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time Machine does not show Outlook 2011 Database file? why?

3765 Views 23 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2013 3:55 PM by duopshebop RSS
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Antonio Conte Level 2 Level 2 (440 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 1, 2011 3:24 PM

ok, this is a strange one.  I have started using Time Machine with a view to thinking that everything on my Macbook Pro 17 unibody would be backed up.  Interesting, I want back in time using Time Machine, only 1 hr and noticed that the Database file which sites in the Main Identity for Outlook 2011 isn't there in Time Machine?  how come?   this is the main reason for running Time Machine as I want Outlook 2011 backed up just in case.....

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)

    Exit Outlook and manually start a backup, then check.

  • HLBOES Calculating status...

    I'm running into the same thing and it definitely is not an issue of the file being in the TM exclusion list. Doing a manual backup with Outlook not running doesn't help either. Odd and disconcerting.

  • HLBOES Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Figured it out, I think. It looks like this is expected behavior. Outlook 2011 wants to rebuild the database file from scratch and, it seems, purposefully tells Time Machine to ignore the database file. When you first launch Outlook after restoring an Office 2011 Identity, the app tells you that the db is missing, that this is likely due to a Time Machine restore and then launches the db utility to rebuild the database. As long as you have all the Data Records (in that same folder), you should be good. Cheers.

  • Ben (NYC) Level 3 Level 3 (985 points)

    So what does the database file store exactly? I imagine it must have some unique information, or else what would be the purpose of having a separate file. What's lost when Outook "rebuilds" it? There MUST be a way around this for users who want to backup the database file. Anyone find a solution?

  • ArundelDesigns Calculating status...

    I found this thread tonight in the process of restoring an Outlook identity which couldn't be rebuilt. As expected it takes some Microsoft voodoo and seems more trouble than it's worth to keep using what is essentially a "newborn" version of Outlook. At least all your messages and such are still there in individual files (SO MUCH BETTER than the old PST system), but the Microsoft utility isn't smart enough to log/tell you exactly what broke the process. Though it tends to be the /Folders/ folder that it keeps tripping over, if your Office version is greater than 14.1.0.

     

    If programs like Emailchemy work, it is clearly a better value than losing more days of my life to fixing randomly borked "professional" software.

     

    I wanted to mention in response to Ben's comment, that it's not necessarily true that every database file contains unique information. Some database files, particularly to do with email applications, are merely indexes which aid searching and browsing the data. Eudora did, Thunderbird does. That is the purpose of having a seperate file that is, essentially, disposable. In these cases, rebuilding an index from scratch is the only way to keep it tidy and current. You don't want it to be stale data, which is the sort of troubleshooting points that Office Support identifies:

     

    http://mac2.microsoft.com/help/office/14/en-us/word/item/dd509ae4-6b71-4ad6-9868 -437552b2256e

     

    http://mac2.microsoft.com/help/office/14/en-us/word/item/14ab7273-e33e-48df-94c1 -278755eff156

    If you have any of the following problems, the database might be damaged and you might have to rebuild it by using the Microsoft Database Utility:

    • Outlook doesn't open, stops responding, or quits unexpectedly. 
    • Outlook items don't open, or the item that opens is not the item that you chose. 
    • Blank lines appear in the Outlook message list or in Outlook contacts. 
    • Outlook contact entries don't display correctly.
    • In Outlook, you can't find information that you added, such as a calendar event or a contact. 
    • In Outlook, when you perform a search, the search results don't match the criteria that you set. 
    • A blank Office Reminders window appears.
    • The clippings in the Scrapbook disappear.
  • MurkysMom Calculating status...

    This 2011 database handling is actually a good thing, i think. 

     

    Because in Entourage 2008, if all the Microsoft Office programs were not closed (included Database Daemon, which I never figured out how to close - had to restart to do it) - my multi-GB database did not back up properly.

     

    This lead to anomalies like when restoring from Time Machine, the 2008 database would have unexplainedly lost two days of data. (After hours on the phone with Microsoft I figured out what I related in the first paragraph). 

     

    No biggie, I guess, if you were using an Exchange server - but we aren't.  I could redownload my received email, but my sent email was gone forever.

     

    Using Office 2011, and Outlook, I've had to restore from a Time Machine backup (2x because of a hard drive failure), and as described in this post, Office rebuilt my database, and nothing was lost.

     

    Still, I was freaked (because of the experience with 2008) to see that my 2011 database wasn't in my Time Machine backup.

     

    Very glad I found this thread, so I understand what's going on! 

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)

    Ben (NYC) wrote:

     

    So what does the database file store exactly? I imagine it must have some unique information, or else what would be the purpose of having a separate file. What's lost when Outook "rebuilds" it? There MUST be a way around this for users who want to backup the database file. Anyone find a solution?

    The database (located in Microsoft User Data>Office 2011 Identities), contains all of Outlooks data, rebulding it does not lose anything, it reindexes, compacts and backs up the existing database (making a new copy for use)

     

    Time machine should back it up as it is in the Documents folder. But Outlook (or its daemons etc) must not be running or the file will not be backed up, so if you leave Outlook running all the time there will be no backup.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)

    Use Outlooks built-in export facility to periodically duplicate your OLM file. The duplicate will be backed up regardless of whether Outlook (or any of its 'bits') are running.

  • mrchntmarine Calculating status...

    the file will be backed up.  but, for instance if you try to restore exported calander events, you will not be able to restore the events into the default calander (at lesast if you can, I cannot find out how and neither can the MS for Mac c/s.)  i too was using time capsule to back up and it did not back up my database file, so that was basically useless.  I did however have an exported back up of the calander and had to restore that.  but MS for Mac could not get the events back into the default calander and now I have to use multiple calanders - one with my old stuff and one new one, empty - from restored date on...

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)

    mrchntmarine wrote:

     

    the file will be backed up.  but, for instance if you try to restore exported calander events, you will not be able to restore the events into the default calander (at lesast if you can, I cannot find out how and neither can the MS for Mac c/s.)  i too was using time capsule to back up and it did not back up my database file, so that was basically useless.  I did however have an exported back up of the calander and had to restore that.  but MS for Mac could not get the events back into the default calander and now I have to use multiple calanders - one with my old stuff and one new one, empty - from restored date on...

    You can fix these issues by not using that awful program. Anything (everything) else will work better.

  • mrchntmarine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    time capsule or outlook?

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,380 points)

    Outlook.

  • duopshebop Calculating status...

    A few days ago I accidently deleted my Outllook Mac 2011, OLD (PST) files, that were originally Exported from my Windows Vista computer. 5G of info . Although I use ical for my calendar, I was Using Outlook to store my old files and save some new emails. (it was a crutch when I first switched to MBPR in April 2013).  I tried to restore Document files with Time machine to a date a few days in the past,  but it didnt work as far as restoring deleted Outlook files. After reading several posts, I realize that I hardley ever closed Outlook or ical, so that would mean Outlook Never got backed up on time machine????  (Dont know if this is the same for ical)  anyway, I keep trying to retrieve these files to no avail, creating numerous more Main Identitys, but this hasnt worked, so I keep going back to the same original Main Identity. My question is, even if I try restoring my entire system to a day in the past, am I looking at not being able to recover these files anyway? or will this work? I have not done this yet, because I am afraid of screwing it up further.  I didnt start using time machine until a few months ago. That being said, I have also read that Mac makes a copy of everthing on its own, so , does that mean the original PST file I had initially Exported from my Windows computer (which is now destroyed unfortunately),  in May of this year, would still be sitting somewhere on my Mac ? If so, can I retrieve this original PST file again???  I dont care about current stuff on Outlook because all my current stuff is on ical. BTW, when I was first trying to Restore the Outlook Main Identitys file, I kept getting error 18000 when trying to rebuild the data base, and so I was never able to do this.  I have moved several attemps onto my desktop, removing them from Docs and just keeping the original Main Identitys file in the correct spot in Docs.  HELP !  All I want to do is retrieve these old Outlook files. I have tried doing an Import from any PST files that may reside on my Mac, into Outlook, and going to Any PST files on my computer, and to Main Identity, and it says Outlook is importing data, but it never completes, so there is nothing. One more thing, when I search in finder and see some old files, I try just clicking on those and they wont open  and I get the response Outlook cannot open because it is not associated with the default identity.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so I think I have messed with the default identity.  I spent  90 min with a genius at the Apple STore at the Scottsdale Quarter and no one could figure this out.  Saying its a Microsoft program and that I may need their help.  Can anyone help me??? I hope so.  Since I have rambled on and on, ALL I WANT TO DO IS RETRIEVE MY OLD OUTLOOK PST FILE!  Thanks a bunch, and a  Big Hug to whomever can solve this problem!!! BY the way, I have also read about the Recovery files thing, and files can be found, but but have  no categories, and are just willie nillie everywhere..and I really dont want to do that.

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