Outlook 2011 for Mac - Identity Crisis!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by pivotalellie, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. pivotalellie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    I really hope someone can help me. I have been searching for solutions on this and other forums and haven't found a solution that has worked for me yet.

    Yesterday my Outlook froze when I was trying to open a new message. I eventually had to force quit it. When I restarted Outlook there were no emails, no folders, nothing at all.

    From searching around I realise that this is a problem that others have had, so I have tried various things in vain.

    I have a time machine, which is backing up regularly.

    I did a full system restore to 1 hour before the problem occured (which took 3 hours) but Outlook was still the same.

    I have looked back at time machine versions but oddly there is no 'Microsoft User Data' folder at all in My Documents before 24 hours ago. It just disappears in earlier versions.

    I have started the microsoft database utility programme and that only finds the current (blank) identity. It repairs it in all of 15 seconds but that is because it is blank. No other identities are showing.

    I have searched for other identities or copies of 'main identity' in other folders. There are none in the last year. Older versions are previous backups I made before I got the time machine.

    when I search for specific email in finder they are showing as being in the system. so the emails are all still there. But when I try to open them in Outlook it says that the message is not associated with that identity.

    Where can my identity have gone? And how can I get it back?

    Is it worth trying a full system restore on time machine for 4 days ago?

    Will it find the database that appears to be missing when you search for folders on the time machine?

    Any help/solutions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    Jul 29, 2011
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    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    Check out the tales of woe on the MS site....Outlook for Mac is full of issues. More worryingly, it loses mail too. I gave up on it a long time ago and have been using Thunderbird which has good calendar and other bolt ons, is rock solid and reliable. Best of all is that it's free.

    I have two copies of Office For Mac, and regret spending the extra on Outlook, an over bloated, bug ridden afterthought.

    I can't think of a fix for your issue I'm afraid...except to use a different client.
     
  3. pivotalellie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2013
    #3
    Yes, I agree. I need to switch mail programmes. If only I could recover the emails before I do that though!
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #4
    When the system hung, did you force quit? If you did, try a disk verification from Disk Utility, followed by a permissions check and repair if required...You may yet be able to salvage those emails.
     
  5. pivotalellie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2013
    #5
    Ok, I'm trying that now. It is mid-process - it seems to have found lots of permission issues. When that is complete can I just try opening outlook straight away or should I shutdown and restart the system first?
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #6
    I'd re-boot first, then try it..Fingers crossed for you:)
     
  7. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #7
    Hi Pivotalellie,

    It's very strange that your Microsoft User Data folder is not available in Time Machine for last 24 hours ? and I can only imagine the PITA this issue is causing you.


    Try and find a solution (track down where it may be if permission repair doesn't work)...

    As you say spotlight is finding those emails, when you choose 'show all' in spotlight and then highlight one of your emails can you press CMD+i and get more info - and see where its stored your email. If it appears to be only bringing up emails in your Timemachine backup then yes you may have to system restore a few days back, but if it shows the email in a different location on your main drive it may help you track down what happened to your Microsoft User Data folder and files therein.


    Another area just to check...

    If you are using 10.6.8/10.7 please go into your user/Library folder. On 10.8 it's hidden so if you press and hold ALT whilst clicking on GO in the desktop / menu - you will see user library listed.

    Have a look in user/Library/Application Support and see if its moved the Microsoft user data folder there. There will be a Microsoft folder in there with office and spotlight components, but your looking for your Microsoft User Data folder.

    If it is there - try to copy and paste it back into your documents folder......


    .........


    Let us know how you get on.
     
  8. pivotalellie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #8
    Hello both of you and thank you so so much for your help and advice. I have done everything that both of you suggested and managed to recover the identity and all is back up and running now. I was getting quite panicked about it.

    I repaired permissions and then I followed advice about getting more info about folders that they are in. I thought I had looked really properly but I now know waht must have happened.

    I did a big tidy up of my folders last week - about 7 days ago. I 'tidied' the microsoft user data folder away too. Just moved into another folder. But Outlook continued to run from this location for a further 7 days. I think the issue was when outlook realised that there was no longer the correct folder in my documents and created a new one. It flummoxed me because I knew I hadn't moved any files about in the last week. Didn't expect it to take a week to have an effect. Ah well, I'll know for next time. That also explains why there was no Microsoft User Data folder in any of the previous timecapsule files for the last week.

    I have now rebuilt and all is working fine.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #9

    Glad you are good...I'd consider changing your email client though...I had it lose a bunch of really important things a few years back...Never used it since!
     
  10. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #10
    Great stuff :) Glad we could help.

    MRU.
     
  11. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #11
    You'll find issues for anything if you look on support sites, discussion forums, etc.
     
  12. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

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    Oregon
    #12
    If you move the Microsoft User Data folder and/or Identity when the Microsoft Database daemon is open it will follow the Identity. I suspect you didn't quit Outlook for several days so it continued to use your original Identity.

    If you move the Microsoft User Data folder or Identity to another location, Outlook will create a new blank one for you.

    Any data stored under "On My Computer" folder (That's POP and any archived messages you move there) can be lost with no way to recover. Time Machine does backup the Data Records folder but not the database file. While Outlook does not store your data in the database, in order to view your data you must have a database file. Often recovering from Time Machine fails to rebuild. Thus no database file will exist.
     
  13. creativedogmedia macrumors 65816

    creativedogmedia

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    #13
    I just found this response and am experiencing the same thing....I had all of my mail stored under "on my computer" from 2008 and just switched MBP's....tried to restore from previous backup (outlook identity only) and it appears I have lost all of that mail....I have 20k emails in my inbox (i know, i know....) and quite a few folders stored on the server (not directly under inbox) and those are taking forever (days) to sync.....this program is driving me crazy.
     

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