Email file compression

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by John Bull, Jun 10, 2010.

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  1. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    I use Outlook Express 6 and every time I log off I get this panel :-

    http://i876.photobucket.com/albums/ab327/johnbull17/Emailpanel.jpg

    It has been going on for years and I cannot delete the panel. I have never compressed these files having read some horror stories from those who have on the net. Files lost, cannot access folders, OE not working any more etc.

    I am well aware of the purpose for compressing and if it works OK without causing any problems, then fine.

    But I will never action this request unless I am absolutely guaranteed that no problems will follow.

    What to you think ? Do you compress these files ? Any problems ? What happens if I ignore this matter forever ?

    I would appreciate your comments.
    Many thanks.
    John Bull
     
  2. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    While i don't use OE, there must be a way to disable that feature?? No!?? With the storage size these days, it's useless.
     
  3. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    There is no actual "compression" involved, all it does is re-write the message base and remove any deleted messages, thus recovering some unused space. I have seen quirky and unsavory things happen with the OE message files, so I think I'd leave well enough alone if possible. Or perhaps upgrade yourself to Windows Live Mail, which is the further evolution of OE and Windows Mail into it's modern form. Live Mail seems to work great in all ways as far as I can tell.
     
  4. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    I have have that lurking suspicion that OE file compression is a minefield for the innocent, but am anxious to hear comments.

    Boy, if nothing else comes of this thread, PLEASE can anybody tell me how to get rid of that infernal pop-up panel ? It is highly dangerous.

    For a PC used by several people in a family, it only takes ONE press of the OK button and compression descends upon us with unstoppable vengeance. Even I have to be very careful every single time I close down. It is dead easy to click the hypnotic OK instead of the "X", when 999 times out of 1,000 we DO click the OK.

    John Bull
     
  5. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    Compressing these files is one of the recommended fixes for a corrupt .dbx file. It actually worked for us in one incidence where the inbox was trashed. Compressing it a couple of times got it working again. IMO it's not dangerous to compress them.

    As for the settings, I think you can set it to compress them after a certain amount of shutdowns, dig around in the maintenance part and see if it's there.
     
  6. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    I may be wrong here but by default XP for example will ask this when 100 closings of OE have been done. I have agreed to the OE compression box for years and never had a problem.

    I think the .dbx folder can only be seen when 'show hidden files' is done.
     
  7. pbmcmlxxi

    pbmcmlxxi Registered Member

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    OE is so old, you should really consider using Windows Live Mail if you are planning to use a MS solution.
    There are other email clients out there that still work with dated xp.
    Agree with the comments made by: Kerodo
     
  8. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Hi pjb,

    OE may be old but it works perfectly without any problems. It is always the old men of the tribe that form the tribal council, not the young bloods.

    From what I have read, Windows Live mail is not worth a bent dime.

    John Bull
     
  9. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    If that's the case, what's the point of your thread? Moving on to your original question, not compressing the folders probably increases the chances of something getting borked sooner or later.
    Here's a little info on why you should compress them. Here's a link about what to do if a .dbx file becomes corrupt.

    Maybe you keep getting the popup because you haven't gone ahead and compacted the folders. Perhaps if you just click OK and let it do its thing it will go away until you've shut it down another 99 times. No one can guarantee that something will never happen. OTOH, Microsoft hasn't kept this feature in OE for so long in order to trick unsuspecting users into hosing their email folders. If you really feel that uncomfortable about it, just back up you folder .dbxs, you can get the mails out of them in the unlikely event that something goes south.

    No idea where you read that, but I find Windows Live Mail to be a significant improvement over OE. Maybe you should try it out and form your own opinion as to whether it's worth a bent dime or a straight dime. You might be pleasantly surprised.
     
  10. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Quite the contrary. Windows Live Mail is very good, and appears to have fixed some of the older issues (like the one you mention here) with OE. Live Mail is where all the current development is taking place. I have used it for some time and it's great. Only one way for you to really find out.... :)
     
  11. pbmcmlxxi

    pbmcmlxxi Registered Member

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    John Bull, you seem totally confused as to the purpose of your thread.
    If you don't have a issue with OE then why did you post you do?
    Not really fair you wasting peoples time and effort in trying to help you if in reality you don't have a problem, nor accept constructive alternatives from others that have provided them..
     
  12. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    NOW look ! Are you real or just being a troll ? Do you wish to be offensive and unconstructive ? I know exactly why I posted my thread, do you think I post these things just for something to do ? Cannot you understand the purpose of this thread ? It is you and not me that is confused.

    Just to elaborate - Nobody WASTES time on a Forum, it is a Chat Club where everybody discusses all kinds of issues, silly or serious. Nobody is PAID, all are volunteers in a large family of friends.
    If anybody has wasted time on my thread, then it is you, not me or the other posters.

    The purpose of my question is :-

    OE is constantly asking me to compress files. I am constantly rejecting it.
    REASON - the net is full of people having problems compressing OE files, they lose them, they cannot even access OE, they lose their entire folders, in general, the whole matter of OE compression is a load of imprecise rubbish. So what do I do ? I ask Wilders for advice. Anything wrong with that ? After all, that is what a Forum is for. But I do not expect offensive replies like yours.

    Well, If you cannot understand the question, then I am sorry for my inability to explain more effectively in the language I have perfected over half a century.

    Other responders have no problem with this post. Maybe you have a language problem or simply have no experience with OE ? If the latter is the case, why comment ?

    John B
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  13. pbmcmlxxi

    pbmcmlxxi Registered Member

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    You contradict yourself.
    Originally Posted by John Bull
    OE may be old but it works perfectly without any problems.

    To clarify. I used to use OE years back before it became very outdated and no longer updated by MS. Windows Live Mail and Windows Mail are the Microsoft successors to OE. Johnny123, Kerodo and Myself have pointed you to these an alternative.

    Like stapp I never had any issues in the past when I clicked on option to compress the files.

    It seems to move on you need to overcome your reservation of clicking the option to compress or your reservations in moving to an alternative email client.
     
  14. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    pjb

    Please, if you only regard this Forum for making mischief and provoking unnecessary argument and acting like a troll, find another Forum.

    Wilders is a remarkable Forum where the majority of members take part in friendly and constructive discussion, supplying answers to questions without provocation or malice, no matter how elementary.

    As you are obviously incapable of understanding the basic principles of civilised debate and not wishing to take part in some childish playground prattle, I have placed you on my IGNORE list so that my future posts will be devoid of your unwelcome comments.

    Have a nice day.
    John B
     
  15. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    yes, compression may cause errors in OE (AV scanning also may cause it). However, compression is beneficial on occasion . Make a backup of your OE files first and then compress it
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270670
     
  16. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Thank you all for your posts. Always more than helpful.

    Q :- Is there any way we can make a check of how full or empty the OE6 tank is within the Windows system ? It would be instructive to know this both as a routine manual feature or before making any decision to compress files.

    John B

    Windows 2002 XP Home, SP3, FF 3.6.4, IE8
     
  17. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    If I read your question right, I think you'd just need to find the files involved and check their size. Sorry, I don't know offhand what the file names are, but you can probably Google and find them easily enough. There is probably no upper limit (other than that imposed by the OS) on their possible size, so it's really a judgement call based on the sizes you find at the moment.

    I'd do as Cudni advises and make a backup first, then just proceed to compress the files and see how it goes....

    Good luck.
     
  18. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Thanks Kerodo, very sound.

    Not living up to my signature much, am I ?
     
  19. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Haha... Neither am I lately... :)
     
  20. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    JB, you can read all about OE compaction, how best to approach it and how to recover if disaster strikes here.

    Hope this helps

    (Professor) philby
     
  21. MaxEntropy

    MaxEntropy Registered Member

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    I can understand John Bull's concern that compressing the dbx file in OE might destroy several years' worth of emails. Backing up the file (which, as I remember, is somewhere in the Documents & Settings folder) is obviously a sensible precaution, whether or not you compact the file.

    I faced a similar problem using Outlook, where my pst file had grown to nearly 500MB (even after removing lots of attachments). It was clear that sooner or later there was bound to be a glitch somewhere with this huge file, which was being constantly updated and occasionally compacted. However, I found that I could start a new pst file in Outlook while keeping the old file as an old-mail file that never changes. My new pst file has grown to over 100MB, and sooner or later I'll slim it down by moving most of the emails to the Old Mail folder.

    It's a long time since I used Outlook Express, so I can't remember if you can have two dbx files there. If you can, then it might be worth a try.
     
  22. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I have had .pst files in Outlook several gigs in size without any problems, however, I don't think I ever compressed them either. I do believe that Outlook is another situation though, and things are done differently in OE. I have seen problems develop in OE files even before any compression what done, so I'm not all that sure the problems are due to compressing or not. I don't really have enough experiences with OE to draw any solid conclusions, other than the fact that I have seen problems. On the other hand, I have never seen issues with Outlook message files, compressed or otherwise.
     
  23. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Thanks Prof. very useful. I have Bookmarked the link and will have a read, it looks to be a good jaywalkers guide to OE file minefield compression.

    I have this really bad paranoia about tampering with .dbx files. Keep reckoning that the Sorcerer don`t intend his apprentice to play around with his artwork and has booby-trapped them.

    Many thanks
    John B
     
  24. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    I didn't realize they used dimes on the other side of the pond John Bull.:D
    But WLM is pretty good.
     
  25. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Hi Hammer,
    Lovely post. I try to express myself in American terms since it is basically an American Forum, which I like very much. You may not believe it, but I adore the US as being the most civilised and most free country on Earth and Americans as the best example one could possibly come up with representing an advanced mature society.

    I don`t think quoting a Penny would have the same impact. Sounds too low key British.
    John B
     
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