Outlook Express 5.0 for Mac




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Backing Up

OE5 has created a folder on your hard drive with all the files you will need. It can be in one of two places.

If you have a "documents" folder at the root of your hard drive there will be a folder named "Microsoft User Data" (MUD) (HardDrive:Documents:Microsoft User Data:).

If you deleted or have no "documents" folder prior to installing OE 5.0, they will be found in the "Outlook Express Folder " (Hard Drive:Outlook Express 5.0 Folder:).

If you have OS 9 installed and do not have a "documents" folder. OE5 will have the OS create one and then put the MUD folder in it.

The reason is that the MacOS is moving toward becoming a true multi-user platform. The documents folder will be where each individual will store their files and be password protected so that others can't access them.



If you do have a "documents" folder ----->these two folders will be found on your hard drive. Notice that there are duplicates of the "Script Menu Items" folder and the "Sound Sets" folder. You must use the ones in the "Microsoft User Data" folder. The duplicates in the Outlook Express 5 folder can be deleted.


If you do not have a "documents" folder -----> all of the files you will need will be found in the "Outlook Express 5 Folder".



Either way ----->all your messages, addresses, rules etc. are stored in each identity and all the files work together. It is the entire identity you want to keep backed up on a regular basis.




Compact the Database 

The way that OE 5.0 handles storage of messages deserves some mention. Now each "Identity" has but one message file. If you delete most of your messages frequently this file won't get very large. Although, if you get many messages on a daily basis this file can get quite sizable. By default you have a schedule to empty the "deleted items" folder on quit. This will purge those messages from the message file and any new messages will use that emptied space, thus keeping the file size down. To get the file size down after deleting many messages, you need to compact the database.

If you have many messages which you care to keep for an extended amount of time, there are some AppleScript archive solutions which can be found at http://www.macemail.com/oe/. Once you have archived and/or deleted many messages you can compact and optimize the files in each identity by holding down the option key while starting OE5. Keep the option key depressed until you see this window.



Select "Yes" and OE5 will compact and optimize the files in the identity folder. If you have more than one identity, the files for the identity last used will be compacted. You can also use the option key as you choose an identity from the "choose identity" window to choose the identity you would like to compact.



The time this process takes will vary with the size of the files and the speed of your processor. It is NOT a "threaded" operation, so you won't be able to do other things while this process is going on. For my 90mb identity it takes about 20 minutes on my 233mhz iMac and about 30 seconds for my 6mb identity. So plan accordingly.

Once the process is done you will have some new files in the identity folder. You will find 3 files labeled "Old".



These 3 files can be trashed once you have determined that the new files are working properly.



Rebuilding the Database

If you are having trouble starting OE5 or are experiencing problems or strange behavior, you can "rebuild" the database.

Again you start OE5 while holding the Option key until you see this window...


A word of caution: A complex rebuild can create troubles with your address book in versions prior to 5.02. If you find that you must do a rebuild you should first export your contacts, delete all contacts and then reimport them after rebuilding. This will result in the loss of any groups. This issue has been addressed in OE5.02 and it is now far more stable a rebuild but still this is not a maintenance function unlike the compact which can be used regularly.


Choose NO...... and another window will appear......



Choose Yes.... Again you will find 3 "Old" files which you can delete after you have determined OE5 is back functioning properly.


NOTE: When you rebuild the database, OE removes all of your IMAP, Hotmail and news messages from the local cache. This means you will have to download these messages again from your server. You also will lose the reply links in the Info Bar.


Now there is a downloadable/printable version of this tutorial


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