Quit all Microsoft apps!
This article adds new information that is necessary for a good backup of your Identity. Anything that interacts with the Entourage database needs to be quit in order to back-up the database. This means all Office applications and helper applications.
In previous articles on backup, we have had Entourage users quit Entourage and the Microsoft Database daemon. However, while I was testing a shell script to quit Entourage and the daemon to be used in my SuperDuper! nightly backup, I discovered in Entourage 2008 quitting the daemon does not quit Office Reminders. I queried my contacts in the MacBU for clarification. The following advice is a result of my conversation with developers.
To successfully backup your Entourage 2008 database:
- Quit All Microsoft applications (Entourage, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, My Day, Office Reminders, Messenger)
- Quit the Microsoft Database daemon & Office Reminders
Don’t backup your Identity using Time Machine on an hourly basis!
If the Entourage database is being written to during a backup, the backup could be corrupt. Because of this requirement, backing up Entourage on an hourly basis with Time Machine is not practical. You can create an automatic backup once a day for Time Machine to copy using an Automator workflow and automate the process using an iCal schedule.
New Info: Starting with Entourage 2008, Office Notifications are now called Office Reminders. It’s not simply a name change. The Microsoft Database daemon no longer quits Reminders in Entourage 2008.
Before 2008, the daemon owned telling the reminders app that there were reminders. With 2008, the daemon only owns launching the reminders app and the reminders app asks the daemon about what to show.
So what does this mean for Entourage 2008 users? We need to add to our scripts to not only quit Entourage and the Microsoft Database daemon, but to actually quit the application Office Reminders. For users of Entourage 2004 and Entourage X, you can continue to use the quit daemon script to quit Notifications, but you should add the quit script for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Messenger.
What must I quit to be 100% safe?
Regardless of what method you choose to backup your Entourage Identity, when you back-up, no Microsoft Office product should be running. You should quit ALL Microsoft applications along with the hidden Microsoft Database daemon. This doesn’t just apply to users that backup using Time Machine.
- Office Reminders
- My Day
- Microsoft Database daemon
What if I don’t have all these applications open? I just have Entourage open.
Even if you don’t normally, have all Microsoft applications open, why take the chance? The script works if not all are open.
We’ve had reports from some users that they were able to use backups from Time Machine, but you cannot rely on them not to contain corruption. I can say from personal experience in recovering data for clients that only had a Time Machine backup of their Identity folder, that the data is corrupted and very time consuming to salvage.
Do you really want to take a chance with your data by not quitting everything?
Scripts & Automator workflows to quit all
You can use this script , or you can edit your Automator workflow as shown below. The only flaw I can find with the script is if you have an open unsaved draft window in any Microsoft application, the script will fail. Download links provided for all scripts and workflows below.
tell application "Microsoft Entourage" to quit
tell application "Microsoft Database Daemon" to quit
tell application "Microsoft Office Reminders" to quit
tell application "My Day" to quit
tell application "Microsoft Word" to quit
tell application "Microsoft Excel" to quit
tell application "Microsoft PowerPoint" to quit
tell application "Microsoft Messenger" to quit
[Note: Office for Mac Home and Student version users can use this workflow. It does not require any of the custom Office Automator actions.]
For details on using and editing the workflow see these previous posts:
Test your workflow or script
I suggest that you open all Microsoft applications. Make sure My Day is open and Office Reminders is also open. Create a task to make Reminders launch for the test. Open the Activity Monitor in Utilities. Sort by “Microsoft”. Everything will show up except My Day. Seems someone forgot to add Microsoft to My Day’s name.
Select Run Workflow or Run Script to be sure everything is correct. Watch all Microsoft applications quit along with the Microsoft Database daemon.
Script to quit all Microsoft applications
Shell script to quit all Microsoft applications
Automator workflow to backup Identity for Time Machine backup
Automator workflow to backup your Identity to a folder on your computer