Windows 7 - Problem: Windows Live Mail Import of OE .dbx files

Asked By agr8gem1957 on 09-Mar-10 10:34 AM
I am attempting to migrate my old Outlook Express mail folders (copied from
a dead computer) into Windows live mail so that I can then transfer them to
Outlook 2007.  (The old computer is dead, so I do not have the option to go
into it and load Outlook, or open outlook express so I can properly "extract
files, etc, but according to the below info I should be able to recover my
messages from the data I have moved to the new machine) I have a copy of the
entire OE folder from the old dead computer copied into my new one which runs
WLMail, in accordance with instructions for this process I located at under the section
titled "You only have the message store files from OE, WM or WLM", which
reads as follows:
In this scenario, you have the entire message store from OE, WM or WLM on
your hard disk or a backup medium. In order to get that data into Outlook,
you must first configure that data with OE, WM or WLM again before you can
import it into Outlook.

If your message store is from OE, then you can use OE, WM or WLM on your
Outlook machine to restore it.
If your message store is from WM, then you can use WM or WLM on your Outlook
machine to restore it.
If your message store is from WLM, then you can use only WLM on your Outlook
machine to restore it.

1.Copy the contents of your backup to a folder on your new computer.
This can be a folder location on your Desktop for easy access. You can
remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
2.Right click the folder and choose Properties. Here make sure the "Read
Only" attribute is not selected.
3.Open OE, WM or WLM on the new machine.
4.Cancel any account creation dialogs so that you will be taken to your Inbox
5.Choose File-> Import-> Messages???
6.Select from which application your message store is from.
7.Click Next.
8.When prompted, select that you want to import from a store directory and
click OK.
Otherwise, directly select the location of where you have restored your
9.Make a selection of which folders you would like to import or choose All
folders and press Next.
10.Press Finish when you are notified that the export is done.
11.Now that your original data from your old computer is configured in OE,
WM or WLM on your new computer, you can use the first section of this guide
to get your messages into Outlook on your new computer.

My problem is with Instruction # 5.  I have looked everywhere I can imagine,
and cannot find the option or place where I can click "file", "import",

Can I possibly be the only person with this problem?  If so, I am missing
something.  One thing I noticed:  I do already have a windows live ID set up,
and the above instruction assumes doing this import before any account
creation happens.  Is this where I have gone wrong?  Did I lose the
opportunity to import .dbx files when I created my Live ID (as instructed by
Microsoft when I first got the computer)??

Please help!  I desperately need this data ASAP.


Bruce Hagen replied to agr8gem1957 on 09-Mar-10 10:58 AM
Not seeing the Menu Bar? The Alt button will temporally enable the Menu
Bar, or click on the Menus button to the left of the Help button and
enable the Menu Bar.
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP  [Mail]
Imperial Beach, CA
agr8gem1957 replied to Bruce Hagen on 09-Mar-10 12:16 PM
Yes, I do have the Menu Bar.  I have tried using it, and here is what I get:
browser settings", but nothing is available for choice which would allow me
to import a .dbx file.   I choose "Import from a File" (only logical choice),
it then offers me only the option of importing "Favorites, Feeds or
Cookies"....nothing to do with actual mail file import.

Then I look at WLM options, and at the bottom of the page, I do find as
option to allow me to import my address book (contacts), but again, no option
is found ANYWHERE for importing the actual mail files.  How can I be missing
this?  I have scrutinized every imaginable thing for 3 days now, over and
over again to see if I have missed anything..

I am running IE 8 on a new 64 bit machine.  The exact version is
8.0.7600.16385 The buttons I should be clicking simply are not present.

Can you give me any possible further instructions?

Is it possible that I need to temporarily delete my entire set up of my
windows live ID to perform my mail import, then set up the ID afterward?

It is very strange that everything I read tells me I can do this function,
yet the appropriate buttons are not anywhere to be found.
Bruce Hagen replied to agr8gem1957 on 09-Mar-10 12:24 PM
In WLMail, there is no "Import and Export". They are separate. There is no
browser option. WLMail is an e-mail client. I have no idea what program
you are in.

Transferring data from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail:

For messages:

Copy the *ENTIRE* OE message store folder to a flash drive. (Folders.dbx
must be included). Place this on the Desktop or other location on the
machine using WLMail. Open WLMail and: File | Import | Messages |
Microsoft Outlook Express 6 and point to where you saved it.

OE Message Store Location:

In OE: Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder will reveal the
location of your Outlook Express files. Write the location down and
navigate to it in Windows Explorer or, copy and paste it into Start | Run.

In WinXP, Win2K & Win2K3, the OE user files (DBX and WAB) are by default
marked as hidden. To view these files in Windows Explorer, you must enable
Show Hidden Files and Folders under Start | Control Panel | Folder Options
Icon | View, or in Windows Explorer | Tools | Folder Options | View.

For Addresses:

Open the Address Book in OE and File | Export | Address Book (wab) and
save it to the Desktop. Copy to a flash drive. Place this on the Desktop
or other location on the machine using WLMail.

Open the Contacts list in WLMail, (Go | Contacts on the Menu Bar), and
File | Import | Windows Address Book (wab) and point to where you saved

Note: If you use a CD or DVD instead of a flash drive, after placing on
the new machine you must remove the Read Only attribute in Properties
before you import.
Bruce Hagen
MS-MVP  [Mail]
Imperial Beach, CA
agr8gem1957 replied to Bruce Hagen on 09-Mar-10 01:17 PM
OK, it appears I was in "Windows Live Hotmail", which must be separate than
Windows Live Mail.  I just found windows live mail, and am starting to
attempt this procedure from the right program, finally!!

Thanks very much for your expert assistance to a new Windows Live Mail user.
You have led me to the correct path now, I believe.
Ron Sommer replied to agr8gem1957 on 09-Mar-10 01:16 PM
I am assuming that you have Win 7 or you would be importing into OE or WM.
You missed an important part of the instructions:
Windows Live Mail first if you want to transfer OE, WM or WLM data to
WLM is an email program.  You are using your browser to access Windows Live
Hotmail.  Outlook will not import messages from Hotmail.
Why are you wanting to use Outlook when you did not use it before?
Ron Sommer
MS MVP- Windows Live Mail