Recovering Data – Office for Mac

Sometimes rebuilding, restoring and upgrading doesn’t go to plan and you need to recover your data. Outlook stores your data in a data records folder in your identity folder. The error you may receive an error message in Outlook for Mac 2011 that states that the database is damaged or can’t be accessed.

If you restore your identity from Time machine or another backup and it fails to rebuild and you have missing data you can restore your data from your old identity. To do this first you must upgrade to service pack 2 (SP2) and then create a new blank SP2 identity. Users have found that deleting the database file in the new identity helped. Next you must copy the data records folders from the old identity to the new blank identity, replacing the new folders. In the database utility select rebuild the identity. Then open the outlook and your data should be back.

To create a new identity you have to open the Microsoft database utility from the applications folder. This will give the option to create, rename or delete an identity. Microsoft database utility also gives the option to make an identity a default.

To rebuild your outlook database you have to open the Microsoft database utility and click the identity of the database that you want to rebuild and then click rebuild. Before the database utility rebuilds a database it will create a backup copy of your database and moves it into a folder.


Using Keychain Access

Keychain Access is a tool that Mac’s have it is a very handy tool for it you forget a password that is stored in your computer or web browser. It is the place where all passwords are saved so if you want to delete a password data because the computer has become a shared computer or you aren’t wanting that information saved in the keychain access you need to open the tool up to access those details and remove them.

Located in your applications folder is Keychain access, once you have opened that go to your top menu and select keychain and preferences. This will bring up the option to be able to reset default keychain, which will allow you to create all new passwords.

If you forget your password to your accounts this allows you to retrieve the passwords without having to scribble them down on a piece of paper you could misplace. Macs store passwords for you, and in some cases it will automatically fill them in when needed. This though isn’t a recommend option if your Mac or account is shared. It also stores user names, websites, servers, Wi-Fi and networks passwords. Of course its safe to do as you have the control in telling your Mac whether you want your password and user names stored into the Mac’s keychain.

So before you reset passwords for your accounts check your keychain access as it stores that information for you. 

Migrating to your new Mac with your old backup

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a backup of your Mac. It is an important stage in migrating to a new machine as well. Over decades of owning Macs and using various backup software and media, which could include a type of cloud storage there are a few different approaches.


 If you are just upgrading your Mac and just want a clone because everything runs smoothly then you can do a complete backup of your old system and migrate your data, this method is has the least fuss. To do this method you require an external drive. You should already have one of these, as this is a way to externally backup your Mac by using time machine. If you don’t have one this is a great opportunity to get one and set it up with your new Mac. Make sure your old Mac is up to date so that the old files can be read on the new Mac as it is newer it will have the most latest software. Use Time machine to do a backup on the external drive then connect it to the new computer and follow the prompts.

If you want to just migrate your documents and settings, Apple’s Migration Assistant is the way to go. Using Migration Assistant you can select from among a few categories of items to transfer including settings and applications. This can work either over network, via Thunderbolt or Firewire or from a Time Machine backup. Time machine has been designed around the simplicity, which means everything is backed up, and also archived with a history of file changes recorded to allow different versions. If you want to be able to choose files to backup and restore you will need a third party app.  


If you want to transfer documents of all kinds and not settings and apps you can use a networked-mounted volume to copy items over this method can’t copy full apps and isn’t recommended to use if you require that on your new Mac.

If you don’t feel confident to try these methods then contact our Office and we can organise a technician to come to you and provide you with the best service and help. The data on your computer is very important and we understand that. 

Installing an SSD into an iMac for better performance

As my clients get busier in business and day to day lives, they expect more from their computers.  People just aren't willing to wait more than a few seconds for their Mac to boot.  And they can't stand looking at the spinning beach ball even for a few moments.

Quite often I'm asked what else we can do with Apple computers to speed them up.... "Do I get some more memory?", "Do I get a better CPU or graphics card?"  Upgrading these components do bring improvements to system performance, but what really slows machines down these days in the old traditional hard disk drive that was still very commonly installed in Macs only a couple of years ago.  And these days they are still installed in some iMacs.  This is because they offer a large amount of storage for a relatively cheap price.  The downside is they have very slow data access speeds, and therefor slow down our machines tremendously.


Enter the SSD drive... this drive is much like a piece of RAM or memory, but a bit larger and capable of very high data read / write speeds.  We installed a 1TB SSD into an iMac today.  The SSD itself was approximately $700 AUD, where a traditional 1TB disk would cost about $100 AUD.

iMac open and showing with the standard 1TB hard disk inside

iMac open and showing with the standard 1TB hard disk inside

The result: a much faster iMac.  A 30 second boot is now about 5 - 10 seconds, and we've said goodbye to the beach ball. 

So I guess, put simply... if you're looking for a way to speed up your Mac... get an SSD drive.  There are plenty of resources online which will help you choose the right disk, and give you step by step instructions.

Or if you need someone do it for you call us.  We offer upgrades at Mac Support as a service.

Take care!