June 14, 2000 5:20 PM PDT

Hotmail users missing old email, address books

Some Microsoft Hotmail users unable to check their email since last week got an unwelcome surprise today when they finally gained access to their accounts.

Although their new mail was intact, their personal folders, address book entries and saved mail had been deleted.

At least one Hotmail user who inquired about the problem got a not-so-helpful response from Microsoft: "We have done our best to recover any and all lost email in your account. We would like to suggest that you keep a back-up copy of your mails in a Word document."

"It's ridiculous," said George Karimundackal, a computer systems analyst in New York who had been locked out of his Hotmail account since Thursday. "I'm disconnected for five days, and at the end of it, they delete all this stuff."

A Microsoft representative said Hotmail is working "around the clock" on the problem and expects to restore customers' address books and saved mail.

Dozens of Hotmail users have been locked out of their accounts since last week because of a problem that occurred during what the company called "routine maintenance."

The company says the problem with one of Hotmail's servers affects less than one-half of 1 percent of its 67 million users.

Despite repeated inquiries, Microsoft declined to give details on the nature of the problem, the exact number of users affected, when the problem began, or an estimate on when it might be fixed.

Although some people regained access to their accounts last night and today, others say they still are locked out.

Zlati Meyer, a suburban reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said the last time she was able to check her Hotmail account was last Friday. Meyer said she has other email accounts, but she does most of her personal communication through her Hotmail account.

"I'm not completely crippled by it; I'm just socially crippled," Meyer said. "On an inconvenience scale, this is obviously a 10."

Last year, Hotmail suffered several outages and service problems as it expanded its membership.

8 comments

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backup hotmail address book and move it
Hi I would like to backup my hotmail address book. And then I would like to import it to my outlook express address book how do I do this.?
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I "upgraded" to live.com, but hotmail didn't follow. After 3 days I was able to log in at my home computerfor two or three message reads (my entire account exits) but was then locked out again.
I cannot find an email address or tel # for support, and nothing I have tried (for hours) has helped.
I have lost 6 years of business emails & contacts.
Jerry
Posted by jerryfinnigan (1 comment )
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I like many other are very annoyed at the loss of my adress book & especially my folders which held many private details which were very very important to me . I would like some time period in which you will be able to return this vital information to me
Posted by wimpy70 (1 comment )
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hi
i want buy "com" domain but it is taken by you .if it possible creat for me a subdomain in "cbsi.com"pleas
i pay your price.
tankyou very much
Posted by sobhani88 (2 comments )
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hi
i want buy "com" domain but it is taken by you .if it possible creat for me a subdomain in "cbsi.com"pleas
i pay your price.
tankyou very much my e-mail sobhan_87a@yahoo.com
Posted by sobhani88 (2 comments )
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I am also missing hundreds of older emails of mine. This is the second time this has happened with my hotmail. The first time I sent a mail to the support and let them know i was a journalist and would write a story about it if they did not fix it- they restored everything immediately. I think this is a deliberate tactic by Microsoft to delete users mail and not tell them about it - in order for Microsoft to save server space/money.
I am angry and have had my account for about 12 years. Hotmail is the oldest but by far and wide the worst. My friends who have Google tell me it's much better.
Posted by ch32 (1 comment )
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According to this article, isn't the total of folks affected by the e-mail wipeout over 300,000 people?
Posted by my1rocks (1 comment )
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It is happening again. A couple of weeks ago, my mail older than 2012 disappeared from my inbox. I've gotten nothing but lame answers from MS support forum. This is happening to numerous people, the support forum is full of the same basic complaint. MS keeps blaming it on users. However, it happened on the same day as my "forced upgrade" to outlook.com from Hotmail. Coincidence?
Posted by mklybor (1 comment )
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