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Merging two identical Outlook Express accounts.

By leem
Oct 15, 2004
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  1. HI,

    I have two computers. I have Outlook Express on both computers, and I use the same email address for both of them. Essentially, if I log onto one computer, I get all the new emails; when I log onto the other computer I get the bew batch of emails. As such, I have different emails on both computers.

    I want to combine the emails so that I have access to all my emails. I am afraid if I move one set into the other folder, it will write over and I will loose some emails.

    Once I have all current emails in one location, I will put them on my external hardrive. I will then configure both OEs' to store emails into the file I created on my external drive. When I want to check my mail, I will just plug in my external HD. cool, eh?

    Anyway, I know how to change the file path, but I am worrid about trying to merge the two email accounts. I don't want to loose anything. Is it possible to do? IS there software I need, or is it a lost cause?
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

  3. leem

    leem Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 76

    thank you for the website. The site tells you how to back up your email. I can do that just fine. The real problem is I am backing up email from two different locations that share the same email address. The 2 respective machines have different emails recieved depending on which machine I used to check email.

    Is there a way to merge those two machines? I can move data from one machine to another just fine, but I am more concerned about moving data from two machines into the same folder. IS that possible?

    For example" I get a lot of email from xxx@xxx.xx. In my OE storage folder tehre is a file named "xxx.dbs." I am assuming the "xxx.dbs" data has all of my emails from xxx@xxx.xx. Since I have a xxx.dbs file on both my computers because I have recieved more then one email from that company, I am worried that if I merge my xxx.dbs file from machine-1 to machine-2, it will overwrite my xxx.dbs files on machine-2.

    Does that make sense? since the data has the same name on all the emails I have recieved from the same company on both my computers, If I combine my folders, I am affraid one machine will overwrite the data on the other machine.
  4. jstillion

    jstillion Newcomer, in training Posts: 107

    I think you can by importing.

    To find where the messages are stored

    Tool -> Options -> Maintenance
    Click on Store Folder Button

    Copy the entire folder with all the messages (from the path shown from above steps) with the machine you want to import from.

    Copy the folder and all files to the machine your going to import it in to.

    File -> Import -> Messages
    Select Microsot Outlook Express 4 or ... ... 6 (what every program is it)
    (New Dialog Box)
    Choose Import mail from an OE 6 Click Next
    Choose the path to the messages you want to import (folder) follow prompts
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    You need to do a backup on the machine you are abandoning, and an import on the machine you are planing to use, as was said above, yeah.

    Read the program's help documentation to find out how to do these things.
  6. The Man

    The Man Newcomer, in training

    Avoid overwriting your email files

    I found your post because I needed to do the same thing. I succeeded! In my case, I have DSL on my network, and both computers can exchange files easily over the network. The emails I transferred were a total of more than 30MB, so they wouldn't fit onto a floppy.

    You are absolutely right to be concerned about overwriting your emails. In OE, email "folders" are not subdirectories, but really just *.DBX files (while in contrast, the Store Folder actually is a subdirectory). So if you copy, say, your Inbox "folder" from one computer to the other, you will not merge Inbox messages, but rather the destination "folder" file Inbox.DBX will be overwritten with the source Inbox.DBX, and you will lose all your Inbox messages that were uniquely in the destination Inbox, but not the source Inbox.

    After my suffering a lot of aggravation, I believe Import and Export do not function in the manner you need. Import works on entire subdirectories, not individual "folders" that are really *.DBX files, and Export goes off into fairyland.

    Here's what worked for me. Read everything before you do anything, to make sure you understand, in case I didn't explain a particular step well enough.

    First disconnect both computers from the internet, so you will not be downloading any new email from your ISP while you are doing the merge operation, and undo what you are trying to get done. I just unplugged the RJ45 to my modem.

    I will refer to the computer you are going to abandon as the source, and the computer you are going to keep as the destination.

    On the source, run OE and create a new folder (that is, a new *.DBX file) to hold the emails you wish to transfer to the destination. The new folder should have a unique name like "0" that does not conflict with any name of the existing "folders." [If you need to transfer emails from several OE "folders" on the source, you can create further "subfolders" beneath "0," also with nonconflicting (and readily identifiable) names such as 0inbox and 0sent, etc., to correspond to the current location of the emails you want to transfer, from within the Local Folders "folder."

    Each "folder" and "subfolder" you create, results in a new *.DBX file, that is located in your Store Folder. Thus, the Store already contains an Inbox.DBX, and after you (maybe) create the 0inbox "folder," the Store will also then contain 0inbox.DBX. If you leave off the "0" prefix for the inbox folder you create, then OE starts numbering files, such as Inbox(1).DBX, and things start getting messier trying to figure out which number is the one you want, rather than just using nonconflicting "folder" names in the first place.

    After you have created the "0" "folder" structure you want on the source, COPY the emails you want to move to the destination, to their appropriate location in the "0" "folders." DO NOT MOVE the emails - COPY them. NOTICE: if you left-click and drag an email, you will move it; that is you will copy it to the "0" place, and DELETE it from its current location. To copy the email, right-click and choose Copy to Folder..., and then navigate to the appropriate "0" "folder." After you have copied all the emails you want to transfer, close OE on the source.

    On the destination, run OE and recreate the identical "0" "folder" structure that you created on the source. Close OE on the destination. Copy the 0*.DBX files from the source to the destination.

    If you make a mistake, and instead copy the 0*.DBX files from the destination to the source, then the source "0" "folder" will be overwritten, and you will lose all the emails you put in there. And if you MOVED those emails instead of COPIED them, they are gone forever. Fortunately, you only copied the emails, instead of moved them, and so you just have to go back into OE on the source, copy the emails again to the "0" "folder," exit OE again, and then copy the 0".DBX files again.

    When you reopen OE on the destination, it should now have within the "0" "folder" structure, all the emails you wanted to copy from the source. Now, it's just a matter of continuing on the destination within OE, and copying the emails from the "0" "folders" and "subfolders" back to their proper locations in the corresponding Local Folders. Finally, after you confirm all the emails are copied out of the "0" "folder(s)," you can delete the "0" "folder(s)." After you have deleted the "0" structure from within OE, the 0*.DBX files may still be lingering inside the Store Folder, so you may want to clean them up there as well.
  7. leem

    leem Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 76

    Thanks "The Man!" You are indeed the man. I will work on this tonight! :)
  8. CagiME

    CagiME Newcomer, in training

    Me

    Try this...
    1. {STOREFOLDER1}
    2. export
    3. {STOREFOLDER2}
    3. import

    Before anything else backup your files.
    I would assume you have a microsoft office (micrososft outlook/exchange) and I too assume you know how to change Store Folders.

    Let:
    1st Computer store folder be {STOREFOLDER1}
    2nd Computer store folder be {STOREFOLDER2}
    (or do visa-versa which ever you preffer)

    Merging Process:
    1. Start by copying {STOREFOLDER2} to your external hard drive.
    2. Open Outlook Express and change store folder to (STOREFOLDER1}
    3. Form file menu choose FILE/EXPORT/MESSAGES
    --> window appears "...export to Microsoft Outlook..." press OK
    4. Change store folder to {STOREFOLDER2} from your external drive
    --> window appears, "...(forgot message)...", just choose YES
    --> close Outlook Express then open it back...
    5. Form file menu choose FILE/IMPORT/MESSAGES
    --> window appears, choose "MICROSOFT OUTLOOK"
    --> another window, choose ALL FOLDERS or SELECT FOLDERS
    --> XP ask you to replace/overwrite or merge (Win98 just merges)

    Your done...
  9. mpunsky

    mpunsky Newcomer, in training

    Excellent post "TheMan"! I had to do this about a year ago and pretty much followed the same steps - though, I was feeling my way through at the time. I had to so the same thing again tonight (actually had to merge 3 seperate oe installs for my wife) and having your post as a guide I was able to accomplish the task in record time.

    -Mike
  10. krzysiek

    krzysiek Newcomer, in training

    I had the same problem and the solution was simple:

    1. Find OE folder on secondary machine,
    2. Copy it to your primary machine
    3. In OE primary go to: Import->Messages->MS OE6->Import mail from an OE6 store FOlder

    And it is done.
  11. ntoren

    ntoren Newcomer, in training Posts: 39

    I am trying to perform the same transfer but encoutering some basic problems. I have copied the old 0inbox file to the destination computer's desktop but don't know how to copy it further into the new "0inbox" within Windows Mail (the new version of Outlook Express in Vista). Any suggestions?
     
  12. ntoren

    ntoren Newcomer, in training Posts: 39

    Excuse my ignorance but how do I find OE folder on secondary machine? And once I do find the folder is it as simple as copying it to a disk, then opening the disk on the destination/new computer (Vista machine) and copying the folder to the desktop? Should I be copying the .DBX file, that is to say, is this what you mean by "copying the folder?"
    Gracias!
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