i discovered to my dismay that email from my aol file cabinet had just disappeared! i have aol 8.0 i've spoken with three techies at aol and they all say the same thing that my email has gone for good. but how can this be .... surely it must be in my hard drive somewhere? i use a toshiba laptop. i didn't or don't recall deleting these emails in my file cab. approx 1,000 in all; even by mistake. only the last weeks emails remained in the file. i thought this odd that all the others would disappear and a few remain.

how can i get them back??? help - please.

dragonface415

I have had exactly the same thing happen. I am on aol 9.0 and have not upgraded or installed any software at all recently. Yesterday I had my 1000 odd emails on my PC and today they have vanished, leaving only 2 in my incoming mail saved on pc. Tech support were very nice but are now saying they think they are lost. Of course we know computers don't really erase things, they just lose the pointers to them.

Have you been through the hoops of looking for your old PFC file? It should just be your username (no extension) - mine was in c\docs & settings\all users\appn data\aol\c_aol 9.0\organize. You can find the location by Start, Progs, aol, aol syst info, WAOL tab - and under Data Folder you will find the location.

The support guy told me to delete all other files with extensions (things like .abi, .aby) with my screen name but under no circumstances to delete the one with just my screen name no extn. He then got me to copy the screenname only one to my desktop. Then I renamed it on the desktop to screenname.pfc. Then I signed on to aol. Then clicked (in aol) file, open, desktop then on the file with screenname.pfc, and clicked open. I browsed down and there, sadly, were NOT all my old emails, just the remaining 2 I could see already. Aaargh.

When I booted up my PC today, there was a Norton message, something about email but I didn't read it properly. I don't know if Norton thinks it identified a threat and somehow corrupted/wiped the file. I know it's still on the PC but guess I will need to take the pc to a specialist to try and retrieve the lost data.

I notice that no one else replied to this thread in over 3 months... but if anyone has any suggestions, would be very grateful!!

Well the one thing about file-cabneting on AOL is that you're given the option to save them to your computer, or to AOL itself. I think this is the critical point here. IF you saved to your computer, then the files should still be accessable. If they were saved to AOL, I bet they're lost.

Similar thing happened to me too. Aol 9.0. Suddenly all of my saved email on my pc disappeared. I looked at the organize folder and my screenname (without extension) was there and was over 125 megs. Obviously , the data was still in there. I tried to copy the file and replace it into another organize folder onto another pc running aol and this didn't work. I tried to do the same with the backup folder without success. I upgraqded to aol 9.0 VR without success and I restored windows to an earlier date without help. I restored the pfc file through aol and this didn't work. My file is still there and its huge but no way to access it. Does anyone have a solution? I am willing to pay top dollar and take the laptop to forensics but I (a newbee) don't know any around here. Any suggestions?

DANGER:

Attempting to recover access to "lost" files stored on a remote computer or file server can actually cause those files to be lost. I have seen it hundreds of times. Here's how it happens:

1. The service (AOL, eBay, or any other ISP which stores user files for you) has a hard disk problem ,and has to reformat and restore from the backup disks.

2. As a result, the files are temporarily unavailable to the user, often without any explanation.

3. While the file restore from the backups is going on, you discover that your materials are gone.

4. You panic, and either create a new folder to replaced the lost one, or save something else to the "empty" folder.

5. The ISP's OS detects that the folder is "newly changed" since the restore process started. So it thinks you wanted it that way. Thus, it does not place the backed up files back into the folder during the restore operation.

The best thing to do if your files are missing is to LOG OFF IMMEDIATELY without changing or moving any files. Wait several hours before trying again. Then, check if the files are there before doing anything. If they are still gone, don't do anything.

Contact the ISP system administratiors to find out what is going on, preferably without using the service having the missing files to do so.

It would be nice if these ISPs notified you not to alter certain folders if they want their files restored.

On the file stored on the computer, the most likely cause is that the AOL program got disconnected from the file. This could happen if you moved folders around, renamed some files, or if a power failure interrupted writing the file.

There are then two tasks:

1. Reconnecting the file with AOL. This is usually a setting. AOL's local program needs to know the path to the file and the filename.

CAUTION: If you have been using it since then, the new emails will be lost if you reconnect the old mail file, unless you export them first.

2. If the file is damaged, it must somehow be repaired. I don't know if the software can do this or not.

It might be easier to extract the text of the old emails from the file by opening the file with a text editor and separating the emails (I have done this before). Just edit out the codes between the text. You might have to rename the file as a .txt extension to do this.

OFF TO A GOOD START. I WAS JUST WELCOMED TO THIS SITE. tHE REPLY PAGE SHOWS WHO SENT THE MESSAGE, THE SCREEN NAME AND THE MESSAGE. BELOW IT SAYS, SUBMIT REPLY. THERE IS NO PLACE TO PUT MY REPLY. I SIGNED UP LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER TO A PROBLEM AND THIS WEBSIGHT JUST GAVE ME ANOTHER PROBLEM ???
MY PROBLEM IS: I LOST EVERYTHING ON MY "SAVED ON PC". IT CONTAINED ALL MY PHOTOS, EMAILS, POEMS AND INFO. FROM MY 8TH GRADE REUNION A YEAR AGO. THESE MEMORIES ARE PRICELESS AND THEY JUST DISAPPEARED.
MY DAUGHTER WAS USING MY COMPUTER AS A "GUEST". AFTER A COUPLE OF MONTHS, ONE DAY IT REVERSED AND I WAS LISTED AS THE GUEST. I LOOKED ON THE SCREEN WHERE IT SAYS: RECENTLY DELETED MAIL, SAVED ON AOL AND SAVED ON PC. THE ICON FOR SAVED ON PC DISAPPEARED AND HASN`T COME BACK. I HAVE TRIED TO FIND A WAY INTO IT AND NOTHING HAPPENED.
i AM AFRAID IF I TRY TO SOMEHOW SWITCH FROM MY DAUGHTERS NAME BACK TO MINE I WILL LOSE "SAVED ON PC" FOREVER OR ALSO LOSE "SAVED ON AOL" IN THE PROCESS.
FUNNY HOW COMPUTERS ARE BOTH A BLESSING AND A CURSE!
ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

The guest login does NOT have access to your files. Only your login has access to your files, unless you make them public.

This could also explain your missing emails.

If you have irreplaceable files, MAKE BACKUPS ON 2 DIFFERENT REMOVEABLE DISKS.

How do I get back in without being a guest? If I do, is there a chance I might lose anything on "Saved on PC" OR "Saved on AOL" ???

Log OUT of the guest account and you should find yourself back in yours.

I am talking about a guest account on yoiur PC login, not an AOL guest account.

I have AOL 9.0 SE and recently, as you all, I discovered all the mail I had saved on my PC was gone. I tried looking for it the way you recommended (start, programs...). However, once I got to the AOL System info, I looked for the WAOL tab and it doesn't exist. I have looked in pretty much every single folder in My Computer, and can't find a darn thing. Any other suggestions???
Thanks.

Amy

I have had exactly the same thing happen. I am on aol 9.0 and have not upgraded or installed any software at all recently. Yesterday I had my 1000 odd emails on my PC and today they have vanished, leaving only 2 in my incoming mail saved on pc. Tech support were very nice but are now saying they think they are lost. Of course we know computers don't really erase things, they just lose the pointers to them.

Have you been through the hoops of looking for your old PFC file? It should just be your username (no extension) - mine was in c\docs & settings\all users\appn data\aol\c_aol 9.0\organize. You can find the location by Start, Progs, aol, aol syst info, WAOL tab - and under Data Folder you will find the location.

The support guy told me to delete all other files with extensions (things like .abi, .aby) with my screen name but under no circumstances to delete the one with just my screen name no extn. He then got me to copy the screenname only one to my desktop. Then I renamed it on the desktop to screenname.pfc. Then I signed on to aol. Then clicked (in aol) file, open, desktop then on the file with screenname.pfc, and clicked open. I browsed down and there, sadly, were NOT all my old emails, just the remaining 2 I could see already. Aaargh.

When I booted up my PC today, there was a Norton message, something about email but I didn't read it properly. I don't know if Norton thinks it identified a threat and somehow corrupted/wiped the file. I know it's still on the PC but guess I will need to take the pc to a specialist to try and retrieve the lost data.

I notice that no one else replied to this thread in over 3 months... but if anyone has any suggestions, would be very grateful!!

Similar thing happened to me too. Aol 9.0. Suddenly all of my saved email on my pc disappeared. I looked at the organize folder and my screenname (without extension) was there and was over 125 megs. Obviously , the data was still in there. I tried to copy the file and replace it into another organize folder onto another pc running aol and this didn't work. I tried to do the same with the backup folder without success. I upgraqded to aol 9.0 VR without success and I restored windows to an earlier date without help. I restored the pfc file through aol and this didn't work. My file is still there and its huge but no way to access it. Does anyone have a solution? I am willing to pay top dollar and take the laptop to forensics but I (a newbee) don't know any around here. Any suggestions?

The same thing happened to me just last night. Out of the blue, my emails that were "Saved on My PC", thousands of them, simply vanished! I was using AOL 9.0 SE. I have been through the hoops with AOL "tech" support and have not been able to retrieve the missing data - yet.

I contacted a company calling itself Hotpepperinc via email and just heard back from a representative regarding this issue. Here's part of what he had to say:

"The size indicates the aol client has stored a lot of information locally. Note: The EMD software will only work on files on your hard disk - not "Saved on AOL" or AOL's servers.....

The EMD software can process local files without any problems. However, sometimes a corruption by windows or the client can zero out large sections of the pfc. There is no way to determine this except by physically looking at the raw data - and making sure its not all zero's and/or running the EMD software. At this point, EMD does sound like the best way to go to retreive your data. If it's there, EMD can pull the data out directly along with any pictures. Please contact HPT in the morning to obtain the software if this is the direction you wish to go.....

There are no guarantees with EMD or what you will extract. Corrupt PFC's could be zeroed out by windows or the client etc. and thus render retrieval useless. These are extreme cases but it has been known to happen".OK, so the data seems to be there but retrieving it is the tricky part and appears that it may require paying for expensive retrival software and even then, there are no guarantees. If anyone has suggestions or has been through this before and has been able to successfully retrieve the "lost" or "corrupted" data, please feel free to weigh in. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the link to hotpepperinc: www.hotpepperinc.com

PS: I have emailed several other companies and I'm awaiting their response. I'll be sure to post additonal information as soon as I hear from them.

Scipio

For what it's worth, here's a bit more on "Hotpepperinc" taken from their website:

AOL Forensic Software Tool


There are many tools used today by law enforcement officers for the recovery of evidence from personal computers. Leading software applications provide the investigator with a comprehensive image of a user’s computer. However, in the field of Computer Forensics, only Hot Pepper Technology provides a dedicated software tool that allows investigators to extract all email contents (including graphics) from America Online’s database stores on a user’s disk drive.

"E-Mail Detective - Forensic Software Tool" is used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and has become an invaluable tool in numerous investigations and data recovery by forensic examiners. The EMD application is an exceptionally quick and easy application to use. Within minutes, any AOL email that has been cached or saved on a user’s disk drive is extracted, complete with all embedded pictures. Additionally, a comprehensive report is produced that contains all the emails for a user. This report can then be instantly viewed and searched for any specific words or phrases by the investigator.

With a few simple keystrokes, the EMD application relieves the investigator from tedious searching through raw data dumps of a user’s disk drive when trying to view a user’s AOL email. AOL email data stores of all sizes - from 1 MB to 1 Gig or greater are easily processed. Combined with the ability to run the EMD application from a USB jump drive for field investigations. This makes EMD the best Tool on the Market for extracting AOL email.
If you would like to view a demo of the EMD application, obtain the user manual or be placed in touch with existing EMD users, please fill out our product information form with your request.


Similar thing happened to me too. Aol 9.0. Suddenly all of my saved email on my pc disappeared. I looked at the organize folder and my screenname (without extension) was there and was over 125 megs. Obviously , the data was still in there. I tried to copy the file and replace it into another organize folder onto another pc running aol and this didn't work. I tried to do the same with the backup folder without success. I upgraqded to aol 9.0 VR without success and I restored windows to an earlier date without help. I restored the pfc file through aol and this didn't work. My file is still there and its huge but no way to access it. Does anyone have a solution? I am willing to pay top dollar and take the laptop to forensics but I (a newbee) don't know any around here. Any suggestions?

Yep, I have no doubt the data is still there. How to retrieve it is the question. If you have anything more to add, please do! I attempted everything you did, including upgrading to AOL 9.0 VR with no luck. Hopefully, the data has not been corrupted and is retrievable. The question at this point is HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

My "AOL Saved PFC" folder saved as an icon on Windows reads 42.5 MB in size. When I enter it by double clicking and then double click the "organize" folder, the file (username) without an extension states 41,234 KB. I'm assuming that is where the saved emails are located.

Hopefully, someone can discover a simple solution to restoring the data as opposed to shelling out big bucks to retreive it using expensive software.

Scipio

Yep, I have no doubt the data is still there. How to retrieve it is the question. If you have anything more to add, please do! I attempted everything you did, including upgrading to AOL 9.0 VR with no luck. Hopefully, the data has not been corrupted and is retrievable. The question at this point is HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

I find it funny that we all had the same problem at the same time..a few days back i received an update for connectivity software from aol..Afterward i was unable to see any mail in my incoming mail file (sent mail and all other screenames are fine)...Weird

I find it funny that we all had the same problem at the same time..a few days back i received an update for connectivity software from aol..Afterward i was unable to see any mail in my incoming mail file (sent mail and all other screenames are fine)...Weird

Yep, in the words of William Shakespeare: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Well, I'm working on solving this riddle and when I have a solution, I'll be sure to let everyone know. Stay tuned......

I find this thread interesting because I had a friend email me this morning telling me that she found all her unread email in her deleted folder this morning and she was wondering how that could have happened. I told her I would do some checking and get back to her. I stumbled upon this discussion and now will be checking back to see if the mystery was solved. She of course is using AOL.

Still waiting on scipio...but i found this software which is inexpensive

http://www.connectedsw.com/Overview/57266?GoogleAol=1&gclid=CJ_NxY_KuIwCFQNrSgod5j8lNQ

Well, looks like you beat me to the punch, Htlebmn. Yes, I discovered ePreserver a few days ago while researching this issue and will be giving it a try. What the heck, for $24.95 it's worth a shot and sure beats the alternatives at this point.

For those who are not familiar with the ePreserver software, it migrates AOL PFC emails and other saved items to Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.

Since I've never used Outlook or Outlook Express, I first need to set up an email account with one of these applications. Given that Outlook Express comes free with Windows and I currently do not have Outlook found in the Microsoft Office Suite on my computer, I guess it will be Outlook Express for me.

Yeah, ePreserver seems to be the least expensive alternative at this point. If it doesn't work, I can always open the wallet for the ePreserver Recovery program for $149.00 or the EMD forensics software from Hotpepperinc.com that I mentioned a few posts ago.

Hello! I too am having trouble with emails getting lost or in my case "not saved" on my AOL email account. I have my setting such that all emails read should save to my incoming/saved folder. Lately around the middle of May, I found that SOME of my emails had gone missing. I wondered if it was because I had signed onto my AOL email account via the internet. Usually when I read my AOL email via the web, I would "keep as new" any emails I wanted to re-read(thus save on my PC). Tonight I read an email - checked my incoming/saved folder and it wasn't there. So I manually tried saving it to my incoming/saved folder and it still didn't show up. Anyone with help - please POST! Thanks, Candice :)

Well, re-logged back onto AOL, read a NEW email from my PC AOL and IT didn't save. The previous email I had read and manually saved did show up in my incoming/saved folder. I'm going to log out of AOL, log back in and see if my just read email is saved. If not, then I'm going to manually save it, check again. If not saved, I'm going to log out of AOL, log back in and check my incoming/saved folder for the 2nd manually saved email. Trying to see a pattern or possibly just waste my TIME!

Well - Still having trouble with email saving to my AOL incoming/saved folder. I did notice this, that when I get the "loading complete" message when I open/read an email, the email gets saved to my incoming/saved folder. Don't know what THAT means. I think there's a problem of some kind. I don't know what it is, though.

I HAVE THE ANSWER !!!!
Just did it myself right now and it worked. Everything is back. And its easy too.

On the Windows taskbar next to the clock, click the AOL icon, then click One-click Fixes.
On the AOL One-click Fixes page, next to Categories:, click the General PC link. In the General PC section, next to Turn on Windows Automatic Update, click the Fix It For Me button.. Click the Continue button. Click the Done button.
then
you must be offline for just this step.To restore your Saved on My PC (Filing Cabinet) folder using all versions of AOL® 9.0: Above the AOL® toolbar, click the Mail menu, then click Mail Settings. In the Mail Settings window, click the Manage Saved Mail button, then click Restore. In the Restore Your Personal Storage window, click the Yes button. Click the Save button.

To restore the contents of your Filing Cabinet using AOL® 6.0, AOL® 7.0, or AOL® 8.0:
Above the AOL® toolbar, click the File menu, then click Filing Cabinet. In the Filing Cabinet window, click the Manage button, then click Restore. In the Restore Your Personal Storage window, click the Yes button. Click the X in the upper right corner to close the Filing Cabinet window.

Good luck to all and thank God my files are back...........

Renee

check back at this site i have posted what i did to fix problem and its easy and it WORKS.

Well, re-logged back onto AOL, read a NEW email from my PC AOL and IT didn't save. The previous email I had read and manually saved did show up in my incoming/saved folder. I'm going to log out of AOL, log back in and see if my just read email is saved. If not, then I'm going to manually save it, check again. If not saved, I'm going to log out of AOL, log back in and check my incoming/saved folder for the 2nd manually saved email. Trying to see a pattern or possibly just waste my TIME!

Hi Everyone,
I have also lost all my email saved to my filing cabinet. I had everything stored, receipts of things that I had bought on Ebay, all my emails from university that came from my associate lecturer with my assignment scores and everything (I am a mature student studying law). First of all I thought that it might be someone hacking into my computer, as this has been done to me before when I first started using aol, where the hacker managed to get in and transfer my files. I was sitting at the computer one evening and I could hear this voice saying twice "your files are being transferred", I immediately rang technical support at aol and they were able to tell me "he's not online now", and I was advised to change my password which I did. Maybe it's not a hacker this time, but who knows? any emails which are imortant (my university mail and my online buying info) in the future I will print off and delete and not save them at all. All the email addresses from my fellow students are also gone. Any help would be much appreciated. Many thanks,
irish.

Before spending any money, try this it worked for me after my computer crashed. I located the organize file in my AOL directory. I found the huge file named as my screenname that I wanted to restore with no extension attached under an earlier version of AOL. If you right click on properties, you will be able to determine if this is the one, mine was 8 megs so I knew the info was there. I right clicked then copied the file which produced a file named copy of screenname. I then drug that file out onto my desktop. I opened up the newly installed folder for the new version of AOL and found the screenname file and renamed it as screennamea. I just added a to it. I then drug the copied file off my desktop into that folder, renamed it as just the screename and closed the files. When I went to start up AOL, fingers crossed. I accessed my PFC file cabinet and YES! all my old saved emails were there as were my favorite places.
I hope this makes sense.
Good luck!

It's so nice to know I'm not alone! LOTS of frustration the past few days when I discovered all my business and personal emails that I thought were safely stored in my PFC were gone! I did a couple of AOL Quick fixes last week but they (AOL) have assured me this would not change anything. However, I have spoken with four different techs in the space of 2 days and they all had different opinions. The last 2 definitely told me that the PFC and all old emails were gone. These emails went back about 7 years.

On my own, after following all the steps given to me by various techs at AOL, I discovered that my emails were there in a back up file but were mostly encrypted. Any suggestions on how to translate these back to their original form? I stumbled upon them by accident. I went into the C_AOLonline9.0 and instead of going into Organize, I noticed that the backup file for my sign on name was large. Voila! There they were but I could only read a small amount of them. I had to open them in WordPad as someone suggested to read anything. I got a message of File Too Large to Open when I tried to open it in AOL.

I noticed that in the encrypted emails the message "this file was created on another version of AOL and cannot be opened....." or something like that.

I hope that's enough info. What is up with AOL? Why do these emails disappear? Does anyone know?

And anything that anyone has to offere would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for a guru who can somehow tell me what to do.

Thanks so much.

califiorniatogo

It's me again. I'm hoping that someone out there is still following these threads. Here is the strange thing about my lost pfc in AOL---It still exists for my other screen names. It is only missing for my main screen name. The file exists--I found it. It is in some binary language along with a few phrases that I can recognize.

When I try to open it in AOL, I get the message that this file was saved by a newer version and cannot be displayed - or -- that this file is too large.

Any suggestions as to how to successfully extract this file and bring it back to readable form would be greatly appreciated. I have tried almost all of the methods posted previously on this thread.

Any help out there????

californiatogo

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