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Mozilla Thunderbird merge problem.


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#1 Techie26

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:01 PM

Hello all.

 

Recently a client of mine asked me to move all her files from her old PC to a new PC. Over and over I asked her if she had a program for email and she kept telling me, no she used her isp email. So ok, I moved everything via drag and drop from a hard drive enclosure. Afterwards she asks me to set up her Thunderbird account and logins in with her credentials and asks me where her address book and folders are. I asked her you mean for newsgroups and she said no her email. So I went on Mozilla's site and followed the instructions to a T, replacing the the profile folder but I still can't see her folders or address book.

 

Can anyone tell me how to retrieve them? Keep in mind, the computer has been restarted since and all. Now her old profile is still on the other Hard Drive.

 

Can they be fixed at this point? Can she at least read the address book or print it out?  Or is she SOL?



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#2 MoxieMomma

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:16 PM

Hi:

 

It sounds as if the " client" <pun intended> put you at a disadvantage, since she forgot to mention her "email client".

Normally moving a profile in TB is not a huge endeavor.

As long as TB is still installed on the old computer and the profile is still there, you should be OK.

 

There are "best practices" ways and there is at least one "cheat" way (by copying the entire Thunderbird folder from appdata on old computer to the same spot on new computer and then a few minor tweaks in the account settings).  The latter has always worked OK for me (multiple moves from XP to Vista to 7 and then to 10 with the same profile!).

 

You did not mention if the two computers are on the same version of Windows and same the architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

That information could be useful to know the source and eventual destination for the various folders.

 

Basic procedure:

  1. Install TB on new computer
  2. Copy/transfer/move TB profile from old computer to new computer
  3. Minor adjustments in account server settings so that TB can find the newly transferred profile in the correct local directory on the new system

 

In any event, it *might* just be a question of editing the profiles.ini file to point to the new location.

Have a look here -- these tend be rather nauseating in their level of detail, but they are accurate and time-tested:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_profile_folder_-_Thunderbird

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Thunderbird

 

Mozbackup is no longer developed/supported, but seems to work OK (just be mindful that it may not work 100% correctly on a large, really old or corrupt profile).

Always a good idea to backup the profile before trying any of this...

 

And there's this tool: http://www.nic-nac-project.de/~kaosmos/mboximport-en.html

 

That should be enough to get you started,

 

MM


Edited by MoxieMomma, 05 December 2016 - 03:17 PM.


#3 MoxieMomma

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:51 PM

I could be wrong, but  -- since you are moving the entire profile (which includes account settings) -- it should not matter whether it's POP or IMAP, etc.

The POP/IMAP and SMTP server settings for all accounts should be the same IF the only thing that is changing is the location of the profile from the old box to the new one.

 

The only trick (especially if using the cheat method of copying the entire Thunderbird folder from old to new computer) is to go into the settings > account settings > server settings and point TB to the local directory that contains the newly relocated profile).

 

Stay tuned -- I will try to upload a screen shot in a minute.

Until then, have a look at those tutorials at mozillazine forums...

 

MM



#4 MoxieMomma

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:03 PM

OK, here's what I would do (and have done many times in the past):

 

  1. Update TB on the old computer to the current version 45.5.1 (if not already done)
  2. Install TB on the new computer, same, current version (if not already done) -- just open it and close it without configuring any accounts -- this is just to create a folder in AppData
  3. Backup profile on old computer, both manually and with Mozbackup (just to be safe)
  4. Make sure TB on old computer is closed
  5. Make sure TB on the new computer is closed
  6. COPY the entire Thunderbird AppData folder on the old computer to the equivalent location on the new computer -- there are 2 choices here:
    1. Either rename the original folder on the new computer as "Thunderbird-old" (or something like that) -- this is probably safer and what I do; OR
      1. You will end up with two folders: Thunderbird and Thunderbird-old
    2. Allow everything in the source folder being copied to over-write everything in the destination folder
      1. You will end up with only one folder, Thunderbird
  7. Open Thunderbird on the new computer
  8. Go into the settings, as shown in my screenshot and browse to the correct local directory for the profile on the new computer: http://imgur.com/a/xVnhV
    1. Needless to say, I have blurred out personal info from the screen cap, but I think you can see what I mean
  9. Click "OK"
  10. Close and reopen Thunderbird (important!)

Unless I have forgotten a critical step, you should be in business.

 

Let us know...

 

MM


Edited by MoxieMomma, 05 December 2016 - 04:06 PM.


#5 Viper_Security

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:12 PM

I could be wrong, but  -- since you are moving the entire profile (which includes account settings) -- it should not matter whether it's POP or IMAP, etc.

The POP/IMAP and SMTP server settings for all accounts should be the same IF the only thing that is changing is the location of the profile from the old box to the new one.

 

The only trick (especially if using the cheat method of copying the entire Thunderbird folder from old to new computer) is to go into the settings > account settings > server settings and point TB to the local directory that contains the newly relocated profile).

 

Stay tuned -- I will try to upload a screen shot in a minute.

Until then, have a look at those tutorials at mozillazine forums...

 

MM

Whatever then , you do this.


    IT Auditor & Security Professional

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#6 RolandJS

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:14 PM

There might be an easier way.  We know the following applies to Mozilla Thunderbird:

c:\users\[acct name]\AppData\Local\Thunderbird

c:\users\[acct name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird

If we can find those two folders on the 2nd HD, with thunderbird closed, copy said two folders back to their original places on the 1st HD.  I have copied the above directories from computer A into computer B and computer C -- as long as the user acct name is the same, all three showed the exact same T-bird folders and emails stored therein.  If the 2nd HD had a different user acct name, no problem, simply copy those two folders into 1st HD, back into the original user acct.


Edited by RolandJS, 05 December 2016 - 04:15 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 RolandJS

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:17 PM

My solution will wipe out downloaded email if T-bird was used between the time of the error and the time of restoration.  Resend anything brand new to yourself -- and do not use T-bird until restoration.


Edited by RolandJS, 05 December 2016 - 04:17 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#8 MoxieMomma

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:20 PM

There might be an easier way.  We know the following applies to Mozilla Thunderbird:

c:\users\[acct name]\AppData\Local\Thunderbird

c:\users\[acct name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird

If we can find those two folders on the 2nd HD, with thunderbird closed, copy said two folders back to their original places on the 1st HD.  I have copied the above directories from computer A into computer B and computer C -- as long as the user acct name is the same, all three showed the exact same T-bird folders and emails stored therein.  If the 2nd HD had a different user acct name, no problem, simply copy those two folders into 1st HD, back into the original user acct.

 

That is essentially the same thing I described.

I merely put in a few safeguards.

And one still needs to point TB on the new computer to the correct local directory to find the profile.

Otherwise it will not.

My method will not overwrite anything on the new computer, but I am assuming that (as I advised) TB has only been installed on the new computer. It has not yet been used to send or receive messages.

 

None of this is the preferred method.  The best practices are to follow the steps in the tutorials I linked.

 

 

 

Cheers,

MM



#9 hamluis

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:52 PM

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders

 

See Manually Moving Files

 

Above instructions worked for me.

 

Louis



#10 Techie26

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:55 PM

Wow, you guys are awesome!

 

I will be trying some of the methods tomorrow.

 

As for a few of the questions:

 

Thunderbird started on a Windows 7 Machine and I am not sure of the bit, that was upgraded to 10 recently. What I did was disassemble the tower pulling out the hard drive. So going back to the old machine can be a bit of a pain. I moved it to another Windows 10 machine.

 

After I reinstalled TBird, the client saw it, sat down, logged in with her credentials on the NEW MACHINE. So not sure if that makes any difference. Also if it does, can't I just go back to the day before when I started the merge and didn't do the TBIRD to correct via System restore?

 

The date I did the move was December 4th and the old and new profile say last revise 12-4. So not sure if that means anything. Not everything in the profile folder says that though, some say 2012 when it was created.

 

Anyway appreciate all the help.






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