WinXP Pro Email Client question
April 24, 2004 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Which WinXP Pro Email Client will play nice with close to 800 megs of emails? [more inside]

I realise email clients have been previously discussed here and elsewhere. But I'm finding no info through Google-fu on the most robust email clients for handling this obscene amount of mail.

My collegue has around 800 megs of emails, dating from around 2000, none of which are deletable due to the nature of the business. Up until now he has always used (don't gag) Outlook Express.

Today we are discovering that Outlook Express doesn't like this large amount of data and the "Find" function subsequently refuses to work, no matter how few emails it has to search through. Various attempts to patch, upgrade, roll back, refresh installation etc. did sweet fuck all. (I haven't yet futzed about with uninstalling OE, though, as it looks to be a huge pain in the ass, to be saved as a desparate measure)

Installing Outlook 2000 seemed like our salvation until it too froze in protest (subsequent skimming of Google results enlightened me to the fact that Outlook is vaguely connected to OE?)

So it's back to square one. Ideally we would archive a large portion of emails, which I know Outlook does, but since it's not playing nice at the moment...Thoughts?
posted by romakimmy to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 
I have around 650mb of mail in Eudora, although it's the OS X version. Its interface may be getting a little dated, but it uses standard mbox text files (so you're not locking yourself into something if you try it out) and it deals with that much mail with aplomb.

People like to make fun of Eudora, but every other client I've tried has choked on that much mail, so I keep going back. There's a free version if you want to give it a try.
posted by bcwinters at 8:19 AM on April 24, 2004


The latest version of Outlook plays much better with large archives.

I, myself, export all e-mail older than 2 years to text files using Personal Message Store and then search the archive if need be.
posted by Mick at 8:20 AM on April 24, 2004


what's the format that things are stored in? mbox, maildir or something proprietary?
posted by andrew cooke at 8:20 AM on April 24, 2004


andrew, I assume whatever your standard Outlook Express file format is (don't remember off the top of my head & I use Outlook 2000, which IIRC is different than OE) I don't get to play around with his computer for another hour as there's other stuff he needs to get done.
posted by romakimmy at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2004


My SO has a similar problem at work and she is intimately familiar with the limits of Outlook, but it's not 800meg. Outlook PSTs start to crap out around 1-1.2 gig (one can only imagine the thoughts running through the mind of the first IT person who came upon her 4 gig mailbox when she started "having problems"). If you already have Outlook available you can either give it another shot as one account and turn on the Auto-Archiving or try splitting it into multiple PSTs. It's inconvenient, but it works.
posted by yerfatma at 8:47 AM on April 24, 2004


Outlook Express works great for me, and I have 25,796 emails just sitting in my inbox. I never delete anything, and I get a lot of spam and tend to do things like stay on several high-traffic mailing lists that I don't read without unsubscribing. I just scan through 2 pages of crap every day and find the ones that are for me, and let the rest sit.
posted by abcde at 9:22 AM on April 24, 2004


You can export mail (messagebody, to, from, date, etc.) from Outlook to an text file, which you can open in Excel and convert to db records. Then you can do all kinds of neat stuff with it. With that much mail the export will take 40 days/40 nights, however.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:24 AM on April 24, 2004


(Bear in mind, this is now on my former computer, which I use via VNC and am only keeping for things like e-mail before I format it and switch to my current one full-time)
posted by abcde at 9:24 AM on April 24, 2004


I've got 400mb of email, and I use The Bat. Loads in about 2 seconds on an Athlon 1800+.
posted by Jairus at 10:40 AM on April 24, 2004


update: I still haven't gotten to futz around on his computer; OE and attempts to install Outlook2000 are buggered for some currently unknown reason (which is making me a more than wee bit uneasy). He's trying out both Eudora and Thunderbird; the latter seems to be winning, as it imported everything in about 1/3 the time Eudora did.

Much thanks to all who've contributed so far.
posted by romakimmy at 11:08 AM on April 24, 2004


I have about 1.5GB of email doing just fine in Thunderbird. Came from Outlook; transfer process was painless and relatively quick. It will do all mails and contacts. Loads at the same speed whatever the size of the email folders, as they're separate to the program (I mean, not one huge unwieldy PST file a la Outlook).
posted by humuhumu at 12:42 PM on April 24, 2004


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