The Haiku/BeOS Tip Server
Tips and tricks for Haiku/BeOS users

Convert Outlook Express 5 to BeMail

Contributed by: Kurt von Finck
This tip is valid for: Both BeOS and Haiku

BeatWare’s Mail-It can convert mail from Outlook Express to BeMail messages (for use in any BeOS mail client), but it doesn’t yet convert from Outlook Express 5. To do that, you’ll need a tool called IE2E.exe for Windows which is available for free from Mindware. IE2E converts .dbx mailboxes to .mbx mailboxes.

What you need to do is convert the proprietary .dbx OE5 mailboxes to the more widely used .mbx mailbox format. Eudora uses the .mbx format, so the conversion to BeMail is done via Mail-It.

First, in OE5, move all mail subfolders to the root /Local Folders (e.g. move /Local Folders/Friends/Gary to /Local Folders). Sub-folder structures aren’t preserved in the .dbx’s or .mbx’s, and moving them removes potentially problematic directory tagging in the .dbx. IE2E seems happier that way, and you lose nothing.

Empty the Inbox, Outbox, and Drafts. either delete messages or file them. finally, compact all the folders via the FileFoldersCompact All Folders menu command.

Exit OE and explore C:WindowsApplication DataIdentities* MicrosoftOutlook Express and copy the .dbx files to a temporary area (if you make this temp area the same location of IE2E.exe, it makes things easier). From the temp area, remove Inbox.dbx, Outbox.dbx, Drafts.dbx, Deleted Items.dbx, pop3uidl.dbx and Folders.dbx. They are either empty or unecessary.

Now run IE2E and point it at the temp area. It will do its thing and convert the folders you select. Go and delete the .dbx files from the temp area and only the .mbx’s will remain.

Back in BeOS, you can mount your Windows partition by right-clicking the Desktop and choosing it from the Mount submenu. Navigate to the temp location and copy your .mbx files over to the BeOS side. The .mbx’s can be imported as Win95/NT Eudora mailboxes via the Mail-It importer as is at this point, but I don’t know if Sent Items will reflect the name of the sender or the addressee. Addressee was certainly critical for me. Someone can try it and report back.

I went the extra step of downloading Eudora Lite 3, creating an Import.fol directory in /Eudora and putting the .mbx’s in there. I opened Eudora and let it index the mail, then imported the .mbx’s with Mail-It. The address field of Sent Mail is the addressee! Mmmmm…..attributes hoovered correctly.

I did experience some problems when converting large folders (Sent Mail especially killed me). IE2E reported the correct number of messages converted, but both Eudora and Mail-It had fewer messages, with missing messages appended to imported messages. I had no problems when the folders contained less than 100 messages. The obsessive-compulsive can chop up large folders into sections, but I just trashed a lot of messages, mostly useless stuff anyway.

Posted in Miscellaneous

3 Responses

  1. Alex Krenvalk

    In this situation advise try next software-convert .dbx files,tool helped me not once,also as far as i know it is free,program good solution against email failures regardless of the reasons of email corruption,program features easy system requirements, it can work on all PC’s, CPU performance may be very low, it influences the speed of email recovery only,utility works under Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Me and even Windows 98, the last one is not supported any more.

  2. Koki

    You don’t need to install Mail-It if you don’t want to. Since revision r33197, Haiku has a mbox2mail command that will convert mbox format files into Haiku email messages. See the details here:

    http://www.haikuzone.net/tips/networking/migrating-your-thunderbird-email-haiku

  3. jeux r4 ds

    Very interesting information. Once i did it. But my outlook converted. At my computer only. When i tried to log in with deferent device it is different version.