dealing with large archive folders


Joseph O'Brien

Users in our office are starting to get obscenely large archive
folders (5-12GB). I never considered the consequences of this, and I'm
not sure how to handle it. I believe (but cannot prove) that the
large, "archive" PST files slow Outlook down and makes it more prone
to crashing. When it does crash, the PST file has to be rebuilt, which
can take hours.

We only have 30 XP boxes, all of which run Outlook 2003. Many of our
users send and receive 2-3MB file attachments, which they like to keep
for archival purposes. They do a really good job archiving their
Inbox. I always assumed this was a good think, but never thought about
the fact that, one day, those archive folders would become unmanageble
in size.

How would you recommend dealing with this problem? I thought about
breaking out the archive folders into multiple files (maybe one for
each year?) and mount only the newest folder in Outlook. However, this
would make searching across PST files very difficult.

I know that some large corporations have retention policies, and all
mail after X years is automatically deleted, archived or not. We don't
have that kind of policy here, and if I were to recommend it, I don't
think it would be well-received.

I guess the other option would be to sit with each user and manually
cull unneeded messages in their archive folder.

Thanks for your advice.




There are a addins available, which allow attachments to be stored outside
the pst, whilst maintaing a link within the origonal msg.
Perhaps that might be an idea.
Personally I use a DeskTop search app that can access the OL data files,
even though OL may be closed
I also create a new archive, by year
Maybe something there helps?

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