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#50414 - 11/06/18 02:13 AM URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
I have no idea what has happened. Suddenly all of my mailbox folders (Going back many, many years) suddenly disappeared from the mail sidebar.

All that remains are Inbox, VIPs, Drafts, Sent, Junk, Trash, Archive and a half dozen ISP folders under the "On My Mac" heading.

I tried to file two pieces of mail but the machine said it could not file them.


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 02:14 AM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
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Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
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#50415 - 11/06/18 02:20 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
First thing to do is shut down and start up again.

(You do have a backup, don't you?)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50416 - 11/06/18 02:49 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Sorry for the delay, got preoccupied with another matter.

I have shut down and restarted. My backups are Super Duper (about 2 days old) and Time Machine.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50417 - 11/06/18 03:18 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: ryck
My backups are Super Duper (about 2 days old) and Time Machine.

You're apparently not at too much at risk then.

This is so weird that I'll suggest that you run Repair Disk from Disk Utility. (It's quick, and you don't even have to boot into another volume any more.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50418 - 11/06/18 03:26 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Okay. Did that. It seemed awfully fast, so I did it again, but on the Fusion Drive. My machine is one of those combo Fusion/HDD. It didn't indicate anything amiss.

EDIT: While waiting, I’ve done a bit of exploring….but not touched anything. I went to my User Library and to the Mail folder.

Inside were two folders V2 and V5.

V5 has two folders with very long alpha-numeric names. One of these has all of the previous mail folders with sub-folders. Is this a hopeful indicator?


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 03:37 AM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50419 - 11/06/18 03:34 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I guess it didn't help. (As I recall, unlike Repair Permissions, Repair Disk has alway been quick if it doesn't find anything to repair.)

You should be able to recover from Time Machine, but it would be nice to know what happened first.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50420 - 11/06/18 03:37 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Is the EDIT (above) meaningful?


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 03:55 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50421 - 11/06/18 03:47 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It sounds hopeful, but I don't really know.

Won't Time Machine save your bacon if worse comes to worse?
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50422 - 11/06/18 03:56 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
I'm sure that Time Machine will but I'm not certain what I'm supposed to restore. One of the V folders? Or has the content of the V folder just become invisible for some reason?

When this first occurred I tried to file an email but got a dialogue box saying the machine couldn't execute that instruction. However, a while later, I again tried to file something and Mail confirmed it was filed.

That makes me wonder if it's just some sort of visibility issue.

New Edit: I'm going to hit the sack and I'll start anew in the morning....er, later in the morning. Meanwhile I'll shut down the machine.


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 04:02 AM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50423 - 11/06/18 04:05 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Just guessing, but I"d restore my entire ~/Library/Mail folder.

But I"d like to know what happened first (if for no reason other than curiosity).
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50424 - 11/06/18 06:33 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: artie505
Just guessing, but I"d restore my entire ~/Library/Mail folder.

I note that the User/Library/Mail folder includes for Preferences:

Persistenceinfo.plist
RulesActiveState.plist
SyncedRules.plist
UnsyncedRules.plist

Is there any chance I could "luck out" and it's just a corrupted plist?

Also, checking again but not touching anything, in addition to the V5 folder with all the mailbox folders, there is a Mailboxes folder with the same list of folders.

Originally Posted By: artie505
But I"d like to know what happened first (if for no reason other than curiosity).

Ya, but I have stuff to do, which requires access some of the now AWOL mail folders.

Edit: I assume that I should leave my iPad off during all this so that it doesn't end up in the same condition. I also assume that a Time Machine restoration will cause me to lose all incoming mail since the event. I am hoping that, if the iPad is not turned on until after the restoration, it will update the desktop machine.



Edited by ryck (11/06/18 06:46 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50426 - 11/06/18 07:41 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
There are multiple possibilities depending on whether your accounts are IMAP or POP and whether or not the missing folders are On My Mac. As a trouble shooting step, try booting from your clone and see if the folders show up there. If they do, that would tend to point the finger at something on your computer.

If your account is IMAP, Mail reflects the status of your account on the host computer's IMAP server where the folders messages are physically stored and your next logical step would be to contact the email provider, because it is likely the failure is on their end, not yours. I have also seen situations where the email provider has made a change in their configuration which forced users to change the account setup.

If the accounts are POP3 and/or the folders were On My Mac then Artie's suggestion of restoring ~/Library/Mail from a Time Machine backup say 24 hours prior to your messages disappearing, or at least a point in time when you know mail was working, is excellent and the first thing I would try.
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#50429 - 11/06/18 08:28 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
There are multiple possibilities depending on whether your accounts are IMAP or POP and whether or not the missing folders are On My Mac. As a trouble shooting step, try booting from your clone and see if the folders show up there. If they do, that would tend to point the finger at something on your computer.

• The mail is IMAP.
• I rebooted from the clone and the mail folders were there.

Since I was booted from the clone, I took the opportunity to have Disk Warrior go through the rebuild process (without rebuilding) and it concluded:

"Comparison of the original and replacement directories indicates there will be no changes to the number or contents of the folders."

EDIT: Abby Roade is giving me the look that says: "Excuse me, but now is when I'm supposed to be running around in the forest." So, I'll be gone for a while but would like to pick up on this when I return.

Thanks


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 08:53 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50430 - 11/06/18 11:00 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: ryck
EDIT: Abby Roade is giving me the look that says: "Excuse me, but now is when I'm supposed to be running around in the forest." So, I'll be gone for a while but would like to pick up on this when I return.

Well, we're back...any thoughts on troubleshooting steps?

EDIT: I have done two things:

1) Rebuilt the directory with Disk Warrior 5.2.

2. Had Cocktail 11.6.3 run the Maintenance Scripts.

Still no mail folders...any other ideas?

Another Edit: If I read an incoming email and file it, the action occurs. If I do a search with Spotlight, it finds the Mail folders.


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 12:19 PM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50431 - 11/06/18 01:00 PM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
In that case my next suggestion for a fix would be to reinstall Mail, but as far as I can find Mail is not available as a stand alone download. That leaves with two alternative suggestions...
  1. Boot from the Recovery drive and reinstall MacOS or...
  2. Boot from the clone and clone it back to your normal boot drive then restore any files that were changed since the clone was made from the Time Machine backup.
Personally I would choose number 1. Neither fix will solve the mystery of why the mailboxes disappeared in the first place, but either could save you days/weeks of sleuthing to find the cause which could have been an isolated event such as a bit getting switched from zero to one (or vice-versa) by some transient event.

By-the-way is Abby Roade your avatar?

PS: As an afterthought, just in case the problem is with your boot drive I would take a look at the S.M.A.R.T. values for the drive and, if it is an HD, run a surface scan just to be sure the drive is healthy.


Edited by joemikeb (11/06/18 01:09 PM)
Edit Reason: Ad postscript
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#50432 - 11/06/18 02:22 PM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Neither fix will solve the mystery of why the mailboxes disappeared in the first place, but either could save you days/weeks of sleuthing....

I found the cause....the ISP. I am with Telus in Canada and, when I called their mail help-line, they advised they don't provide support for any third party products....not one...Apple, Samsung, Windows...none. They only provide support for their own platform, Telus Webmail.

I thought "Okay, fine. Let's have a look at webmail" and then it got disconcerting, very disconcerting. First, the technician couldn't do a search based on my Telus email address. Huh??? I had to think of specific names of emails that he could search for. Double huh???

Anyway, long story short, my case got booted upstairs where I may get my mail back in a week. I may, or I may not. I could not get a guarantee beyond "They usually find it". I was shocked.

It seems to me that, when a company takes possession of something as important and personal as a person's mail, they should absolutely be able to locate it, and they should be able to restore it in a timely fashion. POP is staring to look pretty good.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
By-the-way is Abby Roade your avatar?

Yes, that's just over four years ago when she was three months old...her ears weren't even standing yet.


Edited by ryck (11/06/18 02:39 PM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50433 - 11/06/18 02:26 PM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
In that case my next suggestion for a fix would be to reinstall Mail, but as far as I can find Mail is not available as a stand alone download. That leaves with two alternative suggestions...

Alternative #3 would be to to use Pacifist to extract Mail from Install macOS High Sierra.app (if ryck's got it) and reinstall it.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50435 - 11/06/18 03:42 PM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Alternative #3 would be to to use Pacifist to extract Mail from Install macOS High Sierra.app (if ryck's got it) and reinstall it.

Maybe, but in today's MacOS the applications are often dependent on different functionalities scattered throughout the OS the app ends up being a GUI frontend that manages all those bits parts and pieces. Restoring the GUI may or may not fix a given problem, so I generally restore the entire OS. It doesn't take any longer, doesn't mess with the settings, and is a more certain cure — especially for the less technically minded.
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#50436 - 11/06/18 11:59 PM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Interesting perspective, not to mention sensible.

I"ll keep it in mind.

Thanks.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50438 - 11/07/18 02:40 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: joemikeb]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Just as a point of information, will restoring the entire system be more effective than reapplying the combo updater?
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Jon

OS 10.14.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#50439 - 11/07/18 03:00 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
The Combo only touches the parts of the OS it's updating, which may not - likely won't? - include your target, as opposed to restoring, which is guaranteed to hit your target.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50440 - 11/07/18 05:25 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
If your account is IMAP, Mail reflects the status of your account on the host computer's IMAP server where the folders messages are physically stored and your next logical step would be to contact the email provider…

Contact with the email provider has been made and I await, with trepidation, the results of their ability to recover or not.

meanwhile, this morning I booted from my Super Duper backup, with ethernet disconnected to avoid the ISP’s system changing the Mail files on that drive. When I open Mail on the SD backup, all of my folders are there and I am able to read them, so it appears that “something” allowed them to be stored on my computer.

So, in case the ISP is unable to find my mail, I assume that that its presence on the SD backup will allow me to “get them back” to my computer, albeit only to the date of the last backup. I’ll give the ISP a few days to get my files back but, in case they don’t……

Questions:

1. How would I restore the files from the SD backup to my computer?

2. I assume that such a restoration will eliminate all mail since the date of the last backup. If so, how do I protect the newer mail?

3. Can all of this be done without destroying the mail on the SD drive?

4. If Super Duper has the files I assume Time Machine does too, except perhaps a bit nearer to the disappearance. If so am I better to try with Time Machine?

5. If Time Machine is best, and I am to recover to the User Library, there is the matter of the User Library being invisible. If I make the Library visible first (Shift/Command/Period), will it be visible to a Time Machine search?


Edited by ryck (11/07/18 06:02 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#50441 - 11/07/18 09:42 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Some general observations and experiences.

1. I don't use SuperDuper so I cannot address your specifics, but like most cloning software, you start up from the clone, open your cloning software and begin a restore process.

2. In Apple Mail you can export individual e-mails or mailboxes. Export them somewhere and then import them once you have fixed your problem. You could also forward the new e-mails to yourself at some other e-mail address and retrieve them later.

3. I would think so. As long as you don't create a new clone on the SD drive, the state of that clone should not change.

4. The one time I worked with someone who did a Mail restore from Time Machine, it was very tedious. I was not involved in the Restore from Time Machine process, so I don't know what they did, right or wrong; I was called in afterwards to clean up the mess. Mail stores the e-mail, etc. in cryptic folders, beginning with the V folders you mentioned above. There are folders nested within folders within folders within… . Nothing is too obvious until you hit the actual e-mails, which you can then drag into your In Box. The process is better than not having them at all. And perhaps if the entire Mail folder in the User's Library is restored, you won't have the problem I experienced. Thinking out loud, it might be worth a try to use Time Machine first on the Mail folder. In a sense, you have nothing to lose.

5. If Time Machine backed up the Library when it was invisible, it will be there, but it is only the Mail folder in the Library that you want to restore, not the entire User Library.
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On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#50450 - 11/08/18 10:21 PM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: ryck
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
If your account is IMAP, Mail reflects the status of your account on the host computer's IMAP server where the folders messages are physically stored....

[M]eanwhile, this morning I booted from my Super Duper backup, with ethernet disconnected to avoid the ISP’s system changing the Mail files on that drive. When I open Mail on the SD backup, all of my folders are there and I am able to read them, so it appears that “something” allowed them to be stored on my computer.

I'm wondering if those two quotes are contradictory, as they sound, or are actually compatible?
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#50451 - 11/09/18 06:13 AM Re: URGENT - All Apple Mail folders have disappeared [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
IMAP was created primarily to support user's who access their email from multiple devices — even public computers. There is no rational way for that to happen other than keeping the files and folders (messages and mailboxes) on a central computer — ie. the IMAP server.

I have more than once had an email account get damaged on my computer and recovered everything completely by deleting the account from Mail and then adding it back. Once a connection was established with the IMAP server, voilá all the account folders and files immediately reappeared just as they had been before the damage occurred.

When you launch Mail the first thing it does for IMAP accounts is check in with the IMAP server and update the local "mirror" copy of the IMAP account contents on the server and it periodically synchs with the IMAP server so that each reflects changes that has occurred on the other. In ryck's case it is the local copy of the IMAP account's index that Mail is unable to "see". Whatever the glitch that is preventing its being seen it is fortunate that it has not been propagated to the clone.
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