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As a mobile user, disk space is a constant issue for me. I therefore archive my e-mail on a quarterly basis. Until getting a CD-RW drive for my laptop, I'd archive my e-mail and then copy it to a CD-R on my desktop. I would then only use the CD when I absolutely needed it, and compact my 'mailbox.pst' to start off fresh for a new quarter.
The problem with this method was that when Outlook started up, it would not be able to access my archive since all the files were were 'read only'. With my new drive, however, I can place my CD-RW disc in and have access to my archive services (*.pst) without actually having to add them. Outlook will find the files -- not reject them because they are 'read-only'.
Granted, the drive doesn't perform as well as a normal CD when used for other functions, but when you're a 'traveling man' sometimes you have to make concessions!
This was first published in November 2002