User Reference: Troubleshooting

Send an Error Report

If you have a crash Mail Archiver might show you the below window:


Add a description what the problem is about and what you did before. Don't forget to accept the Privacy Policy. Moth Software may request you to send an error report without a having a crash. In this case select Help -> Send Error Report from the menu.

Session Logs

Mail Archiver records some data what it has been doing. This is written into "Session Log" files in the Application Support Folder. The files are deleted after 30 days. These files are sent with the Error Report feedback automatically.

You can view the session logs when you select the menu item Help ->View Session Logs:

Session Logs

If you can't send an email for some reason you can get to the session logs in Finder with the menu item Help -> View Session Logs in Finder.

Troubleshooting the Database

The Database menu gives you the possiblity to get information about your database and its problems.

  • Information: Gives information for the currently open database like the version of Valentina used.
  • Diagnose: Runs a report on the currently open database. If any problems are found they are written to the error log.
  • Open to Diagnose: Diagnoses a database, which hasn't been opened.
  • Rebuild Index: Deletes the index and creates it new.
  • Clone: Creates a copy of the database file. The resulting database usually is smaller.
  • Open to Clone: Create a clone of a database, which hasn't been opened.
  • Dump: If the database is corrupt it's possible to use the combination Dump/Load Dump to try to fix the problems. Use Dump to save the data of the archive somewhere.
  • Open to Dump: Select a database to create a Dump, which hasn't been opened.
  • Load Dump: After using Dump use Load Dump to locate the dumped data and load it into a fresh database.

Handling Database Corruption

Whenever the application crashes when accessing the database there is a risk that the database is damaged. When you restart Mail Archiver and it takes a while to open the last access archive then Mail Archiver tries to restore the data. But this doesn't work in 100% of all cases. What can you do if you get an error message after archival? This is how the error message looks:

Error message database is corrupt

If you ignore this message it's very likely that you are going to lose data! There are 3 methods to eliminate the database corruption. But first you need to locate the archive.

Locate the archive

If you don't know where your archive is, then you can check the location in the Setup:

Location of archive in Setup

If you can't access the app anymore then the easiest way to locate any vdb files is to use Find Any File from Thomas Tempelmann. The search criteria are files whose extension is end vdb. I've excluded folders because I got some weird results from Valentina Studio otherwise:

Search in Find any File for archives

As result I get all my Valentina archives:

Search result in Find Any File

Restore archive from TimeMachine

The easiest way to fix corruption is to restore the archive from your TimeMachine. Select the archive in Finder and enter TimeMachine. Go back in the timeline on the right side.

Go back in time with TimeMachine

Select the version you want and click restore:

Select version from TimeMachine

TimeMachine will ask you want to overwrite the original archive. Don't do that! Open the older archive, do a diagnosis. If the diagnosis is okay THEN you can get rid of the corrupt archive and replace it with the version from the backup.

Restore from online backup

If you have an online backup then you can also restore your archive from this type of backup. I'm using Acronis so I'll show you how to use this app. If you use a different online backup then the procedure might be slightly different.

Open Acronis, select the correct backup and locate the archive:

Locate archive in Acronis

In the upper right side select the backup version that you want to recover:

Select backup version in Acronis

Like for the TimeMachine backup you don't want to overwrite the existing archive. Therefore, you need to click on the Change button to change the location of the recovered file. I changed the location to the Desktop:

Change recovery location for Acronis

Open the older archive, do a diagnosis. If the diagnosis is okay THEN you can get rid of the corrupt archive and replace it with the version from the backup.

Fix Database Corruption: Cloning

Select the menu item Database ->Clone. A dialog will then appear in which you can save your database clone somewhere:

Save the database clone

Depending on the size of the archive, it may take a while before you receive the notification that the clone is ready:

Cloning is finished

You can then open the new archive:

Open the cloned archive

The next step is very important! You must perform a new diagnosis via Database -> Diagnosis. Otherwise you cannot be sure that the new archive is OK. The result of the diagnosis should look like this:

Diagnose again

The old archive can now be placed in the trash. And the setup can be changed to the new file:

Change Setup to new archive

Fix database corruption: dump/load dump

Go to the menu item Database/Dump. Next you will see a dialog to save your dump data somewhere:

Error message database is corrupt

You will need to wait a while. Also, you need to know that resulting file will be HUGE so select a location that has lots and lots of free space. Afterwards the archive closes itself. Then go to the Database menu again and select Database/Load Dump. You need to select your file that was just created.

Select database dump for loading

Create a new database so that the dump can be loaded:

Select database dump for loading

The emails will now be loaded from the dump into the new database.

Fix database corruption: export/import mbox

The second method to fix database corruption is to export emails to mbox. The resulting mbox files can be imported into a new archive. The benefits of this method is that less database fields are accessed (only header and raw data are really needed). In case of corruption usually a part of the database is not accessible. The mbox export can be done with the selection or mailboxes which allows to skip the corrupted section.

Start by selecting Export -> Archive (all Mailboxes) from the toolbar:

Export all mailboxes in toolbar

Now select mbox as format and "MBOX files with minimal fields" as option. Select a location for the mbox files where you have enough space:

Options for mbox export

Close the existing archive. Go to the Setup -> Data Format and create a new database:

New db for importing from mbox

Select archive mbox from the toolbar and then select the topmost folder of the mbox files:

Select mbox folder

Now all emails are archived into the new database. The old mailboxes are still there. However, they are all created under a mailbox "Import-1".