For the past couple of years I've had many problems with Outlook, but mainly one big problem: "The Data File did not close properly....." message that kept popping up every time I would close it down, reboot, restart, shutdown, go away, whatever...
In the past I've tried various mail clients, including but not limited to The Bat!, PocoMail and recently Thunderbird. In regard to The Bat! it is probably the most productive mail client that exists. It's extremely powerful (built in Delphi), yet it lacks two important things: a decent calendar/task list, and sync with PDA's. Keeping two contact lists is a PIA. So that's discarded. My experience with PocoMail/Barca (also built in Delphi) was limited and just didn't *do it for me*. I decided to try Thunderbird a couple of weeks ago, sick of Outlook. Found a Calendar plugin (Lightening) that was pretty decent (despite it's bugs) and away I went. Yesterday I switched back to Outlook.
Why? After several weeks of using Thunderbird, I gave up. Thunderbird is not a bad software but the developers have completely forgotten what usability is all about. There are some standard things that just don't work the way they should. Sure, I can run about:config, but why the hell should I have to? Don't make configuration options in a nicely designed dialog for stupid little things and then the basics leave hidden away. Lightening (which is Sunbird a la plugin) also has some really annoying bugs (like times not getting registered unless you EXPLICITLY LEAVE the edit boxes before saving).
So I kept going back and forth, and for a couple of years decided to stick with Outlook. It's integration with various applications is very time-saving and flexible. It's calendar is pretty decent and on the whole I'm happy with version 2007, except for this data corruption problem. I decided that after two weeks (and just before my trial ran out on BirdieSync) to give Outlook another try. So low and behold, yesterday I set out on a venture to try and find my problem with Outlook [for those with short term memory problems: Data File corruption].
Many people have reported that it's because Outlook doesn't close even after the window disappears, and resetting the machine causes corruption. That's true to a certain point, except in my case I can close Outlook, wait for it to close down entirely, open it up and get the data corruption each time.
My next bet was TrueCrypt, yet I couldn't find anything about this on the web, and I was NOT about to give up TrueCrypt. I had also heard rumors about AVG, but again, something I doubt. Then while going through the list of plugins installed in Outlook, it struck me. Could it be Google Desktop? I decided to uninstall the plugin, and since I mostly use GDT for Outlook search, I removed it entirely from my system. As of yesterday, all my data corruption problems seem to have vanished. Not only that, but my other problems with Outlook are gone too. No more taking up 100% CPU when checking mail, no more frozen Windows and no more slow operations. In fact, it's really fast now, considering my archive folder is 1.5 GB and my main one is crawly to just under 600 MB.
So now I have to find a replacement for GDT. Any suggestions? And no, I won't install Vista (or Windows Desktop Search). The damn thing doesn't even work. I get better results with a dir /s when searching for a simple file.