Migrating Outlook Express To a New Computer

May 19, 2010

I was on-site yesterday visiting a client and discovered I needed to transfer their email and Address Book from their failing hard drive to the new hard drive I had setup for them. She uses Outlook Express, and it is not a simple process to migrate email data between hard drives or computers, especially when the data hasn’t been exported before the hard drive started to fail.

Once I had the new hard drive setup and working running Windows. I hooked up the old hard drive via an external hard drive USB enclosure to the new computer. I was thrilled that it was able to read it! I did some Google searches and found the exact locations of where Outlook Express stores its data, and the process in which to import it.

I opened up Outlook Express for the “first time”, and setup the client’s email account.

In my research, I found the the first thing to know in this process is that you can’t simply copy and paste the Outlook Express files from the old hard drive location to the new hard drive. The data must be imported through Outlook Express for it to be recognized.

Since these files are hidden, the first thing to do is unhide them. Go into the Control Panel -> Folder Options, and select the ‘see hidden files and folders’ option, and click ‘ok’.

In Outlook Express, Click on File -> Import -> Messages.

Navigate to the old hard drive and find the
C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\ {GUID}\ Microsoft\ Outlook Express folder.

Cick ‘open’. Outlook Express should find the files it needs automatically and import them.

To import your Address Book (contacts), open the Address Book program on your computer. It can be found by going to Start Menu ->Programs -> Address Book.

Next, go to File -> Import -> Address Book, and navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\ {Username}\ Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book and click ‘open’. All of your contacts should be automatically imported, and show up in Outlook Express as well.

This process honestly wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I have honestly heard it can be a real nightmare. I suspect I got lucky when I found the right Google results. Most of the results pointed to articles describing the fairly simple process of exporting the correct way and then importing, not going to where the actual files are stored.

I can only hope this article helps many, and I strongly encourage you and potentially your clients to upgrade to Windows Live Mail after you finish setting up Outlook Express, and the latter is over a decade old.

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Cannot connect to Shaw FTP or E-Mail

May 23, 2009

As of a couple of years ago, Shaw Cable blocked FTP access to it’s webspace accounts from non-Shaw customers and IP Addresses.

Those who may have previously been Shaw Cable customers could no longer connect to Shaw’s webspace via FTP if they are trying to access those services from non-Shaw Cable internet connections, through programs such as Outlook or Thunderbird. Though, webmail can still be accessed by non-Shaw customers.

The solution? Hopefully a friend uses Shaw Cable, and you can download all of your content and upload it to a provider such as GoDaddy.com (their ftp instructions).

As for e-mail, if you still have mail coming to your previous Shaw e-mail accounts, log into the webmail service at http://webmail.shaw.ca, and forward all of your email to another account you can use for access through Outlook or Thunderbird. Another alternative is to use Yahoo Mail Canada, which still allows POP3 and SMTP access (go to your account settings, then ‘pop and mail forwarding’, as I recall). The USA version does not provide this service for free, it’s only available in the Plus version ($20 a year).

Learn how to setup your mail through Outlook 2007 (coming very soon)