|Thanks for providing more info.|
"I HAVE backed it it. It's safe ON ANOTHER HD"
In that case, you have nothing to lose. You can try whatever you wanted to try, or try our suggestions, and you will still have your saved email.
"And I'm not GETTING spam. I HAVE a spam filter in place. THe spam that is being generated is outside my computer AND not being generated by the ISP email server. It's appparently being generated elsewhere. It's NOT coming from me."
"I HAVE a spam filter in place. "
It's rarely if ever being generated by the ISP email server.
Whatever is using your email address to send spam will probably be stopped from sending it eventually, but in the meantime your email address is likely to be flagged as a source of spam - that eventually expires - you probably don't want to wait for those things to happen - you need to set up an email account with a different user email address.
Whatever is using your email address for sending spam may have gotten it from someone else's computer that had your email address - there's nothing you can do about that - but it's NOT a good idea for yourself to type your email address. or provide a link to your email address, in any post anywhere on the web, since there are malicious people and programs constanly looking for email addresses to abuse.
I've only done that once - when I search using my email address there is only one web site that has a "hit" .
"When you download your email in outlook express, it saves to a file with an apparent random string in the middle of the location. If I change accounts, does the string change so that the new account is in a different file or can I copy the original FULL location and tell outlook express to save the NEW mail in the ORIGINAL location, thereby keeping them together?"
Since I don't use Outlook Express I can't help you regarding that, but someone who does use it and is very familar with how it works might be able to.
For all email programs that I know of, the individual mailbox files - for IN, OUT, Trash, etc.- are database files. All the individual emails are stored in one long string of data so that the mailbox file takes up the least possible amount of drive space. When you delete an email from within that data string, the data for that email is deleted from the string, the string of data becomes shorter, and the string of data as a whole still works fine.
(System Restore uses the same method, but you can't do that with individual System Restore restore points within a string of restore points. )
"I have been reading the multitudes of info on outlook express for DAYS and can't find the answer. I HAVE googled outlook express in MANY ways and forms and still not gotten a clear answer."
Very good !.
We get a lot of people who start a Topic here you have not put any significant effort into searching.
The only experiences I have had that may have some thing in common with Outlook Express is when I re-loaded Windows for somone else and she wanted her previous Outlook email and personal settings available. The previous data I saved and then placed on the new Windows installation was available to her in Outlook, but it was no longer in the default (primary) account - the older email (mailbox folders) were listed separately .