Outlook Permissions issues in Windows 7

January 15, 2010 at 20:29:42
Specs: Windows 7, brand new!
Just bought a brand new Win7 computer and am setting it up. I copied over the old Outlook Express email files (ass't .dbx files) to import into Outlook 2003. I am unable to import them though, getting the message that the mail folder was unable to be opened and if another app is using this folder, please close it.

The only app trying to use it is Outlook 2003. When I check the properties, it is read-only. When I uncheck read-only, it applies the setting ok it seems, but the next time I check the folder, it has defaulted back to read-only again. I'm running as admin.

Ugh, I never had this trouble running XP. Please help!



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January 16, 2010 at 09:32:52
Are you using the import and selecting Outlook Express as the data source? Is the old system still running?

You could try configuring Windows Mail and copying the dbx files into that location and checking to see if they will open. If this works then you could do the import and select the Windows Mail location for the file source.


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January 16, 2010 at 11:09:02
Thanks, Richard, I am using the import wizard. I've done these kinds of migrations hundreds of times before, but not in Win7. The wizard works fine until it's to the point of importing.

The "read" issue is a new one to me. I have seen attributes flip back on virus-infected machines, but that is not the case on either computer in this case. It was late last night and I didn't think to check eventvwr. Of course, that's been reinvented too.

The old system is running, but down for now. I don't want to change anything on it until we have the new computer "right". I simply pulled the old HDD and plugged it in via USB (via cables). I'll take a thumbdrive out there with me and copy the dbx's to that. And then check permissions in both Linux & Windows.

I can't think of anything else. I sometimes wonder what life would have been like if Microsoft had invented the wheel...


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January 16, 2010 at 17:38:10
I was referring to a possibility where the dbx files might not have closed correctly if the files were in use, and the computer that was running Outlook Express shutdown without closing them correctly.

regarding permissions try copying the files to the local drive and see if there are any references to file permissions as you noted.

I should have caught that when providing the initial recommendations.


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January 16, 2010 at 21:27:53
I believe that to run on Windows 7, outlook must be 2007 version. If I am right, it might be your issue. See if it will migrate to windows mail instead, if it works, then later you will be able to migrate to a newer version of outlook (or to Mozilla Thunderbird).

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January 17, 2010 at 19:58:40
Windows 7 supports both Office 2007 and 2003 with no problems. The questions are whether the original Outlook Express was closed the last time it was used and whether the user account had a password, if it did ownership of the files needs changed. Win 7 lets you do that easily.

Copying to the local drive usually set the permissions and ensures the data is not in a read only state that prevents both Outlook Express/Windows Mail and Outlook from accessing.


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January 19, 2010 at 20:08:31
Still no go. I started up the old PC, ran Outlook Express, then made sure it was shut down properly. Everything I read is that 2003 is compatible with Win7. I even downloaded Thunderbird and it won't import them either.

At this point, I've copied the .dbx's and will take them to the office to see if I can import them into an XP virtual machine, then save the .pst and import it that way.

I'll keep you abreast of the situation. Ugh.

Thanks, everybody. BBL, Karl

p.s. - the files were copied locally to the PC.

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January 20, 2010 at 04:45:38
I just tried importing the messages into Outlook and Outlook Express on an XP computer, and I get the message the files are busy/open.

I've brought the old computer with me and am wondering if cleaning out the old emails or compressing the files will do any good.

Just shoot me...


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