Entourage Ã¢ÂÂ the drama
Entourage is the name of a show on HBO, and also refers to “A group of attendants or associates; a retinue.”
ItÃ¢ÂÂs also the rough Ã¢ÂÂequivalentÃ¢ÂÂ of Outlook for the Macintosh, present in Office 2004 as well as some other, previous versions of the program.
Well, my Entourage (not my show, or my posse) got messed up pretty badly the other day and had to be taken out and shot. Well, not really. More like it had to be put into the witness protection program. IÃ¢ÂÂve had to create a new identity for Entourage.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs my fault, really Ã¢ÂÂ in rushing to work on Tuesday morning, I pulled the laptop power cord without checking to see if it had a battery. (I typically pull the battery when its mostly charged so it doesnÃ¢ÂÂt sit charging all night Ã¢ÂÂ Apple says this is a no-no), so, that hard-crashed the machine.
At the same time, I had set up iCal to Sync with Entourage. And, I had just installed SpanningSync.comÃ¢ÂÂs new Google Calendar to iCal synchronization tool.
So, when the machine came up, Entourage refused to fully run. ItÃ¢ÂÂs splash screen would appear, and the menu would show up, and then it would take about 85% of the processor for an hour or so until I killed it.
I think there was some sort of sync loop that was bad going on. IÃ¢ÂÂve since read on the Spanning Sync site that theyÃ¢ÂÂre not ready for you to sync Entourage to iCal and iCal to Google Ã¢ÂÂ itÃ¢ÂÂs beta. Of course, and I donÃ¢ÂÂt blame Spanning Sync for the 2 days of really annoying difficulties IÃ¢ÂÂve had.
Now, GreensteinÃ¢ÂÂs corollary to GodwinÃ¢ÂÂs law states that in any technical argument as time progresses, the likelihood that someone will blame Microsoft approaches 1. However in this case, itÃ¢ÂÂs a little justified. The support documentation about where Entourage keeps its files, its preferences, and how to fix it when it breaks is really almost non-existent on the Microsoft.com/support site. If you go to this page http://www.microsoft.com/mac/support.aspx and try to find a product by name, it links to a bunch of outdated content, IMHO.
Challenge: Search Support with the results limited to Entourage 2004 for the term Ã¢ÂÂapplication not responding.Ã¢ÂÂ Pretty useless results. I bet the Outlook forum has a lot better results for hangs in Outlook (which, as an Outlook 2003 user, I can say are pretty few and far between, even with a bunch of plug ins running including the excellent Ã¢ÂÂConstant ContactÃ¢ÂÂ .
I could have paid $35 to Microsoft support to help with this issue. As a shareholder in MSFT, I might have even been supporting the stock price a bit. But the derth of knowledge base articles made me nervous that they wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have given me any better answer than the numerous blogs and forums I found about Entourage.
First rule Ã¢ÂÂ Backup.
I had a backup from 2 nights prior to my crash. This, I believe was critical to my success.
Second rule Ã¢ÂÂ Backup.
I backed up all the preferences and current, crashed files.
Entourage keeps its preferences in /HardDisk/users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences for the most part. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs com.Microsoft.Entourage.plist and Entourage.syncservices.plist. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs also a Microsoft folder in which youÃ¢ÂÂll find com.Microsoft.Entourage.preference.plist.
However, EntourageÃ¢ÂÂs Database, kept at /HardDisk/users/YourUserName/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2004 Identities isnÃ¢ÂÂt where all the data is kept. Oh no. /HardDisk/users/YourUserName/Library/Caches/Metadata/Microsoft/Entourage has a lot of stuff in it. Thanks to David Spector, Mac genius, for instructing me, when Entourage was freezing up, to run a terminal window, use the command Ã¢ÂÂ lsof |grep Ã¢ÂÂI entourageÃ¢ÂÂ to find out what files and handles Entourage was looking for.
After much wrangling, I restored my Cache files, my Entourage database, all the pref files from my original Backup. I then ran clicked to launch Entourage with the OPTION key on the keyboard held down. This brings up the Database utility. I rebuilt my database, and was able to get Entourage running. I immediately went to rule 3 Ã¢ÂÂ Backup. I exported my calendar, tasks, notes, and address book.
When I clicked on the Calendar, Entourage froze again. Aha.
Force quit, Re-run Entourage and kill the preference for syncing. Also killed the preference for allowing Spotlight to index Entourage items (for now) as I think it was trying to re-index everything. I also went into iCal and backed up everything and killed the linked Entourage sync calendar it had.
Re ran Entourage, probably had to kill the sync preference listed above and perhaps iCal prefs Ã¢ÂÂ at this point I lost track of documentation in the lateness of the evening.
Finally got everything going, then I created a new Identity for Entourage into which I imported my cal, tasks, notes, and address book.
IÃ¢ÂÂm still resetting my mail, rules, and importing mail. Oh, yes Ã¢ÂÂ how do you get mail out of Entourage and back into another identity? Drag and drop a mail folder from the Entourage interface to the desktop or other folder, and it will create an .mbox file of that mail folder. You may then import it back into Entourage through the not-very-intuitive Import…text file from another program(!)…mbox file command.
This is all very clunky and time consuming. I hope this article can help another person, somewhere, get their stuff back.
And to the Mac Office team Ã¢ÂÂ yes, IÃ¢ÂÂm sure youÃ¢ÂÂre hard at work on Mac Office
2017 2007, but get someone over there to do some better KB articles on Entourage and files, or at least put in better search terms in the knowledge base so articles youÃ¢ÂÂve written can be found.
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