Re: Outlook Express has encountered a problem and needs to close...

Start here:

General OE Caveats:

- Don't use Inbox or Sent Items to archive messages. Move them to local folders created for this purpose.

- Empty Deleted Items folder daily.

- Disable Background Compacting [N/A in SP2] and frequently perform a manual compact of all OE folders while "working offline". More at

- WinXP SP2 only: Do not attempt to close OE via Task Manager or shutdown your machine if Automatic Compacting is taking place.

- WinXP SP2 only: If your machine is fully up-to-date at Windows Update, installing the following patch (KB918766) will help to avoid such data loss in the future:

This patch will be included in the next Cumulative Update for Outlook Express/WinXP SP2.

- Your anti-virus application's email scanning feature can also cause corruption. Disable it. It provides no additional protection.
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows (IE/OE, Shell/User, Security), AH-VSOP

Tom Koch wrote:
"Roy Hammond" <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
In OE6, part way during downloading emails, the "needs to close" message
I've discovered that the emails continue to fully download if I ignore the
closedown message (of course I then have to allow the closedown).

The error signature in the closedown message says "AppName: msimn.exe" and
"ModName: directdb.dll".

I've compacted all OE6 folders (although, strangely, one folder wasn't
compacted because a message said it was in use - unlikely since it was a
store only for messages associated with a hobby of mine).

There's the problem. An error in directdb.dll is almost always due to a
damaged dbx file.

In the OE Folder list (View| Layout| Folder List),
click Outlook Express so that no mail or news folder is open.
Now click File| Work Offline so that no new messages will be arriving.
Finally, click File| Folder| Compact All Folders.
This process can take several minutes and you should not attempt to use your
computer until it is finished. If an error occurs, such as "cannot compact,
folder in use", just close OE, wait a second or two, then re-open OE and
begin the process again.

You might have to remove the damaged *.dbx from the store folder if the
compaction process does not repair it. You might also want to use something
like DBXtract to recover messages from the damaged file.

For more on file corruption in OE: