Entourage importing: from Entourage!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Doctor Q, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #1
    I've seen lots of threads go by about importing e-mail from one program to another, and my case is seemingly simpler, but I have had no luck so far.

    I want to import into Entourage the e-mail from a backup of the disk. I know how to import mail into Entourage from other e-mail programs and I know how to import mail into Entourage from an archive created by exporting from Entourage, but I cannot figure out how to import from a backup of the folders under the "/Users/(username)/Documents/Microsoft User Data" folder, under which is where Entourage stores mail.

    More details: It's not my own system. I am helping a friend who has Entourage 11.21 as part of MS Office. His mailboxes are currently empty because he has reinstalled his whole system (Mac OS and applications) on a new disk. All of his old mail is on another disk created with a disk-to-disk Finder copy, and he wants to import the old mail into Entourage. When I try to import, however, Entourage offers me three choices, none of which seems to work for this case:

    1. "Import information from an Entourage archive"

    2. "Import information from a program"

    3. "Import information from a text file"

    The first choice looks only for .rge (Entourage archived mail) files and can't be used on the old mail folders directly. The others don't seem to handle Entourage folders either. You can tell because when they put you in a File-Open dialog box (to locate the data to import), there is nowhere you can navigate to under the "Microsoft User Data" backup that is not dimmed.

    Does Entourage let you do what I'm trying to do?

    I can think of another method to try: replacing some of the subfolders in the entire Microsoft User Data folder with the same folders from the backup copy, and hoping Entourage is "fooled" into finding the old mail. But first I'd like to know if there's a proper way to do this.
     
  2. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #2
    I'm not sure I followed everything you said but you can drag an Entourage mailbox folder to the desktop and it will create an mbox file. You can just drag them into Entourage.

    If you can find mbox files in the backup and drag to desktop then Entourage, that might work.
     
  3. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #3
    Thanks, rdowns. But inside folder (backup disk)/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office X Identities/Main Identity I see no mbox files.

    However, I do see a file named "Database", and also "Old Database" and "Old Database 1". Apple's mail.app uses .mbox files but I think Entourage uses a file named Database.

    Is that the file I should drag into Entourage? Where in Entourage specifically?
     
  4. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #4
    Documents ->Microsoft User Data ->Office X Identity or Office 2004 Identity -> Main Identity -> Database

    Based on that path, I'd try moving the database file there. If I click my database file, it launches Entourage. HTH
     
  5. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    Are you saying that I should replace file

    Macintosh HD/Users/(username)/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office X Identities/Main Identity/Database

    with a copy of file

    (backup disk)/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office X Identities/Main Identity/Database ?

    That, I assume, would wipe out the current e-mail, replacing it with the backup copy. That is what I had in mind above when I said "I can think of another method to try...". But I was hoping there was something "clean" to do in Entourage to merge in the old messages, rather than trying to sneak the old e-mail files back in and replace the current e-mail.
     
  6. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #6
    OK, I think I have it.

    Take the new mail folders and drag them to the desktop creating mbox files.

    Replace the database file with the one from the backup. That should put all old mail back.

    Double click each mbox folder on desktop and it will ask if you want to import them. I think that will do it.

    I copy my mbox files to an external HD for backup. I double clicked an older one and Entourage asked me if I want to import them into a new folder. That makes me think the above will work for you.
     
  7. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #7
    I appreciate your help, rdowns. Here's the latest:

    We backed up the current mail both with a File->Export (creating an .rge file) and by dragging mailboxes to the desktop (creating individual .mbox) files.

    Next, we quit Entourage, copied the backup copy of file "Database" over the current (active) one, and to be safe we deleted the "Database Cache" file, figuring it would be regenerated. But when we relaunched Entourage, the old e-mail was still there. Isn't that odd?

    We also tried replacing the entire "Main Identity" folder with the one from the backup and Entourage still shows the old e-mail!

    I have two theories about how this could possibly happen.

    1. Perhaps Entourage has a preference file or cache file somewhere that needs to be deleted to get it to "refresh" the mailboxes. If I knew what file it was, I could delete it and try again.

    2. Perhaps the backup copy doesn't really contain the old e-mail. I'm not sure how that could be, so I doubt that is the explanation.

    Any further ideas?
     
  8. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #8
    I'm at a loss here, Microsoft product are so intuitive.

    Poking around my hard drive with Spotlight, I don't see Entourage files anywhere else.

    Every time I double click an older database file I have, it asks if I want to import it, not sure why you aren't getting that.

    What is you move the new email mbox files to the desktop and then delete them all in Entourage and then replace database file and/or Identity folder? Or maybe move mbox files to desktop and re-install Entourage, import old database file and then mbox files from desktop.

    Import old database to Mail and then to Entourage.

    Try playing around with the Database Utility program- hold Option and launch Entourage.

    That's all I got.
     
  9. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #9
    I verified it again. If I quit Entourage and double-click the backup copy of the Database file, it launches Entourage but does nothing to the mail and gives no prompts.

    I will try these next.

    This problem is interfering with my pretense that I can solve any problem for a friend with a wave of my hand. Usually, I tell people to look away for a second so they don't get magic dust in their eyes, and then I restart their Mac or delete a preference file and pretend only a wizard like me could have performed such an amazing feat of software repair, but I seem to have met my match with Entourage. At least so far.
     
  10. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #10
    I hear you Doc. You must feel like an Eye, Ear and Throat guy asked to cover for a Proctologist. :eek:
     
  11. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    Attempting to import the old Entourage e-mail into Mail.app didn't work. Mail.app only imports current e-mail from Entourage, directly from the application, rather than from a disk file, so I can't read the old Database file into Mail.

    I don't know of another application that could serve as middleman, i.e., one that could import the Entourage Database file and then export to Entourage.
     
  12. askthedust macrumors regular

    askthedust

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    #12
    was this issue ever solved?

    I am having the exact same problem only I never backed up my old mail. My hard drive died and i replaced/upgraded it but now i can't seem to move my old entourage mail into my new hard drive. I use entourage for work and Mail for personal so I need help with both.
     
  13. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #13
    We could never get this resolved.

    My friend gave up and switched to Mail for his new e-mail, leaving all of his previous e-mail still in Entourage. By setting Entourage not to pick up mail automatically, he can launch it when he wants to look through old e-mail, but it's a royal pain and an unsatisfactory compromise.

    And my reputation as a computer wizard who can solve any problem took a hit.
     
  14. Velireon macrumors newbie

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    May 6, 2006
    #14
    A Solution, Albeit Wonky?

    I'll make no promises here, and likely this thread is so old no one cares anymore anyway, BUT ...
    I was having this same problem, and solved it as follows. It's not pretty (and requires a second user account, or alternatively second Mac altogether), but it works.

    Since Entourage won't merge-import from an older database file which I'd backed up just by Finder/Copy (or wouldn't for me, anyway), I did it manually. I logged into another user account on the machine, one where one one was using Entourage (actually, I just created a whole new account). Then, I replaced the Microsoft User Data directory in this User Account with my backed-up one. I opened Entourage, and manually dragged every single email out of the Entourage window onto the desktop, then moved them to my main identity's Desktop folder.

    I logged back into the main identity, dragged the emails from the desktop into the Entourage window (in the specific folder I wanted), and with that I was done.

    I can't imagine how to make this work for signatures -- other than just opening your old signatures in the second user account, and copying their text to a text file, from which you can paste them into new signatures in your main identity. I haven't tried this with contacts yet either, but I would expect the process to work similarly with the vCards.

    HTH someone!
     
  15. dianer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #15
    I know this is an old thread, but there is so much misinformation in this thread, I wanted to clear up the data for future searches.

    You have a new MUD folder with a "Main" Identity that you have used. You have your old MUD folder with the bulk of your emails including all of your contacts and other data.

    1. Rename the 'new' Main folder to "New Main"
    2. Drag over the original Main folder. It will not overwrite your data since they have different names.
    3. Using Switch Identities under Entourage in the Menu bar, select your New Main Identity.
    4. Export all of your data under File in the Menu bar as an Entourage archive (.rge) (this option is not available for Entourage X users) Save to desktop.
    5. Switch Identity to your Main Identity. Under File in the Menu bar select Import and navigate to your desktop and select the .rge file you created.
    6. This file shows up as a folder. You can then drag the folders to folders "On My Computer" or use the Move to icon to move the messages to the corresponding folder.

    See these movies on using MBOX and .rge files

    Basics on importing:

    You can import from an older version to a newer version. eg. OE to Entourage 2001, Entourage X, 2004 tor 2008.

    You cannot import from a newer version to an older version. e.g. Entourage X to Entourage 2001, or Entourage 2008 to Entourage 2004 using Entourage.

    You cannot import from the same version of Entourage. e.g. Entourage 2004 to Entourage 2004 or Entourage 2008 to Entourage 2008. You can use the MBOX method or the Export-Import Scripts to transfer mail from one identity to another.

    See this page for help importing: http://www.entourage.mvps.org/import_export/index.html
     
  16. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #16
    Thank you, Diane. I'm glad I spotted your answer today to this question from long ago. Having the correct instructions will help anyone who comes across this thread in the future.
     
  17. LostInAir macrumors newbie

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #17
    About 6 years ago, I made the mistake of adopting a HOTMAIL account as my primary email.

    In between companies at the time, I needed a web-based, "portable" email and it seemed the best choice at the time. Since then, I've regretted it more times than I can recall, but as they say, I am way past the point of no return.

    One of the main regrets has been that hotmail doesn't allow ANY email programs (eudora, outlook, etc) to connect to it.

    For years I've been trying to figure out a way to "move" my email from the web-based interface to a local-based database.

    Then I heard about Entourage and quickly got it going!! I LOVE it, however, there is one BIG problem.

    I have OVER 85000 emails on hotmail (about 8.6 GB) of data and Entourage doesn't seem to like it.

    It "holds-up" after about 5000 emails and get's very unstable.

    I "need" a lot of these emails since I use hotmail as a "virtual filing cabinet" and don't necessarily need ALL of them in Entourage, especially right away.

    BUT, I can't find a "switch" anywhere in the Entourage settings to tell it NOT to download messages over a certain age, or size. Seems like even my iphone has this option, so I presumed it would be in Entourage somewhere.

    Am I just being stupid? Can anyone help me with this..?
     

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