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  1. #16
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    chscag's Avatar
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    @royalpei:

    I can't speak for Patrick directly, but I'm sure he did not mean anything derogative. Please accept our apology if you took that the wrong way.

    Hopefully we can get all your mail back to the way it was before. Member IWT posted some screen shots along with some very good explanations of how to use Time Machine to recover your mail. If you need any more help with this please feel free to ask and I promise we will try our best to assist you.

    Regards.

  2. #17
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    royalpei's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 03, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    There is a supplemental update to Catalina which you should download and install. Apple recommends this supplemental update for everyone. One of the bugs in the original Catalina is with the Mail program.

    To restore Mail from Time Machine: First open your Mail program and keep it open. Run Time Machine and it will take you right to your Mail. Then restore all your Mail Boxes and data.


    As soon as I try to open the the time machine while mail is open, it shuts down immediately

  3. #18
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    @royapei, I don't think anyone has "spoken down" to you. We simply are trying to get more information about what is going on and why your system is, apparently, not working like our systems do. Which is why I keep asking "What does that mean?" So far, all you have said is, basically, your mail is gone and you can't find it in Time Machine, either because it's not there, or you haven't found it. Ian gave a great series of images for you to see exactly what you need to do to get to any email backup you may have. Did that work to help? Did your system show the same kind of images as his did? Did any of the missing folders show up there? One thing to think about is that the more backups you have and the further you have to go back in time the longer it takes TM to display what it has. That phenomenon is caused by the way TM builds the backup, using lots of links that have to be chased down before it can show you the backup. So when you step back in time in Time Machine, remember to be patient and let it build up the data it needs to show you the data it has.

    EDIT: While I was typing you posted this:
    As soon as I try to open the the time machine while mail is open, it shuts down immediately
    May I ask what the "it" is that shuts down? Mail or Time Machine? Does Time Machine work if you open it NOT in Mail? Do you get any error messages or messages at all? NOTE: I just tried it and when I opened TM with Mail open, when I left TM Mail was closed. I suspect that happened so that TM could write the data into the locations where the Mail is stored without competing with Mail for that same space.
    Jake

  4. #19
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    royalpei's Avatar
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    Thanks Ian, but as soon as I open TM while in mail it all disappears.Will not let me see anything to restore. Both programs shut right down.

  5. #20
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalpei View Post
    As soon as I try to open the the time machine while mail is open, it shuts down immediately
    I'm wondering if your Time Machine backup is corrupt? Normally, with Mail open Time Machine will immediately show the Mail content, folders, and so forth just as Ian pointed out.

    There have been some reported problems with the Catalina update with regard to Mail but most were minor and none that I know of involved the losses that you experienced. Also, we can't be sure that "Clean My Mac" did anything to disrupt the Mail app. However, we do not recommend using any kind of cleaner as most are too aggressive with their cleaning.

  6. #21
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    royalpei's Avatar
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    BOTH PROGRAMS SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY. I guess I will contact MAC.

  7. #22
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Before you contact Apple, could you tell us if TM opens properly when Mail is NOT open? That would tell us (and you) if the problem is in TM itself. Apple will, most likely, ask the same question, so that won't be wasted effort.
    Jake

  8. #23
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    royalpei's Avatar
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    I dont know what happened to the spelling in the above post????????????

  9. #24
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    royalpei's Avatar
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    Yes,it opens up all other pages/programs.Just not mail/

  10. #25
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    royalpei's Avatar
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    BOTH the TM AND the mail program shut down immediately.I get to see nothing ,its immediate.

  11. #26
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    OK, there is a long shot for you to do a restore from before the mail disappeared. However, you won't be able to see what you are actually restoring, in terms of mail and mailboxes, because the restore will be of folders that mail uses to store messages and attachments and configuration data. If it fails, or if you don't go far enough back, you won't get your folders. And when or if you do this, you will also lose all recent email messages, that is, all of them that you have received or sent from the date you pick to restore.

    Frankly, it's not what I would recommend as a first try, but given that the right way to do it doesn't seem to work, it may be all you have available. Be sure to be careful as you pick the date to go just far enough back to where you KNOW ABSOLUTELY that the missing mailboxes were there and not too far back. As I said, you are going to lose all email from that date to today, both received and sent. Some may be recovered from your mail provider later on, but I can't say you won't lose any or all of the more recent ones.

    OK, with all of those caveats, if you want to try this, follow these steps:

    1. Open Finder
    2. Go to your Library. If it isn't showing under your account name in Finder, then click on GO on the top bar with Option key held down and it should appear in the dropdown list. The Library is normally hidden, but the Option key makes it visible. This is YOUR Library, not the system Library.
    3. Once in your Library, find the Mail folder. Also the Mail Downloads folder. Don't do anything, just find them in the list of folders. It helps to be in the List view and in alphabetic order (click on the Name column header to sort them in the list view).

    I would personally recommend you make a copy of the Mail folder and the Mail Downloads folder to some other place BEFORE you do any of the next steps. You are about to overwrite them and if it goes bad, you will most likely want to get them back to before you did the overwrite. In my system these are HUGE folders (32GB total) so the copy may take a while if your mail system is like mine. (I tend to be lazy about cleaning out emails, so I have some going back over ten years+.)

    4. Now enter Time Machine. It should stay in the same folder as TM opens. And in List view.
    5. Again locate the Mail and Mail Downloads folders in the TM display window.
    6. Select a date along the time bar on the right to just before the mail disappeared. The display in the center will "scroll" back to that day/time.
    7. Click on the Mail folder and then click on Restore. Once it is done, repeat with Mail Downloads.
    8. After the restoration is done, exit TM and open Mail. Check to see if the missing emails are there. If they are, then you can see if you can get your mail server to give you the mails since then by checking for new messages just as usual. If you get just a bit lucky, your mail provider will send them to you.

    I really hope this works for you. It is a "brute force" restore of all of the Mail system to that date, without the finer control of restoring Mail from inside Mail provides. If it all goes south, copy the Mail and Mail Downloads folders from where you put them back to the Library folder. If it works, once you are comfortable with it, you can delete the copied Mail and Mail Downloads folders to recover the space.

    Best of luck with it.
    Jake

  12. #27
    Mailboxes and contents disappeared.
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Have you tried to run Disk Utility > First Aid, on the Time Machine drive?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

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