Windows 7 - Entourage Database Needs Rebuilding FollowingAdding Contact from MobileMe or Inside Entourage

Asked By Neil on 04-Jan-10 03:36 PM
Version: 2008
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Processor: Intel
Email Client: pop

Mac OS X: 10.6.2 <br>
Entourage 2008 (12.2.3) <br><br>Hi, <br><br>I am posting this in the hope that I can get some advice on why I get prompted to re-build my Entourage database following me adding a contact to the MobileMe website? <br><br>I am a subscriber to the MobileMe service and since the 1st of Jan 2010, I have seen this strange behavior which is as follows; <br><br>1) I logon to the MobileMe website, create a Contact <br><br>2) I know that the Contact is synchronized correctly into the Mac OS X 'Address Book' application, as I see it appear successfully following a synch <br><br>3) I open Entourage 2008 and then I am prompted that the Entourage database has been corrupted and needs a rebuild <br><br>4) I then close Entourage and start a 'Rebuild' of the database which is successful <br><br>I have also seen that the Entourage database needs rebuilding, when I create a new Contact using Entourage on the odd occasion.  I know that my file system is clean, as I have verified the hard disk and I have repaired the file system. <br><br>If anyone has any ideas, then I would be very happy to hear from you! <br><br>Many thanks in advance ;) <br><br>Neil

Diane Ross replied to Neil on 04-Jan-10 05:48 PM
On 1/4/10 12:36 PM, in article 59bb00e6.-1@webcrossing.JaKIaxP2ac0,

Hmmmm, this is a strange one. Let?s do some tests.

Test one:

1. Create a new Identity in Entourage.
2. Under Entourage in the Menu bar, select Switch Identity.
3. Click 'New'. Name the Identity 'Test'

Test the problem in the new Identity. Does it go away?

Next test.

1. Under File > Export in the Entourage Menu bar, select the default action
to export as .rge file.
2. Does this file export without an error at the end? If you get one or more
items failed to export, let me know.

If it did export with ?Done?. This means your data is good. Your next step
would be to delete this file in your User?s Library/Preferences folder.

Let me know what your tests show.

Diane Ross, Microsoft Mac MVP
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Neil replied to Neil on 04-Jan-10 06:43 PM
Hi Diane, <br><br>Thank you for taking the time to reply to my posting with these suggestions, it is most appreciated! <br><br>I have just created a new Identity called 'Test' and then I exported all of the Entourage items from the default 'Main Identity' as a .rge file (leaving all of my items within the database. <br><br>The database within the 'Main Identity' is sized at 60.3MB, following the export to the .rge file the resulting file is sized at only 15.4MB.   <br><br>All of the contents from the 'Main Identity' exported without an issue and I was greeted with a 'Done' dialog, so the contents of the database is good.  Following an integrity check with the 'Database Utility' the file reports no issues and following a compaction it drops in size to 36.4MB. <br><br>For the time-being, I have reverted to the database within the 'Main Identity' folder and my initial identity.  I also have not deleted the "" file from my user's "Library" folder for the time-being - this file is over a year old.  I have also seen that this file has not had its time-stamp updated since it was created. <br><br>I trust that the above results assist you in trouble-shooting my issue.  I have been using Entourage since November 2008 and this is the only issue that I have experienced - I have had a couple of these issues in that time; but this has been happening a lot in the last few days. <br><br>I am an ex-Windows user at home, but I have been building Exchange Server and Outlook systems for the past 11 years and this is confusing me.  Therefore, I really appreciate your assistance here! <br><br>I will be using my Mac again tomorrow evening, so I can follow-up then <br><br>Many thanks in advance ;) <br><br>Neil
Diane Ross replied to Neil on 04-Jan-10 06:58 PM
On 1/4/10 3:43 PM, in article 59bb00e6.1@webcrossing.JaKIaxP2ac0,

BTW, this is a TINY database.

The difference is what is called 'wasted space'.

=== The database will be left with 'wasted' space in it every time you
delete something. However, this is not all bad, since the wasted space is
used up with new data as it is added. This way, over a period of time
(assuming that you are deleting stuff as you go) the database will probably
reach an optimum size, after which the stuff you delete is roughly equal to
the stuff you add, and no further growth takes place.===

Mine still has an old time stamp too. Delete the file since it is known to
contribute to false reports of database corruption. Entourage will make a
new one when it is launched. Some users have had to turn off notifications in
the Database Utility, but I do not recommend that unless it is the last

You didn?t mention if you got the error when adding the contact in the new

Kerry replied to Diane Ross on 07-Jan-10 08:47 AM
You're problem is not unusual and I have had exactly the same thing
happen. The Entourage DB is what is referred to as a monolithic DB.
That inherently does not mean it should be problematic although there
are issues (size and then backup) with this kind of DB. However, the
DB is prone to corruption. It is not nearly as robust as it needs to
be and this is one of the many criticisms you will find around
Entourage in the media by analysts.

I suspect what has happened is a record has corrupted in your Contacts
most likely. When a mobileme sync happened it affected Entourage thus
generating the rebuild request. Rebuild is far from 100% and
frequently does not work. What's required, if you continue to use the
corrupted identiity, is the removal of the bad record a task which is
nearly impossible.

What I do is either revert to a backup prior to the corruption and
loose a few data entries or start with a new identity. The problem for
me starting with a new identity is I loose all my rich info (links,
categories, projects etc). So I have generally reverted to a backup.

Finally, Entourage sync is very flaky and this is well documented but
all you need do is check this forum. Sync itself causes many bizarre
behaviors including record damage. Its best to use a workaround in
which you only sync one module at a time. Sync is basically 100%
reliable doing this. Corruption of the DB can still happen but in this
case you remove the factor of sync causing corruption.

Microsoft is replacing Entourage with Outlook in the next Office
release to deal with numerous issues in Entourage. My hope is they
keep the Entourage things I like over Outlook such as links and
projects. Only time will tell this story and whether Outlook will be
any better at sync.
Neil replied to Neil on 05-Jan-10 11:42 AM
Hi Guys, <br><br>Thank you for the answers posted above. <br><br>Yeah, I keep the database rather small I only 'Compact' it every now and then as I understand how Microsoft databases work - its similar to how the Active Directory and Exchange databases work.  Just call it an old habit of performing 'Offline Defragmentations' ;) <br><br>When I come to sync data between Apple Book, MobileMe and Entourage I only sync two items at the same time - it makes the troubleshooting much easier. <br><br>Thank you for the advise that has been posted above.  I think that I can close this thread done ;) <br><br>Many thanks