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Old 25 Sep 2018, 05:47 AM   #1
Noteworthy
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 3
Internet Headers / Raw source

Hi

Many years ago, I decided to transfer my emails from Windows (Outlook Express) to my iMac (Apple Mail).

I bought some third party software to convert the emails to mbox folder format. I though the coversion process was ok and therefore deleted the Outlook Express dbx files.

I discovered much to my regret that the date and time of the transferred emails were substantially changed during the conversion process.

However, on the brighter side, the header data of each message shows the correct time and date. On the iMac (OS High Sierra) the headers are viewed as Raw source while in Windows they are referred to as Internet Headers.

Is there any way to apply the header information to obtain and display the correct date and time of each message.

I am happy to elaborate further.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 25 Sep 2018, 12:05 PM   #2
n5bb
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
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Welcome to the EMD Forums!

When you say that the date and time were substantially changed during the conversion, which of the below do you mean?
  1. The date/time is usually off by no more than a few minutes.
  2. The date/time is off by a reasonably fixed interval of a few hours.
  3. The date/time was reset to the time the messages were transferred.
  4. Random date/time values were created, so that the messages are scrambled if sorted by date/time.
If you get #1 as I described above, thatís probably the difference between the time the message was sent by the sender and received by your email service. Some email systems and clients display the sent date/time while others display the received date/time.

If you get #2, itís probably due to your time zone offset from GMT or the location of your email providerís receiving server. Some email clients display the time based on the PC time zone while others allow the user to choose which time zone they wish to use for showing times.

If you get #3: Some email systems and clients display the date/time the message was placed into the message database. If you import messages they may then be shown as ďreceivedĒ on that date.

If you get #4: I have no idea what happened. Maybe the software did not pick up fields correctly in the databases.

If the original and destination email systems both support the IMAP standard and your messages are still on the original server, the easiest way to move messages between systems is to use an email client such as Thunderbird which can log into both IMAP systems. You then synchronize Thunderbird with the first system via IMAP (which produces a copy of each message in one set of Thunderbird folders) then copy or move the messages in those folders to the folders corresponding to the destination email server. After everything synchronizes a copy of all of the original messages will be on the second system, and they should be uncorrupted because you arenít relying on any export/import features.

But in your case itís too late to do this IMAP trick. My guess is that itís too late to fix whatever is wrong with the date/time values. But someone else might have an idea about some way to export then re-import the messages.

Bill
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Old 25 Sep 2018, 05:10 PM   #3
Noteworthy
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Hi Bill,

Many thanks for your prompt reply.

While alternative 4 might probably describe the situation best, I've also noticed that the software may have been "confused" by the fact that the date appears in French. Hence "Mar" which is short for Mardi (Tuesday) is taken to be March by the software. The gaps in dates are anything between 3 and 6 months.

The emails are of 1999-2001 vintage.

I hope, as you say, someone can help show me how to use the header data to produce corrected dated versions of the emails.

Many thanks once again Bill.

Brian
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Old 26 Sep 2018, 06:04 PM   #4
JeremyNicoll
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Are you using an email client program on your PC?

Are the mails held in files on your PC (as opposed to being on a server somewhere)?

It seems to me that the best you can hope for is to export the mails as they are now, then use some external program to run through them correcting the format of the Date: headers (if they actually need to be corrected), and then re-import them.

It might be, for example, that in every mail you would need to generate a Date: header with English month names... If you do that then I'd suggest you keep the existing French headers inside each mail, changing the "Date:" part to, say "X-OldFrenchDate:" so that future experiments can see both sets of values.

If the email program you use cannot properly understand a correctly formatted Date: header then it's hard to see what you can do, apart from finding one that does.

You also said that 'gaps' are typically between 3 and 6 months. Without some examples it's hard to understand what you're saying - eg why, whatever is causing this, is there variation in the effect? Are ANY of the mails right date-wise? If so, what's different about those?
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Old 26 Sep 2018, 06:54 PM   #5
Noteworthy
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Many thanks Jeremy.
I am currently traveling but will be home tomorrow at which time I will be in a position to provide some examples.
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