Manual migration of Microsoft Outlook express files

By renwick09
Sep 12, 2007
  1. Howdy all,

    My old computer (Windows 98) died the other day after 7 years of use, due to a problem on the system board. I was able to salvage data from the hard drive, and have it transferred to a portable USB drive, so no data has been lost (Thankfully).

    I now have a new computer up and running (Windows XP Home) ,and would like to set up Microsoft Outlook Express to get to my and my spouses email with Road runner. I have the XP migration tool, but it is intended for transferring files from one working machine to another... and as my old machine is no longer working, I cant use the migration tool in that way... which leaves me with the possibility of migrating email files and address books manually for my accounts. Does anyone have any experience with this type of manual migration ? I have the usb drive available to connect to the new machine, so the files are technically available. Frankly this is a little above my comfort level, and would appreciate any advice or pointers. Most of the web sites that deal with migration refer to seprate computers.

    Many thanks for any assistance.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    outlook express files are located under your user profile:
    \documents and settings\your-login\
    the address book (named your-login.wab) is located beneath
    Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book​

    the mail files will be found beneath
    Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\Mail
  3. renwick09

    renwick09 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    jobeard... many thanks for the quick reply.
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Just my tuppennyworth - these files are structured like a database so you must copy all of them as a set. When you want to use them, you must import them using the File > Import > Messages > Outlook Express 6 > Import mail from an OE6 store directory > browse for where you have them stored. If you do it any other way you run the risk of corrupting the file structure.
    The address book is best dealt with the same way from File > Import > Address Book etc etc.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    yes you need them all, but IMPORT is not necessary *IF* you're existing OE
    is empty --
    just copy your backup (recovered) files to the correct location
    (make sure OE is not running :) )
  6. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    I'd go with that! Something else I do is create a folder in My Documents called something like email folder (duh!) and in OE transfer the data store folder (Tools > Options > Maintenance > Store Folder) to there. This means that a backup of all the important files will automatically incudel the email folders. Also export the address book there and the email account profiles too.
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