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Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders

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  • David Smart
    I do this on occasions and have never had any problems. A couple of questions ... 1) Are you sure you mean *.mdb files? OE uses *.dbx. 2) Did you use the
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 8, 2005
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      I do this on occasions and have never had any problems. A couple of questions ...

      1) Are you sure you mean *.mdb files? OE uses *.dbx.

      2) Did you use the same version of OE, or did you upgrade it?

      3) When you created the new folders, did you put a dummy message into each of them? (I've found that OE doesn't necessarily really create the files until there is something to put in them.)

      4) When you say "they did not open", what did happen? Error messages? Program crashes?

      Re backup programs - there are many out there. You don't need anything special, just something that will back up all your dbx files, along with all your other document files, of course. The only things I'd recommend are (a) you backup daily, and (b) you keep multiple days' backups of the files. You need to be able to step back, if it turns out that a dbx got corrupted and you didn't notice for several days. I keep incremental backups for the last 30 days, plus full weekly backups, plus monthly backups (discarding the weekly ones) and hold onto the three-monthly backups indefinitely. I also keep my several computers in-step at the document level and keep yet another copy on my server. (And I've still lost the occasional file.)

      In fact, I don't ever keep messages in the OE dbx files for long anyway. I keep them in my normal file system as EML files, alongside all my other documents. I drag them to the appropriate documentation folders, then run a small program I wrote that changes the file names to give more information about the e-mails, and also removes the worry of multiple files with the same names.

      Dave S

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Mordechai
      To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 6:53 PM
      Subject: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


      Hello,
      Some harddisk failure was a reason to replace it with a new one.
      After installation of the OS (win xp pro+sp1), I wanted to preserve all my mail, so I copied all the *.mdb files from the old "outlook express" folder to some safe place (which were also on the very same OS), then I created in the new "outlook express" new folders with the same name and replaced them with the saved folders. (The import function works only on the "address book")
      Trying to open the folders in the new "outlook express" - they did not open.
      I will appreciate any ideas on this - what to do, as I kept some important mail there.
      Thanks in advance.
      Mordechai M.
      airflow@...

      PS. Now I had my lesson, and I am looking for some reliable backup program - can you advise?
      Thanks again.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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    • Mordechai
      Thanks David and all others, Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders ... questions ... ... Sorry, my mistake, it is actually *.dbx, I do not know what I had
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 8, 2005
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        Thanks David and all others,

        Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


        >
        > I do this on occasions and have never had any problems. A couple of
        questions ...
        >
        > 1) Are you sure you mean *.mdb files? OE uses *.dbx.
        Sorry, my mistake, it is actually *.dbx, I do not know what I had in
        mind when I wrote mdb.
        >
        > 2) Did you use the same version of OE, or did you upgrade it?
        > Yes, same version all the time.

        > 3) When you created the new folders, did you put a dummy message into
        each of them? (I've found that OE doesn't necessarily really create the
        files until there is something to put in them.)
        > No, this trick is new to me - I will give it a try!

        > 4) When you say "they did not open", what did happen? Error messages?
        Program crashes?
        > Error message something like ".. folder could not open.." - program did
        not crash.

        From other answerers I learned they are not happy with OE. As a matter of
        fact, when I had win 95 and win 98se, I used Eudora and I was happy with
        that, but since xp I started with OE - maybe I'll go back to Eudora.
        Thanks again
        Mordechai M.

        >
        > Dave S
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Mordechai
        > To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 6:53 PM
        > Subject: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders
        >
        >
        > Hello,
        > Some harddisk failure was a reason to replace it with a new one.
        > After installation of the OS (win xp pro+sp1), I wanted to preserve all
        my mail, so I copied all the *.mdb files from the old "outlook express"
        folder to some safe place (which were also on the very same OS), then I
        created in the new "outlook express" new folders with the same name and
        replaced them with the saved folders. (The import function works only on the
        "address book")
        > Trying to open the folders in the new "outlook express" - they did not
        open.
        > I will appreciate any ideas on this - what to do, as I kept some
        important mail there.
        > Thanks in advance.
        > Mordechai M.
        > airflow@...
        >
        > PS. Now I had my lesson, and I am looking for some reliable backup
        program - can you advise?
        > Thanks again.
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
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      • David Smart
        Have another go and get back to us on how you go, including specific information on any error messages you get. FWIW I ve just moved back to OE from
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 8, 2005
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          Have another go and get back to us on how you go, including specific information on any error messages you get.

          FWIW I've just moved back to OE from Thunderbird. I was getting very little benefit at the cost of lost productivity because it's not quite as easy to use as OE. This was a difficult decision, as it actually handled newsgroups fractionally better, and I had hopes for its adaptive spam filtering. I'll keep an eye on it and may well switch back.

          I don't have trouble with OE. It works reliably in my environment (> 100 incoming messages daily, >20 outgoing, three active newsgroups). I use Message Rules extensively and use AVG to catch the multiple virus e-mails I receive daily.

          I also use Outlook at a customer's site. It also works reliably (under much lighter load) but I don't actually like it as much. Probably, I just don't want or need a heavy-weight do-everything mail system.

          I don't keep messages inside OE or Outlook or Thunderbird - I move them to the normal file system where I associate them with the other documents relevant to the organisation or activity involved. (I file documents by subject, not type - so a single directory will have Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, Text, EML Mail, MSG Mail, etc, files in it. If nothing else, this makes searching a whole lot easier.)

          I have seen people with large OE or Outlook files (e.g. > 2 GB) who have had corruptions; I have no idea whether other mailers suffer from the same types of problems. Interestingly, Outlook users are much more susceptible to this type of problem, because Outlook puts the lot into one file, whereas OE at least has a separate file for each folder, plus other files for structure and contacts list. Invariably, the people who let themselves get into this situation are also those who don't have any backups, so a bad corruption can be very expensive to them.

          However, try Thunderbird, you may prefer it. It's also possible that it might import your messages from the dbx files even though OE is unable to open them.

          Dave S

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Mordechai
          To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2005 2:10 AM
          Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


          Thanks David and all others,

          Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


          >
          > I do this on occasions and have never had any problems. A couple of
          questions ...
          >
          > 1) Are you sure you mean *.mdb files? OE uses *.dbx.
          Sorry, my mistake, it is actually *.dbx, I do not know what I had in
          mind when I wrote mdb.
          >
          > 2) Did you use the same version of OE, or did you upgrade it?
          > Yes, same version all the time.

          > 3) When you created the new folders, did you put a dummy message into
          each of them? (I've found that OE doesn't necessarily really create the
          files until there is something to put in them.)
          > No, this trick is new to me - I will give it a try!

          > 4) When you say "they did not open", what did happen? Error messages?
          Program crashes?
          > Error message something like ".. folder could not open.." - program did
          not crash.

          From other answerers I learned they are not happy with OE. As a matter of
          fact, when I had win 95 and win 98se, I used Eudora and I was happy with
          that, but since xp I started with OE - maybe I'll go back to Eudora.
          Thanks again
          Mordechai M.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • R Shapp
          Hello Dave S. You said:
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 8, 2005
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            Hello Dave S.

            You said:
            <<I don't keep messages inside OE or Outlook or Thunderbird - I move them to
            the normal file system where I associate them with the other documents>>

            I also use Outlook Express for all my emailing. How do you move individual
            emails from the OE folder to the normal file system? The best I know how to
            do is to copy the bodies of selected emails to a NoteTab outline document, but
            that doesn't preserve the header info.

            Thanks for the info.

            Ray Shapp
          • David Smart
            Just drag them from the inbox (or any other message folder) and drop them in the directory you want them in. You can drag multiple messages and both OE and
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 9, 2005
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              Just drag them from the inbox (or any other message folder) and drop them in the directory you want them in. You can drag multiple messages and both OE and Outlook will add sequence numbers to make sure you don't get file name clashes for messages with the same subject.

              With Outlook, if you hold down shift while you drag, it will do a move (i.e. the messages will be deleted from Outlook). OE ignores the shift key. (Ditto for a right mouse button drag.)

              Drag and drop copies messages in text format in EML files (OE) or in compound file format (or whatever the format's called) in MSG files (Outlook).

              I assume both programs will also allow you to do a Save As to achieve most of the same ends. But drag and drop is much more convenient.

              Dave S

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: R Shapp
              To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2005 2:36 PM
              Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


              Hello Dave S.

              You said:
              <<I don't keep messages inside OE or Outlook or Thunderbird - I move them to
              the normal file system where I associate them with the other documents>>

              I also use Outlook Express for all my emailing. How do you move individual
              emails from the OE folder to the normal file system? The best I know how to
              do is to copy the bodies of selected emails to a NoteTab outline document, but
              that doesn't preserve the header info.

              Thanks for the info.

              Ray Shapp



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            • R Shapp
              Hi Dave S. In OE, Drag and Drop works fine. Amazing, after all these years, to learn something new about OE! BTW, Cut and Paste does not copy the email into a
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 9, 2005
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                Hi Dave S.

                In OE, Drag and Drop works fine. Amazing, after all these years, to learn
                something new about OE!

                BTW, Cut and Paste does not copy the email into a folder as a separate file,
                but it does allow pasting of the entire email (including headers) into a Word
                document or a NoNamexx.txt file in NoteTab.

                Thanks for the info.

                Ray Shapp
              • David Smart
                Yeah. Copy/cut and paste don t work the same way at the OE message level, and the ctrl-c/ctrl-v sequence doesn t seem to work at all, there. (They work fine
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 9, 2005
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                  Yeah. Copy/cut and paste don't work the same way at the OE message level, and the ctrl-c/ctrl-v sequence doesn't seem to work at all, there. (They work fine within a message of course.) A pity, as I do often use ctrl-c(or x)/ctrl-v to copy or move files - mostly, however, when moving files from one directory to a sub- or parent-directory.

                  Actually, I seem to only use drag/drop on messages. I found I had to test out all the other things to see what they did at the message level, as I'd never used them.

                  I haven't tried them, but I expect Outlook would be a little more consistent in its use of these things at the message level.

                  Dave S

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: R Shapp
                  To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 4:14 AM
                  Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


                  Hi Dave S.

                  In OE, Drag and Drop works fine. Amazing, after all these years, to learn
                  something new about OE!

                  BTW, Cut and Paste does not copy the email into a folder as a separate file,
                  but it does allow pasting of the entire email (including headers) into a Word
                  document or a NoNamexx.txt file in NoteTab.

                  Thanks for the info.

                  Ray Shapp


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Larry Hamilton
                  David, Both OE and Outlook have features to compact data files/folders. The one for Outlook can take awhile if you have never used it. When I was using
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 9, 2005
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                    David,

                    Both OE and Outlook have features to compact data files/folders.

                    The one for Outlook can take awhile if you have never used it. When I
                    was using Outlook, I was using that feature at least once a month.

                    When I help a friend or family member, always they have MS-Windows 98
                    (ugh!), I switch them to Mozilla and Firefox, a firewall (Kerio), and
                    anti-virus(AVG). This has saved me a lot of time when I visit family and
                    friends over the holidays, and I get more time to actually visit. ;-)

                    I now use Thunderbird at work and home and am very happy with it. Like
                    most tools, it is hard to find a one-size fits all. There are some
                    things I like about Outlook, but its ability to hog resources, load
                    slowly, and allow in viruses turned me off.

                    Larry Hamilton
                    lmh@...
                    My Webpage
                    http://members.tripod.com/~notlimah/index.htm
                    Sales Affiliate for Grisoft Anti-Virus

                    David Smart wrote:
                    > Have another go and get back to us on how you go, including specific information on any error messages you get.
                    >
                    > FWIW I've just moved back to OE from Thunderbird. I was getting very little benefit at the cost of lost productivity because it's not quite as easy to use as OE. This was a difficult decision, as it actually handled newsgroups fractionally better, and I had hopes for its adaptive spam filtering. I'll keep an eye on it and may well switch back.
                    >
                    > I don't have trouble with OE. It works reliably in my environment (> 100 incoming messages daily, >20 outgoing, three active newsgroups). I use Message Rules extensively and use AVG to catch the multiple virus e-mails I receive daily.
                    >
                    > I also use Outlook at a customer's site. It also works reliably (under much lighter load) but I don't actually like it as much. Probably, I just don't want or need a heavy-weight do-everything mail system.
                    >
                    > I don't keep messages inside OE or Outlook or Thunderbird - I move them to the normal file system where I associate them with the other documents relevant to the organisation or activity involved. (I file documents by subject, not type - so a single directory will have Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, Text, EML Mail, MSG Mail, etc, files in it. If nothing else, this makes searching a whole lot easier.)
                    >
                    > I have seen people with large OE or Outlook files (e.g. > 2 GB) who have had corruptions; I have no idea whether other mailers suffer from the same types of problems. Interestingly, Outlook users are much more susceptible to this type of problem, because Outlook puts the lot into one file, whereas OE at least has a separate file for each folder, plus other files for structure and contacts list. Invariably, the people who let themselves get into this situation are also those who don't have any backups, so a bad corruption can be very expensive to them.
                    >
                    > However, try Thunderbird, you may prefer it. It's also possible that it might import your messages from the dbx files even though OE is unable to open them.
                    >
                    > Dave S
                  • David Smart
                    Yes, the compacting capability is there, but unfortunately people don t run it. Mind you, as I remember it, at least one of the huge dbx files that I was able
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 9, 2005
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                      Yes, the compacting capability is there, but unfortunately people don't run it. Mind you, as I remember it, at least one of the huge dbx files that I was able to recover from a backup had so many messages in it that I was not surprised at its 2 GB size.

                      I'm also gradually switching friends and customers alike over to a pretty standard set of tools, although I haven't started recommending TB or FF yet (partly because my intranet sites are still only at about the 98% compatibility level with FF, and I need to knock out the very few remaining IE'isms before I start switching people).

                      When I visit my Dad, I spend most of the time at his computer, sorting out problems with his Windows 98, his Netscape 4.7 and IE 5.0, his ZTree for windows, his DOS-based spreadsheet software. I'm still trying to get him into the eighties, then I'll worry about the nineties and the naughties. :-)

                      Dave S

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Larry Hamilton
                      To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 11:40 AM
                      Subject: Size of Outlook/OE Data Stores WAS: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders


                      David,

                      Both OE and Outlook have features to compact data files/folders.

                      The one for Outlook can take awhile if you have never used it. When I
                      was using Outlook, I was using that feature at least once a month.

                      When I help a friend or family member, always they have MS-Windows 98
                      (ugh!), I switch them to Mozilla and Firefox, a firewall (Kerio), and
                      anti-virus(AVG). This has saved me a lot of time when I visit family and
                      friends over the holidays, and I get more time to actually visit. ;-)

                      I now use Thunderbird at work and home and am very happy with it. Like
                      most tools, it is hard to find a one-size fits all. There are some
                      things I like about Outlook, but its ability to hog resources, load
                      slowly, and allow in viruses turned me off.

                      Larry Hamilton
                      lmh@...
                      My Webpage
                      http://members.tripod.com/~notlimah/index.htm
                      Sales Affiliate for Grisoft Anti-Virus

                      David Smart wrote:
                      > Have another go and get back to us on how you go, including specific information on any error messages you get.
                      >
                      > FWIW I've just moved back to OE from Thunderbird. I was getting very little benefit at the cost of lost productivity because it's not quite as easy to use as OE. This was a difficult decision, as it actually handled newsgroups fractionally better, and I had hopes for its adaptive spam filtering. I'll keep an eye on it and may well switch back.
                      >
                      > I don't have trouble with OE. It works reliably in my environment (> 100 incoming messages daily, >20 outgoing, three active newsgroups). I use Message Rules extensively and use AVG to catch the multiple virus e-mails I receive daily.
                      >
                      > I also use Outlook at a customer's site. It also works reliably (under much lighter load) but I don't actually like it as much. Probably, I just don't want or need a heavy-weight do-everything mail system.
                      >
                      > I don't keep messages inside OE or Outlook or Thunderbird - I move them to the normal file system where I associate them with the other documents relevant to the organisation or activity involved. (I file documents by subject, not type - so a single directory will have Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, Text, EML Mail, MSG Mail, etc, files in it. If nothing else, this makes searching a whole lot easier.)
                      >
                      > I have seen people with large OE or Outlook files (e.g. > 2 GB) who have had corruptions; I have no idea whether other mailers suffer from the same types of problems. Interestingly, Outlook users are much more susceptible to this type of problem, because Outlook puts the lot into one file, whereas OE at least has a separate file for each folder, plus other files for structure and contacts list. Invariably, the people who let themselves get into this situation are also those who don't have any backups, so a bad corruption can be very expensive to them.
                      >
                      > However, try Thunderbird, you may prefer it. It's also possible that it might import your messages from the dbx files even though OE is unable to open them.
                      >
                      > Dave S


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                    • subscriber04
                      ... anyway. I keep them in my normal file system as EML files, alongside all my other documents. I drag them to the appropriate documentation folders, then
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 10, 2005
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                        --- In ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com, "David Smart" <smartware@o...>
                        wrote:
                        > In fact, I don't ever keep messages in the OE dbx files for long
                        anyway. I keep them in my normal file system as EML files,
                        alongside all my other documents. I drag them to the appropriate
                        documentation folders, then run a small program I wrote that changes
                        the file names to give more information about the e-mails, and also
                        removes the worry of multiple files with the same names.


                        Dave,

                        Could you please elaborate a little bit more what does this program
                        do? And more, could you possibly share it? I mean, is possible to
                        get it from you? A couple of days ago I joined the club of upset OE
                        users with corruptet dbx files (although they were not bigger than
                        50 MB each) and would like to save what I was able to recover from
                        my backup copy the way you describe.

                        Kind regards,

                        Wojciech/Subscriber
                      • David Smart
                        The program is full of magic numbers so it is somewhat useless for others (and also contains slightly sensitive information). However, what it does is:
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jan 11, 2005
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                          The program is full of "magic numbers" so it is somewhat useless for others (and also contains slightly sensitive information). However, what it does is:

                          Opens and reads an EML file (which is text, so that's easy)
                          Looks at the message line keys and finds "from:" and "to:" and stores the addresses of both.
                          On the way, it also grabs "sender:" or "x-sender:" and "x-apparently-to:" holding them separately from the "from:" and "to:".
                          If it doesn't find a "from:" it uses what it found for "sender:" or "x-sender:"; and if it doesn't find a "to:" it uses what it found for "x-apparently-to:". (But it uses the "from:" / "to:" in preference. I don't remember why, but I did it that way for good reasons.)
                          Then it looks at the "from" and the "to" and works out which one of them is "me". This is one area where the magic stuff comes in - it's looking for any of many e-mail addresses and also looking at the directory of the tree the file's in to work out who "me" is anyway (could be any of the four members of my family). It discards the one it decides is "me" and keeps the other one.
                          It forms up a new name for the file, consisting of the original name, with the e-mail information appended.

                          The basic name for your e-mail would be

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04].eml

                          and the basic name for THIS message will be

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [to ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com]

                          While creating the new name, I actually clean it up a bit: multiple spaces are removed; underlines that are clearly conversions from colons, etc, are removed; non file-name characters are removed from the e-mail address. This is totally arbitrary stuff which I have put in whenever I didn't like a particular result, or when the file rename failed because of an illegal character coming from the e-mail address.

                          There are a couple of other transformations I do on the way: if the e-mail doesn't have a subject, I put "no subject"; if OE has given the message a sequence number to avoid file name clashes, I remove it.

                          When there is more than one e-mail about the same subject and to/from the same address, the above formatting would give a name clash. To work round that I will add a sequence number to the end of each of the files. I find out what to do with a simple run of logic.

                          If a file of the above name already exists, it means that the new message is the second of this sequence and, more importantly, that the existing file will become the first of the sequence. I rename the existing file, i.e.:

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04].eml

                          is renamed to

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04] 1.eml

                          Then, regardless of what I did there, I start looking for files in the sequence, starting at the "1" position. I either find no files, or the last file in an existing sequence.

                          If there are no files, I rename the new message

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04].eml

                          If there are files, I note the last (highest numbered) one, and rename the new message into the next position in the sequence.

                          So, after one message, I'd have

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04].eml

                          And after a second message from you on the same subject I'd have

                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04] 1.eml
                          Re [NTO] Outlook Express Folders [from subscriber04] 2.eml

                          I've often suggested to myself that I should just always start with sequence "1", but it doesn't please my eye, and would only actually save about three or four lines of code anyway.

                          I compile the program as a DOS console application and put in a right-click option for EML files to run it from Windows Explorer. If I want to do multiple files at once, I get Windows to call the program once for each file - I didn't bother making the program handle multiple files.

                          This is all pretty arbitrary, and very simple C++ code - built on a foundation of classes that I have developed over the many years since I started using C++. Although I could sanitise it and post it, it would be somewhat meaningless without the supporting classes, which I'm not willing to give out.

                          A bit of work in your favourite programming environment would knock up an equivalent program in a couple of evenings. The points that need to be covered are:

                          Reading the EML text file looking for the lines that begin with specific key words, and grabbing the e-mail information from those lines;
                          Guessing which of the "to" or "from" is the other party;
                          Constructing a file name which is a combination of the file name OE gave it and the selected e-mail information;
                          Ensuring that you can handle multiple messages that would end up with the same name otherwise (e.g. by appending a sequence number, or the date and time, or whatever);
                          Renaming the file.

                          All the other stuff I do is window-dressing and you may or may not wish to do something similar.

                          Dave S

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: subscriber04
                          To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 8:03 AM
                          Subject: Re: [NTO] Outlook Express Folders



                          --- In ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com, "David Smart" <smartware@o...>
                          wrote:
                          > In fact, I don't ever keep messages in the OE dbx files for long
                          anyway. I keep them in my normal file system as EML files,
                          alongside all my other documents. I drag them to the appropriate
                          documentation folders, then run a small program I wrote that changes
                          the file names to give more information about the e-mails, and also
                          removes the worry of multiple files with the same names.


                          Dave,

                          Could you please elaborate a little bit more what does this program
                          do? And more, could you possibly share it? I mean, is possible to
                          get it from you? A couple of days ago I joined the club of upset OE
                          users with corruptet dbx files (although they were not bigger than
                          50 MB each) and would like to save what I was able to recover from
                          my backup copy the way you describe.

                          Kind regards,

                          Wojciech/Subscriber





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