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Old 28th April 2006   #1
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Outlook Express - Compacting Messages


When I close Outlook Express, I get a message asking me to compact my messages to free up disk space. How do I stop this message?

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Old 28th April 2006   #2
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Old 28th April 2006   #3
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Gill--I would not stop this message, but rather would allow the compacting to proceed. As Whiskeyman's link says, the compacting should not be automatic if you have WinXP SP2, but should allow you to first agree.
However, it is best that you shut off your internet connection or close OE before allowing the compacting so no new message is incoming during the compacting.
Compacting will allow OE to operate more efficiently since Deleted Messages and some other OE information are in fact not being deleted (you just cannot see them anymore) so they just build up until you do a compacting.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/.../oerepair.mspx

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Old 29th April 2006   #4
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I didn't read the info in Whiskeyman's link but on my system (XP-SP2) it never asks, it just goes ahead. I have read somewhere that after each hundred sessions, when you close down OE, the folders get compacted. I can still do a manual compacting of individual or all folders.

Things have gone wrong (for other people, not me personally) when compacting and one of the dangers is to get incoming mail while the compacting is being processed. That's why they changed the automated compacting to occur when OE gets shut down (every hundredth time). OE keeps track of the sessions in a specific registry key. The "counter" can be reset to zero to avoid compacting. However, after some time, if the folders aren't compacted other problems (corruption) may show their ugly faces when the size grows.

I don't have a lot of important E-mails and I wouldn't cry if I lose them but I backup the E-mail folder on a regular basis (each month at least). If something should go wrong, I only have to copy the backup files back to the original location and most E-mails, apart from the most recent ones, would be safe.

I let it do the automated compacting and when I do a manual, I always block traffic in the FireWall to prevent incoming E-mail.

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Old 29th April 2006   #5
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Quote:
I have read somewhere that after each hundred sessions, when you close down OE, the folders get compacted.
That's right although you should still get prompted when it does it. I believe the change came with SP2. The first time I ever saw it was after I installed SP2. Also, when I installed it I checked out OE's options right away to make sure the compact messages in the background thing didn't get turned back on (I never used it). It was gone.

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