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Backing up Outlook Express messages and contacts
When you finally decide to upgrade...
By jryan


    For your average user, nothing can be more frustrating than either devastating virus, a hacker, hardware failure, OS change or some other catastrophe, like the kids fooling around on the computer. There are times where you lose invaluable e-mail messages which were stored on your PC and you occasionally lose your Windows Address Book, which some users depend on almost like a lifeline. Well, this article is going to cover the steps you can take to ensure that, with the exception of the failure of hardware and kids, you can take to minimize the damage caused by loss of “Outlook”.

    While there is never any substitute for regular backups, many people that I’ve dealt with have never thought about backing up their most important files. One of the most popular complaints is that backups take too much time and that an entire operating system backup is way to constraining on space. Well, why not backup only the files you need?

    The truth is, there’s a very convenient way to backup the files on your PC, especially those Outlook Express files. What am I talking about? I’m talking about Reliexec Backup. Availible for download on the Reliexec Software site, this lets you backup those files to an external directory. All you do is download, install and then you run it when you have the time. By using the built-in backup list, you just specify the folders you want backed up and let it go to town. But what are these folders and what if I want to do it manually? Well, that’s O.K. too. The folders you would want to look for are similar to the following (Though I am using examples from one of my computers, this may differ for you.) C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Identities\{AE766788-B655-4236-9AA8-ACBD85A1CB54}\Microsoft\Outlook Express for your e-mails. Please note that the entry after Identities will differ, check your folders for more details. All you have to do is copy the files contained herein and when you have re-installed Windows or whatever the case may be, you just have to set up your accounts and paste the files into the relative directory on the new system. There are also ways to backup your Accounts, as is illustrated by the following screen shot as well as described in the following article.



    The process required for exporting the accounts is rather simple. You open Outlook Express, click on Tools -> Accounts. A window will pop-up, click on the Mail tab. Select the account that you would like to backup (Note: This backs-up only your account settings such as Server, Username, and Password. It does not backup any of the messages associated with that account.) You should then wind up with a screen like the above. Specify the filename, choose a location for it to save in, confirm it by clicking the save button and you’re done.

    Now, there’s only one other item to cover, and that’s the Windows Address Book. There are two ways to backup this file. If you’re using Reliexec Backup, set it to backup C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book and any file with the .wab extension. You could also very easily do it manually by going into the Address Book and choosing the File -> Export -> Address Book (.wab). Then, once you’ve reached the new Windows install or whatever, just go into Windows Address Book and select “Import” and choose the file.

That’s it, you’re all done for Outlook Express. Hope it helps.

Windstalker
IceTeks Admin





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21981 Hits Pages: [1] 3 Comments
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Latest comments (newest first)
Posted by jryan on March 03nd 2004 (00:14)
If I remember correctly, I wrote that article back when I was using Outlook Express 5.5 SP2. I had almost forgotten that a newer version had come out, which is surprising because I'm using it and just had to go through restoring some of my messages. Thank you, Bill for pointing that out, and you may be glad to know that a revision of the article is in the works to reflect the newest version of Outlook Express and should be availible within a week or two.
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Posted by jryan on June 06th 2003 (00:22)
Woohoo to my Article's reviews.
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Posted by Red Squirrel on June 06th 2003 (00:20)
(originally posted with the old php feedback form)

DidIdothat
January 3, 2003, 10:08:10 pm

Kewl! learn something every day ;-) great article Windstalker!! I'm going to go backup things later!

Thanks! D....

Michael Altman
January 13, 2003, 5:06:04 am

Brilliant!, been looking for a solution to the OE back-up problem for a while now.

Michelle Patton UOP Tech Support Specialist
January 23, 2003, 7:39:09 am

THANK YOU!!! for this site. It is loaded with great EASY TO FOLLOW instructions. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate all the information. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! -Shell

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