Problem dragging emails into Outlook

I could really use some help. I’ve got the unenviable task of importing 46,636 individual email messages that were provided to us into a particular user’s Outlook so that she can view them in their native environment. Oddly, the emails weren’t provided to us in a .pst, but as individual .msg files.

No big deal, says I. I go to the first folder in Windows Explorer, which has about 2,500 of the .msg files in it, select them all and drag them into the folder I created in my user’s Outlook for this purpose. They all copy over, no problem. I move on to the next folder and go through the same procedure. However, after chewing over the folder for some time, Outlook finally spits out the following:

where “xxxx” represents the number of .msg files at issue. I have 12 folders in all with .msg files in them, and six of the 12 gave me that problem.

After fiddling for a bit, I determined that there were individual files in these folders that weren’t actually emails, but tasks or calendar items, and that’s what was throwing Outlook. I did some Google searches and found that plenty of people had run into the same problem. But the advice was always to eliminate the non-email items by sorting the list by file type in Explorer.

While this makes sense logically, and is the first thing I thought of, the problem I have is that ALL of the files I have are .msg files. There is nothing in the file name, extension or file type that distinguishes the tasks/calendar/other items from actual email messages. And outside of importing 40,000 emails one-by-one in order to determine the “bad seeds,” I’m at a loss for how to get this done.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

One method that is still time-consuming but not nearly as much as doing them individually is to use the good ol’ binary search method. If a folder fails, try just the top half. If the top half fails, try the bottom half. Keep splitting each half in half and you will (relatively) quickly get items imported while also locating the bad apple. I have done this when trying to delete large directories and getting a message that a file is in use or some such thing.

Good call, and I started with that method, but ended up with two problems. One, since some of the folders had multiple “bad” files, I was having to whittle down to the point where it felt like I was doing one-by-one importing anyway. And two, because the folders are so large (one of the “problem” folders has 14,907 messages in it), I kept losing track of which ones I had imported successfully, and I was afraid of creating unnecessary duplicates.

But I (or whoever gets assigned this task ultimately) may result to using this method anyway if we can’t come up with anything better!

The only other idea I have is impractical unless you’re a real hacker. It would be possible to use a hex editor to examine a sample mail, calendar, and task file, and figure out how they’re distinguished (after all, Outlook has to be able to tell the difference). Then you could write a program to read the files and sort them out. In the end it’s hard to say whether that would be much faster but for a geek it would be fun (I would volunteer but my wife would kill me if she found out I was doing that instead of cleaning the garage :smiley: ).

I don’t have any other ideas for a regular user, unless someone has already written something like that and it’s lying around on the 'Net.

That sounds incredibly cool, but I’m definitely not at the level of proficiency!

However, after explaining all of this to the attorneys involved, they’re going to just ask that the emails be provided to us in .pst files instead. Problem solved. :smiley:

Thanks, sincerely, for your help!

Shit, it would take about five minutes. Asimovian, if it turns out that you can’t get the .pst files after all, send me an email (see my profile) and I’ll see what I can do.

We weren’t able to get the .pst files afterall. Check your email. :slight_smile: