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Thread: restoring Entourage files

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2008
    restoring Entourage files

    My Entourage 2004 crashed while moving messages between folders, and everything that had been moved at the time of the crash is lost. I'm trying to restore from my time machine backup (taken about an hour before the incident), but I'm missing everything from the last 4 days. When I look at the data file in my backup (~/documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2004 Identities/<user>/Database), the last modification is also 4 days old.

    Does Entourage only save to the data file when you close the program? Is there another location I can find messages recently sent and received?


  2. #2

    Jaygray's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
    How big (in mb/gb) is your Microsoft Identies Folder?

    Entourage and Time Machine are not really compatible if you have a substancial number of emails stored in folders. I have 25000 emails stored in folders organized by year. The emails are stored on the HD in a single file which takes up close to 10gb.

    When an email is received it is written to a file that may be several gb in size. Time Machine backs up modified files by simply making a copy of any file which has been modified since the last backup. If you have 10gb of emails, and you receive a new email, Time Machine copies the entire revised 10gb file to the HD.

    You can see the problem that would develop if multiple emails are received while the backup is taking place. Time Machine is trying to copy the file while Entourage is writing to it. It may have been 4 days since the last time Time Machine was able to sucessfully copy the entire file.

    This is the only place your emails are stored. Unfortunately, you may be out of luck here.

    Entourage is not the only programs that stores files this way (as much as people like to bash Microsoft over this inconvenience). Apple's Aperture does the same thing with photos, and also has conflicts with TIme Machine.

    It is probably best to exclude the Microsoft Identies Folder from Time Machine. At the end of the day, just drag your entire Identies folder to the backup drive in Finder and let it copy over itself. It's not a perfect solution, but it works.

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