Friday, August 1, 2008

More archive fun


By Nancy Hand

Jim is the kind of user we love to hate. He doesn't want the easy answers but won't listen to the full explanation either. So, when he called the help desk about a problem with one of his archives, there was the usual fight over whose turn it was to take his call.

When the quick fixes failed, Lily called me. She said Jim's archive looked odd and was throwing errors about missing design elements. I copied the 2.6 GB file to my workstation to see what was wrong. Jim had created the file under Notes 5 (yep, there are still a few of those out there). When I took this call, we were still using Notes 6.5, and the archive didn't look like his mailfile. The right side of the Inbox had the 6.5 design while the left showed the folder arrangement and colors of Notes 5. Of 207 folders, only half had the new design. Seventy percent were empty.

I was surprised Lily hadn't fixed it because I was sure I'd told her how to refresh the design. Since I had the database, I went ahead and refreshed the design from the 6.5 mail template. Then I located the archive log and replaced the design on it. That done, I re-opened the archive to update the folder design. I selected Automatic Upgrade and chose to do all the folders. Half way through, it failed. I started opening folders, one by one, trying to locate the problem. About 40 folders still had the Notes 5 design, but nothing looked wrong.

Next, I tried Manual Upgrade on the folders. The process failed several times before I finally found the problem. The folder looked fine. There were only a couple of messages in it, neither very large, but it refused to update. In desperation, I renamed it from "Accounts-2002" to "Accounts-2002a" and tried again. This time it worked.

I checked through the archive one more time, gave the updated file a new name, and copied it back to Jim's workstation. Then I called Lily, explained what I'd done, made a few suggestions, and started on something else.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. I answered it without checking to see who was calling. Jim wanted to know what he'd done to mess up his archive. Since he'd done nothing wrong, he just hadn't finished the upgrade, I avoided his question and walked him through some of the archive features. I told him how to remove folders he didn't need and how to compact the file. I reminded him that deleting a folder didn't delete the messages in that folder, they were still in the All Documents view. And I let him know it was a good idea to empty the trash from the archive once in a while.

Finally, since the file was over 2GB, I suggested he start a new archive. But, since Jim had heard that Notes would address an 8GB file, he wanted me to combine all of his archives into one file. I tried to explain that while Notes would support such a large file, the site's desktop operating system would not. I've taken to watching the display on my phone to make sure I'm not surprised by Jim again.