Part of my current computer issues is not only with an older machine, but with an extremely important aspect of my record-keeping - which is email.
Some folks have asked me to keep them informed of my recent endeavors to keep Apple Mail happy.
What I found out first, that I had been saving my emails wrong (for years).
I have thousands of emails in Apple mail for 6 years. I also have dozens of Smart Mailboxes, which is a super way of organizing. It echoes what is in the bulk of all the INBOX. This is great because I can Search for a job or a client (or subconsultant of theirs). Some of my projects take 4-5 years to complete so searching is very handy.
-- I did let my Trash folder get large
--I did let my Sent folder get large
When I started having trouble with Apple Mail, I thought to clear out both of those files (Trash and Sent) and clear things up. ok.
After reading the knowledgebase and talking for 4 days with tech support, I may still lose those emails -- and I hate to tell you how many there are. Another supervisor said they should be fine with Time Machine. hmmm.
I never realized that I should have been dragging them into the "On My Mac" folder, way down at the bottom of the left-hand sidebar. And I should have created files for jobs there. Apparently that saves them to the hard drive. No, I do not have a server that keeps all my incoming mail on their server. I can only save about 500 at a time.
Any method I use to move an email out of Apple Mail, like dragging it to the desktop, it is still an "echo" of Apple Mail, and will only open if you have Apple Mail installed on the computer. I cannot save as a PDF (which one tech suggested). If I drag it to a Hard Drive>Documents>Job Folder, it is shown as gobbledygook, with zero formatting).
However, as I am trying to NOW back off my critical emails to a savable version, I find that if I drag an email to a folder under On My Mac, it removes it from the inbox -- so no longer searchable among all the incoming emails. Certainly searchable within that folder. Maybe I'll have to live with that, but it will not let me select more than one email to drag to that folder. It would go much faster if I could select and drag in bulk. MUCH faster.
So I would recommend, emptying the email trash folder more frequently. There is so much advertising stuff in there vs. the emails I keep, so it builds up incredibly fast.
I ran the Disk Utility twice. I have to boot from my laptop, and use the 27"iMac as a Target Drive (because my interior CD reader stopped working years ago) ... easy enough. The Disk Utility cleaned lots of things up.
Still cranky. Still stalling.
I transferred about half my files to an exterior hard drive, to free up operating space on the mac.
A week later, I ran the Disk Utility for the second time, and it told me the disk was unrepairable, reformat the disk and restore.
I ordered a USB exterior CD reader/writer because my built in CD drive has been broken for years. So hope to restore. One catch there, MOST vendors say "Mac OS compatible", only one vendor said it starts with OS 7.5, and mine is OS 10.6.8. I really had to dig to find the manufacturer's information. They assume that you only need an exterior drive because starting around OS 7.5, apple no longer provided interior CD drives. I found one brand compatible back to OS 10.5, bought it.
I have backups on Time Machine.
I'm not sure all this will work.
So, for those who have asked, that is what I've found.
Need more chocolate!
Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, President