Mac Mail Mangling Mailboxes on external drive


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I am running an iMac (27" late 2013), os: El Capitan (10.11.6) and Mail 9.3 (3124).
I'm also running a Macbook Air (Mid 2013), os: El Capitan (10.11.1) and Mail 9.1 (3096.5)

I have symlinks set up on my iMac for Mail and Mail Downloads to point to an external hard drive and that all works fine. However when I set up the same symlinks on my Macbook Air I had hoped to be able to plug the hard drive into the Macbook Air and continue to use my Mail seamlessly. Unfortunately that's not what happens. Mail seems to get confused and mangles my mail and mailboxes, eventually putting thousands if not tens of thousands of emails into "Recovered Messages" mailboxes. Why, and what can I do about it?

I have all my mail on my hard drive and don't use the Cloud (nor do I want to). I have a great many mailboxes/sub-mailboxes and a huge number of stored emails. AM I hitting limits than should not be exceeded?
 
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Why are you using different versions of El Capitan and Mail? You can easily upgrade El Capitan on the MacBook Air by downloading and installing the OS 10.11.6 Combo Updater (make sure you have a backup, just in case). You can get that updater file from here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1885?locale=en_US

I don't use Apple Mail, but I suspect that Combo Update will contain V9.3 of Mail.

Also, how much free space is left on the external drive? And can you remove any EMails you have stored there?
 
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OK, I've updated the MacBook Air to the same version of El Capitan and Mail but it still doesn't work. It isn't mangling the mailboxes or mail, but it doesn't recognise that they exist. Mail now comes up without complaint as if it is a virgin installation. No old messages. No mailboxes. I must be doing something else dumb.
 

Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

This is a very unique setup that you are running...not something I have ever heard of. I would guess the issue may be because the hard drive is being connected to multiple Macs, the symlinks won't work with the second Mac, as they have different hardware UUID/MAC addresses.

I would recommend only using the hard drive with the iMac, and if you need to access it from the MacBook Air, do so via Screen Sharing. If you are running this setup to sync mail when your outside your home, then leave it all in the inbox on the MBA, and file it on your iMac when you return.

C
 
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I am running an iMac (27" late 2013), os: El Capitan (10.11.6) and Mail 9.3 (3124).
I'm also running a Macbook Air (Mid 2013), os: El Capitan (10.11.1) and Mail 9.1 (3096.5)

I have symlinks set up on my iMac for Mail and Mail Downloads to point to an external hard drive and that all works fine. However when I set up the same symlinks on my Macbook Air I had hoped to be able to plug the hard drive into the Macbook Air and continue to use my Mail seamlessly. Unfortunately that's not what happens. Mail seems to get confused and mangles my mail and mailboxes, eventually putting thousands if not tens of thousands of emails into "Recovered Messages" mailboxes. Why, and what can I do about it?

I have all my mail on my hard drive and don't use the Cloud (nor do I want to). I have a great many mailboxes/sub-mailboxes and a huge number of stored emails. AM I hitting limits than should not be exceeded?
are you moving the emails directly or with some tools?
I use Mail Backup X to archive my mails to external folders. even I have several mail folders in my account. I find none being garbled with others. you can keep a regular check on them with the inbuilt viewer.: http://www.mailbackupx.com/how-to-scenerios/how-to-backup-apple-mac-mail-mails-on-mac.html
 
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are you moving the emails directly or with some tools?
I use Mail Backup X to archive my mails to external folders. even I have several mail folders in my account. I find none being garbled with others. you can keep a regular check on them with the inbuilt viewer.: http://www.mailbackupx.com/how-to-scenerios/how-to-backup-apple-mac-mail-mails-on-mac.html
Thanks. I've just downloaded a trial copy, and so far I'm impressed. i've got some more testing to do, but this may well be the simplest solution to my problem.
 
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