12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2009 7:58 AM by baydreaner
baydreaner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hi All,

I use Apple mail for my mail and I am finding that, at least 3 or 4 times a week it tells me there is a problem and I need to rebuild my mail.

It tells me to close mail and then when I open it, it goes to the import and imports all of my messages.
Obviously there is a problem and I cant afford to lose my mail

So what can I do to stop this, is there a way of starting afresh and keeping my old emails as reference? what is the best process to take

many thanks

Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • baydreaner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    its happened 3 days today already

    Here is the message

    Try clicking Quit and then opening Mail again. If this message reappears, click Quit and Rebuild index. The next time you open Mail, it will import your messages.
  • tgapen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I'm having this exact same issue and I've tried everything I can thing of to solve it with no success.
    I've rebuilt the mail database repeatedly, I've removed in many different combinations the plist files and envelope indexes and started over.
    I've even reinstalled Mail.
    Nothing is working here.
    Does anybody have any better ideas?
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (77,485 points)
    Have you repaired the drive using Disk Utility?
  • tgapen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Well, I haven't tried that but I will now. Although, I wonder how that may be related since I'm having no other issues with the drive.
    I'll try anything at this point.
  • baydreaner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    In the end I tried eveything that the manuals and support forums suggested.

    I had to remove mail, completely, taking a copy of all my mail boxes and backups etc, then re-installed it and then imported then re-set mail and imported them as folders into my mail application.

    in the end they are shown in the side bar as imports, rather than going into my inbox, but it meant I could start my inbox from fresh and clean it up as I go
  • tgapen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    So when you say you had to remove mail completely, how did you accomplish that? There are some many files scattered in the system lib and user lib and elsewhere that I'm not sure I could find all of it to delete it all.
  • baydreaner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I will try and find the thread that I followed, but I took a copy of the mail folder, the mail download folder. the mail preferences.

    But I also backed up Mail using a free tool, check this out (this is the paid for version, but I used the free version)
    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/systemdiskutilities/emailbackuppro.html

    I then followed the instructions to remove mail from the mac, and then reinstalled it, starting from scratch. But I then imported the .mbox folders into a new folder I called imports so that my inbox would stay fresh

    the only thing I would say is.......remember to backup your sent folder, I missed it first time I did it and ended up losing all the emails I had sent to people.

    I always take a complete copy of the MAIL folder in your library and also have the email backup software copy as well,

    But check out on here about removing the elements. I only removed what I could see and then reinstalled and since not had a problem. if it happens again I will document what I did
  • tgapen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thanks so much for your help on this. This problem has persisted for a few weeks now and it's driving me mad. You mentioned that you "followed the instructions" to remove mail from your Mac. It would be very helpful if you could conjure up those instructions.
    Also, to reinstall mail did you use Pacifist to accomplish that?
    I'm not too worried about backing up sent folders and such since I use IMAP for mail, meaning everything is saved on the server. I think I only need to worry about saving the mailboxes that are "On My Mac."
    I'll try to deal with this problem this weekend and report back.
    Again, thanks for you time and attention.
  • Michael Romo Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    This just started happening to me this past week--I thought it might be a 10.5.7 thing. It's beginning to happen every day. I will try to run repair permissions and check the disk for problems but figured I would chime in to let you know it's not just you!

    -mike
  • tgapen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Well, as you no doubt read above I planned to try, as a last resort, completely removing Mail and everything associated with it that I could find and then reinstall.
    I did that and that seems to have solved my problem. Also, as mentioned above by another poster who advised me of this tactic, he reimported his mailboxes back into Mail which then listed them under "Imported" is his Mail sidebar. That works fine but then all you have to do is drag the mailbox out of the imported folder and drop it back on to "On My Mac" and they live there just like they had previously. This is likely the only way you're going to get back to normal again. If you have mailboxes that you need to save, drag them out of your user/library/mail directory, to the desktop or somewhere else before you delete everything. That way you can reimport them or just move them back to that directory.
    Finally, I can not say enough about using IMAP as opposed to POP mail if your ISP supports it because I basically never lost any messages through this process. They all stayed on the server. The only messages that I potentially could have lost were those saved "On My Mac." But as I said, I backed those mailboxes up and saved them before deleting OSX Mail.
    Sorry, for the longwindedness but I am very much relieved.
    Good luck!
  • baydreaner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Pleased you got it sorted.

    Touch wood, I havent experienced any more issues since doing this, so fingers crossed.

    However I would add that this happened to me prior to 10.5.7 so I dont think it was specific to an update, although it did get worse.
  • baydreaner Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    looks like if its that correupted the only way around is to completely remove and install, ensuring a backup of everything and mailboxes is taken before doing so