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Windows 7: Windows Live Mail has just Lost all my Message Folders and Contents.

03 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Windows Live Mail has just Lost all my Message Folders and Contents.

I turned my laptop on to check today's emails. (Yesterday all was fine).
Windows Live Mail announced that it cannot find the Message Folders.
I've tried to restore to yesterday (before installing latest "Critical Windows Update"), but it FAILED.
I've since been told to "Un-Restore" the Failed System Restore - but that also FAILS !
I've got around 4,000 VERY IMPORTANT emails, stored in around 30 Personal Message Folders, and I appear to have lost the lot !

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2013   #2

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

In Windows Explorer
Select Computer
in the uppper right hand corner of the window is a search box
enter the following in the search box:
This should locate any .eml files.

Once you know if the eMail files exist, you can then try to solve the issue posted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Thanks for the reply.
I have already located several renamed folders and new files in C:\Users\owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail, one of which is >2GB file containing 11,800 files in 35 folders - which I reckon are all my "lost" emails.

There's also several HUGE script files, the body of which lists thousands of "Orphaned Files" that have been recovered and written to a different Folder. There's a hex string after each file name which looks a bit like each file might have been renamed ?

Some of the script files are 26MB in size, but if I open them they only appear to contain a couple of hundred characters ?

I can find all the files and folders that relate to my crash from their creation date 2013-12-03 13:27.
Some have duplicated names, with (1) added, but some of them have names that don't mean anything to me, and aren't files that I can open.

I need some help to repair the damage, because I fear that it is not just a simple case of deleting the new folders and returning the old ones to their original names (without the added "(1)"). if it's really so simple, why couldn't Windows Live Mail have done this for itself ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Dec 2013   #4

Win7 Pro-64 Bit

Try right clicking on your Windows Live Mail folder in, C:\Users\owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail, click on properties, then the Previous Versions Tab and you should have a selection of earlier versions to choose from. You can always check them out before you do a restore.
Hope this may be of some help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2013   #5

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

After some thought, you might want to scan your machine for malware.

A guide for thorough cleaning: How to easily clean an infected computer (Malware Removal Guide)

I moved my long WLM post to a new post #6 (should be the next one)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2013   #6

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

If the suggestion by BrightBlessings doesn't get you where you want to be......

WLM appears to have tried to repair the damage or accounts were recreated - hence '(1) folders'.... but I can't be sure.

Exit WLM

Copy the following folders to a safe location (anywhere but your AppData tree - I suggest creating a new folder in your Documents folder called WindowsLiveSafe)
  • C:\Users\owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail (eMail msgs)
  • any other folder where you located .eml files.
  • C:\Users\owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live (Contacts and other settings)
Rename all original folders to something you'll remember
(eg Crashed_Windows Live Mail; Crashed_Windows Live)

Recreate WLM directory structure by launching WLM
Do NOT configure anything at this point, just launch and exit

Hopefully at this point you will have a base WLM directory tree.
warning   Warning
STOP here if you don't have a new WLM directory tree.

Create a new folder named xx0xx in the newly created WLM directory

Next navigate to your copy of WLM
search for OEACCOUNT files
search box-> ext:oeaccount
You might see a few in the top most folder of \Windows Live Mail
-> these are LDAP configs and not important at this time

Look for an oeaccount file in the folder(s) that represent your Mail server (AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, etc)
Copy that oeaccount file to the xx0xx folder you created above. Copy ONLY the oeaccount file.
Note   Note
If you have more than one Mail Server account (you use more than one Mail server) you will have to repeat the process for each. The easiest way is to create new folders for each Mail server (xx0xx, xx1xx, xx2xx, etc) and copy ONE oeaccount file to a xx-xx folder.

Launch WLM to recreate your Mail accounts (it will find the information in xx-xx folders and create new folders with the real Mail account.

Tip   Tip
Sometimes WLM 'duplicates' mail accounts - hence the (1) folders. All you need is the oeaccount file from one (ie AOL or AOL (1)). The (1) folder should be newer, but ..... You can use a text editor to look at te oeaccount file and compare the information to be sure that you copy the 'best' file.

Format of oeaccount file:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16" ?>
<Account_Name type="SZ">OutlookDotCom</Account_Name>
<Connection_Type type="DWORD">00000003</Connection_Type>
<Server_Sort_Order type="DWORD">00000006</Server_Sort_Order>
<POP3_Server type="SZ"></POP3_Server>
<POP3_User_Name type="SZ"></POP3_User_Name>
<POP3_Password2 type="BINARY">xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx</POP3_Password2>
<POP3_Port type="DWORD">000003e3</POP3_Port>
<POP3_Secure_Connection type="DWORD">00000001</POP3_Secure_Connection>
<POP3_Timeout type="DWORD">0000003c</POP3_Timeout>
<Leave_Mail_On_Server type="DWORD">00000001</Leave_Mail_On_Server>
<Remove_When_Deleted type="DWORD">00000000</Remove_When_Deleted>
<Remove_When_Expired type="DWORD">00000000</Remove_When_Expired>
<POP3_Skip_Account type="DWORD">00000000</POP3_Skip_Account>
<POP3_Prompt_for_Password type="DWORD">00000000</POP3_Prompt_for_Password>
<SMTP_Server type="SZ"></SMTP_Server>
<SMTP_Use_Sicily type="DWORD">00000002</SMTP_Use_Sicily>
<SMTP_Port type="DWORD">0000024b</SMTP_Port>
<SMTP_Secure_Connection type="DWORD">00000001</SMTP_Secure_Connection>
<SMTP_Timeout type="DWORD">0000003c</SMTP_Timeout>
<SMTP_Display_Name type="SZ">DisplayName</SMTP_Display_Name>
<SMTP_Email_Address type="SZ"></SMTP_Email_Address>
<SMTP_Split_Messages type="DWORD">00000000</SMTP_Split_Messages>

If you got this far, then it's time to copy your msgs to the new WLM tree.

Post a screenshot of an explorer view of the WLM copy (WindowsLiveSafe) - this will help me determine where to place the copied msgs. If you don't filter mail into diferent mail folders, the the easiest thing to do is copy the .eml files into the respective ....\Windows Live Mail\Storage Folders. I have a Rcvd folder and a few sub folders (home, work, bank) for Inbox msgs and use the Sent Items folder for stuff I sent.
Note   Note
WLM is a bit finiky - ANY folders you create MUST be created in WLM (not explorer)

Launch WLM and copy the .eml files to the appropriate folder inside WLM

The idea is to place msgs in the correct folder (the tree is fairly starightforward - deleted, drafts, Sent, etc)

Don't be tempted to put the msgs back in the Mail account folder - Storage Folder is better to avoid (#) files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2014   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Thank You

Your assistance is much appreciated.
My laptop has developed an unrelated hardware fault and has to go back to the manufacturer for repair under warranty. I've backed up everything onto an external HDD and will attempt to repair my WLM when I get it back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2014   #8

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Thanks for the update Graham.

Glad to hear that the machine was under warranty. I'm subscribed to this thread, so please write a post when the machine is returned and I'll answer any questions about the process I previously posted.

There's a chance that you'll either have a fresh install or will have to install Windows after warranty service. If that's the case, then you can just install WLM fresh too.

The full offline installers can be found here (all languages)
Direct language download links: English --OR-- British English

Some of my previous post can be used to help recreate WLM if you have to install a fresh copy, but I'll wait to see what you get back and what you have to do then.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2015   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Dear Slartybart,

Is there a way to export and import all messages with their tree?

If I need to reinstall WLM or move it to a new computer, is there a way to do the export and import without having to manually drag each and every message to its appropriate folder (within WLM)?

Thanks for any help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows Live Mail has just Lost all my Message Folders and Contents.

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