Lost Email

I am devastated. I lost all email from Nov 2005 onwards. I haven’t made a backup (although it was a regular thought in my mind) and the “compacting” procedure of Outlook Express with over 70,000 emails in my “Archive Folder” failed. I have done compacting in the past and it didn’t fail. But this one time it did.

I installed Thunderbird right after that and I imported my Outlook folders (1.2 GB of data overall, after the loss of data). The imported “Archive Folder” loads in about 4 minutes after you click it, while it takes Outlook Express just 4 seconds to go through it. This is unacceptable and it makes Thunderbird unusable. Don’t even get me start about all these imported emails that date from either 1969 or 2101. Sure, Outlook Express has f*cked up once in all these years (and maybe for a good reason, because the internal file system of the dbx archive files is FAT16 and that can’t be over 1.6 GBs of data or it might get corrupted — and I knew that), but Thunderbird craps up on you from the moment you install it and it’s slow as molasses. So, back to Outlook Express, even with the danger of losing some email in the distant future (I will be making backups from now on). The Mozilla Foundation can wipe my ass with Thunderbird.

The only thing that sucks really is that I lost email addresses from important companies like Apple, addresses that I used in order to go into special events or to get review units. Professionally-wise, I am now back to 2005. Sucks hard. I wanted to kill my fish. I didn’t.

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Ludovic Hirlimann wrote on September 21st, 2006 at 8:36 AM PST:

Eugenia have you tried thebat or eudora ?

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 21st, 2006 at 8:37 AM PST:

I don’t like Eudora. I don’t know TheBat. I used to use Pegasus back in 1998 at work.
OE is very fast for me (extremely fast actually) and very stable. Sure, it f*cked it up this time, but I am 100% sure that the other mail clients would f*ckup way more often than OE would (especially Thunderbird). So I am not changing my email client. The only thing that I MIGHT do is move all my future email from now on to Gmail.

binarycrusader wrote on September 21st, 2006 at 11:43 AM PST:

My experience with Thunderbird was the same. These days all my old email is in evolution (quite a bit there), and all my new email is in gmail. I’ll never go back to a mail client again, only gmail seems to be able to handle the torrent of information I have to deal with in email.

Tyr. wrote on September 22nd, 2006 at 1:12 AM PST:

Thunderbird has never ever lost mail for me and I’ve used it since version 0.2. But yeah it’s slow. I think it is a side effect of one of its advantages : it uses standard mbox format which is basically a text file with some keywords. But you’ll never have problems importing mbox data into other email clients, the power of standards.
A solution would be to sort the mail over several “mailboxes” reducing the size of the mbox files and load/search time. Although sorting 1.6 Gib of mail sounds like hell :-)

Anyway I prefer Thunderbird to the agro of using Outlook (forced to use at work), which accounts for about 20% of the time I spend yelling at my pc at work.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 22nd, 2006 at 1:21 AM PST:

OE has worked wonders for me. I love the UI, it’s very stable, it’s extremely fast and consumes not huge amounts of memory. Surely it screwed up during a non-standard action this time (this is an action that performs only once or twice a year), but overall, I use OE since 1998 or 1999 and it’s my favorite application of all. It just does what it’s supposed to do. I had found 2 bugs back in 2001, but these were fixed in subsequent releases, all things considered, this is a very bug-free app (in terms of instability, not in terms of security).

Ricardo Ramalho wrote on September 22nd, 2006 at 3:16 AM PST:

Due to a harddrive crash i lost pretty much all of my e-mail. I learned what backup is all about… the hard-way! So, now i’m using gmail. It’s good, and allways available.

And, i must say that Outlook is a very good application, and that i’ve never had much issues with it.

As for thunderbird, i just can’t say. Never ever tried it!

Chris Syntichakis wrote on September 22nd, 2006 at 4:34 AM PST:


I think that OE sucks.. I don’t like the way it handles the storage of the messages..
Outlook is better as you can have ONE PST (personal folders) file for your data (easy to backup it too..).

A week ago,I had this experience : a friend had a crash of his HD, we couldnot “move” the pst as it displayed CRC error.. BUT we managed to OPEN it with the Outlook and EXPORT all the items to a new PST..

My main mail app is Apple’s Mail.app (no better than Outlook..) but since so many years I follow this policy :
I KEEP important emails as TEXT files … and I copy the important email contacts to my addressbook (sync’ed with my phone and pocketpc and on one extra internal HD and on 2 external HD’s (as encrypted text))

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