Throoper: Thanks much for the summary explanation of OE.
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?
The Deleted Items is HUGE. The recommended limit for a DBX is 100MB. The bigger it gets, the more subject to corruption.
A question for you. Why haven't you deleted and regenerated the Inbox yet? If it's that you're nervous about deleting it, just change the name to Inbox.old and leave it in the Store folder.
Be sure OE is closed before making changes to the DBX files.
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
It should have just regenerated in the Message Store folder when you opened OE. If it has not, restore the one with the smallest size and most current date. Either select it in the Recycle bin and click Restore or Select it and click Edit>Cut, then in the Message Store folder click Edit>Paste.
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.
Yes they are big. Remember the 100MB limit.
Reducing the size won't do anything for general PC performance, but might make OE more responsive. At the moment I wouldn't mess with it, though. There is always the chance that a problem can arise when dealing with DBX files and you should concentrate on getting OE on the 98SE working right. You really don't want problems on 2 machines at the same time.
The comment about "much of my Inbox.dbx" makes me think you still don't understand about DBX files. They are an "All or Nothing" matter. If it's deleted, a new DBX file gets created and all messages that are in the corresponding folder in OE are gone. So if you have messages you want (say in the Inbox), you need to create a new folder in OE and move the messages from the Inbox into the new folder before deleting the Inbox.DBX in the Message Store folder.