8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 3, 2010 5:58 PM by SG1952

    Outlook Express problem

      Not sure if this is virus related, but I am running Outlook Express, and there are several emails that will not delete. I am attempting to clean up all of the folders, but cannot delete some. Any ideas? Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Outlook Express problem
          rmetzger

          SG1952 wrote:

           

          Not sure if this is virus related, but I am running Outlook Express, and there are several emails that will not delete. I am attempting to clean up all of the folders, but cannot delete some. Any ideas? Thanks.

          Well, in the absense of information, I cannot tell exactly what the problem would be. However, I have experienced this problem before.

           

          Often, the local file containing each message, may have minor 'corruption' (of pointers) which leads to the inability to do simple things, like deleting the messages in question.

           

          Often, I have found that 'Compacting' the folders can clear minor corruption allowing for continued normal operations like deleting. I would recommend compacting each folder individually, in case you find one folder is difficult to compact, stopping the process on the others.

           

          Try compacting and let us know how you are doing.

          Ron Metzger

          • 2. Re: Outlook Express problem

            Thank you. How do you initiate the compaction process? Sometimes, I have been prompted to do so, but I have not ever initiated the process. Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Outlook Express problem
              rmetzger

              SG1952 wrote:

               

              Thank you. How do you initiate the compaction process? Sometimes, I have been prompted to do so, but I have not ever initiated the process. Thanks again.

              While highlighting the folder in question, 'File' > 'Compact Folder' repeating for each desired compaction.

               

              Ron Metzger

              • 4. Re: Outlook Express problem

                Thanks again. However, with just about anything I do, there are issues. When I begin to compact a particular file (inbox), after about a minute a box appears that says "The folder is currently in use by Outlook Express or by another application". I then hit ok, and started the process again, but with the same message popping up.

                • 5. Re: Outlook Express problem
                  rmetzger

                  SG1952 wrote:

                   

                  Thanks again. However, with just about anything I do, there are issues. When I begin to compact a particular file (inbox), after about a minute a box appears that says "The folder is currently in use by Outlook Express or by another application". I then hit ok, and started the process again, but with the same message popping up.

                  Right. So, make sure that you are not trying to download any messages, when trying to Compact. Change the Check for Messages interval (to a very long time) or turn it off (and restart OE) while trying to Compact. (Sometimes, OE will continue to try in the background while it looks idle. So, you may have to wait many minutes and check inside of TaskMgr processes for OE activity.)

                   

                  Can you compact other folders besides the Inbox? Start with the smaller ones first and work your way to the Inbox (and Sent). Those that finish compacting are probably in good shape, but those that fail . . .

                   

                  If there is more substantive corruption within a folder, than you may need to have other more advanced repairs done to reconstruct what can be reconstructed. This forum, however, is probably not the best place for this instruction.

                   

                  Hope this helps.

                  Ron Metzger

                  • 6. Re: Outlook Express problem

                    Thanks for the advice. I was able to compact the other folders, but not the inbox. By the way, what does "defragging" do?

                    • 7. Re: Outlook Express problem
                      rmetzger

                      SG1952 wrote:

                       

                      Thanks for the advice. I was able to compact the other folders, but not the inbox. By the way, what does "defragging" do?

                      As far as email is concerned: Nothing. Defragging takes the entire file (of whatever content) and simply consolidates the locations of fragments into a single strand of data, physically located on the drive.

                       

                      EMail data stores will not reuse space within a folder (from the email perspective) or file (from the OS perspective) that has been allocated for a message even though that message may have been deleted. It is faster to simply add to the end of the file a new message when it comes in. So, Outlook Express simply appends new messages to the end. Deleted messages become holes of data within the email folder. (As far as the defragger is concerned, it doesn't see the contents at all; it simply consolidates the entire file, holes and all.)

                       

                      Compacting the email folder, walks thru the file (in an email aware way) and removes the holes (caused by message deletions) and rewrites the email folder (file, from the OS perspective) in the process. With the holes removed, the file size of that 'folder' (such as the inbox), shrinks. However, that file can still be fragmented (from the OS perspective) across the drive. Defragging the drive will take the compacted email folder and remove the fragments as located physically across the drive into hopefully a single data stream.

                       

                      Part of the Compacting process also validates and corrects minor 'pointer' errors that can occur within a folder. However, at some point, Compacting get's lost in the more severe errors that can occur. Unfortunately, this may be the problem with your Inbox.

                       

                      For the future, I would recommend compacting these folders frequently to help correct minor problems before they become major problems.

                       

                      In the meantime, I would see if there are any Critical messages you need to save and see if you can at least print them off. There are many utilities (mostly paid for versions) designed to help recover the messages 'that can be recovered' as some are actually lost.

                       

                      Good luck and post back with your results.

                      Thanks,

                      Ron Metzger

                      • 8. Re: Outlook Express problem

                        Thanks again. The inbox is still functioning, but I just can't completely clean up the file due to a handfull that won't delete.