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I have several computers in my home, and a I have currently Thunderbird installed on all the computers, so that the mails are stored on a NAS (network attached storage) device. That has worked mostly well, but especially from computers using a wireless connection, I have received many times an "delayed write error" when having Thunderbird open. This has resulted in several problems, as having my profile locked out, mails disappearing (all recoverable with some work) etc.

Is there some mail client around, which can cope well with having the mail stored on a network drive? Preferrably for Windows and something reasonably modern, being able to display images.

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I'm not going to leave an answer because this doesn't answer your question... have you considered using something like gmail? You can send and receive mail from your existing accounts with it. I haven't used a local email client application at home in years, and will never go back. It just seems to make more sense to have your email available everywhere you might need it. –  boden Dec 10 '09 at 22:54
    
IMAP works much better than "mostly well" so I don't know why you would want to do this. I like fastmail.fm for IMAP as well as for their webmail interface. I also don't have an answer, but can you explain any benefit to your current system? –  ridogi Dec 10 '09 at 23:05
    
More input rather than answer ... . I use Outlook, and sometimes outlook express. With Outlook I keep the current mail folder local and small, and archive mail after a couple of weeks. . I keep the archive on a small Netgear ReadyNas *, and have never had a problem with write errors - though I have had problems with other applications. * netgear.com/Products/Storage/ReadyNASDuo.aspx –  Kije Dec 10 '09 at 23:20
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after growing frustrated with Thunderbird 3, i'm using Koma-Mail now for my POP3 and IMAP accounts and i'm quite impresssed.

Of course you can choose any network drive as mail storage location.

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oh, and yes, Koma-Mail is able to display images. :)

Koma-Mail is freeware, a portable version is available.

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I do expect that such a program exists.

The main reason is that to be efficient, the files are stored in one big file. Many small files would have an important impact on the directory index efficiency. I can't remember having seen a mail client that stored every mail in a separate file either - and I've seen quite a few e-mail progams over the past decades.

Your issues are of course related with failing communications. Wireless networks especially have difficulties to recover from failure.

Your email client that is performing file operations directly was not written to expect that these operations will fail. Therefore, there is no easy recovery.

Other systems like IMAP are more appropriate. Depending on your NAS, you might be able to run a mail server on it and access it through IMAP. You can choose to leave the messages on the server and avoid having a local copy. When doing operations through IMAP, changes will not actually be commited to the NAS filesystem unless all the data needed to do the operation is available. Because the commit operation happens locally on the NAS, the risk of failure is pretty low.

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