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Ways to speed up my Outlook search of archived 200,000 emails

Posted on 2014-03-26
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Last Modified: 2014-04-01
I have 200,000 emails in my Outlook pst file.

Q1:
Can I place the entire pst in an SSD & it will return the searches
faster?  (Somehow I have a 250GB SSD in my storeroom but
can't locate it for the last one week)?

Q2:
Will Outlook 2010 search faster than Outlook 2003?

Q3:
If I can't locate my SSD, can I create a RAMDisk & place
the pst in RAMDisk & it will search faster?  Or will placing
it in an SD or Thumb Drive make it search faster considering
that SD & thumb drives are electronic flash / NVRAM
technologies that do not involve mechanical disk seeks
/rotation?

Q4:
I guess there's no way to 'cache' it or is there a way?

Q5:
Faster CPU won't help right?  As I see from Task Manager,
the CPU is only 10-20% during the searches
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Question by:sunhux
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by:englanddg
englanddg earned 126 total points
ID: 39958046
What is the physical size of your .pst?

Upgrading to at least Outlook 2010 will certainly help.  It handles large psts much better then 2003.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39958058
I have about 5 PSTs :
smallest is 500MB, largest is 3.5GB

But I guess the number of emails in a PST counts too
as more emails mean more indexes, right?  If I have
only a few hundred emails each with huge attachments,
the search will be fast, right?
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by:englanddg
englanddg earned 126 total points
ID: 39958070
I'm not sure what "speed" you are looking for, but I'd start by moving to Outlook 2010 or later...if you have a copy available, and try from there.

There were major improvements in how features like that are handled.
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pgm554 earned 125 total points
ID: 39958075
SSD will speed things up significantly .
It's a no brainer.

Ram disk would too,but SSD is cheaper.

Even if you went with caching SSD ,that would help.

OL2003/7 and above can have 20 gb pst files.
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by:englanddg
ID: 39958154
Is it one large pst, or a combination of smaller ones?

In any case, @pgm554 isn't wrong.

However, the answer isn't all hardware.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 249 total points
ID: 39958263
you can speed things up by :
-installing more Ram
-using an SSD for the pst (and /or  OS) - which i believe will give the best boost
and as said, upgrading to newer version too; but , if possible, make the pst file smaller, by archiving into several files (per year, or month)
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39958392
Thanks.  Just to reply to englanddg, yes, I have several PST files:
they range in various sizes.  If there's no further responses,
will close this thread tomorrow
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39958404
Need someone to answer Q3:
Will placing the PST files on an SD card or USB thumb
drive help (in case I can't locate my SSD in the store room)?

>not sure what "speed" you are looking for
I'm looking at the search results to be returned within
10 secs of that 200,000 emails.

Is there a search function within Outlook which only search
for the Subject/Title of the emails without searching the
content (or text in the body) of the emails?  Maybe this will
be faster
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39958411
>Need someone to answer Q3:
Will placing the PST files on an SD card or USB thumb
drive help (in case I can't locate my SSD in the store room)?

Reason for the above query is: I thought USB thumb drive
& SD card do not have rotation/seek delays, just that USB
2 or USB 3 has a throughput limitation.  Isn't it during the
slow searches on HDD, it's the rotational/seek delays that's
the main cause of the slow search?
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by:nobus
ID: 39958631
see my answer, regarding Ram and SSD
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39959229
Nobus, you did answer on Ramdisk & SSD but not
on USB Thumb drive & SD card
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by:nobus
nobus earned 249 total points
ID: 39959277
i doubt these will be faster, since they have to pass across a slower interface...
that's why i found it so obvious not to mention them
it's like running an SSD from USB
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 125 total points
ID: 39959331
USB thumb drives vary widely in terms of read and write speed.

You could try ready boost if the thumb drives or SSD card supports it.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/readyboost
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by:nobus
nobus earned 249 total points
ID: 39959580
i agree they have varying write speeds, but they are bottlenecked by the usb 2. or 3. speed : 480 Mb sec, or 4.8 Gb sec
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by:pgm554
ID: 39959647
The cheapies have horrible write speeds.

Got a couple of generic 32 gig at the local computer chain and they were slower than a 5400 rpm usb disk.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39963688
> bottlenecked by the usb 2. or 3. speed
But if we have the 3.5GB pst file in it & what's being passed through the
USB 2 or 3 channels are the few search results, would the USB 2/3
still be the bottleneck?  The search took place within the SD or USB
thumb drive where there's no rotational/seek delay.

I'll just test it out & update here since I've just freed up enough space
on my SD.  Btw what's SDHC's throughput.  Nobus had given USB 2
& 3's throughputs
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by:nobus
ID: 39963758
sunhux -  it's very easy to test
do it on  a local disk, an SSD, and an usb device.
the SDHC speed is given by the number in the C (class) :   http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/SD-kaart

c
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39965922
Copied to an SD card: on a Win XP laptop with Outlook 2003, it practically
hangs when reading it & then gave a message "Can't display folder"

On a Win 7 Profsnl laptop with 8GB RAM & Outlook 2010, it opened it fine
but the indexing takes very long;  just listing the emails in that PST takes
a couple of hours.

The search took much longer than the same search on HDD.  So I guess
USB thumb drive & SD card is out.

Outlook 2010 has some performance improvement but certainly not
what I'm looking for, even if the pst is copied to a 7200rpm HDD on
that Win 7 laptop.

The hunt for the misplaced SSD is now needed
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39965936
I can't read Dutch, so from the English Wiki link, it says 25MBytes/s
for SDHC :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital

So if I can't find my SSD in the store room, I'll just use Ramdisk &
do a sync (or Unix ported tool rsync) to the HDD (from the Ramdisk
copy)
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by:nobus
ID: 39966257
>>  I can't read Dutch,  <<  that's what i supposed; but you can use google translate to read it
what SDHC card class do you have?  youleft out that importabnnt part
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39966538
It's SDHC.


> Is there a search function within Outlook which only search
> for the Subject/Title of the emails without searching the
> content (or text in the body) of the emails?
I've found the above function in Outlook 2010 but not in
Outlook 2003.  Certainly faster.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39966548
The emails are coming in at a rate of about 1,500 per day, so even
Outlook Rules to filter & sort them to different subfolders don't
work.

I receive more than 98% monitoring/alerting emails from BMC
Patrol & Sitescope & some other tools  & the monitoring team
had never been able to tune them.

My aim was to delete away mails with "Warning" in subject
heading & those of "High Memory utilizations"
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39966550
>Outlook Rules to filter & sort them to different subfolders don't work
Rather it works occasionally only
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by:nobus
ID: 39966682
>>  what SDHC card class do you have?   <<  it should be ON the card!
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39968587
Yes, it's printed on the card as SDHC with a number 4
& Kingston 8GB
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by:nobus
nobus earned 249 total points
ID: 39968976
then it's speed is 4Mbytes, see the screen above
of course, if your system handles  higher sd card speeds, you could install a class 10 to get 10Mbyte
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