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thedslguyFlag for United States of America

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Possibly corrupt inbox (dbx)

Hello Experts

I'm working on a client's machine.  She has emails that date back to 2002.  Her inbox had reached 2GB and she couldnt get any more email.  I moved everything over a year old to new folders and now she can get email OK, but when I look at the file from Windows Explorer it still says her inbox.dbx file is 1.99GB.

I'm concerned that I havent really fixed the problem and that something else is going on.

I've run all the spyware and virus checkers and the system is clean, so I don't think it's that.  I'm willing to invest in software that will fix .dbx files if necessary, but I wanted to see if anyone had any insights.

Thanks for any help you send my way!!

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thedslguy--Try Compacting.  File|Folders\Compact all Folders.
If you have any problems about missing emails after doing that, look here
This may be a good article to read.
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Thanks for the response.  I'll try that.  I'm first going to copy the Identities folder to the desktop so I can restore it if I need to.

I'll let you know.


I tried compacting but it still shows over 2GB

Any other suggestions?
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I did that already.  After I did that the file size was still overe 2GB.  Windows Explorer showed all the new files (Yearly) as well as the 2GB Inbox.

Very confusing.

Something else:

All new email now goes to the Norton AntiSpam Folder
there are two different issues here.
OE dbx folders function by a grow-up-but-never-shrink rule. So, if you add messages to one folder, the corresponding file's size will grow. But if you delete messages from one folder, the size will remain the same. Meaning only header information is deleted, and not the message itself. And this is where compaction is needed.
If you compact an EMPTY folder and it's size doesn't shrink to about 75 KBytes, this means that the folder / it's associated file has a problem and should be replaced.
Forgive me, but it's hard for me to understand that you did empty the Inbox by moving all the messages, then renamed / removed the Inbox.dbx file and - when restarting OE - the application recreated a 2 GBytes EMPTY file. Something is wrong here!

I didn;t EMPTY the inbox.  I created new folders for 2002 to 2007 and moved the mail dated 2002 to the 2002 box; mail dated 2003 to the 2003 box, etc.

Didn;t mean to confuse you.

So anyway, after I moved the mail dated 2002 to 2007 to the appropriate boxes, the inbox still showed 2GB.  Then I compacted all boxes and the inbos stillshows 2GB.

I just installed a new identity on a different machine and tried to import her inbox.  I got an error saying t "No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the reauired files open".

I'd sure like to know what's going on with this.
Does the inbox appear empty in original identity?
thedslguy--It's a puzzlement.  Would you mind if I asked tyby a question even if it does not help solve your problem.
tyby--This is not to question the advice you have given.  But you gave the following as an explanation "So, if you add messages to one folder, the corresponding file's size will grow. But if you delete messages from one folder, the size will remain the same. Meaning only header information is deleted, and not the message itself.'
I thought that was the case for the DeletedItems.dbx file.  And that true deletion of emails in the DeletedItems.dbx file occurred only upon compacting.  Is what you state true of the Inbox.dbx file, as well?  I thought that deleting an email from it would reduce its size.  (Too lazy to test.)
jcimarron: the process is similar to any dbx file in OE. So, if you delete all messages from a 1.5 GBytes folder, the size of the EMPTY dbx file would be ~ 1.5 GBytes (moe or less few kbytes). So, the answer is YES.
Some new information:

I just tried twice to compact all the boxes again (File-Folder-Compact all Folders)

It errored out both times on the inbox, saying it was in use.

Please don't give up on this, Experts!!



thedslguy--Did you chose File|Work Offline first?

No, but I'll do that.


DSLGuy: Is your inbox EMPTY at this moment? Did you move all messages in those "archive" folders I was talking somewhere above (the year-named folder was an example)? I fyes, why don't you just remove the Inbox.dbx file (or at least move it to another location, outside OE store folder)?

Inbox is not empty, but I'll try that, too.


Try to empty and get rid of it. Most probably you are dealing with a corrupt dbx file, wich you might be able to repair using different commercial softwares on the market, but - IMHO - it's always better to have something new than something already repaired. ;)

You were right about emptying the inbox.  That's what was necessary to make the repair.  When I first read this post I was more focused on compaction and the message about emptying just didnt register with me.  Thanks for that last post.  That was what jogged me into paying attention.

My client is now very happy.  She can receive email and Norton AntiSpam is filtering as it should.  She said she is going to organize it all according to sender and keep her inbox cleaned out from now on.

Thanks again!!