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Can a Trojan Cause Outlook Express to Hang?

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Quesiton: I am using MS Windows Pro on a laptop with Intel 850Mhz and 256MB RAM connected to the Internet using cable. Using Norton Personal Internet Security.

I was cleaning up some messages in my inbox (Outlook Express). I tried to delete a message from “MAILER-DAEMON@mail09b.bellsouth-hosting.net” the subject failure notice. Each time I clicked on it my computer froze and I got the message that the program was not responding and had the option to end now or cancel. Cancel never did anything but End Now would close Outlook Express. Then a little while after that I noticed on my Internet security several messages that said “rule default block backdoor/subseven trojan horse matched.” Could this be connected? What should I do?

Thanks,
Matthew F. Grandalski


Hi Matthew,

This is a tough one. It sounds as though your Outlook Express databases have been corrupted. Whether or not you have a virus is what antivirus software is for. I highly recommend that if you are not running antivirus software, that you get some immediately. A firewall does not protect you from viruses any more then an alarm for your house keeps out insects and bugs.

You can reset your Outlook Express database, but doing so will cause you to lose any stored e-mail messages you have on your PC.

This is an answer from Jack Schofield who answered a similar question for someone else at http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/askjack/story/0,12196,798756,00.html – Jack says : “If an Outlook Express database (dbx) file is broken, there does not seem to be any way to repair it without losing its contents. The best option is therefore to save any recent mail, by dragging it from Outlook Express to a folder in Windows Explorer, and then replace the broken Inbox.dbx file with your back-up copy. (If the back-up is from CD, be sure to right-click the file and change it from Read-Only first.) You can restore the most recent email by dragging it from its folder in Windows Explorer and dropping it into Outlook Express, when it is open at Inbox.

“Alternatively you can close Outlook Express and rename Inbox.dbx to something else, such as Oldinbox.dbx. When you restart Outlook Express offline, it will notice Inbox.dbx is missing and automatically create a new one. You can then put your back-up inbox.dbx file in a temporary directory and import it. Do this by going to File|Import| Messages, selecting the correct program, then clicking the lower radio button to import mail from a store folder. The unofficial OE FAQ at http://www.tomsterdam.com/insideOE offers help with this and other OE problems. Also see the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q270670, How to Back Up and Recover Outlook Express Data.

“You can find this by searching Google for Q270670. However, if you do not have a recent backup, you should download Stephen Cochran’s free program, DBXtract, from http://chattanooga.net/~scochran/DBXtract.htm.

“This will extract all the mail from any dbx file and save each message as a separate plain text file. These files are named from the Subject line and have an eml extension, so, again, you can put them back in your mailbox by dragging them from Windows Explorer and dropping them in Outlook Express. An even better solution would be to import them into a proper database. I use AskSam for this, but a $25 shareware program, Express Archiver, offers a much cheaper way of storing old mail securely.

“Cochran has written a new version of DBXtract, called DBXtend http://chattanooga.net/~scochran/DBXtend.htm. This can add a timestamp to the filename, so you can sort by time/date in Windows Explorer. It can also remove attachments, including the HTML part of multi-part messages. However, it costs $30 on CD and you cannot download a copy, so I have not tried it.”

Hope this helps,
Carey

Carey Holzman owns and operates Discount Computer Repair (602-527-9723) in Phoenix, Arizona, where he offers repairs, upgrades, custom built PCs and network wiring at highly competitive pricing. His networking tips have appeared in David Strom’s book, The Home Networking Survival Guide (McGraw/Hill), and his own book on PC maintenance is currently available at local book stores, amazon.com or directly through him. His free informative web site can be found at http://www.careyholzman.com. Donate $30 to help maintain his site and you’ll get a free autographed copy of his book. Carey can be reached directly at carey@careyholzman.com.


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Can a Trojan Cause Outlook Express to Hang?
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About Carey Holzman
Carey Holzman owns and operates Discount Computer Repair (602-527-9723) in Phoenix, Arizona, where he offers repairs, upgrades, custom built PCs and network wiring at highly competitive pricing. His networking tips have appeared in David Strom's book, The Home Networking Survival Guide (McGraw/Hill), and his own book on PC maintenance is currently available at local book stores, amazon.com or directly through him. His free informative web site can be found at http://www.careyholzman.com. Donate $30 to help maintain his site and you'll get a free autographed copy of his book. Carey can be reached directly at carey@careyholzman.com.

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