Thud. Mac-Thud. (macthud) wrote,
Thud. Mac-Thud.

the worst of the worst

I've been running Macs for 23 years.

I've been the guy everyone came to for solutions to their problems for most of that time.

Now I've got a problem that Is Not Going Away.

Yes, it's still the scrambled Eudora mailboxes.

See, I've discovered that the issue goes back a while. The tables of contents (TOCs) of many mailboxes were apparently corrupted in past crashes, but the corruption hadn't been visible yet. It became a major problem with the Leopard & Intel migration, but this was just exposing a pre-existing condition.

OK, fine, this can be dealt with. Corrupt TOCs just need to be rebuilt. To minimize the potential for disaster, I copy the whole Eudora Folder (that is, all the data and settings) back from the Leopard Intel host to the Tiger G4.

Depending on the corruption, adding a bit of extra message data usually causes Eudora to do the right thing, mixing the Status (Read, Sent, Unread, Replied, etc.) flags from the old TOC with a new index built from the actual content of the mailbox files.

Failing that, the TOC has to actually be deleted, and then Eudora will rebuild entirely from the mailbox content, which means I lose status flags, and possibly date information from sent messages. I can live with that -- I get to keep the data that way.

This all melds with the way most folks on the web have found to let Eudora keep working on Leopard -- that is, move the TOCs out of the resource fork and into separate mailbox.toc files. Great, all good, away I go.

I set Eudora to use the external TOC files. Then, to the bottom of each of the 700 or so mailboxes, I add one "From ???@??? <datestamp>" line. Relaunch Eudora, and cause it to open each and every mailbox -- which causes it to rebuild the TOC, now in the external files. Great.

Except that some of the directory corruption appears to continue. When I do a FIND for all "recovered" messages (those that weren't in the TOC when the mailbox was opened, but were in the mailbox) -- some of them start out as the expected empty message, but turn into actual messages upon a double-click. This is bad.

I dig a little deeper. Discover that the resource forks (mailbox/rsrc) are still present -- and apparently still having some effect. OK, time to force those to blank -- because I now have external mailbox.toc files that should take precedence going forward -- and which should be the only TOC location once I move back to Leopard and the Intel Mac.

OK, that's not a problem, there are ways to delete resource forks. Once upon a time, it seems one could do a simple rm mailbox/rsrc. No longer. OK, over to FileBuddy -- it's supposed to be able to strip forks. But not in this case. Hm. OK, time to try some more command-line -- echo "" > mailbox/rsrc. Still no dice.


Anybody reading this a Mac wizard? Suggestions are more than welcome. I've been without my proper email world for more than 2 weeks, and this can't go on much longer, if I'm to retain my sanity.

ETA: FileUtilsCM has done the resource-fork deletion. Hurrah. Tomorrow, I get to repeat the "add a message header, rebuild all TOCs, test" cycle. Wish me luck.

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