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I have a message saying to free up disk space Outlook Express can compact messages. What messages are they talking about? I always say yes but cannot tell the difference, How do I get the message back if I wanted them? maybe I should delete if I knew what it was talking about.
Emails are the messages. Emails are held in a single database file, for each folder. IE all the Inbox emails are held in a folder called Inbox.dbx - the same for the other folders.
When you delete an email, it does not vanish from the database file - it gets marked as deleted and does not show any more (this is governed by an index file which tells the system which to display and which not to). And, of course a copy of the message is put into the Deleted.dbx file too.
Now of course this means that the Inbox.dbx (and other) files would simply grow and grow and grow ceaselessly. Compacting weeds out all the deleted files and also adjusts the index file for the cleaned up folder.
So compacting gets rid of old, already deleted messages, not the ones you want left in the folders.
Sorry .... *IE all the Inbox emails are held in a folder called Inbox.dbx*
should read ..... "I.e. all the Inbox emails are held in a file called Inbox.dbx"
The way I understand it is, that the Inbox is a data base in a folder called Inbox. (The old deleted messagaes that are not on show are compacted so not to take so much room.) This I know. I beleave they are still there in the system as nothing ever is realy deleted. But (For each folder?) and (other folders?) is what I do not understand. Every time the messages get compact, does it make a new database folder?,
*The way I understand it is, that the Inbox is a data base in a folder called Inbox*
No - it's a file called inbox.dbx, not a folder. Each "box" in OE is such a file - thus you have inbox.dbx - sent.dbx - draft.dbx - deleted.dbx - etc etc.
*Every time the messages get compact, does it make a new database folder?,*
Yes the old File inbox.dbx is replaced with a new compacted file inbox.dbx - and the same for all the other .dbx files.
*I beleave they are still there in the system as nothing ever is realy deleted.*
That's not quite the correct understanding of how the filing systems work. When any file is deleted, it's not erased - the space it occupies is simply returned to the system as available space for new files. So it's eventually overwritten (not necessarily all at once) by new files. This can happen at any time, maybe even right away.
So - after compacting, your deleted emails are no longer in the new inbox.dbx file. The old inbox.dbx file may or may not be around, in part or in whole - but it occupies space that is avilable for writing new files.
Programs for recovering deleted files only do so insofar as the file has not been overwritten by new files - the more time that passes, the less likely the recovery can take place.
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