Inside Outlook Express

Errors, Bugs and Problems

Error Messages

When Outlook Express crashes or won't start

MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module Msoe.dll

MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module Msoe.dll at address

Outlook Express could not be started. It may not be installed correctly.
Make sure that your disk is not full or that you are not out of memory.
Contact Microsoft support for further assistance. (0x800c012e)

Outlook Express could not be started because Msoe.dll could not be initialized.
Outlook Express may not be installed correctly.

Msimn caused an exception C0000006h in module Directdb.dll
The message could not be sent. There is not enough Disk space. 

Unknown error has occurred. Protocol: SMTP Port: 0 Secure: No [SSL] Error: 0x800c0131


When sending messages

Can't send mail, No Sender Specified

550 - Relaying not allowed

Mal-formed message ID: Line 3 References too long


When OE crashes or won't start

Most crashes and failed starts are the result of one or more of OE's *.dbx files being damaged, or being  marked as Read-only. So begin trouble-shooting by verifying none are marked as Read-only.

  1. Close OE and open the store folder in Windows Explorer.
  2. Select all files (Edit| Select All, or CTRL-A), then right-click on any selected file and select Properties. Clear the checkbox for the Read-only attribute.

If OE will start, try compacting all your folders as this often repairs minor damage.

  1. Click File| Work Offline so that no new messages will be arriving.
  2. In the Folder list, click on Outlook Express so that no folder or newsgroup is open, then close the Folder list (View| Layout).
  3. Click File| Folder| Compact All Folders. Do not use your computer until the process is complete, which might take several minutes. If an error occurs, close OE, re-open it, and begin the process again from the top. If the same error occurs again, close OE, restart your computer (or logoff and then logon again), open OE and then begin the whole process again.

If Outlook Express will not start, move the *.dbx files from your store folder and into a new empty folder.

  1. Download this small script that will open the store folder of the currently logged-on Identity. Alternatively you can find it be searching in Windows Explorer for files named *.dbx. Be sure to include hidden files in your search, as OE user files are marked as hidden by default. To view hidden files:
    • In Windows Explorer, click Tools| Folder Options then click theView tab.
    • Click the button for Show hidden files and folders.
  2. On your desktop, right-click and point to New| Folder.
  3. In the store folder window, click Edit| Select All, or press CTRL-A.
  4. Drag the selected files and drop them into the New Folder on your desktop.

Try opening OE again. If it starts without error, try importing your mail folders.

  1. Click File| Import| Messages| Microsoft Outlook Express 6.

  2. Select Import from a store folder and click Browse.

  3. Navigate to the New Folder on the Desktop.

If OE cannot import the mail folders, it means the file Folders.dbx is probably damaged. In that case, close OE and move all the other *.dbx files back into the store folder. When you re-start OE, it will build a new index of all the *.dbx files it can read, and create a new Folders.dbx. Understand though that you will lose the mail tree structure, all lists of newsgroups, and all synchronization options, and that message rules will likely need to be edited.


If any *.dbx file fails to be imported, you can buy DBXtract or download the free Macallan Outlook Express Extraction in order to extract individual *.eml files for each message it finds in the damaged *.dbx file. You can then drag those *.eml files and drop them into an OE mail folder in the OE Folder list.

If you still cannot start OE, your Identity in the registry is probably damaged.

  1. Download the Force Identity Logon script.

  2. Run the script to access the Identities Manager.

  3. Create a new Identity, then switch to it when prompted.

  4. If you have previously exported your accounts settings to Internet Account files (*.iaf), cancel the Add Account wizard that will start automatically. Then click Tools| Accounts and use the Import button to import each of your exported *.iaf files.

  5. If you have not previously exported your account settings, follow the wizard to set up your basic email account.

If you cannot run the Identities Manager and OE still will not start, the damage in the registry is more extensive and requires more drastic steps. Open Regedit and export the entire HKCU\Identities key, then delete it. Double-click the saved *.reg file you exported and then try opening OE. If OE still fails to open, export each sub key HKCU\Identities\{GUID} sub-key to its own *.reg file, then delete the entire HKCU\Identities key again. Double-click each of the GUID *.reg files and then Open OE. The New Account wizard will begin, but just click cancel, as you are going to bypass this first default Identity. Click File| Identities| Manage Identities and try switching to your old Identity. If this is successful, you can then delete the new empty Identity from the Manage Identities dialogue.  If this fails and OE will still not start, you will have to again delete the HKCU\Identities key, open OE, set up a new Identity and import your mail folders from the previous Identity. More information, including detailed instructions, can be found in the MS Knowledge Base article Cannot Start Outlook Express

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Invalid Message Rules errors (older versions of OE5)

MSIMN caused an Invalid Page Fault in module unknown

MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module MSOE.DLL at memory address

MSIMN caused an Invalid Page Fault in module kernel32.dll

These errors can occur if a message rule uses invalid logic. If the Criteria of the rule specifies a condition that can only be determined after the message body is downloaded, but the Action of the rule is "do not download" or "delete from server", the logical contradiction causes OE to crash. Conditions that require the message body to be downloaded are:

Where the message body contains specific words
Where the message is secure
Where the message has an attachment

If you include these conditions in a rule, you must not select either "do not download" or "delete from server".

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Errors when sending messages

No Sender Specified

This indicates missing or corrupt information in the user information for a particular account. Click Tools| Accounts| <account name> Properties and delete then re-type the user name and email address, even if they appear correct. If the problem persists, remove the account, close and re-open OE, then create the account again.

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550 - Relaying not allowed

This error message is coming from the mail server, not from OE itself. It means that the SMTP (outgoing) mail server did not recognize you as an authorized user and so rejected your message. Most ISPs configure their SMTP servers to recognize only those whose IP address is on the accepted list, meaning that you are connected directly to that ISP. If you use multiple ISPs, you are likely to encounter this problem. The solution is to change the SMTP server for that mail account under Tools| Accounts| <account name> Properties| Servers

Another possible reason for this error is anti-virus software that configures OE to use a local proxy for the SMTP server. Since scanning e-mail is not necessary to protect your computer, you should disable the e-mail scan in your anti-virus product, and then re-enter the correct name for your SMTP server.

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Malformed message ID: Line 3 References too long

This error message occurs when you reply to a deep thread in newsgroups. Line 3 is the References header. It contains the message ID of every message in the thread. When this line becomes too long, Outlook Express adds a carriage return instead of removing some of the IDs in the middle. This makes the last message ID invalid and so your reply is blocked from being sent.

To work around this bug, save your reply to your desktop by clicking Save as on the File menu. Open the saved *.eml file in Notepad and edit line 3, References, by removing some of the message IDs in the middle. Be sure to leave the first and last IDs so that your reply will thread properly once it is posted. Saved your edited file, then double-click it to open and click Send.

An alternate method is to save, not your reply, but the message to which you want to reply. Edit the saved message to remove some of the message IDs, save the changes, then open the edited file and click Reply.

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