Desperately looking for an email client which saves folders to disk the way OE did!

My greetings to all members of this forum. I know that all of you are already light years ahead of me in regards to problems like this that I will expose, but I really needed your help in this matter. I have an old PC (Pentium 4) running Windows XP, and the ONLY reason I didn't install Windows 7 yet is because it doesn't have Outlook Express (OE). And the ONLY reason I insist in using OE is because of its folder saving system to disk (meaning: 1 folder = 1 (dbx) file). As I participate in many Yahoo discussion groups, I have many folders, one for each group. I have a lot of important information in those folders/emails and don't want to loose them. Backing up the folders have always been easy with OE; if I leave some Yahoo group, I'll save the corresponding dbx file to an external hard disk (I usually compact them with Rar or Zip, in order to make them much smaller files). When I want to read again some emails from that particular group, I just have to create the folder in OE (with the original name) and then unzip the original dbx file and replace the empty dbx file created by OE by that one.

My question is: is there an email client that uses this same simple system of saving the folders we create? Correct me if I'm mistaken, but Microsof Outlook doesn't do that; it saves all in one single pst file, which contains all the folders we create. On what concerns Windows Live Mail and other non-Microsoft options, I don't know, I'm just a computer user with little technical knowledge.

If someone could help me, I would be very grateful.

All the best!
Reply to victor_bergman
11 answers Last reply
More about desperately email client saves folders disk
  1. Have you considered Thunderbird? https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

    My father-in-law went from OE to Thunderbird, attesting to the ease of transitioning (he is very non-techie). Messages are stored in the folder structure you establish in the app. You can also import OE files into Thunderbird (at least you could a few years ago when he transitioned.
    Reply to COLGeek
  2. COLGeek said:
    ....You can also import OE files into Thunderbird (at least you could a few years ago when he transitioned.

    Still can ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Import_from_Outlook_Express ). The simplest way is to install Thunderbird on the machine with Outlook Express and do the import. Then move the Thunderbird profile to the target machine. If that's not possible then you have to be able to get ALL of the OE files copied to the target machine (maintaining the directory structure) and do the import there. There is also an alternative, but slightly more involved method, involving the use of gmail as an intermediary.
    Reply to ex_bubblehead
  3. On Microsoft outlook, you can have multiple .PST files, and copy/move items between them.
    Reply to Alabalcho
  4. COLGeek said:
    Have you considered Thunderbird? https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

    My father-in-law went from OE to Thunderbird, attesting to the ease of transitioning (he is very non-techie). Messages are stored in the folder structure you establish in the app. You can also import OE files into Thunderbird (at least you could a few years ago when he transitioned.



    ex_bubblehead said:
    COLGeek said:
    ....You can also import OE files into Thunderbird (at least you could a few years ago when he transitioned.

    Still can ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Import_from_Outlook_Express ). The simplest way is to install Thunderbird on the machine with Outlook Express and do the import. Then move the Thunderbird profile to the target machine. If that's not possible then you have to be able to get ALL of the OE files copied to the target machine (maintaining the directory structure) and do the import there. There is also an alternative, but slightly more involved method, involving the use of gmail as an intermediary.


    Thank you very much for your answers. In this case, the target machine is the old Pentium IV I'm using, as it is my only PC (I can't afford to buy a new computer at this time). However, I already discarded Thunderbird as an alternative; it's a much "heavier" program (it takes a long time to open compared to OE) and saves two files (one without extension and another with the extension msf) for each folder I create. And I don't know what other files I must save when, for example, I need to format the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. I was thinking of a lighter, simpler and more old-fashioned program.
    Reply to victor_bergman
  5. Alabalcho said:
    On Microsoft outlook, you can have multiple .PST files, and copy/move items between them.


    I use Microsoft Outlook in my workplace and there we all share the same structure of folders. My bosses are always saving the - I imagine HUGE! - pst file to portable hard drives (that pst file contains all the folders). As I'm familiar with that program, I tried it at home to see how it worked in a single user environment (I have it as a part of Microsoft Office 2003). But, as I suspected, it created one single file, named "Outlook.pst", which contains all my folders. But I'll study the program a bit more thoroughly to check the options it has. Microsoft Outlook would be a great alternative for me, my only problem is the way it stores the folders. Thank you very much for your answer.
    Reply to victor_bergman
  6. While Outlook can access multiple PSTs, you generally have one active PST (that contains everything) and as many archive PSTs as you want. At my office, I rely upon many years of multi-GB in size PSTs.
    Reply to COLGeek
  7. COLGeek said:
    While Outlook can access multiple PSTs, you generally have one active PST (that contains everything) and as many archive PSTs as you want. At my office, I rely upon many years of multi-GB in size PSTs.


    I have no idea how this is done, but I'll try to find out. Thanks for the sugestion.
    Reply to victor_bergman
  8. Your current in-box (and folders in it) are generally the one active PST maintained by the system. Previously saved PSTs can then be configured to allow access to those PSTs.

    What version of Outlook do you have?
    Reply to COLGeek
  9. COLGeek said:
    Your current in-box (and folders in it) are generally the one active PST maintained by the system. Previously saved PSTs can then be configured to allow access to those PSTs.

    What version of Outlook do you have?


    It's Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 (11.8169.9172) SP3. I tried to archive some of the folders I created (as a test) under Inbox. The results were a total mess! I'll just keep trying. Thank you.
    Reply to victor_bergman
  10. I just gave Microsoft Outlook a rest and I'm trying OE Classic 2.7. It's very similar to OE (that was the point of this program's creators, anyway), but, like Thunderbird, it creates two files for each folder: one with a DB extension and another with a MBX extension. Nevertheless, it looks like the next best thing to OE. If I adapt well to the free version of the program, I may even consider buying the Pro version. Has anyone here ever tried this email client?


    [EDIT]
    I guess I spoke too soon... :( The SQLite/MBX format of the folders in OE Classic is a bit tricky. We can't mess around with the files in the store folder the way we could in Outlook Express. For example, after I copy a dbx file to an external hard disk, I can delete the original file in OE's store folder in my PC. Then, I can click on the corresponding folder in Outlook Express and it creates automatically a new dbx file with the same name of the folder (with a size of about 75KB). When I want I can replace this small file with the dbx file I've copied to the disk and all the emails stored in that folder become available again. In OE Classic, if I remove a single file from the store folder, the program will get corrupted and may even become impossible to access it!

    [EDIT2]
    I sent an e-mail to OE Classic site explaining my problem and got this (almost immediate) answer:

    "Sorry, but we don't accept suggestions from non-buyers or free version users.

    If you purchase, we'll be considering your suggestion.

    best regards,
    XXXXXXXXX"

    As I didn't like the tone of this answer, I replied in a rather sarcastic way and received a proper answer, in which they assured me that they had previously made certain changes to the program solely based on the suggestions of one or two (Pro) users.
    Reply to victor_bergman
  11. And now another pearl from OE Classic developers: "I re-read your question and I think you can do the same in OEClassic as well even though not as quickly as in OE6. Technically this is hacking. Neither OE6 nor OE Classic were designed for that kind of use. OEClassic is merely more explicit about that intention."

    Hacking?! You know, in Outlook Express, sometimes I don't even delete the emails from the "Deleted items" folder; I just delete the dbx file of that folder! That way, I don't have to compact the folder. And I do it with Outlook Express running, the only care I must take is to not have that folder selected (just because it won't let me delete the file). And that's great because it demonstrates that the program is simple, that I can understand and predict its "behavior" and can use it beyond the conventional way, adapting it even better to my needs rather than using it strictly the way it was planned by the creators of it. I don't understand why that is hacking; it is my program (I bought Windows XP and Outlook Express is part of it), my folders, which I created in the program, with my emails in them. I'm not dissassembling or modifying the program in any way. When I create a macro in Microsoft Word or a formula in Microsoft Excel, is that hacking? As I previously said, I'm just a user, with little technical knowledge. What I do know is that the evolution of software and technology in general has made the life of the end user much more difficult, when it should be the other way around. These days, the end user is almost bound to know as much as the experts.

    All the best!
    Reply to victor_bergman
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