Some customers still see problem with Entourage’s Sync Service after upgrading to SP1. For example, they see frequent crashes in Entourage’s sync service and constantly see conflicts for the same set of contacts and events in the sync alert dialog although they have resolved the conflicts previously.
Solution: Reset sync service in Entourage and the sync service in the OS. Until you clean up your data stored in the truth (a special database that stores sync information on a Mac), you will continuously sync bad data and duplicates over and over.
For this cleanup process, I recommend these steps;
- Turn Off Sync Services for all your apps
- Clean up duplicates in one source (I suggest Entourage)
- Turn On Sync Services
- Follow the steps below to reset Sync Services (this will erase data)
Note: Always backup before deleting data!
Cleaning up Duplicates
- To delete Entourage duplicates, use one of the delete duplicate scripts found here.*
- Delete iCal duplicate appointments
- Remove duplicated field data in iCal and Address Book
- iCal Dupe Deleter
- Use the Menu command in Apple’s Address Book: Card –> Look for Duplicates
* I find using the third party applications to delete in Apple applications the quickest easiest option.
Reset sync services and start fresh (Warning this erases data!!!)
- Turn OFF all sync services in Entourage preferences
- Quit ALL Office applications (including Daemon – How to quit daemon)
- Quit Safari, Address Book & iCal and all applications synching through .Mac (Transmit, Yojimbo…)
- Use Activity Monitor to quit Sync Services
- Delete the contents of ~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices/
- Optionally: if you want to replace all data in the system Address book and iCal with Entourage data, delete all iCal & Address Book Data Files:
- Tiger Users:
- Application Support/iCal/
- Application Support/AddressBook/
- Leopard & Snow Leopard Users:
- Calendars/Calendar Cache
- Application Support/AddressBook/
- See Apple article: TS2481 for additonal info. Sync Services: Advanced troubleshooting for contact and calendar syncing
- Tiger Users:
- Select Entourage as your Primary Source.
- Make a copy of Entourage before starting.
- Export your Contacts and Calendar Events as Entourage archive (.rge) file. Select to Delete after Exporting.
- Import the file back into Entourage. (this can help with corrupted data)
- Remove Duplicates (see this page for scripts that can help remove dupes) or use one of the third party options listed above.
- After you are satisfied that the data is good, export again as Entourage archive (.rge) file for backup. (In case something goes wrong, you can easily start over and import your file)
- Turn ON Sync Services in Entourage preferences.
- Restart all applications that sync (Address Book, iCal, Safari, etc…. ). I suggest that you turn on one item at a time and verify that the sync worked as expected. Select in Entourage to have Entourage overwrite the iCal or Address Book items.
- Open the .Mac System preferences. Before you turn on MobileMe Sync, select “Replace Information on MobileMe” or the old data will sync back to your newly cleaned up data.
Note: Currently syncing with .Mac has problems. You might not want to sync to .Mac at this time.
REPLACE, REPLACE, MERGE?
There’s a dialog that pops-up in Entourage when you turn on syncing of a calendar or address book that asks something like: “You have enabled Sync Services for a folder, do you want to?“
If you have selected Entourage as your primary source, you will want to select
- 08: Delete information from Macintosh Address Book, iCal and .Mac
- 04: “Replace Sync Services items with Entourage items”
Entourage 2008 Options:
Entourage 2004 Options:
Replace Entourage items with Sync Services items
Replace Sync Services items with Entourage items
Merge Entourage items with Sync Services items
The “Replace Entourage items” option will delete all items in Entourage and override them with the contents of the Sync Services truth. You’d want to do this if you haven’t used Entourage in a while or you consider your cell phone’s address book the primary “rule” for your contacts.
The “Replace Sync Services” option makes Entourage the short-term rule. All contents within your truth will be deleted and replaced with Entourage items. In this case, all contacts in your Address Book app would be deleted and then replaced with those from the address book selected in Entourage.
The “Merge” option is normally the safest option. Nothing gets deleted. Items in the Sync Services truth go into Entourage and items within Entourage go into the Sync Services truth. Because this can be a bit messy, causing duplication, or unwanted items this is not an option we want to use for this process.
After selecting one of these options, all changes in anything that talks to the ‘truth’ will be synchronized to any application that listens.
Recommended reading: Basics of how Sync Services Works
[Edited July 06, 2009. Added screen shot for Entourage 2008 to show differences with Entourage 2004 preferences for Sync Services.]