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Messages Will Not Delete in Outlook Express

Trying to fix my mom's computer. She has 2 e-mails in her Outlook Express that will not delete that are from me in November. One has 3 mpegs & the other has a jpg. For the one with 3 mpegs I get the error message "The selected message(s) could not be moved. There is not enough memory." For the 2nd I do not get an error message or anything. I've tried to delete them using the delete key, dragging them to the delete box, dragging them to the recycle bin...she has nothing in any of her folders in Outlook Express & it is set to delete everything in the delete bin upon closing of OE. Someone suggested to use MoveOnBoot, but I can't get the e-mails to drag to it (not sure how to get to them any other way). They would not delete in safe mode either. At a loss here....Thanks once again for all of your help. Aimee
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Comments

  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Jan 2005
    Try doing a "compact."

    Tools -> Options -> Maintenance -> Clean Up Now -> Compact.

    That may compact the attachments enough that you can delete the messages.

    If that does not work, try moving any other mail in that folder to a "holder" folder, then you can try manually deleting the inbox folder from the hard drive. If you want to do that, you may need some further instructions as to where to find the inbox file if you do not know where to look. Let us know if you want to do that, we will need to know what OS you are running and what her username (if any) on the computer is to help you locate the folder.

    Dexter...
  • edited Jan 2005
    I called & had her try that. She did "compact", & also tried the "remove" & "delete" when compact didn't work. She tried to delete them after each of those, but they are still there. All she gets is a warning that "Message could not be deleted." I don't know where to tell her to go to deleted the inbox folder from the hard drive. I think I might know, but I don't want to tell her to delete the wrong thing. I've tried looking on the net for help & at lovely Microsoft, but I only found 1 thing even remotely related to what I am looking for. Pwease help! You are the man, Dexter! Thanks! Aimee

    Dexter wrote:
    Try doing a "compact."

    Tools -> Options -> Maintenance -> Clean Up Now -> Compact.

    That may compact the attachments enough that you can delete the messages.

    If that does not work, try moving any other mail in that folder to a "holder" folder, then you can try manually deleting the inbox folder from the hard drive. If you want to do that, you may need some further instructions as to where to find the inbox file if you do not know where to look. Let us know if you want to do that, we will need to know what OS you are running and what her username (if any) on the computer is to help you locate the folder.

    Dexter...
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Jan 2005
    OK, I need to know what OS she is running (Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98, etc) and what her username (if any) on the computer is to help you locate the folder. Then we can manually delete the inbox.

    Dexter...
  • edited Jan 2005
    She is running Windows XP. There isn't an option on hers to log in as administrator, so she is under Owner. Unless there is a way to log in as administrator that I haven't figured out yet, which is completely possible. Thanks! Aimee




    Dexter wrote:
    OK, I need to know what OS she is running (Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98, etc) and what her username (if any) on the computer is to help you locate the folder. Then we can manually delete the inbox.

    Dexter...
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Jan 2005
    OK, make sure Outlook Express is closed, then here is where to look:

    C:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{7E4BA9BD-7C61-49C9-A77A-C5C21545F0CA}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    That bolded section will be different for you. Basically once she gets to the folder:

    C:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities

    there should only be one subdirectory that is named with a string of characters like that one above. Go into it, then into the subfolders:

    Microsoft\Outlook Express

    In there you will see several files with ".dbx" as the extension type. You will need to delete the INBOX.dbx. (Your OS may be set to hide the 3 letter extensions, so it may just say INBOX.")

    If you do not see these files, check to make sure that you have the option to show hidden files and folders turned on. Read this post to learn how to do that if you do not know how to do that:

    http://www.short-media.com/forum/showpost.php?p=172588&postcount=3

    So, once you identify the Inbox.dbx file, delete it. Then the next time you start Outlook Express, it will create a new inbox file for you.

    ***NOTE: make sure you have saved any other e-mail in the inbox that you wish to keep before doing this. Make a new folder in Outlook Express (call it "Saved Messages" or something like that) and move the messages you want to keep into there.)

    This should solve your problem.

    Also, it would be a good idea to clean out all your temporary files. Open My Computer, right click on your C drive, select Properties, and click Disk Cleanup. This will open the Disk Cleanup Manager. It will take a few moments to scan your hard drive, then present you with a window and several cleaning options. Make sure to chose the options to clean Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary Files.

    Let me know how that goes.

    Dexter...
  • edited Jan 2005
    That seemed to do the job. Thanks so much! At least I know what to do if it happens to her again! You are great! Aimee
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Punta Gorda, FL Icrontian
    edited Jan 2005
    This probably happened due to a corrupt email message overflowing the INBOX.DBX folder, or a message with lots of attachments (the mpg's probably) got PARTLY written into inbox.

    So, if you need to send her mpg's I suggest you send one per email message in future,

    I suggest you also run scandisk and defragmenter on drives also(would not hurt it to run this on your computer also), to fix any size errors still lingering on HD. And run Disk Cleanup on each HD in her computer and yours, it might be a HD almost full issue that caused this, also (on her computer). Once Disk Cleanup has been run, try defragm,enting the HD AGAIN, so things get well compacted on HD. Yes, defragmnenter in XP can compact less used stuff and get you a bit more space, possibly as much or more than Disk Cleanup gets you (and\or her, this is for your computer and hers that this last part applies to).
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Jan 2005
    That seemed to do the job. Thanks so much! At least I know what to do if it happens to her again! You are great! Aimee

    Glad to have helped. :)

    Straight Man's suggestion of a defrag is a good one. You should have already done a Disk clean up if you followed all the steps I suggested, but doing a defrag would be helpful, just open the My Computer icon, right click on C drive, then choose Properties, and click the Tools tab. Choose "Deframgment Now", and hit the Analyze button to let the program determine if a defragmentation is needed. If it is, hit the Defragment button, and let it work...it could take a long time depending on the size of the drive and the amount of data on it, plus the amount of file fragmentation.

    Cheers,

    Dexter...
  • edited Feb 2005
    I had this same problem with not being able to delete emails in Outlook Express and this thread helped me out, but I wanted to add something:

    I searched for inbox.dbx and found the user's Outlook Express folder. The Inbox was a whopping 620 MB, but the Deleted Items and Sent Items folders were each 2 GB! I deleted those and left the Inbox and was able to resume normal Outlook Express use. I think there is a 2 gigabyte limit for ANY folder in MSIE by default.

    Just a little FYI for everyone.
  • edited Mar 2005
    I've just found this thread. I have a similar, but not exactly the same, problem: I can delete messages in any of my OE folders *except* the inbox. If I highlight an inbox message and press the delete key, nothing happens. If I highlight it and try right-click/delete - nothing happens.

    I've tried moving most of the inbox messages to a Saved Messages folder, but this makes no difference. The messages left (the ones I'm trying to get rid of) are just simple, short text messages with no attachments.

    Any thoughts on this and how to cure it will be very welcome.

    Bert
    http://www.bertcoules.co.uk
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Mar 2005
    Did you try the instructions I posted in post #6 above? Move the messages you want to save to a Save folder, then close OE, and manually delete the inbox.dx file as per the instructions above.

    Dexter...
  • edited Mar 2005
    Dexter wrote:
    Did you try the instructions I posted in post #6 above?

    I hadn't tried it (I was waiting to see if my slightly different query would maybe need a different approach) but I've tried it now, and it seems to have done the trick, so many thanks for the speedy advice.

    I did find something strange. My OE data is in the folder C:Windows\Application Data\Identities (I'm using ME) and I was surprised to see *two* subfolders in the Identities folder. What's more, the Identity which was obviously the correct one has *two* Microsoft\Outlook Express subfolders - one of which is clearly the correct one, while the other contains what seem to be just basic dbx files: Inbox, Sent Items, that sort of thing.

    Could these surplus folders and files be left-overs from previous installations of Windows? I've reinstalled the OS several times over the years. Can I just delete them? (Though perhaps first I'll try renaming the files and moving them over to the proper Identity folder to see just what's in them).

    Many thanks,

    Bert
    http://www.bertcoules.co.uk
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Mar 2005

    Could these surplus folders and files be left-overs from previous installations of Windows? I've reinstalled the OS several times over the years.

    Yes. Or if you have ever used more than one Outlook Express Profile, you will have an identity folder for each one. For instance, I have 5 different profiles on my OE here at home, so I have 5 different identity folders. If you only have one profile, then the others are extraneous.
    Can I just delete them? (Though perhaps first I'll try renaming the files and moving them over to the proper Identity folder to see just what's in them).


    Yes.

    JUst make sure not to delete the active one. One trick is to make a new e-mail folder in your current Outlook Express, and call it something obvious: TEST_FOLDER_TEST. Then go into C:Windows\Application Data\Identities and look at the names of the .dbx files in each directory. The directory that has a TEST_FOLDER_TEST.dbx file is your current one. Anything else can be deleted - or just move them to a Holder folder for now, then launch OE and make sure nothing is affected, then delete them later from the Holder folder.

    Dexter...
  • edited Mar 2005
    Excellent. Thanks again for the help.

    Bert
    http://www.bertcoules.co.uk
  • edited Mar 2005
    Dexter wrote:
    JUst make sure not to delete the active one. One trick is to make a new e-mail folder in your current Outlook Express, and call it something obvious: TEST_FOLDER_TEST. Then go into C:Windows\Application Data\Identities and look at the names of the .dbx files in each directory. The directory that has a TEST_FOLDER_TEST.dbx file is your current one.
    I just tried that and got thrown completely: my test folder (called VERY OBVIOUS TEST FOLDER so I couldn't miss it) didn't turn up in *any* of the Identity directories!

    Eventually I discovered that folders don't appear if they're empty. I went back into OE, copied a single message into the test folder, returned to Windows Explorer - and there it was.

    Bert
    http://www.bertcoules.co.uk
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited Mar 2005
    Ah right, I forgot that part....

    Glad you got it all straightened out. :)

    Dexter...
  • edited Mar 2005
    I tried my idea of copying over the dbx files from the earlier identities to check if there were any old messages worth saving, but they didn't appear in the current directory. I take it this means that they're empty and can be safely deleted.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Bert
    http://www.bertcoules.co.uk
  • edited Nov 2005
    I had the same problem and did everything what Dexter suggested. Even defrag the drive. It solved the problem temporarily - I got rid of a message I wanted. But now I have a problem when new messages come. Some can be deleted, some can't. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Pepa



    Dexter wrote:
    OK, make sure Outlook Express is closed, then here is where to look:

    C:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{7E4BA9BD-7C61-49C9-A77A-C5C21545F0CA}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    That bolded section will be different for you. Basically once she gets to the folder:

    C:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities

    there should only be one subdirectory that is named with a string of characters like that one above. Go into it, then into the subfolders:

    Microsoft\Outlook Express

    In there you will see several files with ".dbx" as the extension type. You will need to delete the INBOX.dbx. (Your OS may be set to hide the 3 letter extensions, so it may just say INBOX.")

    If you do not see these files, check to make sure that you have the option to show hidden files and folders turned on. Read this post to learn how to do that if you do not know how to do that:

    http://www.short-media.com/forum/showpost.php?p=172588&postcount=3

    So, once you identify the Inbox.dbx file, delete it. Then the next time you start Outlook Express, it will create a new inbox file for you.

    ***NOTE: make sure you have saved any other e-mail in the inbox that you wish to keep before doing this. Make a new folder in Outlook Express (call it "Saved Messages" or something like that) and move the messages you want to keep into there.)

    This should solve your problem.

    Also, it would be a good idea to clean out all your temporary files. Open My Computer, right click on your C drive, select Properties, and click Disk Cleanup. This will open the Disk Cleanup Manager. It will take a few moments to scan your hard drive, then present you with a window and several cleaning options. Make sure to chose the options to clean Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary Files.

    Let me know how that goes.

    Dexter...
  • edited Nov 2005
    The dbx reader and dbx extract has prompted you a path of the Outlook Express files' storage. And now save the damaged dbx files in the safe folder, they can be useful.
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    Dexter wrote:
    OK, make sure Outlook Express is closed, then here is where to look:

    C:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{7E4BA9BD-7C61-49C9-A77A-C5C21545F0CA}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    That bolded section will be different for you. Basically once she gets to the folder:

    C:\Documents and Settings\OWNER\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities

    there should only be one subdirectory that is named with a string of characters like that one above. Go into it, then into the subfolders:

    Microsoft\Outlook Express

    In there you will see several files with ".dbx" as the extension type. You will need to delete the INBOX.dbx. (Your OS may be set to hide the 3 letter extensions, so it may just say INBOX.")

    If you do not see these files, check to make sure that you have the option to show hidden files and folders turned on. Read this post to learn how to do that if you do not know how to do that:

    http://www.short-media.com/forum/showpost.php?p=172588&postcount=3

    So, once you identify the Inbox.dbx file, delete it. Then the next time you start Outlook Express, it will create a new inbox file for you.

    ***NOTE: make sure you have saved any other e-mail in the inbox that you wish to keep before doing this. Make a new folder in Outlook Express (call it "Saved Messages" or something like that) and move the messages you want to keep into there.)

    This should solve your problem.

    Also, it would be a good idea to clean out all your temporary files. Open My Computer, right click on your C drive, select Properties, and click Disk Cleanup. This will open the Disk Cleanup Manager. It will take a few moments to scan your hard drive, then present you with a window and several cleaning options. Make sure to chose the options to clean Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary Files.

    Let me know how that goes.

    Dexter...

    Thanks Dexter, but I don't have a file labelled owner, I have either all users or kellie.
  • profdlpprofdlp The Holy City Of Westlake, Ohio
    edited Aug 2006
    Kellie wrote:
    Thanks Dexter, but I don't have a file labelled owner, I have either all users or kellie.
    He's using the term "Owner" as just a placeholder for the owner of the account. Yours would be "kellie". :)
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    profdlp wrote:
    He's using the term "Owner" as just a placeholder for the owner of the account. Yours would be "kellie". :)

    Well I thought it might be but I cannot find the application data file, it is not within my file. I'm based in the UK, would that make any difference to the setup of windows XP?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Aug 2006
    No, it's there, it's probably just hidden!

    When you're going through windows explorer and in this folder here:
    C:\documents and settings\kellie

    Add this AFTER "kellie" in the address bar at the top of your screen:
    \application data

    So now your address will look like this:
    C:\Documents and Settings\Kellie\Application Data

    Now hit enter. Voila! You'll be in the Application Data folder.
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    Kellie wrote:
    Thanks Dexter, but I don't have a file labelled owner, I have either all users or kellie.


    It's worked, I am a very happy bunny, thank you ever so much for all your help.
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    It's worked, I am a very happy bunny, thank you ever so much for all your help.
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    Kellie wrote:
    Thanks Dexter, but I don't have a file labelled owner, I have either all users or kellie.


    Dexter I managed to find the path and delete the inbox, but I am still having the same problem.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Aug 2006
    Okay, you still can't delete mails coming into your outlook express mailbox, right?
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    Thrax wrote:
    Okay, you still can't delete mails coming into your outlook express mailbox, right?


    That's right, got all excited because I found the file and managed to delete the inbox and it seemed to be going ok. Sent back my thank you messages. But I still cannot delete any messages that have sinced arrived in my inbox.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Aug 2006
    Okay, can you right click on the identities folder nestled in the application data folder, hit properties, and tell me if "Read only" is checked? Same for the folder that's a billion gibberish characters long inside the identities folder.
  • KellieKellie London, UK
    edited Aug 2006
    Thrax wrote:
    Okay, can you right click on the identities folder nestled in the application data folder, hit properties, and tell me if "Read only" is checked? Same for the folder that's a billion gibberish characters long inside the identities folder.

    they are not checked but the box seems to be green coloured.
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