C-Command Software Forum

Missing TO field in emails

Michael, I’m testing out archiving my emails in EF, so I exported 13,000 emails from Outlook on my Windows box, using O2M. Got the files over to the Mac, imported into EF, and they are all there. However, on more than half of them, the “TO:” line is completely empty in the list view and in the bottom view.

If I open the email in Mail or in Preview, I can see the TO: line and the email addresses. So this tells me that O2M got all the info from Outlook.

Desi

Please e-mail me one of the files so that I can look into this.

Thanks Michael, I sent a sample MBOX.
Desi

Thanks. The problem seems to be that the messages in your source mbox file are invalid. The To line contains names but no addresses. Also, it uses a non-standard character to separate the names. EagleFiler is expecting the To line to follow the standard; when it gets confused, it simply omits it from the display. The actual data (i.e. the names) is still stored in the mbox file (EagleFiler doesn’t modify it) which is why it appears when you double-click to open the message in Mail.

I will try to make EagleFiler handle this situation better, but I think the root problem is with your mbox file. So you might want to look into how you’re exporting it, to make sure that you aren’t losing data (i.e. the addresses).

Let me run a test. I will import the MBOX into Mail, and then re-export to a new MBOX file.

Desi

That did not make a difference. I emailed the author of O2M, which I’m using to create the MBOX from Outlook.

I wonder if it has to do with using Exchange in Outlook - usually names show up there instead of a full email address.

Desi

The names are not in the mbox file. (You can open it up in a text editor to take a look.)

Michael, I really do appreciate the help, and the test patch (which somewhat worked but not all the way). However, I fixed the problem - I replaced O2M with MessageSave.

I have no idea why so many sites tout O2M as the standard for exporting Outlook email to MBOX files. It simply does not work correctly. Especially if you use Exchange with Outlook, you will only get plain text names and not the real email addresses. And as we saw, the separator between the names is not correct so they all get lumped together as a single email address.

I found MessageSave at www.TechHit.com and it works perfectly - well at least for an initial 1000 emails that I tested.

So I went back to EF version 1.4.6, purchased 2 licenses, and I’m working through getting all of my 300K emails into MBOX files.

Thanks again,
Desi

I am evaluating Eagle Filer and had a similar issue. I converted old PST files to mbox files using the Windows utilities you mentioned, but in many cases only the name (not the e-mail address) is present. I don’t believe this is a particular bug in any of the utilities, but rather a vestige of the PST having been created on an Exchange server where all of the “local” e-mail addresses are specified with some arcane keywords.

It would be most helpful if Eagle Filer displayed the name instead of the blank e-mail address if the e-mail address is missing. If there is a patch that accomplishes this, I would be grateful if you could forward it to me.

Thank you.

I ended up dumping O2M - it did not work at all with Exchange email addresses, and their support was no help. When I switched to MessageSave, it was able to handle most of the email addresses - even converting the Exchange names to acceptable email addresses. There are still some emails where a FROM or TO is missing, so it was not perfect. Once I had the MBOX files correct, they imported into EagleFiler just fine.

One thing to mention, I did run into some hangs using MessageSave. Their support eventually found it was a problem with Outlook 2007, and there is no fix right now. For some reason, it would kill Outlook part way through the export of a PST file. The workaround was to load up Outlook 2003 on another system and migrate all the PST files that way. This is possibly why I have some missing FROM and TO records as I did not have that temp system hooked to Exchange to be able to look up people’s real email addresses.

I know have about 219,000 emails in EagleFiler and it seems to be doing well.

Desi

Thanks for the tips. As I already converted all my PSTs over a year ago after switching to Mac, I hope a solution can be framed around making Eagle Filer more flexible in dealing with imperfect mbox files rather than attempting to repeatedly re-export until all the warts are gone (which I suspect can be incredibly time consuming).

If anyone would like to help test a pre-release version of EagleFiler that works around the problem with missing e-mail addresses, please contact eaglefiler@c-command.com

EagleFiler 1.4.7 improves the display of these messages.