Windows Live Mail Corrupting Messages in Local Folders

The problem I have concerns the use of local folders in Windows Live Mail.

 

I have a number of main folders (e.g. Purchases ) under which there are a number of sub-folders (e.g. Various company names)

 

I am finding that in some main folders, the contents messages in all the sub-folders are identical even though the titles are correct. That is I have lost the original text.

 

For example:

 

I have a main folder called First Utility – my gas and electricity supplier.

Today I received two emails giving me the annual statements (one for gas one for electricity), each with an attachment.

 

Having read the emails I copied them into the First Utility folder (copied rather htan moved to ensure they still existed in my in-box and so were not destroyed)

 

When looking at the First Utility Folder I could see the two emails indicating they had attachments. However, on clicking on each one I found the contents were not the original, but from an earlier message. Furthermore no attachments were available.

Do I need to reinstall Windows Live Mail?

 

Question Info


Last updated February 23, 2019 Views 530 Applies to:

A reinstall will not help.

¡Firedog replied on
Wiki Author Community Moderator MCC: Content Creator

Is this corruption reversible or are the emails in the corrupted folders lost forever?   


The corruption you're seeing is almost certainly not in the messages themselves. They are likely to be alive and well.

This symptoms you describe indicate a corruption in the message database. Each message is stored as an individual file. The entries you see in the message list are taken from the database, while the body of the message is retrieved from the message file itself. If the database can't find the file in the location it expects, the message body displayed may be that for a different file or it might be blank, and/or you see an error message saying that the message couldn't be opened.

Depending on your version of the program, forcing a compaction of the database may help by re-indexing all your messages. This procedure is flaky, though, and may not work. Nevertheless, it's worth trying:
  1. When viewing your message list, press Ctrl-Shift-O for Options.
  2. On the Advanced tab, click Maintenance.
  3. Select Compact the database on shutdown every... and change the number to 1.
    Close the options dialogue.
  4. On the View tab, select Reading pane > Off to close it if it's open.
  5. Click Work offline and disconnect from the network.
  6. Disable any security software (e.g. anti-virus) that may be running.
  7. Close down Windows Live Mail and leave it for several minutes. To be sure that you don't interfere with the process, start Task Manager (Ctrl-Shift-Escape) and wait until wlmail.exe disappears from the processes list before doing anything else.
  8. Reboot the computer and check that your security software is running.
  9. Launch Windows Live Mail again and try to view the messages that wouldn't display previously.

Please report back with your experiences.

What causes this and is there any way to prevent it? 


The usual cause is not allowing Windows Live Mail to do its housekeeping. Any action you perform in the program - e.g. receive, read, send, move, copy, reply to or forward a mail message - is recorded in a log file. To avoid as much corruption as possible, this log file isn't allowed to grow bigger than 2MB. If it does, a new file is created for the excess. These log files are then replayed in quiet moments and their contents written to the message database. When the program is closed down, it continues to run in the background, completing any replays in progress and then wrapping up neatly. If this process is interrupted - e.g. by closing down the computer or re-launching the program - then corruption of the database can result. Other causes include power cuts or, probably, interference from third-party programs like anti-virus or 'system care'.

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Thank you for trying to help.

I have followed your instructions to the letter but the problem still exists.

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No luck here either after following your instructions.

I thought I'd solve the problem by doing this:  I actually removed the program completely, and then searched and deleted all reference to it - all emails, folders etc. even emptied all junk mail folders. Then I downloaded a new version and, when I installed it ALL the old corrupted files reappeared   ...... no idea from where!!? 

I have the (un-corrupted) files from my old computer on an external drive - that was disconnected, just in case - and was hoping that I could just import them after installing the program...but... four days work now from dawn til dusk and still NO LUCK!

Thanks for your help anyway; if you can't solve the problem then who can? I've always hated the program anyway and surprised Windows couldn't have designed something that's actually user friendly: file sorting can be a nightmare.

J

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Hi,

To get a better clarity about the issue, please provide the details below:

  1. Which version of Live Mail is installed on your system?
  2. Did you make any changes prior to the issue?

Please post back with the answers to assist you accordingly.

Thank you.

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Thanks for the reply Amrita,

I finally solved the problem. AND... even got rid of the unnecessary 'tree' of sub-folders that made Live mail a NIGHTMARE!!

The version I used on my old computer would have been installed 2011. 

I't seems to me that the folders (the messages within those folders) became corrupted when I tried to reinstall them from an external drive to the new computer with its newly downloaded version of WLM.

So.... here's what I did - and if anyone wishes to do the same be warned it could take hours, even a day depending on how many folders are involved; and forgive the low-tech lingo cos that's how I am - low-tech -no-tech:

1. Go to your original (un-corrupted) files - if your're lucky enough to still have them somewhere. 

2. Just above the first heading of 'STORAGE FOLDERS' add new folders with the names of the folders you wish to replace, BUT, add a '2'or something after the title. I had about 50 so it took me a while to do the following.

3. Scroll to the first of the offending folders - you may wish to have them noted with a pencil/paper before hand - they will still be OK but they are the little buggers that became corrupted in all my attempted transfers. They are usually  away down the tree under 'recovered' or 'imported' headings.'The idea is to get them outta that terrible tree/sub-folders system that WLM insists on adding branches to!

4. Go to the original folder - lets say it's heading is 'All My Friends', then just highlight (Cntrl A) and copy  all the emails and then go to the new ghost version you have created above in the storage folders - should be Áll My Friends 2', and paste them in.

Be sure to check the number of messages copied against the original of those highlighted - occasionally  I had to just click 'move messages when there were thousands of messages and it failed to copy them all. Sometimes there will be just one or two stubborn items that won't wanna shift.

5. Go to the next folder below - example 'All My Enemies' and do the same to Áll my Enemies 2' and so on.

On completion of all those 'ghost' folders you should save - Export - to an external drive. I selected ALL FOLDERS just to be safe. 'Your new version of WLM should have no folders below the 'Storage Folders' heading, otherwise you'll end up with more sub-folders .... again.

After completion I was just about blind and sick of it, but then I imported that saved file into my NEW computer and YIPPEE!! - I had the complete file, all my new and un-corrupted messages, and all I had to do was delete all those folders BELOW my new 'ghost' folders. And now at last I have a FANTASTIC alphabetized list of all my files.

Just be sure you delete ALL possible files/folders in your new download of WLM before you ímport.

And you know what? - all those imported folders below my 'ghosts' were still there and came down as usual all buggered up and corrupted BUT now they're GONE -  forever, I hope - I chucked ém out.

All of the above may be done quicker and more efficiently but I didn't wanna take any chances.  Meanwhile t seems the designers at WLM don't seem to be listening - and this from an Irishman who hardly know the difference between a 'puter and a bag of spuds!

I hope this helps someone.  John - now in Australia

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