Do points 2 and 3 below on the problem machine. The memory reference error
suggests that some 3rd party program is interfering, so you can also go to
Start | Run and type msconfig and then disable all startup items and non-MS
services and then reboot. See if that fixes the problem. Also remove the
current mail account after doing points 2 and 3 and then close OE and then
add it back again.
See if that fixes it.
"Dave Smithz" <SPAM FREE WORLD> wrote in message
> Hello there,
> I have the most unusual problem and unfortunely do not have much to go on
> I do not have access to the specific PC.
> I was at a client site setting up there different Pop3 email accounts.
> BEfore my visit they had one PC which would pick up all the email for each
> different email box but I changed this around so that the different
> would go to the different individuals PC's. However, on one of the PC's,
> when I enetered the exact same username and details, it would always say
> that an "unkown error" had occured and would let me send any emails
> it would seem to check if any were on the server.
> When I tried the same details on the original PC it worked fine, but then
> putting the same details into this specific PC would always cause Outlook
> Express not to send any emails with the "unknown error" error.
> One other thing I did note that occasionally when I closed Outlook Express
> it would then give a memory address refernce error or something similar (I
> did not note the exact error).
> This absolutely flumoxed me and becuase I was on client site I said I
> investigate this and get back to them. I did not want to look so confused
> especially as they were trying to do work on the PC's I was setting up.
> I know there is not much to go on, but can anyone think what is happening
> Kind regards
1. Don't open attachments.
Most computer infections are the result of the user opening email
attachments. The attachment usually contains a virus or worm or trojan that
infects the system when it is opened.
Because of this tendency of attachments to infect, Microsoft has now set OE
to block all attachments. See
these articles for explanations:
Cannot Open E-Mail Attachments in Outlook Express After You Install SP1
OLEXP Using Virus Protection Features in Outlook Express 6 (Q291387)
Note that Microsoft does not send security patches in email. See this
If you choose to adjust OE to allow attachments, make sure you save the
attachment to disk first and then scan it with your antivirus software.
The most significant thing you can do to prevent such infections, is to
educate yourself on what attachments may constitute a threat to your system,
and never open any such attachments, no matter who they are from.
2. Turn off Background Compaction. (Note that with WinXP SP2, this feature
is already disabled.)
When a message is deleted, moved or marked as read in an OE message file
(dbx), then wasted space is generated in that file, and the folder must be
compacted to remove that wasted space.
By default, OE turns on a feature under Tools | Options | Maintenance called
"background compaction", which turns itself on if the folders in your
message store get too much wasted space. This feature uses 100% CPU time
and slows down your system, while it is active. In addition, if the process
is somewhat interrupted, then the entire message store can become corrupt.
To prevent such corruption, turn off background compaction under Tools |
Options | Maintenance for each Identity you have, and then compact manually
and frequently using File | Folder | Compact all. This will make OE more
3. Turn off email scanning in your antivirus software.
Antivirus software invades the Outlook Express program to try and intercept
(incoming and, in some cases, outgoing) messages that might contain virus.
The problem with this approach is that the antivirus software can trigger
the destruction of an entire message folder or the entire message store,
when it attempts to remove a message containing a potential virus.
To prevent the possibility of such destruction occuring, turn off email
scanning in your antivirus software. You will still be protected against
infection. If you attempt to open a message attachment containing a
potential virus, then your antivirus software will recognize that your are
attempting to infect your system, and will block you from doing so. The
best practice on the user's part is to save an attachment to disk and then
scan it with the antivirus software prior to opening it. Messages opened
themselves (if you have the latest security updates from Windows Update)
will not infect your system -- only attachments.
You do not need additional email scanning on top of your system being
continuosly scanned by antivirus software, so turn off email scanning to
prevent destruction of your message store.
From a post by Frank Saunders:
Disabling email protection does not leave you vulnerable to viruses and
malicious software in email. It is a separate layer of protection in
addition to Auto-Protect. Auto-Protect scans any incoming files, including
email, as they are saved to your hard drive. As long as you keep your virus
definitions up to date with LiveUpdate, and keep Auto-Protect enabled and
set to scan files as they are created or downloaded, your system is fully
4. Recovering lost messages.
The most significant contributors to lost messages are described in points 2
and 3 above. Turn these options off to prevent message store corruption.
If you do lose your messages, you can try using my DBXtract program to
attempt to recover the lost messages. Note that dbx files are hidden in
Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
Alternatively one can also use DBXpress, which is faster and more accurate
and it also has the capability of reading directly from the disk and
bypassing the file system.
If you have upgraded your version of IE and OE or your OS version, and all
your messages are lost, then see this article (note that the technique in
the article does not only apply to the issue addressed in the article
OLEXP: Mail Folders, Address Book, and E-mail Messages Are Missing After You
Upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP
If File | Import | Messages does not work, ignore the error message, which
is erroneous in itself, and try one of the following techniques to get your
a. Right click on each dbx file or a selection of them and go to Properties
and clear the read only attribute of the files. Then try File | Import |
b. Import the dbx files individually. See the last paragraph on this page
for how to do that:
c. As a last resort use DBXtract or DBXpress
http://www.oehelp.com/DBXtract/ or http://www.oehelp.com/DBXpress/
See also: http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/problems/bugs.htm#mailgone
5. How does one reinstall IE and OE?
This article seems to work for other OSs than just XP:
How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express
See point 11 below first.
6. How does one backup and restore or transfer OE messages and settings:
Note that there is also a link in this article to MVP David Guess's free
OEBackup programs (www.oehelp.com/OEBackup/)
7. Links in email don't work:
see the links on this page
8. Outlook Express is slow.
See the various performance issues and how to address them on this page:
9. Outlook Express won't start.
This is usually due to a conflict between what is recorded in the registry
and what is in the message store. Often, one can fix this problem by
deleting folders.dbx. If that doesn't work, then try moving all the dbx
files to another directory and see if that fixes it. Alternatively, see
these articles and also point 4 above:
10. Address book information:
see The Windows Address Book
11. Installation issues:
Most of the problems with a faulty installation are due to other programs
running during the install and interfering with the updating of necessary
files. Antivirus software is notorious for this. To minimize such
interference, in Win98, WinMe, and WinXP go to Start | Run and type msconfig
and disable all startup items and non Microsoft services. Then reboot.
Then proceed with the installation. Startup items can then be re-enabled.
For additional info see:
Since Win2000 does not have msconfig, one has to manually go to this
You can export this key and then delete all values under it. Then disable
all antivirus services under Computer Management | Services and then reboot.
Then install. After the installation you can import the key back into the
registry to restore the values and re-enable the services.
12. Screening unwanted
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