ML Time Machine Mail.app backups unavailable

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by CadetStimpy, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #1
    Hi,
    Just updated my 08 MBP from Lion to Mountain Lion, and I've been checking various apps to make sure they're working ok.

    One thing I've noticed is that I can't browse my Time Machine backups in Mail.app. I can see they exist in the slider on the right hand side, going way back to December 2009, but I can't navigate to them.

    Time Machine within Finder works fine - I can navigate back to 2009 and restore a file no problem, it seems to be just the Mail.app that doesn't work.

    Anyone have this issue, or a fix?
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #2
    Same problem here. Finder backups work though. Weird.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #3
    Same problem here with mid-09 MBP. Recovery works only back to ML install.
     
  4. JDI
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #4
    ML Converts Lion mailboxes

    Same problem here - when you first start up Mail in ML there's a message that the mail boxes need to be "converted" to work with ML (can't remember the exact message). Likely ML can't read/see the older Lion Mail backups because they're in a different format.

    I'm trying to recover some mail that I mistakenly deleted ...
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #5
    Used Finder to go back pre-ML in Time Machine. Mail application show grey circle with diagonal stripe, so was a major change for new OS. Can only hope (and pray) that Apple will release a Time Machine patch to address the format change that occurs when you upgrade from Lion. Should be easy since they translate the formats during the ML install.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #6
    If anybody knows a work around to find old mail messages through finder let me know. I use this as way to find old email since my exchange account for work deletes emails older than 3 months. Bummer.
     
  7. JDI
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #7
    One option

    OK - here's what I did. My situation was that I backed up my Lion system prior to upgrading to ML, upgraded fine, then mistakenly deleted a number of emails before doing the first ML backup. I needed to recover the emails that I deleted between the upgrade and the first ML backup but couldn't access the older Lion backup of those emails from within the Mail app in Time Machine.

    I figured that the problem was in the "import" process so I did the following:

    1. Quit Mail.
    2. Rather than trying to restore the backup from within the Mail.app I went into Time Machine and located the relevant Mail folders in my user backed up Lion Library (just prior to the ML upgrade) - Username>Library>Mail
    3. Copied the two Time Machine backed up folders within Mail folder - "Mail Lost+Found" and "V2"
    4. Pasted the two folders into my ML Username>Library>Mail folder, overwriting the current folders.
    5. Restarted Mail
    6. Was asked again to "import" the mailboxes and did so.
    7. emails that I had mistakenly deleted between the upgrade and next ML backup reappeared, mail that I received after the Lion backup reappeared as unread

    Note that I initially tried to copy and paste a single .mbox file for the account that I wanted to recover the emails from but that didn't seem to trigger the "import" dialogue window. I had to use all of the mailboxes in their pre ML formatting in order to "recover" the lost emails.

    Probably a good idea to do a Time Machine backup immediately after upgrading to ML before making any changes that you may want to undo at a later date!
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #8
    Thanks for that JDI, I'm assuming that although this workaround brought back the specific emails you needed to recover, it didn't fix the issue of being able to use Time Machine to browse previous Lion backups and restore them via the Time Machine interface?

    It really looks as if ML Mail.app has a different format to Lion, and Apple will need to come up with a fix to tweak the backed up Lion Mail folders to open in ML.

    I'm not too concerned as my work emails are all stored in Google Apps and I never delete messages (except spam), but I could imagine this could be a right pain for other users.

     
  9. JDI
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #9
    Yes - it doesn't resolve the issue of accessing Mail backed up in Lion, it's a bit of a heavy handed "all or nothing" work around. Not perfect in that sense. There does seem to be a wall that prevents Mail from accessing backups that were created in Lion - these backups are still accessible through the Finder method but finding specific emails that you want doesn't look doable.

     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #10

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