I tried to use your solution to the problem of freeing up disc space in Outlook Express. I have followed all the instructions, but still get the message, "The folder is currently in use by Outlook Express or another application and cannot continue." This happens after the in box is fully copied and the compacting is taking place. I rebooted and no folders are even showing, and I am working offline. Could you also let us know what the best security solutions are for nonbusiness-use PCs with Windows XP. I would like to use windows Security Essentials, but I know there's no firewall included for XP.
It sounds like your antivirus application may be using an e-mail scan feature that is interfering with the compaction. Make sure it is turned off and try it after rebooting into safe mode.
For your other question, Windows XP does come with a built-in firewall, which while not as full featured as the Vista and Windows 7 firewalls, is quite adequate. The problem you might have with XP is that it is considered a soon-to-be-retired operating system and does not have some of the advanced security features of the newer Windows versions.
Earlier this year I purchased a new computer with Windows 7 operating system. I particularly dislike the Live Mail program. I enjoyed my Outlook Express but am told it is incompatible with Windows 7. Can you recommend another e-mail program. I have considered Thunderbird.
That's too bad, I like Windows Live Mail and believe it's the best option for a client-based e-mail program for Windows 7. But I will agree that it has some features/lack of features that I find annoying like not keeping your various e-mail accounts in the same order you left it when reopening the program.
Most people I know use a Web-based e-mail client (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). But I'm like you; I like the extra control and order a client-based e-mail program offers. Thunderbird seems like a full featured e-mail client and has most of the same features you'd find on Live Mail or other alternatives. I say if you feel comfortable with it, go for it. And always back up your individual e-mails before converting to another program, just in case. XP? Once you get used to Windows 7, I promise you'll never consider going back. They really got it right this time.
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