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10.4: Reset the .Mac Sync Server with Syncrospector System 10.4
The Remove applications from Sync Services database hint provided a method to remove the .Mac Sync items for one application, Panic's Transmit. The provided instructions, however, did not work when attempting to remove other apps, such as BareBones' Yojimbo, from the .Mac Sync Services list. This gaping hole in .Mac Sync management allows third party .Mac Sync items to remain in the .Mac Sync Services list, even after removing the application itself.

Fortunately, Apple has provided us a little-known solution to this problem with Syncrospector, an application available on the ADC website, which members bed124 and luomat mentioned and linked to in the comments of the original .Mac Sync hint.

Working off bed124 and luomat's lead, I have determined out how to successfully clear out the .Mac Sync Services with Syncrospector. Be aware, however, that it involves restoring your entire .Mac Sync setup to a "never synced before" state. Make sure you have working copies of your Safari bookmarks, Address Book contacts, etc., on one of your Macs before proceeding. I'd also try doing this without any .Mac Sync-enabled applications (Safari, Address Book, iCal, Transmit) running.

Without further adieu, then:
  1. Download the Stickies example application, which includes the Syncrospector application, from the ADC website. Mount the disk image (or expand the zip file).
  2. Open Syncrospector in the StickiesExample -> Applications folder. Don't bother trying to use the Unregister button to eliminate any third party client identifiers. I tried "unregistering" Yojimbo's entry after launching, quitting, and removing the application itself from two of my Macs.
  3. Choose Window » Show Sync Plans from the menu bar, or press Command-5.
  4. Click the Reset Server toolbar item in the resultant Sync Server window. Make sure you heed Syncrospector's warning before proceeding.
  5. Quit Syncrospector.
There's a bit more to this, yet. Now that you've reset the .Mac Sync Server, you also need to re-activate it. If you were to open the Sync section of the .Mac System Preferences pane at this time, you'd see no change in the available sync items; the third party remnants would remain. Instead of opening the .Mac preference pane, reactivate an application's .Mac Sync Service with the following:
  1. Open any built-in Mac OS X application that supports .Mac Sync Services, such as Safari, Address Book, or iCal.
  2. Open the application's preferences and find the .Mac Sync option. In Safari, this option appears in the Bookmarks section of the preferences as the "Synchronize bookmarks with other computers using .Mac" checkbox at the bottom of the window. There are similarly-labeled checkboxes in the General section of Address Book's and iCal's application preferences.
  3. Enable the Sync option. Safari will claim that "You need a .Mac account that has syncing enabled" and prompt you to Set Up your account. Address Book and iCal will simply display "Updating .Mac configuration..." text notification underneath the checkbox.
  4. Open the .Mac preference pane. You can click the .Mac... button near the Sync checkbox to open the .Mac System Preferences pane right from the application you're in.
  5. Click on the Sync tab of the .Mac System Preferences pane, and wait a while.
The .Mac Sync preferences will likely reset themselves without any further fandangling, but the list of available sync items will still list third party items. The list will update a moment after the "Getting .Mac Info..." progress indicator has disappeared. Once this happens, only the original six .Mac Sync items will appear (Safari Bookmarks, iCal Calendars, Address Book Contacts, System Keychains, Mail Accounts, and Mail Rules/Signatures/Smart Mailboxes).

After resetting and re-enabling .Mac Sync, I would assume that third-party apps you like to keep around (such as Transmit) will either prompt you to enable their .Mac Sync items within the application, or simply re-enable their items silently.

Congrats, you've finally conquered .Mac Sync Services!
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10.4: Reset the .Mac Sync Server with Syncrospector | 3 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Reset the .Mac Sync Server with Syncrospector
Authored by: bed124 on Feb 07, '07 02:51:52PM
Note that it's also possible for OS X's Sync Services to get corrupted/wedged ... so be very careful when using Syncrospector. As mentioned in a previous posting (with corrected links) it's also possible to reset Sync Services. A reset will fix most problems with Sync Services.

However, we've also seen a small number of cases (seeminly, one in every 2000+ Groupcal users) where even a reset doesn't cure things. Here's what we tell people in that case:

If resetting Sync Services doesn't work, but only as a "last resort", you can try the following (note that Apple specifically recommends against this):

- Quit all applications

- Move the following folder to the trash
~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices/

- Reboot

- empty the trash

This will cause OS X's Sync Services to completely (re)initialize its data structures (so it's more serious than a reset).

Note that we've also seen 2 cases where fixing Sync Services required a re-install of OS X (queue creepy music ... and show thought-bubble with "shades of Windows-like behavior" text).  #:-(

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10.4: Reset the .Mac Sync Server with Syncrospector
Authored by: mclbruce on Feb 08, '07 10:18:20AM

This is a very good hint and the comment prior to this one is much appreciated. However, Apple needs to do better here, no question about it. Imagine OS X storing your passwords without giving you the Keychain Access utility. That is the situation with sync services. An official, system wide app or preference panel to control and modify sync services behavior is desperately needed.

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10.4: Reset the .Mac Sync Server with Syncrospector
Authored by: gnaegi on Apr 13, '07 02:51:06AM

Thanks bed, this saved my day.

I had a complete messed up sycserver after iCal for whatever reason scewed my calendar by adding millions of alerts to an event. Removing the calendar and manually removing the specific event from the file and then adding this fixed calendar as new one to iCal did not solve the issue since SyncServer still had those millions of entries. And so did .mac

I removed both computers from .mac, cleaned the iCal as I described and tried to add the computers as new sources to .mac. I could not sync iCal anymore, SyncServer CPU went up to 100% and stayed there for hours.

The solution was to remove the Syncserver files. If you have similar problems this is the best solution I have encountered. BTW, my syncserver directory was 400MB!! I would even go that far and recommend such a procedure whenever you have problems with syncing, It might even speed up things also in regular cases when syncing is just slow. I don't know, maybe sync just does not cleanup things properly.

What I did:
- Remove all your Computers from .mac (prefs -> options: the list of computers must be empty)
- Quit all applications
- Move the following folder to the trash
~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices/
- Reboot
- Sync your computer again. With the first at the first sync say to remove .mac's files with your local files. With the other computers tell sync to merge the files from .mac with your local files.

After three days of hassle everything works now again.

But I agree: syncing with .mac does just not work properly. We need tools and we need the service to be faster and to be fixed.

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