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Thunderbird blank messages

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#1 millipede


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Posted 09 December 2015 - 12:35 PM

Every once in a while I get an email with the time stamp of 12/31/1969 6:00 PM


The email is not something I can ever open... can't see a message or headers... who it's from, etc. 

I have always figured it was just some error and never thought much about it.  But it's happened a couple times in the past few days and I started to wonder more about it...


Are these actual messages that are not coming through properly?  More importantly, if they're not coming through...  would the sender be sitting there thinking I got an email from them?  Am I losing messages?


I finally decided to try and search this problem and have found only some info... 

In one forum discussion on another site... one person said...


The 12/31/69 is due to the message not having a header that contains the date/time, so Thunderbird uses the oldest date it supports. You can see this in the occasional spam message but its typically a sign that the folder has been corrupted.

and they also said


I suggest you delete the trash.msf and inbox.msf file in your profile (inbox.msf doesn't have the messages for the inbox folder, they're in the "inbox." file) and then compact the two folders. You'll probably find some other messages are missing a few headers and only have a fragment of a message body. You can avoid this type of problem by periodically compacting any folders that you delete messages in or move messages from.

And gave this link...  http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders


Is this something I should be doing?  Seems silly that this sort of behavior would not be automatic...  meaning, if deleting emails doesn't actually delete them and over time can cause problems...  why is it set up that way?


Anyway...  I want some advice here.  Is this what's going on?  Should I delete the .msf files mentioned?  And, do I need to "compact" the folders periodically as this says?

Seems like in today's world(especially) I shouldn't have to do something like that.  You'd think once deleted and trash emptied, it would be gone...  hmmm

Edited by millipede, 09 December 2015 - 12:36 PM.

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#2 Queen-Evie


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Posted 09 December 2015 - 01:08 PM

Deleted emails are not really "deleted and gone forever". All it does is hide the emails.


Over time those "hidden" mails build up and can cause issues with whatever email client you are using.


Since you are using Thunderbird  this support article  from Mozilla Compacting Folders will give you more information about compacting, which does permanently delete the "deleted" mail.

#3 millipede

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 01:19 PM

Thanks...  That article says:


The compaction process is done automatically in Thunderbird (since version 5) when it saves more than 20 MB of space on the disk.


That makes it sound like the folders ARE being compacted automatically.  That would make me THINK that, this shouldn't be an issue.

Am I wrong?

If it is compacting automatically, as the support article says, is it more likely that the unreadable emails I'm getting(with the bad dates) are simply spam?

I sure don't mind spam mail not coming through properly...  I just don't want to miss any important messages from someone.

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