Thought this was a great article on OE, except I'm not sure I would recommend to a relatively inexperienced user to disable the virus scanning on incoming and outgoing email. Most users are not going to right click "save attachment as", navigate to it, run a virus scan on the attachment manually and so on, so it's impractical advice, in my opinion. I routinely disable the preview pane because that will prevent some file exensions from automatically executing. The truly paranoid might prefer "plain text" settings as another deterrent, but I prefer to see my email in all its HTML glory, so I use Norton.
It cannot be emphasized enough that OE was never intended to be storage for email. Because MS didn't build in a handy way to move folders (that dbx thing!) I have seen users unintentionally overload OE ...and I'd agree with the author's assumption that a chance for a OE disaster increases exponentially after approx. 2000 messages.
The article doesn't reference the versatile and convenient DBXpress by Steve Cochran, but I purchased it a few years ago, and have used it successfully many times, to the relief of people who thought everything in their OE was lost forever. I also use it to clean out and back up my own OE. I have no financial interest in this program, just a satisfied customer, btw.
OE has another secret-
Tools> Accounts> Mail tab, highlight account> Properties> Advanced tab>Delivery
If you tick the box that says "leave a copy of messages on the server" you will have your messages available for download again if lightning strikes your computer, and especially helpful when traveling and with laptops You can adjust the settings to suit your needs in that dialogue.
Now, log onto your ISP's mailserver, if available, and configure how you want your messages stored and deleted, and possibly be amazed at the "trash" folder...every email you have received is probably in there, unless your ISP caps it somewhere to begin overwriting. (Mine doesn't. The first time I realized this there were 7000+ messages in the trash) If privacy is a concern to you, delete that "trash" at your mailserver periodically. If you do decide to retain messages on the mailserver, log on periodically to empty unecessary or private email from your mailserver's inbox, also.
When you do your back ups, include your address book:
Windows Address Book (Outlook Express)
C >Doc & Settings> User> Application Data> Microsoft> Address Book> User. WAB
And change your store folder (Tools> Maint. ~read the link at the top!) to another partition if possible, or at least a place you will not forget to regularly back up. You can always import messages in dbx fomat back into OE.
When all prevention fails, from MS: Outlook Express Repair kit
And Jim Pickering and Inside OE
are great websites for more information or specific problems.
Hope this all helps somebody someday, some way.