Outlook Express


Last night while downloading a picture from Ebay, I ( my wife) stopped the download and got a message about not enough memory and the Mac froze. After rebooting, the Outlook Express for MAC had lost all information including POP3 ,SMTP, deleted files, address book, etc. I reloaded the latest Outlook Express and then thought I could use the IMPORT feature to get at all the old information and make in part of the new OUTLOOK. I could not IMPORT any data. (I also do not know how to INDEX- I noticed that popped up). I have manually set up my POP3 and all that stuff and OUTLOOK is working but I have no past. Like Alzheimer's.

The computer is a MAC OS 9.1 with lots of RAM. I am a WIN 98 person so do not hold that against me. My wife uses the MAC. She likes Outlook but I am open to another email program that is available free.

At the risk of sounding churlish *DON'T* run Outlook Express 5 (ever again if possible :)). I have first-hand experience of a number of machines that have been seriously damaged by this application when it crashes, almost always requiring a complete OS reinstall. I should add that I have nothing against Microsoft or their employees, but OE5 is possible one of the most unstable applications I have ever had the misfortune to use.

So, enough criticism, on with the constructive advice. Let's start with the basics - assuming it is OE5 you're using, the profiles you need will generally be found in Macintosh HD > Documents > Microsoft User Data > Identities (though see http://www.macoptions.com/oe/maint.htm for other possibilities). In theory, you don't actually need to import the profiles, you can just copy, duplicate or rename existing ones. The problem with this though is if the database is corrupted. To rebuild this, just hold down the option (alt) key when OE5 is starting up and when asked if you want to compact the database, choose no. You'll then see a second similar-looking dialogue box that asks you if you want to rebuild the database.

The site mentioned earlier recommends that you upgrade OE5 to the latest version (5.0.2, which must be *years* old now) so check this option out first before you do a rebuild. Bear in mind that Microsoft has officially stopped any future development of IE or OE (on the Mac that is) so OE will never get any better than this :D

As for alternative applications, I used to use the mail facilities in Netscape 7 (fairly similar operation, not quite as nice looking perhaps) but any application that can import the OE files is probably worth a look...