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Old 18th December 2012   #1
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Outlook Express 6 Hangs at downloading messages


Using OE6 on Windows XP SP3. After compacting messages, and defragging the HD, found OE6 to be malfunctioning. Depending on the attempt, it either:

-Opens the inbox and displays the existing messages - but while it displays the number of messages to be downloaded - does not download any, or:

-Does not even display the inbox messages.

In either instance - it pretty much bogs down the whole system and the computer will not exit windows/shut down except by holding in the power switch.

I have already deleted (via rename.old) the usual dbx folders (with OE not running: Pop3uidl.dbx and folders.dbx) - but no joy. I do have a complete identity folder backup made before I started the maintenance. Can/should I just replace the one running now with that one? Is there something else I should be trying?

Does it make sense that OE6 could be bogging down the whole system like it is? (Everything runs fine until I open OE - then problem occurs). Full disclosure - my inbox and folders are 3 gigs (I know, I know) but I've been nursing it along with the occasional failed compacting and recovery from backup files). Any advice is appreciated.

Internet connection is good and I have deleted new incoming messages via a different computer - so I do not think it is hanging up on one bad email.

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Old 19th December 2012   #2
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Outlook Express is like a hundred year old man trying to climb to the 20th story of an apartment building when the lift has failed......

It is well documented that OE does not work well with large .dbx files.

Although the theoretical capacity is 2GB, I recommend not more than 300-400MB max for less chance of corruption.

See: Information about the maximum file size of the .dbx files that are used by Outlook Express

Quote:
Note Although the maximum file size is 2 GB, .dbx file performance can be greatly influenced by the hardware resources on a computer. These resources can include random access memory (RAM), disk space, and processor resources.
I suggest moving to a more modern email client.

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Old 19th December 2012   #3
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Thank you Arie.
After reading Arie's reply and the Microsoft KB info - I got an idea. I doubled my fixed page file size from 3066 to 6132, restarted the system and tried launching OE again. After rumbling for two or three minutes, like an old diesel engine starting up - everything loaded and new email downloaded into the inbox. Anyway - I view this as a life-support measure only and will migrate to a new client. Is Thunderbird the only good option for a POP3 mail service? It's just that I have 10 years of emails that need to be preserved and accessible - and even if I move to a new email provider/address - I will still want access to the old emails. Thoughts anyone? I will mark this link solved - maybe the page-file work-around can help someone else.

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