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windows update error C80003F3

Use "DBXtract" To Extract
Messages In Outlook Express
DBX Files...


Article Published by Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)


DBX Extract using "DBXtract" software....

There is a NO way to recover individual messages, mail or news, in Outlook Express 6. The program simply does not have a built in feature for this.

Yet I have had many folks email me and say that their email folder has become corrupt and they can not get at their messages anymore. This REALLY does happen, so if it has not yet happened to you yet be thankful...

When it comes to recovery of individual email/mail messages from a folder that has become corrupt. You can always restore the data if you have taken a previous backup of the folder in a working state! See for more information on this subject.

Another method is to use this wonderful utility called DBXtract by Stephen L. Cochran

You can download the program here for a small charge.

As you are using Windows XP (after all this is a an XP site) you already have the required Visual Basic 6 run time files
installed. There are no help files as the program is very easy to use.

Once you have downloaded the program place it into a new empty folder.

You then run it from there when you need it. (This utility will not install itself on your machine.)

Below is a screenshot of the Utility's interface.



This program works by reading the location of the DBX files from the Registry and then loading those into the Input Path box.

It then searches the path and loads the DBX filenames that are present in that path into the Input File box.

(You can also manually search for other Identities by using the "Browse" button in the Input section.)

DBX Extraction

Messages can be extracted with two different file naming procedures.

1) The default naming procedure is to name the file(s) by the subject of the message (with all punctuation removed).

2) Choosing the By Prefix option, allows one to specify a prefix in the text box and then all files are extracted using that prefix rather than using the message subject. With both procedures, duplicate filenames are appended with a number (e.g. filename(2)).

Messages are extracted in the order they appear in the dbx file. If a message subject contains unusual characters, then that message may get a filename of "Problem Subject".

The Output patch can be changed to wherever you wish, however I do NOT recommend you save the files to the desktop as you will soon be over run with extracted emails....

NOTE: It is important to have Outlook Express CLOSED when you attempt to recover messages.

When you are happy with the information provided simply click the "Extract" button. The all the messages in the selected DBX file will be copied to the Output folder.

In the example below, I only had TWO email messages in my Inbox folder, when I ran the program.

Once in the extracted folder the individual messages can be dragged into any folder in Outlook Express.

In the screenshot below I have dragged the two email extracted from my Inbox folder back into the Inbox folder. Now there is the original email plus the extracted copy...This is just for demonstration purposes. In real life you would not actually do this, especially if the folder is corrupt!


Do download and experiment with this utility as you may never know when you will need it! And remember if you are not already backing up your Outlook Express data then you MUST read as soon as possible.
Recover Mode

The purpose of this mode is to recover messages that have been deleted from the deleted items folder. With the DBX files, Microsoft chops each message into 512 byte pieces. When a message is deleted from the deleted items folder (that has not yet been compacted), then Outlook Express removes the first 4 bytes of each piece, so it is not possible to recover a message in its entirety.

However, with this version of DBXtract, one can recover from the deleted items .dbx file, such pieces that are still there and reassemble what is left of the pieces.

To accomplish this, check the Recover Mode box. Then browse to the deleted items.dbx file and set the Output folder.

Now click the Extract button.

A set of text files will then be extracted into the Output folder. For the sake of completeness, ALL fragments will be recovered. A lot will have the filename No Subject appended by a number.

Most of these will be redundant and can be deleted (Make sure the by Subject check box is checked when using the Recover Mode feature, so one can distinguish between them). Images and other attachments will be incomplete and likely irrecoverable, but text and message headers should be largely intact.

Whilst this may not fully reproduce deleted emails, it can help you reassemble a message if it is important to you....

NB - This article was written before Service pack 1 and 2 and as such this information may no longer be fully valid.


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Marc Liron

Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP 


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