Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Size Does Matter : Outlook Express

Its nice to have an easy to use mail client such as Outlook Express. Believe it or not, not only home users, many companies still "try" to use Outlook Express. Worse, as they runaway from the complications of Outlook such as "rich text messaging" :)

The primary target of OE has always been the home user, it has some limitations to it. No, its not limited with your disk size, but its limited with your "inbox" or "sent items" folder size.

Unlike Outlooks one file OST or PST file (mail storage file), OE keeps all its data in separate files such as inbox.dbx, sent.dbx, etc. As it explains it on Microsoft Support article bad news is the .dbx files are limited to 2Gb file size. In our expanding and everyday developing urge for more gigabytes, what is 2Gb ?

Well that is not the bad news. OE has never been designed to handle even 2Gb dbx file sizes. I have seen alot of cases where all the folder sizes of users ended up about 23 Gb in total. Conclusion ? FATALITY. As OE's blind look into the future, when your dbx size gets over 2Gb, its bound to fail. Its a simple structured database file which holds messages in certain order. Every database has its structures and if they are not used for the right purpose, just as any other database file they are bound to break.

So, as usual where ever there is Microsoft, there is chance for people to make extra penny or two. If you don't want to be a customer of mine or others, my advice would be to:

  1. Upgrade your client to Ms Outlook, which it can hold mail just about up to 20 Gb without any problems.
  2. Archive your old mails once in 3 months.
  3. Backup your mails regularly. You can use Outlook Express Backup 6.5 by http://www.genie-soft.com (Free of Charge!)
  4. Use a proper mail protecting antivirus software. Avast and Kaspersky are the most successful ones at the moment.
  5. CHKDSK /F your HDD at least once a week.
  6. Delete unneeded mails.

If you are reading these lines most probably you are one of those users which weren't aware of these facts, which your OE is not running or giving silly error messages.

If you google your error, you will find alot of software sellers who sounds very promising to save or salvage your inaccessible data. Well some can. But can they salvage it the shape and order you would like it to be recovered ?

I already explained that below somewhere...

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