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#26812 - 09/23/13 05:15 PM Calendar Disaster
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I may have caused a Calendar disaster. I'll first set up the situation and then explain my careless action.

As shown below, I'm running Mac OS 10.8.5 on my Mac Pro and iOS 7.0 on my iPhone 4S. So far, I've had no problems that I can blame on either OS. There is plenty of unused space on both machines. iCloud has never been opened since it was installed. I sync my Calendar apps by plugging in the USB power cord on the iPhone into the Mac Pro and opening iTunes 11.1. The iPhone connection appears on the iTunes list and I click it to open the sync window.

I use two backup drives, one is an internal HD on the Mac Pro and and the other is an external HD.

There was a backup about 20 minutes before the possible disaster. I entered several new appointments into Calendar on the Mac Pro and then plugged in the iPhone 4S to sync the new appointments. It was a very routine thing and I was preoccupied with my next job. I clicked on what I thought were the appropriate items and hit the Sync button. A warning popped up, but I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. I clicked OK and the calendars on both the Mac Pro and the iPhone 4S went blank. I had destroyed my main calendar. Two other, minor calendars remained, but they have no data. I must have clicked on the wrong items before doing the Sync.

I then went to Time Machine to Restore the backup that I had done 20 minutes previously. I can't just click on the Calendar app to open it in Time Machine. I went to the help files that seemed to imply that I have to Export a specific Calendar item before it is saved in Time Machine. This is the first time I've ever heard of this. It isn't mentioned in the iPhone manual. If this is true, I've never made a Calendar backup and my reliance on Time Machine was futile. I assumed that Calendar was doing its own backup, but, in retrospect, I should have been suspicious because Calendar has no Save function. I did try the Calendar>File>Export>Calendar Archive and, sure enough, it made a date/time labeled Calendar backup and deposited it in Apps right below the Calendar app.

At this point, it appears to me that I am just plain out of luck. I should have bought David Pogue's MacOS X Mountain Lion manual. I'm not optimistic, but I'll ask the question anyway: Is there any way of rescuing the lost data? This is really a disaster if there is no way to do so.



Edited by JoBoy (09/23/13 06:25 PM)
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26813 - 09/23/13 06:55 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I don't know whether a rescue mission will be successful, but in the meantime, do not use your Mac until you plan a course of action; any work you do is likely to overwrite what you've lost and make its recovery impossible.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#26814 - 09/23/13 07:25 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Those are wise words, but I've been thinking about it a lot since making the original post. What I've really lost is a record of the past. I find it very helpful to be able to remember when certain things were done, but I also am extremely pressed for time right now. That pressure has a lot to do with my getting into this mess. I have most of my future appointments on another source. I can hand-copy them over to Calendar. So, I've decided to take the hit and enter the future dates and try to forget the problem. This isn't smart from a purely computer-oriented view, but it's my best shot right now for personal reasons. Thanks for the good advice. Best regards.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26815 - 09/23/13 07:48 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Your decision, and you may have a shot at recovery, anyhow, when somebody points you to the right app. Good luck! smile

I guess you've just offered up a good argument for maintaining a clone to back up Time Machine...not specifically that you've lost your calendar, but that Murphy prevails.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#26817 - 09/24/13 03:25 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
A HAPPY ENDING!
Although I gave up earlier, I don't quit easily. In the middle of the night, I woke up remembering about the following:
Boot with option key held down> Select EFI Boot as the boot drive> Restore from backup drive>Select desired full backup.
The last two items are approximate titles, but they convey the meaning. I followed those directions and selected the FULL backup drive that was just prior to my disaster. I installed it and then, when the install was complete, I stopped the following, programmed backup so I could do a Calendar> File> Export> Calendar Archive. I planted one archive in Mounain Lion just below the Calendar app icon and another one on the Desktop just for good measure. I then set the destination of future archives to Mountain Lion applications. The resulting Calendar is the old one with no losses whatever. I then let the programmed backup proceed. I remembered that for the last couple of hours, I was just messing around trying to "fix" the messed up Calendar, so nothing of substance was added except for the few items I had entered when I "gave up" and those were easily reinserted in the "new" Calendar. So... the moral to the story is, if things have gone to the dogs, sleep on it. Thanks for your encouragement. If you hadn't given me a ray of hope, I probably would have done what I said I was going to do and all that valuable history would be lost. Thanks again. The only thing left to do is to find the keyboard short cut to Calendar> File> Export> Calendar Archive or to assign an F Key to it so it will be as easy as Save. I'll let that be project number one in the morning.


Edited by JoBoy (09/24/13 03:32 AM)
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26818 - 09/24/13 03:38 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
YAAAY!!! smile cool

> So... the moral to the story is, if things have gone to the dogs, sleep on it.

Absolutely! I've done some of my best problem solving when I didn't even know I was working on a problem. laugh
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#26820 - 09/24/13 04:57 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

I'm pretty sure Calendar data is all maintained in ~/Library/Calendars/ (where ~/ is shorthand for your user folder), and should therefore be available to be restored from that location via an earlier Time Machine snapshot, the same way you'd restore any other file.

In Lion and later, ~/Library is hidden by default; to navigate within it while in Time Machine, you first need to unhide it. There are various ways; the most straightforward is to use this Terminal command:

sudo chflags nohidden ~/Library

Hit Return to enact the command.

Terminal will respond by prompting you for an administrator's password. Type in your password and hit Return. (For security reasons, your password entry keystrokes will have no visible manifestation in the Terminal window.)

Note: when I tested my assertion that Calendar data can be restored via Time Machine snapshot of ~/Library/Calendars/, Finder navigation showed that the restoration had been successful, yet the restored items weren't displayed within Calendar itself until a restart.
_________________________

dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

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#26823 - 09/24/13 07:51 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: dkmarsh]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
dk:Thank you very much. I'll keep it stored for future reference.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26824 - 09/24/13 08:14 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Well...thanks again. I would never have done it without your encouragement.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26825 - 09/24/13 08:49 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
iCloud has never been opened since it was installed.


You may have never opened it, but if you have an iCloud account and it is active, your Calendar info can also be found there.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#26834 - 09/24/13 06:12 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: Ira L]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
The iCloud account is not active.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26835 - 09/24/13 06:39 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
There was a little fallout from the way I solved the problem. My Adobe apps became inoperative and the only way I could retrieve them is by re-installing them using the DVDs. I have the whole CS4 Creative Suite. It's old, but it still serves my purposes. Surprisingly, I only had to re-install the apps. Then, Adobe took over and installed all of the updates since CS4 was issued. THAT is a real improvement from the way it used to be. A whole lot of apps that work in the background also were installed, but I had no control over that. Fortunately, I didn't lose any data at all.

Thankfully, Microsoft didn't do that to me. Office 2008 just kept on chugging along after the re-installation of the operating system. It has been a long day, but things are working well and I have two backups completed as well--one on its own hard drive on the Mac Pro and the other on an external drive. Each was about 231GB in size. They took a couple of hours each to get it done. I'm nursing an out of warranty Mac Pro and comparatively old applications, but they get along well together. At the right time, I'll upgrade, but not yet. I want to see how the new Mac Pro performs before making any decisions.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26839 - 09/24/13 07:07 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> My Adobe apps became inoperative....

I ran into that issue 6 or 7 years ago while helping a friend recover from a disaster, and what a pain! It took almost forever to get him back up and running.

> I want to see how the new Mac Pro performs before making any decisions.

Wise decision! (It's such a "sexy" machine, though, that I'll be surprised if a lot of people don't jump right in. You'll probably get the performance data you're looking for very shortly after the first new MP ships.)

At any rate, I'm happy that everything worked out for you in the end, and I'm pleased to have been able to help in whatever way I did. smile
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#26857 - 09/25/13 09:19 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
It turned out that I still had a little more to do by getting Adobe Flash updates from the Adobe web site. Also, I couldn't install them. The installation procedure kept failing. On a hunch, I went to my trusty Disk Warrior DVD and started it up. The graph showed about 30% of the directory was out of order. I ran DW and then restarted and the Flash updates installed without a hitch. So...maybe DW isn't as useless as I was beginning to believe.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26858 - 09/25/13 10:19 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
It turned out that I still had a little more to do by getting Adobe Flash updates from the Adobe web site. Also, I couldn't install them. The installation procedure kept failing. On a hunch, I went to my trusty Disk Warrior DVD and started it up. The graph showed about 30% of the directory was out of order. I ran DW and then restarted and the Flash updates installed without a hitch. So...maybe DW isn't as useless as I was beginning to believe.

I've got no idea what DW's "out of order" percentages mean. (The consensus around here has been that they're pretty much meaningless, at least in part because Alsoft's concept of "in order" isn't necessarily the same as Apple's.)

But never believe that DW is useless! It's doing nothing simply means that there's nothing for it to do...at the moment.

The first time I ran DW on my iBook G3 it returned eight pages of errors, many of them of consequence! I apparently had a disaster waiting in the wings then, but in the 10 ensuing years it hasn't found anything other than inconsequential stuff.

Edit: Have advances in OS X made DW redundant? I dunno, but even being an insurance hater I'm willing to pay for it rather than risk needing and not having it.


Edited by artie505 (09/26/13 03:13 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#26859 - 09/26/13 02:46 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
So...maybe DW isn't as useless as I was beginning to believe.

I'm with artie on this one. Years ago one of my daughters had a totally messed up G4 that she brought home and, after I tried a number of things, I was certain it was going to need erasure and start from scratch....with her losing everything.

I figured I'd give DW a shot....booting from their disk and using the scavenge function. Several hours later Disk Warrior delivered the ever familiar rebuilt directory dialogue box.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX712 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Super Duper on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#26892 - 09/27/13 07:05 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
It's worth noting that the iCal syncing is known to still have a wild bug or two in it, and Apple will straight up tell you not to use it for anything mission or business critical.

I've had to recover only a few of these. One was a doctor's office where the receptionist scheduled appointments for all four ops, months out, and published to ~10 machines. Somehow it wiped on her imac, and propogated to five imacs, one mbp, and two phones. (no time machine backups anywhere)

Panic.

Fortunately, he had synced an imac at his house also, which had not been woke up that day. I sent him home with strict instructions to YANK the power cord and bring it in. Was able to fish out his entire calendar. I have added a script to their server to make a snapshot of the ical folder every 4 hrs now in case we have this issue again.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#26899 - 09/27/13 08:20 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: Virtual1]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I'm using Calendar, the successor to iCal. I did use iCal before that. I carefully do Time Machine backups at least every hour. However, to my horror, I discovered that Calendar has its own strange way of backing up. Time Machine is useless for Calendar if you don't do the intermediate step of backing up. Then, Time Machine will help.

The intermediate step is to have Calendar open. Then go to Calendar>File>Export>Calendar Archive. This opens a window where you can designate where to store the archive file on your computer. I choose to put it in Applications right next to Calendar.app. Then, Time Machine will back it up. When Calendar crashes and everything is lost, you open the archive and it produces the data. I didn't know this when my Calendar crashed, but I fixed it as shown above in this thread. It was traumatic, but eventually successful. If I were doing a doctor's office, I'd make an archive every hour. You can always erase the old ones when they're no longer useful. I haven't bothered to look, but I'm not sure Apple has explained this trick. I consider it something of a boobie trap and I was the boobie. Why didn't they just stick in a Save button and update the app like everything else does?
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26910 - 09/27/13 01:11 PM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
Time Machine is useless for Calendar if you don't do the intermediate step of backing up. Then, Time Machine will help.

I don't believe that's true. As I outlined in my earlier post, the calendar data which you create when using Calendar is kept in your user Library's Calendars folder. That folder and its contents are indeed backed up by Time Machine, just like any other user files that you don't specifically exclude by clicking the Options button in Time Machine's prefs.
_________________________

dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

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#26921 - 09/28/13 09:33 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: dkmarsh]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I was looking at it from my skill level. I understood your previous instructions, but felt they were out of my reach and that I easily could mess things up given my lesser skill level. I have two alternative ways of doing it that I understand and can easily execute. My biggest gripe is that Apple could have done a Save button or, alternatively, they could have done a Save As button that opened a screen so that required parameters could be filled in by the user. To me, that's more "Mac-like."
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26937 - 09/30/13 08:58 AM Re: Calendar Disaster [Re: JoBoy]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
I was looking at it from my skill level. I understood your previous instructions, but felt they were out of my reach and that I easily could mess things up given my lesser skill level. I have two alternative ways of doing it that I understand and can easily execute. My biggest gripe is that Apple could have done a Save button or, alternatively, they could have done a Save As button that opened a screen so that required parameters could be filled in by the user. To me, that's more "Mac-like."


I agree and disagree with you. In agreement, Apple seems to assume that everyone wants everything the same everyplace. By that I mean my iDevices and my computers are all, in some way, reflections of one another. Personally I don't care for that, which for me, necessitates having multiple Apple identities. If you slip up and forget who you are on which device, you can end up changing or erasing information.

On the other hand, I disagree with you in terms of how Apple deals with saving, etc., especially in terms of the Calendar. By your own admission in your very first post, your entire problem was very likely created by user error (hurried actions, not paying attention to a warning). Regardless, sites like this exist to help the experienced and inexperienced (and all shades in between!) to potentially recover from problems. You use Time Machine and it is an extremely valuable tool for recovering and saving data and butts alike. A post above indicated the file that needed to be recovered, which could have solved all your problems. And even a mess up on your part in the recovery could have been corrected again by Time Machine (I have been there, done that).

I understand varying skill levels (I am a mathematics professor), be we all should try to expand our understandings of the technology we use and up our skills, even if at a minuscule level. You solved your problem to your satisfaction this time; I am only encouraging you to push past a fear the next time (perhaps you already have and that is good).
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, dkmarsh