My current version of Outlook Express isn’t running (in WIN98 SE). When I attempt to start up, I see the box that displays, “Microsoft Outlook Express then the application locks up. I want to reinstall the app. to fix the problem however I need to save my existing e-mails and address book before reinstalling. The problem is that I’m unable to launch the app. and therefore cannot use the Export feature so I don’t how to get at my old e-mails and address book.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Mike Feury

If You're running AVG, try disabling the OE5 plugin. Also, turn off email scanning. It provides no added protection. If this is not the case, then

This could also be caused by corruption in the Identities registry keys. Open Regedit and export the entire HKCU\Identities key, then delete it. Double-click the saved *.reg file you exported and then try opening OE. If OE still fails to open, export each sub key HKCU\Identities\{GUID} sub-key to its own *.reg file, then delete the entire HKCU\Identities key again. Double-click each of the GUID *.reg files and then Open OE. The New Account wizard will begin, but just click cancel, as you are going to bypass this first default Identity. Click File| Identities| Manage Identities and try switching to your old Identity. If this is successful, you can then delete the new empty Identity from the Manage Identities dialogue. If this fails and OE will still not start, you will have to again delete the HKCU\Identities key, open OE, set up a new Identity and import your mail folders from the previous Identity. More information, including detailed instructions, can be found in the MS Knowledge Base article http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q245/4/19.asp


Thanks. I'll give that a try.

I also recall a way to start a version of windows that is a day or two old. You have to press a Function key at start up but I don't recall which one. Any ideas?

Thanks very much.


Your OE emails are contained in ".dbx" files and the address book in a ".wab" file. You should be able to locate those in your \windows folder and copy them elsewhere as a backup.

Then try uninstalling OE. Iirc, it'll give you an option to try and repair it, which might solve the issue.

If you reinstall OE, find its new folder where it expects your emails to be and copy in your .dbx files there. I think the .wab lives elsewhere--take note of where you originally found it.

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.