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Author Topic: Desktop/email search program  (Read 10933 times)

bennyblanc0

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Desktop/email search program
« on: May 22, 2009, 09:07:45 PM »
quick questions guys..

I have about 5 or 6 old 3-5GB outlook PST files that I'd like to be able to index and search quickly.   I've never found that Google Desktop Search would be able to index these old PST files - plus it is a crazy resource hog

that being said, do any of the desktop programs index/search these old pst files?  is something like copernic going to be less of a resource hog compared to GDS or microsoft's desktop search?

Are there any others?

thanks!

lanux128

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 10:45:19 PM »
i'm interested too in such a tool as an alternative to Windows Desktop Search.

PPLandry

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 11:58:51 PM »
Have you read this (very long) thread?

http://www.donationc...index.php?topic=2434

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

Target

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 05:59:19 AM »
I'm a bit concerned about the file sizes you quoted (isn't there a 2G limit on PST files?)

best tool I know of for dealing with PST files is <a href="http://www.mailstore.com"> MailStore </a>

I use it for working with about 10 different PST files and it's great (a very nice find by Carol Haynes!!)

see the thread where it was discussed <a href="http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=12851.0">here</a>
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 05:48:02 PM by Target »

lanux128

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2009, 10:06:13 AM »
I'm a bit concerned about the file sizes you quoted (isn't there a 2G limit on PST files?)

i was concerned too about this 2GB PST limit but i found out that it doesn't apply for Outlook 2003 & onwards.

FreeBill

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 07:56:31 AM »

I have about 5 or 6 old 3-5GB outlook PST files that I'd like to be able to index and search quickly.   I've never found that Google Desktop Search would be able to index these old PST files - plus it is a crazy resource hog

that being said, do any of the desktop programs index/search these old pst files?  is something like copernic going to be less of a resource hog compared to GDS or microsoft's desktop search?

Are there any others?


hi, a very good tool is Lookeen, i know that this tool indexes mutilpe pst-files...

greets Bill

Darwin

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 08:29:13 AM »
best tool I know of for dealing with PST files is <a href="http://www.mailstore.com"> MailStore </a>

AFAICR, though, the free version won't catalogue archive files that are not loaded into Outlook. I could be wrong about this, though...

If you don't care about formatting, look at Archivarius. If you do care about formatting, check out X1. Both of these suggestions are shareware mind you (@$30 for Archivarius and $50 for X1)...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cmpm

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 08:40:00 AM »
Doesn't this work?
I don't use outlook, but it says it will search it.
The free one even-

http://www.copernic....op-search/index.html

cyberdiva

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 03:18:38 PM »
@$30 for Archivarius

I wish!  Archivarius' list price (except for students) is 29.95 Euros, which according to the online conversion I just tried turns out to be $41.63. 

Carol Haynes

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 05:01:26 PM »
best tool I know of for dealing with PST files is <a href="http://www.mailstore.com"> MailStore </a>

AFAICR, though, the free version won't catalogue archive files that are not loaded into Outlook. I could be wrong about this, though...

If you don't care about formatting, look at Archivarius. If you do care about formatting, check out X1. Both of these suggestions are shareware mind you (@$30 for Archivarius and $50 for X1)...

There is a trick to doing this - just create a new Outlook profile with all your Archive files loaded and then use MailStore to grab the archived mail from that profile.

You can set up MailStore to monitor more than one Outlook profile.

You can then set your main profile as the default profile and supress the 'ask which profile' prompt when Outlook starts.

Steven Avery

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 05:57:20 PM »
Hi Folks,

 My need is along the same line.  We have a food importing company with about a dozen Outlook users (not me, I use Eudora at home and Gmail on the road) .. I know one of them has an almost 15 gigabtyes PST file .. preparing to crash, as PST files do. (It has even happened to this fella before !) .  This is all 100% Outlook stuff, probably 2003 edition.  Other folks probably have a couple of gigs, I haven't checked yet.

 Thus we need, first and foremost, simplicity of archiving.  Keeping the mail on the disk, but in the case I mentioned making the active file 5 gigs or 3 gigs or less and the larger stuff more than a year or two old put into another file.  This "other file" can be another PST file or it can be an "ABC" file .. something easy to work with with another tool.  However the other tool should not lose the basic function of looking and printing like an Outlook email. That is essential. If the search functions are enhanced, so much  the better.

 When I searched the net a few weeks ago I found some clumsy hand ways of doing this .. not very inviting.  So what is the fine tool ?  The goal: archive all the emails older than 1 or 2 years .. let it be available in a quiet file that is not changed in any way, shape or form.  Yet is still there for searching and reading and printing.

  Kapiche ?  I then back up the volatile files over the net and/or local disk every night while the quiet files can be backed up once .. and left alone.  Spending a little bit on this is not a problem for the company, a food importer.  It is important that it simply be done right.  Easy to work with.

  It looks like Mailstore and Lookeen both have capabilities in this area. (Removed irrelevant stuff since I got to Lookeen through about.com). Anyway .. both companies are is in Germany .. neither has a support forum.  

  MessageSave seems to be another. I called them up (San Francisco, I got one of the developers, Alex) they support Windows Desktop Search after archiving each message to its own .msg file, an Outlook format.  The concern with this method is that you will have thousands of Windows files, and he acknowledged that the way to avoid trouble is to not put too many in one folder.  Interesting. He emphasized that it was written in C++ and is a robust tool, and no .Net or Visual Basic libs on board.

  Not that many strong players in this field.  Priotecs - http://www.priotecs.com/en/index.php may be worth a look-see, also from Germany.

  One company has a sync tool "4 Team" - "Sync2 for Microsoft® Outlook".  There is an ABC Outlook Backup that is likely on the simple side.  Nelson Email Organizer - NEO Pro, might be interesting. E-Rkive may also have some heft.  Static Email Backup makes a nice web-site presentation handling Eudora, Thunderbird and Becky as well. And AJSystems (they have a PIM Amigo! I used many years back) specializes with OutBack Plus 6 and some other products.

  And there may be others.

  Although overall -- MailStore and Lookeen stand strong.

  So what is your suggestion ?  This is for a lean and savvy business with rudimentary puter skills, we may end up using the tool on 2-3 PCs, or maybe a dozen.  At this time, there is no need for shared email on a server, we just don't work that way.

  Since I am all Eudora and Gmail, I will listen very intently to all you can share.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 07:54:49 PM by Steven Avery »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 08:34:00 PM »
Mailstore has a server edition for company use (though it doesn't need to run on a server).

I haven't used the server edition as it is quite exensive and I don't need the features but the free Home version is excellent and quick - though not for commercial use.

As I understand it the server edition acts as a central searchable repository for all of your archived email. The archiving and searching is very quick and you can set it to archive mailboxes automatically by scheduling. It will also automatically delete emails from local PST files if you require this when archiving by your choice of criteria. This means you can keep PST files small whilst still allowing the users access to archived mail.

Once mail is archived it can be accessed via the MailStore application and users can recover messages to their mail app or forward/reply to emails using their favourite app from within MailStore.

There are also archiving functions built into MailStore for backing up you email archive to other locations or media.

The only disadvantage from an Outlook users perspective is that it only archives emails - you can't archive other Outlook data (such as tasks/calendar/contacts etc.) in MailStore - but these don't generate huge PST files and you can use Outlook's built in archive function to archive this stuff off into archive PST files which can be accessed as required or added to the Outlook profile.

Innuendo

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 09:54:00 PM »
Steven, you may wish to take a look at Aid4Mail from Fookes Software.

http://www.aid4mail.com/overview.php

Fookes Software has been around a long time and while I'm not a customer I have heard very good things about their support.

Steven Avery

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archiving Outlook PST - tools and file formats - Leo weighs in !
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 01:05:13 AM »
Hi Folks,

Thanks, Innuendo.

When I look at the Fookes product comparison:

Compare Email Products
http://www.aid4mail.com/comparison.php

It looks like Aid4Mail and Mailbag Assistant would both be necessary. Apparently Aid4Mail can do a lot of archiving, but cannot display, search, reply .. while MA is the opposite.  Still possible, it would be nice if it was one master-tool. (Aid4Mail may be the simplest, cleanest conversion tool, checking a bit more and as a converter it could have a simpler archiver role .. "converting" the older mail to the same format.  Ok,  I take back the harumph about one tool.)

One possibility is simple export to .mbx format .. then use one of many tools like Thunderbird or the excellent Eudora (ok, its sort of history) for looking and searching those mails. However the issue of attachments has to be dealt with carefully, as .mbx and .mbox varies in how that is handled.  The nice thing in this method is that you are simply fully and completely liberated from Outlook for the old mail (also it might be a steppingstone to a Tbird conversion) however the user has to understand that his archived mail requires a different tool.  In a small company, where initially only 2-3 people really need the archiving, this might not be a major problem.  Especially if reviewing the archive is only occasional.  At least the mailboxes are secure and sensible, easy to manipulate, although there is a question as to how you might end up with multiple .mbx instead of just one huge one. ... hmmm ..

So there are a few good products in consideration, Fookes is still in the running, however not not only do they also not have a forum, they are an email company in Switzerland that hides their email addy (maybe under the influence of Swiss banking secrecy! ) -- only wanting web support forms.  Makes it a little dicey for me to really discuss stuff with them.

=============================

Mailstore, as Carol describes, may be excellent .. not for a centralized server concept, simply for strong, reliable PST manipulation.  Lookeen may be in the same ballpark, with one or two of the other companies from my earlier post similarly situated.  Mailstore in the lead going around the turn.

Time to see what the the eMailman has to say about all this ! (Answer .. not much.)

=============================

Ask Leo! -- in a six-year thread and counting -- has one of the more straightforward articles about simply working within Outlook.

What can I do about Outlook's huge PST? (2003-2009 discussions)
http://ask-leo.com/w...tlooks_huge_pst.html

Leo has the 2Gb thing at the beginning, now long since gone. (With an exception noted in the comments about importing earlier mailboxes maintaining the limit.)  Overall Leo gives some credence to the idea of simply setting up separate PSTs like 2005, 2006, 2007 - possibly functionable, if not elegant. (One fellow even says he did his monthly.)

Addition: Comments in April 2005 by Nigel Wood and another says that even older archive folders end up getting changed .. even though you might think they are stable and stagnant.  Part of the multifarious nature of Outlook. Thus, while this idea of splitting the PST into multi-PSTs would help on the stability and speed part of Outlook, it would not allow for the onetime saving of unchanged files, as each file remains volatile.  (Does it really matter ?  Can  you ignore the changes to the earlier-dated PST files ?  Dunno.)

Other notes: Leo talks about how he prefers hand work to automated archiving, one post discusses the subfolder multiplication concern.

In this scenario the "PST Compress" tool .. or the "EZDetach" tool .mentioned in notes may make a lot of sense.  This business email is loaded with .pdf and excel files and such that probably are a mess within the .pst.  This may be the secret ingredient. With these tools .. will you be able to find the attachment ?  Is the location properly notated and connected within the email (like Eudora does natively) .. hmmm, dunno.

===

In an earlier search at work I ran into a few other discussions of these types of methods, lots of nuances .. more info not immediately available.  However the Leo thread is quite helpful, maybe the most extensive web discussion of the overall issue, while not considering conversion to other formats or even the commercial inexpensive archiving tools.  A bit like two parallel universes passing in the night.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 02:42:58 AM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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MailStore and Lookeen
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 09:52:05 AM »
Hi Folks,

Ok, I talked to Lookeen and MailStore.

Lookeen is PST-search oriented, text, attachments, this and that .. an Outlook 2003 and 2007 toolbar.  It might be excellent for our company, yet it doesn't address the archiving issue.

MailStore was impressive for archiving.  The data comes in (in test mode you might not delete and compact what you export to MailStore) and is kept in their .dat files, that are kept moderate in size (you might have a number of them).  These files will be in total much smaller than the original PST files, the amount of size reduction will vary tremendously, whether there is more .doc or .jpg or text or this and that. (No stripping of attachments involved.) Then MailStore relates to them all as one group with, again, super-quick search, and if you need to export an email back to Outlook, or other programs, you do that.  

Note: I wouldn't be surprised if Lookeen is superior in terms of the aspect of indexing and searching .. since that is their one specialty, and all sorts of complications can arise with the variety of attachments embedded in email, one Outlook design fiasco. (Perhaps not just Outlook, Eudora folks are often quite appreciative of how attachments and embedded pictures are not in the .mbx files and how that whole situation is handled .. one reason they are reluctant to switch to various alternatives.)

One limitation of MailStore is that the export is by date only, apparently you can't make exceptions .. (although that might have a workaround if it is really important, in this case likely not).  Another limitation Bernd (the MailStore techie) mentioned is that they are not super-portable (you can back them up but for some reason taking them to other puters has complications even if you have MailStore here and there).  If anyone has more insight on this aspect, or any aspect, please share away.

MailStore would clearly be worthy of consideration if you were trying to move from Outlook to Thunderbird as well, however Firefox over IE comes first.

In fact, MailStore may be appropriate also for all my historical Eudora stuff (Eudora and its X1 solution never really clicked) -- most of all it sounds like an excellent fit for business Outlook archiving.  Rather than try to work with multiple .PST files and a search engine like Lookeen, which might be an alternative (with or without attachment separation.. the idea that an email search has to pass over .jpg and .gif files is very unelegant .. however once they are in, I am concerned that removal can be problematic, unless a tool is truly shaken out and proven).

Plan to try MailStore today or tomorrow.

Both programs are written in C++.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 10:07:45 AM by Steven Avery »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2009, 11:45:11 AM »
I have moved MailStore databases from one computer to another without much of an issue. If I remember correctly I just installed MailStore on the new system and then replaced the database folder with a copy of the folder from the other machine. Started up the new MailStore and the database was all there as normal. I haven't tried the commercial version though so I don't know if things are different there.

The only issue is that MailStore archives are only compatible with the same or newer versions of the software but if you keep systems up to date with the software this won't be a problem.

In terms of use - I just let MailStore archive everything every time - I don't need exceptions and it doesn't create duplicates - it is also intelligent enough that if you move an email item in your PST file from one folder to another it adjusts the archive to match without creating duplicate entries - which is very nice.

Another nice thing is that you can archive from any supported client (including hotmail, gmail etc. straight from the web or any POP accounts) and it supports the 'don't display images' idea unless you click display images in archived emails - avoiding potential malware issues in any spam you or your system miss.

True deleting of old mail from the PST file (or other mailbox) can only be done by date but you can set it up to only archive the folders you choose so you could copy any emails you want to keep in the PST file into a non-archived folder. You can still archive this folder by setting up another archive profile just for that folder but omit the deletion option.

Steven Avery

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2009, 01:40:18 PM »
Hi Folks,

Thanks, Carol.

As long as you have no problem deleting the same entries you moved, all should be fine.  The reason I don't plan to delete them the first time is that the archive is play, first time trial, not production.  Once the user says "OK", then a startover with a real move-and-delete can occur. I wouldn't count on dup-find capabilities in that case, simply start fresh.  Although I am surprised that MailStore would notice dups after a PST folder move.   Interesting .. a technical question for later. Remember sometimes you have the exact same email from somebody, except for the date.  So MailStore must be checking "exact" by their own index. Kewl.

And I think the MailStore techie was just being cautious in implying a degree of difficulty in movement among PCs.  It doesn't make a lot of sense, you should be able to bring over the data files and any config that exists and go from puter to puter (its not like there are hardware drivers of a disk image) as Carol describes. Maybe I will shoot the techie an email or call and try to pin down what he meant.  Not critical either way, since he was clearly not saying there was any save/restore problem on the same PC.

It does seem like MailStore is the simplest one-step solution for those who don't mind a paid license (like a business).  Any solutions that work with multiple PST seem to retain a problematic or complication factor that MailStore lacks, attachments included or stripped. (Granted they are far better than doing nothing.)

Similarly Fookes, the other main player, seems a bit more conversion-savvy rather than archive-savvy and would require two softwares rather than one and has a real contact problem, nobody to call, no email addy, only web-contact.  So far nobody else seems to have the full savvy so far of how to bring the mail into a solid new format and leave it there. As Carol has described, it sounds like MailStore has brought this to a fine art, and when I talked to them I was impressed.

Appreciate the direction and pointing from DonationCoder, hope to have this installed on a user puter very shortly.

Shalom,
Steven

Steven Avery

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MailStore install spins around Net 2.0
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2009, 09:22:52 PM »
Hi Folks,

My first MailStore try was a bit frustrating.  Wasn't sure if the Home or Server edition applies, since it is a business use on one individual puter.  The home is individual use .. it installs Net 2.0 .. and then .. does nothing.  When I try to install a second or third time, all I got were reinstalls of Net 2.0.

Strange .. I'll probably try on the home puter. And call them in the AM.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 09:25:25 PM by Steven Avery »

spooz2

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2009, 07:18:57 AM »
try lookout130. a freebie!  No longer supported as company bought by Microsoft.   Terrific! but conflicts with Xobni.

Innuendo

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2009, 10:36:42 AM »
Steven, I hope you find what you are looking for. I only threw out Fookes because years ago I used their product Mailbag Assistant to move from one email program to another...it's been so long ago I don't even remember what the program names were.

Sorry I don't have more experience in this area, but I have always been adamantly against using Outlook for email for any reason. Outlook as a program has an unmatched feature list, but the PST file format has always struck me as being one of the most fragile file formats ever created by man. The internet's full of horror stories about PST files and you don't even have to look farther than this very forum to see Carol's trials and tribulations with the troublesome file format.

My emails are very important to me and I always refer to them as the timeline of my life. For me an email program best use a database to store emails for speed and it best provide tools to maintain, repair, check integrity, and compact that database. It's simply amazing how many results a Google search will bring up for a) people screaming for a way to fix their corrupted PST files; and b) products which will supposedly fix all your PST problems...for a small fee. This is something MS should have provided with an easy way to access it from within Outlook. Outlook sounds like a program in desperate need for a new database format.

While Googling for a solution to your problem I did run across this page that gleefully outlines why a person should never use a PST file ever:

http://blog.sembee.c...e/2009/01/26/92.aspx

One interesting tidbit I learned on that page is that Outlook 2003 and above use a new PST file format that is limited to 20 GB...so I guess the person referenced above using a 15 GB PST file still has some wiggle room.

Anway, hope you find what you're looking for.

evart

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2009, 10:40:07 AM »

cyberdiva

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Re: Desktop/email search program
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2009, 06:55:58 PM »
It looks like Aid4Mail and Mailbag Assistant would both be necessary. Apparently Aid4Mail can do a lot of archiving, but cannot display, search, reply .. while MA is the opposite.  Still possible, it would be nice if it was one master-tool. (Aid4Mail may be the simplest, cleanest conversion tool, checking a bit more and as a converter it could have a simpler archiver role .. "converting" the older mail to the same format.  Ok,  I take back the harumph about one tool.)
I'm travelling right now with limited Internet access, so I can't check, but I've used Mailbag Assistant for several years to archive and search my email.  My normal email client is Mulberry, and I was delighted to find that Mailbag Assistant would work with Mulberry and a huge number of other clients.  I now also own Aid4Mail, but only because I was trying to convert my email to a format that AskSam could deal with.  I was not successful in that attempt (the problem was with AskSam, not with Aid4Mail).  However, my point is that I never felt the need for Aid4Mail to use with Mailbag Assistant.  I probably haven't explored the overwhelming majority of Mailbag Assistant's features, but it works fine for me for archiving and searching my email.