Solved: OE Compact Messages?

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Money Pit

Dave
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Since installing SP2, I've been getting this message box popping up: "Outlook Express can compact messages to save disk space". I've clicked on "Don't show me this again" but it still keeps coming back? I have plenty of drive space so this is of no use to me and I don't understand what OE is trying to do? Any comments? Thanks :) Dave
 
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Compacting is similar to Defragging.
OE is a Database program. 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. Do not use any programs or open or close anything once it starts until it finishes.

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

If you have XP SP2, you will get a prompt to compact after 100 OE closings, which you should do. Then you should not be prompted again until OE is used 100 times.

If you don't want to compact for reasons of your own and you are skilled in using the registry, check for the info at this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{GUID for Identity}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0

Look in the right hand pane for "Compact Check Count" and reset its value to zero [0] and you will not be bothered again until the count of opening/closing again approaches 100.

Prior to SP2, automatic background compacting was available.
OE->Tools->Options->Maintenance Tab.
Do not check "Compact messages in the background." This can lead to lost emails.

sekirt
 

Money Pit

Dave
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sekirt: OK, but what happens to those files after they are compacted? Are they gone or are they still in my computer somewhere? If there still in here, shouldn't they be totally deleted? Thanks :) Dave
 
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The .DBX files are necessary to the operation of OE. They hold all the emails that are shown in OE. Unless you have a problem with a corrupted file, no, you do not want to erase them.

sekirt
 
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