Help me retrieve my lost Eudora inbox
July 15, 2004 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Macfilter: I'm on 10.3.4, and just lost my entire eudora inbox (tons of msgs) and all my safari bookmarks and logins...any ideas? (i think it's because i didn't have enough diskspace free, but it's too weird, and annoying)

or could it be a virus or something? nothing like this (so specifically targeted to Eudora and Safari) has ever happened to me before.
posted by amberglow to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Eudora just stores all its mail as text files in the documents folder of your user folder. You could look in there and see if the files are still there.

Did you delete a user in the OS or something? There's no Eudora/Safari virus.
posted by bcwinters at 8:10 PM on July 15, 2004

nope...i'm the only user that's ever been on this machine...i guess i overwrote whatever was there when Eudora asked me to rebuild the table of contents or whatever it was they asked... : <
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on July 15, 2004

I'm guessing you've already been there, but Eudora's tech support might be able to help you.
Try this document.
posted by Treeline at 9:32 PM on July 15, 2004

yeah, i went there--the problem was that when i said yes to whatever the question was, it apparently overwrote and deleted all the mail, and gave me an empty inbox--it kept my out ok tho. (i have a backup from 2 months ago, but still..)
posted by amberglow at 9:49 PM on July 15, 2004

How low was your diskspace?

Low disk space is a *disaster* on OS X, really. And there are no real warnings. I think Panther has one now, but by the time you see it the damage is done. I once had my free disk get to under 500mb, and the next time I restarted, a wide stretch of my preferences had gone, as had all my local mail in and everything else that had attempted to write on quit. It's nasty.
posted by bonaldi at 10:37 PM on July 15, 2004

Strange... I've toed the line with disk space many times with nary a problem. I have, however, found some stories of data loss with low disk space while using file vault.

Yes, there is a warning on low disk space in 10.3. I never ran low in 10.2 so i don't know.

Are you guys (bonaldi and amberglow) using journaling on your disks? There's no real drawback to using it and it prevents most kinds of catastrophic data loss. You can enable it using Disk Utility.

I have heard that it's a good idea to always keep 10-15% of your total disk space free to allow for virtual memory and on-the-fly defragmentation.
posted by Treeline at 2:31 AM on July 16, 2004

i was at about 8 or 900 megs, out of the 40gig hd...and before i lost those things, i had been noticing a performance hit (and rainbow wheel for a second or 2 when loading safari, etc), so i should have known. I've now cleared out so i have 9gigs free.

And i have to learn about journaling, i guess. Is file vault a built-in thing?

thanks all.
posted by amberglow at 5:26 AM on July 16, 2004

FileVault's built in amber, but I'm pretty sure you'd have to have turned it on specifically - it's off by default. You can find its settings at System Preferences > Accounts > (Your OS X User Name) > Security. My US$0.02 = leave it off unless you are truly in a situation where you need it: there were enough reports of random weirdness about it that it's probably more risk than reward.

You can enable journalling using Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility > (Your Mac's HD Name) > Enable Journalling. There's a Knowledge Base article that explains it pretty clearly. Won't help with your current situation, but might save you some hassle if you run into this again.

This is hardly "normal" behavious for OS X. If it's at all convenient for you, you might want to talk to a Genius at an Apple Store to see if this is anything they recognize...
posted by JollyWanker at 6:01 AM on July 16, 2004

thanks, jolly (i've been a little nervous anyway ever since i went up to 10.3 (i had to for VPNing for work at home).
posted by amberglow at 6:10 AM on July 16, 2004

I've got journalling on. Some now-almost-forgotten googling at the time of my loss revealed that the problem was with files that were already open when the disk got low and more swap had to be written.

*Something* would happen to those files, and when apps would try to write to them again (like Safari's bookmarks update on quit, or's cache write on quit, or Finder's prefs updates), they'd just disappear. It's not normal behaviour at all, it's a hideous ol' bug, and even with journalling on, since we're in a low-disk situation, chances are your files will already have been overwritten anyway.

I think FileVault would actually make matters worse, since there's only one file in real life to damage. Scary.
posted by bonaldi at 9:00 AM on July 16, 2004

Some now-almost-forgotten googling at the time of my loss revealed that the problem was with files that were already open when the disk got low and more swap had to be written.

I think that's what must have happened to me, bonaldi. I left the permissions repairing thing on when i left the house this am, so we'll see when i get back...i'm assuming whatever i lost is lost tho.
posted by amberglow at 9:57 AM on July 16, 2004

It turns out all my permissions were messed up, and i wasn't able to repair them with disk utility ...i backed up all weekend and have to reinstall 10.3 tonight : <
posted by amberglow at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2004

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