Just to prove that Mac users can have computer disasters too, here is the story of how a colleague lost his Entourage database (and a chunk of money) but gained liberation. I’ve compiled several e-mail messages into one narrative, but think he tells the story better than I could—including the unexpected up side.
I was using Entourage X (part of Office X for the Mac) and its upper limit for its database (combining address book, calendar items, categories and e-mail boxes) was 4GB. That was the magic number for size past which it asked to rebuild.
When it tried to compress itself at my command, I ran out of disk space on a partitioned hard disk.
Double-Whammy. Each retry further damaged the data.
Drive Savers took 10 days but couldn’t fix it. They gave me a range dependent upon how successful they were. I’d used them once before, and pled poverty as I was doing a non-profit newsletter at the time. It ended up costing almost $500 for restoring an old version.
I was sooooo close to running a backup when this happened it could have been backed up. I was also within hours of a long 3 day train trip where I was planning to purge thousands of files and archive old e-messages.
Blah blah blah.
So I lost recent contacts, years of old e-mails.
I upgraded to a newer version of MS Entourage that allows bigger DBs though that might just enable me to repeat my harmful behavior of saving files I never really needed, used or will use.
It’s springboarded me to clean up, on and off my computer, and purge lots of stuff.
It’s liberating. I wish I’d done this sooner.
The pain is gone and I have improved my backup schedule and built additional redundancies into my actions.
I am using Retrospect for backups and write scripts, then back up to removable drives.
If you have a story of data loss—or data salvation—that you’d like to share, just pass it on to me and I’ll be happy to include it. Real-life stories are much more interesting—and credible—than press releases and laboratory tests.