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New XP Install: Need to import Identity, Settings, Address Book

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May 6, 2010 3:28:35 AM

I had to install XP on a new partition (the old installation was barely working). I keep my OS and data on separate drives, so all of my emails are still there, my account settings and address book should be as well.

Importing everything into the new install of Firefox was a piece of cake. Everything, even the last sites I had open, imported without any issues. Outlook Express is proving more ... annoying. Microsoft's support site explains how to create new profiles, switch between those new profiles... none of which I need to do.

I need to import my old Identity, from my data drive, into Outlook Express 6. I don't mean import the messages (there's not even room for them on the new partition), I just need to link the existing identity on the data drive to the new XP / Outlook Express installation.

It would be nice if I could also link to my old server settings and address book, but I can enter new settings and use an old Windows Address Book if needed.

Thanks In Advance
May 7, 2010 7:05:47 AM

AARRGGHHH said:
I had to install XP on a new partition (the old installation was barely working). I keep my OS and data on separate drives, so all of my emails are still there, my account settings and address book should be as well.

Importing everything into the new install of Firefox was a piece of cake. Everything, even the last sites I had open, imported without any issues. Outlook Express is proving more ... annoying. Microsoft's support site explains how to create new profiles, switch between those new profiles... none of which I need to do.

I need to import my old Identity, from my data drive, into Outlook Express 6. I don't mean import the messages (there's not even room for them on the new partition), I just need to link the existing identity on the data drive to the new XP / Outlook Express installation.

It would be nice if I could also link to my old server settings and address book, but I can enter new settings and use an old Windows Address Book if needed.

Thanks In Advance


[#0005ff]
You've migrated to Firefox, why not consider using its sister programme Thunderbird as your e-mail handler - especially now OE has been replaced by Windows Live.

Just a thought but back to your question - you need to open up the old XP system to view hidden files and folder and unhide protected system files then track down all the files of type .dbx. They should be in Documents and Settings>{yourusername}>Local Settings>Application Data>Identities>{coding}>Microsoft>Outlook Express and then put them into a place of safety.

Then, in OE itself, use Export from the File menu to save everything out to a flash drive and in the new system, use Import from the same menu to bring them into the new system. Put the dbx files you saved into the same path in the new system,overwriting any new files OE already created.

You might find the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard will do the job more quickly - go Start>Run and type migwiz into the Open box and hit Enter then folow the instructions.
[/#000ff]
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Best solution

May 10, 2010 1:48:15 AM


There may be an easier way, by directly changing the pointer in OE to point to where your messages are currently located. Click Tools -> Options -> Maintenance -> Store Folder. Change this to point to the location of your mail folders from your original XP installation.

I would also strongly consider making a backup of your email messages (and for that matter, everything else).

For the address book, click File -> Import -> Address Book. On your old XP install, the address book should be located at \Documents and Settings\[Your Name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\[Your Name].wab

If you want more than the messages and address book, and want to get back account settings and rules as well, I hope you have a few minutes to spare. :) 

To get back your internet account settings: Go back to the old install, click Tools -> Accounts -> Export, and save them somewhere convenient. If you use more than one mail server, you have to do this for each server. Then go back to the new install, and click Tools -> Accounts ->Import to retrieve the settings.

Getting back your Rules is even more involved: Again, go back to your old install. Open Regedit. Click to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{ID number}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\[Version number]\Rules\Mail. Rick click and click Export, store this key in a convenient location.

Now back to the new install. Open Regedit and go to the above key. Copy the {ID Number}. Open the exported registry file. Use Edit -> Replace to change all of the old ID numbers to your new ID number. Make sure there are no missing or added characters. Save the file. Now double click it to import it into the OE in your new XP install.

Having typed all that, I may take Saga Lout's suggestion and try Thunderbird. I love Firefox, and OE's backup / restore routine is clearly ridiculous.
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May 10, 2010 9:22:48 PM

Best answer selected by AARRGGHHH.
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May 10, 2010 9:24:58 PM

TCeleste said:
There may be an easier way, by directly changing the pointer in OE to point to where your messages are currently located. Click Tools -> Options -> Maintenance -> Store Folder. Change this to point to the location of your mail folders from your original XP installation...

For the address book, click File -> Import -> Address Book. On your old XP install, the address book should be located at \Documents and Settings\[Your Name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\[Your Name].wab


That really could not have been easier, thank you. The rest was somewhat tedious, but it worked perfectly. This should all be part of the Outlook Express help file.

Thanks again
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