Crappy Gmail Backup

Don’t you hate it when you pay for a new software utility to make your digital life slightly easier and it throws all sorts of odd, undecipherable error messages at you?

Recently, I paid for Gmail Keeper in hopes of automating my Gmail archiving. I’d read a positive review of it online somewhere and opted for it over a free, open-source alternative (Gmail Backup) that would have to be run manually. Big mistake.

Gmail Keeper fails with the following, unhelpful, crappy error message:

8:32:04 AM: Your Gmail display langugage has changed to none-English language, try to edit the profile and identify Gmail folders manually.

“none-English”? What the huh?

To be fair to Gmail Keeper, I have contacted its support email and it’s only been 24 hours since I did. If they respond in a timely and helpful manner, I’ll update this post.

Until then, I’m going back to using Thunderbird for manual backups.

Update 5/19/11:

Well, I will say that Edwin Yip, of Gmail Keeper, responded promptly with the following solution:

Please edit the backup profile in question and set ‘important’ as a ‘label’. actually, it’s corresponding to  ‘priority inbox’.

Making this change allowed Gmail Keeper to run, but it still did not succeed in backing up the thousands of messages I have accumulated over the past seven years of using Gmail. This time, it threw several other errors — after running for five hours:

6:31:41 AM: Error adding the EML file into the ZIP archive. Make sure the ZIP arhive is not opened by other archiver programs and it’s writable. Error message: Error code: 527; Error message: Error creating file
Due to a temporary Gmail server error the following 7253 emails couldn’t be downloaded.
Retry again might solve the problem.
6:31:41 AM: Subject [Re: Featuring TV Styles in CSM newsletter?] From [Steve Anderson <>] . Error code: 312; Error message: NO System Error (Failure)
6:31:41 AM: Subject [The KODAK Gallery: Your order has partially shipped.] From [] . Error code: 6; Error message: 

At this point, I prefer not to do any further trouble shooting as it appears that Gmail Keeper is not going to suit my needs.
And so I have requested a refund. Their Website promises a “60-day money guarantee”. I’ll update this post to report on how promptly they process my request.
Mozilla Thunderbird, with a few tweaks, will have to serve as my back-up system. I’ll have to see if I can figure out a way to automate it…

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