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Deleting all messages in Inbox in OE


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#1
wdc202

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OE6 on a W98SE pc

After being away for a week I turned on OE6 and found myself receiving several <THOUSAND> messages! ??? Whatever could have caused that?

I now show 17000+ messages in my Inbox and I cannot open the Inbox at all.

Can someone please tell me how I can delete all the messages in the Inbox (I have copies on anther pc) and restore normal operation? Thanks.
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#2
Throoper

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As long as you don't need to try saving any of them, go into the Message Store folder, and with OE closed, delete the Inbox.dbx file.
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#3
wdc202

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Throoper:
Thanks for your help.

I deleted inbox.dbx; returned to OE and confirmed that the Inbox was empty. BUT … when I clicked Send and Receive I started to load 4700 messages!

Any suggestions?
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#4
sari

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Who is your ISP? Many ISPs offer webmail access, so you can check your email from anywhere. If you have a way to log in to your account online, I would suggest doing that to figure out why you have so many messages and where or who they are coming from.
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#5
Throoper

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Just a guess, but I think your pop3uidl.dbx has corrupted.
That's the file that keeps track of what has been downloaded from the server.
If you don't have the option checked in OE to remove messages from the server after a certain amount of time or when you delete them in OE, the pop3uidl will have to keep the info of what's sitting at the server and after a while it just gets overwhelmed.

To fix it on the OE end, delete the pop3uidl.dbx.
The bad news is when you next open OE, everything on the server will download again (but it should be the last time).
If you can do as "sari" suggests and log in to the web interface at the ISP mailbox, you can empty it out. If it's not on the server, it won't download.

To change the way OE handles messages on the server, click Tools>Accounts>Mail tab.
Highlight the account and click Properties. On the Advanced tab>Delivery section, make the changes you want and OK. It's a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, it's nice to have things on the server as a backup, but as you've discovered it also can be a pain when things go wrong.
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#6
wdc202

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Sari, Throoper: Continued thanks for your help.

Perhaps this additional information may help you see what is going on here.

I use OE 6 on three pcs (an XP, a W98, and a W98SE); each lets me send and receive messages; they all work on my single ISP account, Comcast—via a cable connection.

OE 6 works fine on my XP and W98. As it did on my W98SE OE6 until just recently. My problem is with the W98SE pc.

I <can> read my mail using the Comcast web site but I find OE to be easier.


The settings for my three OE email accounts (Tools/Accounts/Properties/….): all of these must be the same right? (Suppose they were different: which directions would the server take as operative?)

If I delete any files at the Server (as I understand you are suggesting), won’t that affect all three of my OE accounts?


FWIW, at this time my W988SE system allows me to send messages -- which I can receive on two of my email accounts but not on my W98SE system.
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#7
sari

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wdc202,

It sounds like your pop3uidl.dbx is corrupt, as suggested by Throoper. Therefore, it doesn't recognize that you've downloaded those emails and it keeps trying to download them again. That's why it's only happening on the one PC. I would keep the settings the same on all 3 PCs and leave the emails in the Comcast inbox, but try Throoper's suggestion of deleting the pop3uidl.dbx. As he said, the next time you check mail on that PC, it will download everything, but it will only happen once. If you don't want all of those messages to download again (it sounds like you already have them in OE on the other computers), you could delete all the older messages from the Comcast end and only have the newer ones download.
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#8
Throoper

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The settings for my three OE email accounts (Tools/Accounts/Properties/….): all of these must be the same right? (Suppose they were different: which directions would the server take as operative?)


Not necessarily. They are obviously all set to "Leave messages on the server" but the times may be different. The OE that is set to the shortest time or to "Remove from server when deleted from Deleted Items" will take priority.

If I delete any files at the Server (as I understand you are suggesting), won’t that affect all three of my OE accounts?


Yes it will. That's the balancing act part. You want to leave messages on the server long enough to download to all three machines, but not so long as to pile up into an unmanageable mess.
Once they have been downloaded to all 3, you will have 2 backups if you need them, so there really isn't a point to leaving them on the server forever. I'm not sure how much storage Comcast allows, but I would think sooner or later you will hit the limit if you leave everything and the server will quit accepting new messages and kick out a "Mailbox Full" warning, or just automatically start deleting older messages.

FWIW, at this time my W988SE system allows me to send messages -- which I can receive on two of my email accounts but not on my W98SE system.


That might be related to your Inbox and pop3uidl getting overloaded, or it could be a separate issue. Best would be to get the obvious straightened out and see if that takes care of it. If it doesn't, we'll know what it's not and can go from there.
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#9
Throoper

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Looks like "sari" beat me to it. Gotta type faster. :)
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#10
wdc202

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I found pop3uidl.dbx on the "bad" pc and deleted it. I rebooted the "bad" pc, went to OE( and note that it took a very very long time for the opening OE screen to appear.) But I found no new messages received there. When I click Send/Rceieve i get a message along the bottom line saying "No new messages."

I can still send messages from the "bad" pc and see them in my Sent folder. And, my other two pcs are still working fine.

As to trouble at the server... if that were the problem woudn't I see it on the "good" pcs too?

This point <may??> be signifcant. When i cleaned out my inbox.dbx the other day on the "bad" pc I removed all but one message that stills sits in the Inbox. When I try to delete it I get this message. "Your security settings prohibit running ActiveX controls on this page. As a result the page may not display correctly." ActiveX???

Puzzled but confident; Thanks again.
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#11
sari

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What's the content of the message you get that error on? Does it have a hyperlink in it?
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#12
Throoper

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This point <may??> be signifcant. When i cleaned out my inbox.dbx the other day on the "bad" pc I removed all but one message that stills sits in the Inbox. When I try to delete it I get this message. "Your security settings prohibit running ActiveX controls on this page. As a result the page may not display correctly." ActiveX???

Puzzled but confident; Thanks again.

Sounds like you cleaned out the Inbox folder in OE, rather than deleting the Inbox.dbx in the Message Store folder. That could be part of the problem. You may have a bad message stuck in the Inbox. Deleting that Inbox.dbx will cause a new one to be generated next time OE is opened.

To address the server issue, you are correct that if there was a problem at the server it would affect all 3 machines. My suggestions on that are to make you aware of potential problems (granted, they may never appear), but if they do, it can be a complete nightmare to rectify. You don't need it as backup, plus reducing the amount of mail being stored on the server will reduce the amount that gets re-downloaded to OE by deleting the pop3uidl.

It's your choice if you do that or not, but at the least, log into the server and remove the mail from the server that is currently sitting in the OE Inbox. If it is a problem E-mail (corrupted or other problem) you don't want it to re-download to a nice new Inbox in OE.
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#13
wdc202

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Sari: "Your security settings prohibit running ActiveX controls on this page. As a result the page may not display correctly." WAS the error message. But I have since eliminated that single message that brought up the message by changing my Security settings in OE -- from Restricted Sites to Internet Zone.

Now the problem is somehow to get OE to accept new messages (that appear on my other two OE pcs with the same email address).

You speak of an OE inbox folder on the Comcast server. That is a different file from the one that allows me to view my messages via the Comcast web site, right? The Comcast web site is still another way I can receive my mail and I will use that on the "bad" pc until I get this all sported out.
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#14
Throoper

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You speak of an OE inbox folder on the Comcast server. That is a different file from the one that allows me to view my messages via the Comcast web site, right? The Comcast web site is still another way I can receive my mail and I will use that on the "bad" pc until I get this all sported out.

Maybe a quick, condensed explanation of how OE works is in order.

When you open OE, you have folders that, when you click on them, display your messages in the main window. This is the OE interface. The visual representation of data.

The data that makes up your messages is contained in DBX files, one dbx for each folder that is seen in the interface. The DBX files are stored in the Message Store folder. (This is where the pop3uidl.dbx was located).

When you move or delete messages in the folders in the interface, they remain in the DBX file. The program writes data to the DBX file to "tag" them for removal during the OE compact process.
So in the case of the Inbox (or any folder), you can empty the folder in the interface so it appears there are no messages in it, but they are still contained in the data in the DBX file, just ignored and not displayed in the interface because they are "tagged".

If the Inbox.dbx has been corrupted or damaged, it needs to be deleted and replaced with a new one that has no data in it. Remember, just because the folder in the OE interface appears empty, all the data is still in the Inbox.dbx in the Message Store folder.

That's all on your end.

The Inbox at the server is where the mail sits before downloading to your computer and OE.
As you have 2 other computers that seem to be OK, the message that was stuck in OE on your end is not likely to be damaged at the server Inbox. Otherwise things would be jamming up at the server Inbox and mail would not be downloading to any of your computers. It can probably be left alone.
However, due to differences in the 3 computers and installations of OE you have, there may be slight damage to that E-mail that will cause a problem with the 98SE machine, but not the other 2. That's why I thought it should be removed.
If you get rid of it at the server, it definitely won't cause a problem.
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#15
wdc202

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Throoper: Thanks much for the summary explanation of OE.

Several questions:

1. On my W98SE portable (the “bad” one) I see the Inbox.dbx is 59MB and the Deleted items.dbx is 691MB. Are these amounts excessive? FWIW, this pc has 6GB of harddrive, of which 2GB is free.

At this time I don’t find <any> pop3iudl.dbx file in this pc. But if I look into its Recycle Bin I see two entries there for pop3iudl.dbx (with two recent dates; these must be the files I deleted yesterday and a few days ago).

How do I now go about restoring a non-corrupted version of pop3iudl.dbx


2. On my W98 desktop (one of the two “good” systems that seem to be working fine) I see that my pop3uidl.dbx is 5.7 MB, my Inbox.dbx is 526 MB, and my Deleted items.dbx is 330 MB. These sound excessive. Would permanently deleting the Deleted items.dbx and much of my Inbox.dbx make my pc run appreciably faster and be more responsive? FWIW, this pc has 12GB of harddrive, 4GB of which is free.
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