Deeper into The Archives Or, You Too Can Undelete Deleted Email

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m finally getting around to putting all my old files on my new computer.

The reality, of course, is that I’m actually attempting to integrate files from not one, but actually two toasted computers. The most recent computer experienced at least one electrical surge, but that computer was actually a replacement for the first computer I built myself (out of parts from various sources).

As a result, I had two computers worth of email to integrate into one mail account (with email back to 1995 as it turns out). This is relatively easy except for one thing: I wanted some of my deleted messages back.

Back when I was running the first computer (233mhz, 64MB ram, 3 gig hard drive), I was involved in an online role-playing game via a mailing list. I deleted the messages immediately after reading and responding to them because I didn’t want stuff from a mailing list to take up space on my hard drive when I could easily look it up online.

Trouble is, it’s not online anymore.

The thing is, Netscape 4.7 did not actually delete your email. It just coded it as deleted and thereafter did not display it in your mail reader. Thus, if you’re the sort of person who has the patience to open up the “Trash” text file, open it up in an editor, and look through the codes, you can change the code from deleted to viewable.

For better or for worse, I am exactly that sort of person.

Here (for what it’s worth) is how to do it:

If you look through the message headers, you’ll find one that’s called “X-Mozilla-Status:”. A status that ends with the number 9 seems to indicate deletion. I saw a number of 8009’s, 8019’s, and even an 0009.

If you search and replace with “X-Mozilla-Status: 8001″ you’ll find that all your old deleted messages mysteriously appear, allowing you to find all the messages you ever wanted.

As an added bonus (?) you also get to look at 4 year old porn spam.

By the way (to those of you who might want to try this), I take no responsibility for the files you may accidently ruin in the process of following my advice.

UPDATE: 800b and 801b are also deletion codes.

2 thoughts on “Deeper into The Archives Or, You Too Can Undelete Deleted Email”

  1. I erased a very important military email address of a friend in my yahoo adress book is there any way to undelete it.

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