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Old 8th September 2010, 18:18   #1
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Default Alternate to PST (Outlook) files

I have been using PST files for over five years to keep my data. Now those files (there are multiple files) have exceeded 20GB in size, and I am not too happy about my dependence on MS products for the same without any viable alternative.

I am a recruitment consultant and I keep all the profiles that I receive as email attachments. So there is no way I can do away with any profiles in my database, and I cannot store them only due to sheer size and accessibility.

So is there any alternate solution that can work as fast and reliably as PST. I am open to using some open source software that might support the PST files.
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Old 8th September 2010, 18:36   #2
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Google around for ways to convert mails contained in pst files into mails readable by open source mail clients like thunderbird.

I had done the same for myself a couple of years ago, transferring all my emails from pst files into thunderbird. In short the process contained 3 steps:

1. Convert pst files into .eml files using outlook express (not outlook)
2. Convert individual eml files to mbox format (used by thunderbird)
3. Re-create the folder structure in thunderbird and point it to the individual mbox files created.

PS: Mbox files have no extension. They're simply named inbox, sent, drafts etc.
PPS: The process might have become simpler or better tools might have come in to do the same. I did this more than 2 years back, so just speaking from that experience.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Vineet
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Old 8th September 2010, 18:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vineetmanghani View Post
Google around for ways to convert mails contained in pst files into mails readable by open source mail clients like thunderbird.

I had done the same for myself a couple of years ago, transferring all my emails from pst files into thunderbird. In short the process contained 3 steps:

1. Convert pst files into .eml files using outlook express (not outlook)
2. Convert individual eml files to mbox format (used by thunderbird)
3. Re-create the folder structure in thunderbird and point it to the individual mbox files created.

PS: Mbox files have no extension. They're simply named inbox, sent, drafts etc.
PPS: The process might have become simpler or better tools might have come in to do the same. I did this more than 2 years back, so just speaking from that experience.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Vineet
+1

Mozilla's Thunderbird is the only other reliable alternative to Outlook.

Shashank, I hope that you are keeping a backup of your 20GB PST files somewhere. I have myself faced the agony of system crash and along with that lost PSTs
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Old 8th September 2010, 19:59   #4
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Years ago while I had tried to delete unnecessary emails from pst files to reduce their size, it never happened. Solution is to create a new pst file and move necessaty emails/folders to it and discard the original pst file.

Not sure if it is true for current pst format but you can give it a try to reduce the size.
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Old 8th September 2010, 20:25   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitw79 View Post
Shashank, I hope that you are keeping a backup of your 20GB PST files somewhere. I have myself faced the agony of system crash and along with that lost PSTs
yup. most of the data is on multiple systems. So the backup is there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alto99 View Post
Years ago while I had tried to delete unnecessary emails from pst files to reduce their size, it never happened. Solution is to create a new pst file and move necessaty emails/folders to it and discard the original pst file.

Not sure if it is true for current pst format but you can give it a try to reduce the size.
Deleting mails does not reduce the size of the files. After you delete the files, you have to use the "compact now" option and then the size goes down.
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Old 8th September 2010, 20:28   #6
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The latest version of Thunderbird can import almost everything (Addresses / Mail / Settings / Filters) from Outlook/Outlook Express directly. How to import .pst file to Thunderbird is explained here.

The calendering/scheduling functionality to Thunderbird is added by the Lightning Plugin.

Another alternative to Outlook is the Evolution. There is a windows version available, though I have not used it.

To reduce the size of the 'pst' file, you could delete all the old mail/ mail attachments which are of no importance to you.
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Old 8th September 2010, 20:52   #7
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i think PST is a wrong way. Ideally it should go into a database, which is searchable/orderable by key IDs, and you just reach out by email.

PSTs are not the most wieldy of formats in my limited understanding. Why not a database based solution? Surely some professional recruitment software would be available? tried NP
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Old 8th September 2010, 22:05   #8
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@Phamilyman - what is NP ?

earlier I was not in a position to spend money on specialised recruitment software, now when I can, I am yet to find a decent option. Most of them would be dependent on parsing of word files, which is something very diffcult to achieve as every profile has a different format. So the most efficient way is to manually enter data into database.

Last edited by Shashank.A : 8th September 2010 at 22:07.
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Old 8th September 2010, 23:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitw79 View Post
+1

Mozilla's Thunderbird is the only other reliable alternative to Outlook.

Shashank, I hope that you are keeping a backup of your 20GB PST files somewhere. I have myself faced the agony of system crash and along with that lost PSTs
Guys,

I am also facing same problem and wants to switch over to other application from Outlook.

What is Max file size limit for Thunderbird?

B R
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Old 9th September 2010, 01:08   #10
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i meant nehru place yaar!

warna troll some HR forums abroad - surely they have solutions!!
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Old 9th September 2010, 22:25   #11
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Outllook is good.
But i still use and like old Outlook express very much. Best thing about OE is that you can put all those old mail in a folder and keep that separate. As OE makes individual file (.dbx) for each folder. Compact folders does wonder in OE.

Have you tried third party data compactor.
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Old 10th September 2010, 15:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
Outllook is good.
But i still use and like old Outlook express very much. Best thing about OE is that you can put all those old mail in a folder and keep that separate. As OE makes individual file (.dbx) for each folder. Compact folders does wonder in OE.

Have you tried third party data compactor.
Thanks for your response.

Not tried third party data compactor yet. Can you please give a name or link?

BTW Which OE version are you using?
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Old 10th September 2010, 15:28   #13
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I am using OE 6, that comes with XP.
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Old 10th September 2010, 16:31   #14
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Was just looking around my old files, and came across the tool I'd used to convert the .eml files to mbox files. It's called Imapsize, get it here: IMAPSize
It has got an eml2mbox and vice-versa converter.
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Old 11th September 2010, 11:57   #15
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Ok. I have started the process as an experiment on the fastest PC I have. Importing mails into outlook express now. Lets see how it goes.
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