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Compacting e-mails in Outlook Express 6

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by ALXIMA, Feb 3, 2005.

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  1. ALXIMA

    ALXIMA Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
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    During my work on my PC I've received Pop-up message:
    'To save space on your disk Outlook Express will (or can ) compact your
    e-mails' OK or Cancel.
    I clicked OK, and later in awe learned that all my e-mail folders were empty
    (including very important ones). After that I spent several hours trying to
    locate my "compacted" e-mails with no avail. You are my only hope now.
     
  2. sekirt

    sekirt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Messages:
    3,998
    When posting, always state your OS and version numbers along with names of programs involved in your problem. Always better to post too many details than not enough.

    Compacting itself does not remove emails. Here is a page that explains compacting and the best way to do it:

    http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/files/maintain.htm

    Never use any of the default folders for long time storage of large amounts of emails (Inbox/Outbox/Sent Items/Deleted Items/Draft). OE is known for emails disappearing particularly from the Inbox. Custom folders should be used.

    You can search your hard drive for DBX files. It is possible your emails can be extacted from those with Macallan Outlook Express Extraction or DBXtract.

    http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/resources/tools.htm#macallan

    sekirt
     
  3. ruth997

    ruth997

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    I use OE v.6 -windows 98
    I receive at least a hundred daily emails, because of genealogy - I save these messages to folders set up in my inbox - I was afraid of virus attacks or computer crash, so wanted to save my emails to a floppy - used the "compact" sugesstion I found in help section of OE - then saved all those dbx files to a floppy - Now I can't open those files when I insert the floppy - how do I open them?
    Also, noticed yesterday in doing a file search, that on the hard drive there were 2 files listed -which included messages from this week - they were outbox.dbx and sent.dbx - Is the computer AUTOMATICALLY sending files to dbx, or is this due to defragging and that is what will happen to my emails in OE? I am a quick learner, but am not understanding what is happening. Please explain in as simple wording as possible. I need to open those floppys and access those messages.
    Thank you
    Ruth
     
  4. sekirt

    sekirt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Messages:
    3,998
    Ruth
    Outlook Express is a database program. Compacting is similar to Defragging.
    When you delete messages from your folders in OE, the actual files that hold the information, only mark that item for removal later. Most databases work that way. Those OE files have the extension .DBX. They will continue to grow in size with wasted space, if not compacted. While compacting saves disk space, the main reason to compact is to help keep OE running smoothly and prevent corruption of the .DBX files. Compacting does nothing to your existing emails. Caution: Improper compacting can destroy your emails. When compacting by any method, leave your computer alone until it finishes. You should always check off, 'work offline' or actually be offline before compacting. Do not use any programs or open or close anything once it starts until it finishes.

    Windows 98 has a setting here OE->Tools->Options->Maintenance Tab.
    Do not check "Compact messages in the background." This can lead to lost emails.

    Manual compacting is available in all versions of OE. This is the best method to compact OE. Be sure you are offline or that offline is checked in
    File->Work Offline. Then click File->Folder->Compact all folders.

    Now to get more specific to your problem. OE will always create and use the .DBX files. You can extract the emails from the DBX files that you saved to floppies by programs listed at this site:
    http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/resources/tools.htm#macallan

    Besides those program links, that site has a wealth of information about OE.

    Saving the DBX files probably takes up the least amount of space but it may not be a convenient method for you to save your emails. If you want your emails to be readable and they are text emails, you can save them directly from OE as .EML files. Click File->Save As... and then save the email as an EML file (EML files can be read with Notepad). Another method of doing the same, is to create a folder for emails you want to save as EML files. Then open OE and with that folder showing, just mark all the emails you want to transfer and drag them to that folder. They will now be EML files with copies sitting in that folder. Then you can tranfer them to floppies if you want.

    The other item that you mentioned is having sub-folders in the OE Inbox. Generally, it is better to avoid saving and storing large amounts of emails in the standard folders. Particularly the Inbox. They have been known to disappear from those folders. Rather than having sub-folders in the Inbox, it is better to create custom folders separate from the standard ones.

    While I hopefully answered your post here, in the future, it is better to start your own thread.

    sekirt
     
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