User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
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For about the last month whenever I add a new entry to my personal address book, it shows up and appears to be fine, but when I shut down my PC and restart, they are all gone. This is only happening for new recent entries as all of my other contacts are still there. This may have started since the upgrade to 11.0.1, but I cannot confirm that. Anyone have any idea what is causing this or what is going on?
Backup you entire profile, just to be safe ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup ). The concept we're working from is that the current address book file is fragmented or corrupted and should be rebuilt to correct the issue.
1) Open Thunderbird's Address Book window and create a new Address Book (File->New->Address Book). Name it anything except Personal Address Book. (I would call it Temp Data to indicate it's purpose.)
2) Click on the your current Address Book (I'm assuming it's called Personal Address Book). Now click on any name in the right hand list pane. Press Ctrl-A or use menu path Edit->Select All to highlight all entries.
3) Drag-and-drop the data to the entry in the left hand pane for the new address book. This will copy over all of your address information. Check a number of the contact entries in the new address book to ensure that things have been copied correctly.
4) Now repeat highlighting the contents of the Personal Address Book, then press the delete key to erase the information in that book.
5) Close and restart Thunderbird and open the Address Book window.
6) Highlight all of the contacts in the Temp Data (or whatever you named it) address book and drag-and-drop the data to the Personal Address Book.
7) Close and restart Thunderbird and begin using the "recreated" Personal Address book for addressing messages. See if there has been any improvement.
A variation on this process would involve creating a new profile ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager ) , which you would not plan to use, in order to generate a new, empty Personal Address Book file (abook.mab). Then, follow the steps above through step 3, after which you would close Thunderbird, navigate to the Profile for the real account in question, delete the file abook.mab and copy over the file with that name from the newly created profile. The result is a properly formatted abook.mab file with no contents and no file corruption. Follow from step 6 to complete the data transfer, then use Profile Manager to delete that new profile.
Thanks Dan for that in depth instruction. Unfortunately it did not work. All of your steps worked fine until I got to closing and restarting Thunderbird. When I did, the Temp Data folder no longer contained any contacts and they were all back in the Personal Address Folder. So I had no chance to do the step where I move the contacts back to the Personal Address Folder. I tried adding a new contact again, and again it did not take after a restart.
Could I not just back up my profile and reinstall Thunderbird?
Also, why can't I delete either the Personal Address Book or the Collected Address Book folders? What I did was create a new folder called "Tim's Contacts". In this folder I can add a new contact and it gets saved there. So I then deleted all the contacts in my Personal Address Book and they ALL get recreated every time I close and open Thunderbird. Why design the software that way? I would like to have control of what I can and can't delete. I would also like control of who is and who isn't in my address book. As it is right now, I cannot even delete one entry in my Personal Address Book as it just keeps getting recreated. This is making me want to just give up and switch to just using GMAIL.
You could do that, but it won't resolve your problem. That's because the issue is with a data file, not with the program itself.
Those two books are default elements of a Thunderbird installation and can not be deleted from within the user interface, although (when things are working normally) you can delete the data from both of those address books. It's also possible to delete the files that represent those address books, working from the operating system.
That's not normal action for Thunderbird and it suggests that the files that represent the Personal Address Book (PAB) and the Collected Addresses are set as "Read Only" at the operating system level. Thunderbird doesn't do that but something else seems to have done it. Check the file attributes for the files abook.mab and history.mab in the Thunderbird profile. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird
Okay, thanks Dan. Now we're getting somewhere. All of those folders were checked for "Hidden". None of them were checked for "Read Only" though. So I removed the "Hidden" check and now I can delete the contacts in my Personal Address Folder. I have a bunch of different address books, so it would be nice to be able to remove the two I do not need or use; i.e. Personal Address Book and Collected Addresses.
Anyway, I seem to have it working now EXCEPT for one more issue. Every time I open up the address book, it automatically goes straight to the Personal Address Folder. How can I change the default so it automatically goes to my new Tim's Contacts Folder, or to any folder I choose?
You can't. And there wouldn't be much benefit to doing so. It's just one mouse click to select the address book you want to edit.
Also,k why worry about keep the separate address books? Thunderbird uses all address books in the profile when seeking auto-complete suggestions. If you really want things all in one book, now that things are working you could just move all of the contact records from Tim's Contact Folder to the Personal Address Book.
Yeah, you can't delete but you can easily hide it, just edit your prefs.js under your Profile folder (or you can edit in the about:config page) and enter this into it:
That's for the PAB hiding.
Unfortunately the user_pref("ldap_2.servers.history.position", -1); for the Collected Address Book is not working the same.
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