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  Taming the Entourage Database
Subject:   Heed the warning!
Date:   2002-06-06 06:20:55
From:   rushmoom
I used Entourage for about for months. Fortunately I was smart enough to back up my database on a regular basis. Disaster struck a couple of months ago. It happened while downloading a largeish message (probably close to 1 meg attachment). Entourage crashed and when relaunched told me that the database needed to be rebuilt. Unfortunately neither the standard or advanced rebuild was able to solve the problem. My database was useless. (BTW, my db wasn't excessively large, only around 70MB.) I was hoping that the recent update would be able to resurrect the old db, but alas it told be something to the effect of "Your database probably can't be rebuilt." Since the disaster, I have moved all of my mail back to "Mail" and have been happy once again. I had always missed the ability to grep by mail remotely anyway :) I now feel much safer knowing that my mail is in a standard format.

I'm not suggesting to stop using Entourage if you like it. I have a friend with that happily uses Entourage and has a db of nearly 1.5GB. Just that if you use it, you should be aware of the dangers and make sure to back up your db regularly.

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  • Heed the warning!
    2002-06-07 22:53:27  heckj [View]

    Worth noting - when the database size exceeds 2Gb, entourage ceases to be your friend. Backups will drop back to previous versions of your mailboxes, but you'll probably have lost mail in this process.

    Rule of thumb if you're running that close: COMPRESS THE DATABASE. Entourage caches *everything*, and until you compress, it's in there somewhere. If you get a lot of attachments, for example... yeah.

    A note about backing up some mailboxes on Entourage: You can drag a folder onto the desktop and it will save it in a standard UNIX mbox format. Very, very handy and not well known.

  • Derrick Story photo Heed the warning! -- Question
    2002-06-06 20:44:26  Derrick Story | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    So sorry to hear about your crash. My question is: were you able to use the version of the database you had backed up? Or did the corruption somehow render those back ups useless too?

    I realize that back ups have their limitations. One thought is to back up your DB weekly, and leave on week's mail on the server. In theory, that should allow you to survive crashes anytime during a seven day period.