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Thunderbird Email Backup


queenpictoria
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Hello.

 

I appreciate you being here.

It has become necessary for me to reformat my hard drive.

 

I have backed up my C Drive on an external hard drive.

I do it frequently.

 

Once I reformat my hard drive and re-install the programs

and applications, how do I retrieve my email files found inside

my Thunderbird client?

 

Are the files on my C Drive, because I cannot find them.

 

Any light to shine on this?

 

Thank you very much.

 

queenpictoria

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Hello.

 

I appreciate you being here.

It has become necessary for me to reformat my hard drive.

 

I have backed up my C Drive on an external hard drive.

I do it frequently.

 

Once I reformat my hard drive and re-install the programs

and applications, how do I retrieve my email files found inside

my Thunderbird client?

 

Are the files on my C Drive, because I cannot find them.

 

Any light to shine on this?

 

Thank you very much.

 

queenpictoria

 

If you are on Windows XP it would be like mine:

C:\Documents and Settings\Gabi(myname)\Application Data\Thunderbird\

 

I think that is everything except the account information which I have had to reenter.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Gabi

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I believe that each time you install Thunderbird (and Firefox), it will generate a unique name for the profile where your email are stored and you might also need to change some lines in the profiles.ini, otherwise it will not find your profile (ie your email).

 

These lines should look something like this:

[General]

StartWithLastProfile=0

 

[Profile0]

Name=Tompa

IsRelative=0

Path=C:\Thunderbird\Profiles\profilename.default (NOTE: This needs be the name of the profile name you transferred back from your backup)

Default=1

 

The times I have had to reinstall Thunderbird I never remember if to set the following settings to either 0 or 1, so you might need to try different combinations:

IsRelative=0 to 1

Default=1 to 0

 

The profile.ini file can be found in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird

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I believe that each time you install Thunderbird (and Firefox), it will generate a unique name for the profile where your email are stored and you might also need to change some lines in the profiles.ini, otherwise it will not find your profile (ie your email).

 

These lines should look something like this:

 

 

The times I have had to reinstall Thunderbird I never remember if to set the following settings to either 0 or 1, so you might need to try different combinations:

 

 

The profile.ini file can be found in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird

 

 

Hello Thomas,

 

Thanks for your reply.

I have no idea what you are referring to.

I have loaded Thunderbird at least 5 or 6 times and have never seen the configurations

you are referring to.

 

Please clarify what these configurations are and where they are found.

I am obviously way off track.

 

 

Thanks very much,

 

queenpictoria

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As both Gabi and Thomas have stated these profiles are stored on your C-Drive in the Documents and Settings folder. In that folder you will find a folder with your log in name for your desktop. Go into that folder then go into the Application Data folder and then the Thunderbird folder.

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Hello.

 

I appreciate you being here.

It has become necessary for me to reformat my hard drive.

 

I have backed up my C Drive on an external hard drive.

I do it frequently.

 

Once I reformat my hard drive and re-install the programs

and applications, how do I retrieve my email files found inside

my Thunderbird client?

 

Are the files on my C Drive, because I cannot find them.

 

Any light to shine on this?

 

Thank you very much.

 

queenpictoria

 

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but if you haven't already set your newly formatted drive to let you view common file extensions, hidden files, and system folders, make sure you do that before you start moving stuff around.

 

Tom is dead on with the path info, and the formal way to create and restore backups (the one he's giving you) is here:

 

http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile#backup

 

I've had some success with letting T'bird generate the new profile, with its random 8-character folder name, then just copying all the files from the old backup into that folder, overwriting the ones created by the new profile. The only problem is if you're transferring the info with a CD, which makes everything read-only. If you're working off a backup drive, you shouldn't have any problems.

 

The nice thing about Thunderbird is that it's experiment-friendly. As long as you've got the old email backed up, the worst that can happen is that your experiment on the new profile won't work. At which point, you can wipe the new one and start over. You haven't lost any data. Have I mentioned today, that I love T'Bird??? :yes:

 

Good luck!

 

~ Rosanne

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As both Gabi and Thomas have stated these profiles are stored on your C-Drive in the Documents and Settings folder. In that folder you will find a folder with your log in name for your desktop. Go into that folder then go into the Application Data folder and then the Thunderbird folder.

 

Hello Bruce,

I chose to not have a login name for my computer.

Is that why I do not get past "Application data"?

 

The instructions for XP say, "C:\users\[user Name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\"

 

I go into the Applications data folder and there is no Thunderbird file or Roaming.

 

Can I set up a profile and back up the C Drive again? :yes:

Will that do any good.

 

Thanks.

queenpictoria

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Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but if you haven't already set your newly formatted drive to let you view common file extensions, hidden files, and system folders, make sure you do that before you start moving stuff around.

 

Tom is dead on with the path info, and the formal way to create and restore backups (the one he's giving you) is here:

 

http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile#backup

 

I've had some success with letting T'bird generate the new profile, with its random 8-character folder name, then just copying all the files from the old backup into that folder, overwriting the ones created by the new profile. The only problem is if you're transferring the info with a CD, which makes everything read-only. If you're working off a backup drive, you shouldn't have any problems.

 

The nice thing about Thunderbird is that it's experiment-friendly. As long as you've got the old email backed up, the worst that can happen is that your experiment on the new profile won't work. At which point, you can wipe the new one and start over. You haven't lost any data. Have I mentioned today, that I love T'Bird??? :yes:

 

Good luck!

 

~ Rosanne

 

Thanks Rosanne,

 

I still am not there but I appreciate your enthusiasm.

queenpictoria

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Hello.

 

I know I am not an idiot but I really feel like one.

I resist Thunderbird's online tutorials because they are

written by people who use comments like "the rest should be obvious".

 

What if it is not obvious?

 

I really dislike reading their tutorials.

That is my problem.

 

I found my profiles folder in the file:

:\Documents and Settings\My Full Name\ApplicationData\Thunderbird\Profiles\

 

This is what I have:

 

[General]

StartWithLastProfile=1

 

[Profile0]

Name=default

IsRelative=1

Path=Profiles/sj8lyymw.default

 

------------------------------------------------

The one Thomas gave me was:

 

[General]

StartWithLastProfile=0

 

[Profile0]

Name=Tompa

IsRelative=0

Path=C:\Thunderbird\Profiles\profilename.default (NOTE: This needs be the name of the profile name you transferred back from your backup)

Default=1

 

So please tell me what I do with this profile.

Thank you so much for your patience with me.

I am slow today.

 

April

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I would overwrite the whole "profiles" folder you found, with the profiles folder you have on backup.

 

Then in Documents and Settings\My Full Name\ApplicationData\Thunderbird\ you will find profiles.ini and in that file only change this:

 

sj8lyymw.default

 

to whatever the profile name is in your backup (should be a random name like above and ending with .default).

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April, I just want to say one thing. I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

 

Hang in there, girl. You are going to get this! I have confidence in you! :yes:

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I would overwrite the whole "profiles" folder you found, with the profiles folder you have on backup.

 

Then in Documents and Settings\My Full Name\ApplicationData\Thunderbird\ you will find profiles.ini and in that file only change this:

 

 

 

to whatever the profile name is in your backup (should be a random name like above and ending with .default).

 

Thomas,

 

As far as I know this is the profile I have on backup.

I have done nothing to change it. I just found it.

Does it change itself?

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April, in your Thunderbird folder you have a Profiles folder and a profiles.ini file. You have said that your profiles.ini file contains this information.

 

>[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/sj8lyymw.default

 

That means in the Profiles folder there is a folder called sj8lyymw.default. Copy your *.default folder from your backup to the current Profiles folder. Once you do that, delete or rename the sj8lyymw.default folder. Now edit the last line in your profile.ini for path to what the .default folder name is you restored from your backup.

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April, in your Thunderbird folder you have a Profiles folder and a profiles.ini file. You have said that your profiles.ini file contains this information.

 

>[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/sj8lyymw.default

 

That means in the Profiles folder there is a folder called sj8lyymw.default. Copy your *.default folder from your backup to the current Profiles folder. Once you do that, delete or rename the sj8lyymw.default folder. Now edit the last line in your profile.ini for path to what the .default folder name is you restored from your backup.

 

Hello Bruce,

Thank you for your help.

I am beginning to understand.

 

I will save a copy of my ".default folder" (sj8lyymw.default) from the backup and copy it to the new Profiles folder after the format.

Once this is done, I rename the name of the default folder inside the profiles.ini file so the path is restored from the backup.

I am guessing that through the rename of the path, when I transfer the files back into the C Drive, the emails will fall into the correct folders.

How does this sound?

 

I am going to have to do it before I really get it.

 

I will do a fresh backup and begin the reformat.

 

If I have questions I will ask them.

I know I am responsible for all of this.

Thanks for your help.

 

Regards,

queenpictoria

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April, I just reread your original post. Here's what I would do.

 

1. Backup the Thunderbird folder under your Documents and Settings\Application Data

2. Reformat your drive

3. Install Thunderbird but don't add any acounts

4. Restore your backed up folder

 

Start Thunderbird and everything should be there.

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