Undead Messages in Mail.app

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Makosuke, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Ok, here's a mildly tricky, but somewhat interesting issue:

    I was having problems with Mail.app stalling on launch probably 50% of the time I opened it; a force quit and re-try, and it'd eventually start properly. I ended up emptying the Junk Mail bin, erasing all deleted messages, and Rebuilding each of the mailboxes, after which it seemed fine.

    ...except I then noticed a very odd problem: when I rebuilt my main inbox, five messages from Cox (automated "virus stopped" messages) that I had previously deleted re-appeared. I re-deleted them, and for the heck of it tried Rebuilding again. They're back again!

    I've now done some experimenting, and found that they absolutely refuse to delete; it does appear, however, that the oldest of them has corrupt headers (double carats in the "From" section, I think), which probably has something to do with it. I can copy them to another mailbox, at which point they become undeletable from that mailbox as well (would reappear on a rebuild). The originals were still hiding in the inbox, as well.

    Going into the actual .mbox file of the mailbox I copied them into (viewing the mbox package contents, and opening the data .mbox file with BBEdit Light), I was able to manually delete the messages, rebuild, and have them permanantly gone. As far as I can tell, that's the only actual solution.

    That's the tale of woe, hopefully helpful if anybody else comes up with something like this, but it also brings me to my question:

    My inbox is about 60MB (I'm one of those never-file guys), and I can't find a text editor that will reliably display the contents of a text file that big; BBEdit Light truncates it, I couldn't get Pico to deal with it, and after several minutes of loading TextEdit also decides to just stop.

    60MB of text is a lot to ask, obviously, but any suggestions for a quick fix, other than getting organized (yeah, yeah, file by year or subject, I know...)? I suppose I could split the file into chunks, edit the one toward the end with the issue, then cat them back together...
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    You could try the terminal editor "emacs". It's not so easy to use if you don't know the keyboard shortcuts though. The most important ones are

    ctrl-x ctrl-s = save
    ctrl-x ctrl-c = quit

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