PM Issues and Planned Solution
As I'm sure everyone knows, Dolly Market has been slow with Private Messages for many months now. Off and on I've tried many different things to try and get the forums to be stable, but recently they've become very unstable. The result is that the web server uses too much memory and crashes. This can take anywhere from an hour to as little as two minutes from my restarting the server to it crashing.

I've done thorough investigating today. In testing on a clone of the forums, I was able to reproduce the problem of the PM system being slow, using a lot of memory, and PMs taking forever to send. I was also able to get the PM system to run very fast and efficient.

At this time, it looks like the problem is that the server cannot handle all the PMs we have. The system has 168,501 PMs from before January 1st, 2012. To compare, Dolly Market only has 123,313 posts, across 14,253 threads.

My solution in testing was to delete all PMs from before January 1st, 2012, and that fixed all speed the issues. I don't think I need to prune quite that many to get results in the live environment.

Last year we reached a PM limit where the server would slow down when many people would access their PMs. As the number of PMs has increased, we've slowly reached a point where a couple of people sending PMs cause the server to literally commit digital suicide.

We are now at a point where it will be a requirement to delete older PMs. My first and foremost priority is to ensure anyone who wants to retain their oldest PMs will have access to them. The forum software does have a feature to download PMs, but using this feature might be difficult if the web server keeps going down under the weight of all the PMs, especially if many people try to save their PMs all at once, and act that will certainly take the server down in seconds.

I'm exploring options for handling this issue. My current thought is to start by deleting the oldest year of PMs, and and see if the PM system is still slow. If so, I can delete the next oldest, and check again. Any deleted PMs will first be copied to a back-up location in case they need to be recovered again.

Update: The server wasn't doing well with the PM slowness, so I've gone ahead and wiped out all PMs prior to January 1st, 2011.

If you absolutely need any of your older PMs back, let me know, and I get send you an export of your PMs. Note that I may not be able to do so in a timely fashion, but I will be able to recover those older PMs if necessary.

Forum issues?  Contact me directly at and I'll check into it as soon as possible.
Sounds like a plan. I admit, I've never deleted any PMs since there was not a limit. But I don't need the old ones.
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I realize I have a lot of PMs stored, but I don't need them. Would it help if we each went through our PM inboxes and deleted the older ones we don't need? Or do we just leave it and the forum will delete them automatically on a set date?

ETA: I cleared out my sent folder, my trash folder, and whatever miscellaneous stuff I no longer needed. I hope this helps free up some space and improves the speed.
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I only had a little over 100, vast majority in my sent file. I decided to be proactive and went ahead and deleted everything.
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I just cleared out my old pm, I went from almost 4000 pm between my inbox/sent box to 14 (which are all from currently ongoing transactions).
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I cleared out about 400+ old pms. Hope that helps!
I'll go into my PMs and see what I can clear out too! Hope it helps!
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I only had 47 and now I have 20, since I still need them xD
I'll go through and clear out whatever PMs I don't need, hopefully it helps. :3
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I deleted everything but my current PMs. Hope it helps smile

Thank you to everyone who's clearing out older PMs. I'll be doing the same with my own soon. Every little bit helps!

Forum issues?  Contact me directly at and I'll check into it as soon as possible.
Just went from having about 300 something PM's to 19.
i have noticed a HUGE improvement! and huge huggles to everyone doing what they can to help, i know it's not much from a lil ole pissant like me, but it's nice to see people working together
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I don't go on here much any more and I have no current transactions so I've deleted all of my messages as well ^-^ I had close to 300 so hopefully that helps! <3
I had *ahem* 4000 messages.....
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