PC to Windows 7. All is pretty much good, and I installed Windows Live Essentials, mainly so I could use Windows Live Mail client, as a replacement for Outlook Express 6. When I opened it it tried importing from Outlook Express but apparently had some problem - I got an error "Unable to import information from Microsoft Outlook Express 6". Sure of all my mailboxes most were populated but a few were not - including my main Inbox, which was empty.

I then tried doing a manual import using "Import messages", and selecting the Inbox.dbx file. It finds 7001 emails, and begins the import. However it only gets up to about 3,600 or so before it just finishes (progress bar gets halfway through). It says "Import Complete" and "Your messages were imported in 'Microsoft Outlook Express 6' format", and gives no indication of having encountered an error - however the other 3,500 or so emails were just not imported.

When opening the folder the messages were imported into - only emails before April 2010 are there. Everything for the past 9 months is not there.

The kicker is - other programs can get the emails from the .dbx file no problem. I downloaded Mail Navigator, and it was able to read all 7001 emails.

Anyone know of how I can fix or workaround this problem?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Part of the reason I migrated to Windows 7 is because I was having corruption problems on XP. It's a long story, but summary is that I was never able to find the root cause of the corruption. It may well be that the files are corrupted in some way - however the corruption isn't obvious. It wasn't found by chkdsk (when I ran it back on XP), and it's not encountered explicitly by the Windows Live Mail import, and if there is corruption Mail Navigator doesn't have any problem with it.

Back when I ran Windows Easy Transfer to transfer some files to my PC - it did find problems with a few files; however none of the files it found problems with were Outlook Express files.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Found the problem, and a workaround.

It seems Windows Live Mail import can't handle emails more than a certain size - even emails that Outlook Express supports. (Good job MS - seems like that should have been one of your design/test cases). I had one email that was 28M. After importing the dbx file into OE on a different computer*, removing the one email, and moving it back, it then imported into Live OK.

*OE manages the mailbox folders as part of your identitiy, so you can't just put a new dbx file in and have it recognize it, or even import it (I would think it would support that; but apparently not). So as a workaround you have to create a folder of a given name (say Foobar), put at least one email into it, which creates Foobar.dbx, then replace Foobar.dbx with the problematic dbx file. Then reopen OE and the emails will be there. Make the change (e.g. remove the problem email), then rename Foobar.dbx back to the original name (in my case was Inbox.dbx).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Live Mail imports only partially from OE .dbx file

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