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Disappeared local folders

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mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 15th, 2017, 6:37 pm

Established TB on a new computer, W10, and then found that all my local folders had disappeared including from my old W7 computer. Are they gone forever or can they be retrieved? Also, all my inbox emails, same problem.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 15th, 2017, 6:53 pm

I suspect you can recover everything (at worst you need to create a new profile and move your downloaded mail and address books to it). Can you provide more details?

Did you move your old profile or restore it via Mozbackup to the new computer? If you did nothing when you first run Thunderbird it will automatically run the new account wizard and only AFTER you add an account will it create a local folders special account. i.e. they didn't disappear, they werern't created yet. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC

What did you change on your W7 PC shortly before local folders disappeared? They won't spontaneously disappear, it would normally be a reaction to something. Do you still have a working profile (other than the missing local folders) on your W7 PC? i.e. can you send and receive email even if all of your old mail in the inbox seems gone?

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_scr ... _the_forum

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 16th, 2017, 8:30 am

tanstaafl wrote:I suspect you can recover everything (at worst you need to create a new profile and move your downloaded mail and address books to it). Can you provide more details?

Did you move your old profile or restore it via Mozbackup to the new computer? If you did nothing when you first run Thunderbird it will automatically run the new account wizard and only AFTER you add an account will it create a local folders special account. i.e. they didn't disappear, they werern't created yet. See <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC</a><!-- m -->

What did you change on your W7 PC shortly before local folders disappeared? They won't spontaneously disappear, it would normally be a reaction to something. Do you still have a working profile (other than the missing local folders) on your W7 PC? i.e. can you send and receive email even if all of your old mail in the inbox seems gone?

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_screenshot_on_the_forum">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_scr ... _the_forum</a><!-- m -->
Thank you for your reply. I did nothing on the old (W7) PC. I didn't know the term "profile" till now. Just established TB on the new PC and thought all was well. But when I resumed work on the old PC, found that the local folders were no longer there. TB works OK on both PCs and on a laptop which has been dormant for the past few weeks, but no local folders on it, either. Will study all this and try to understand, including backing up profile, etc. Would appreciate advice on steps to take to try restore the missing folders.

mebuckster
 
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Joined: April 15th, 2017, 6:31 pm

Post Posted April 20th, 2017, 2:43 am

mebuckster wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:I suspect you can recover everything (at worst you need to create a new profile and move your downloaded mail and address books to it). Can you provide more details?

Did you move your old profile or restore it via Mozbackup to the new computer? If you did nothing when you first run Thunderbird it will automatically run the new account wizard and only AFTER you add an account will it create a local folders special account. i.e. they didn't disappear, they werern't created yet. See <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC</a><!-- m -->

What did you change on your W7 PC shortly before local folders disappeared? They won't spontaneously disappear, it would normally be a reaction to something. Do you still have a working profile (other than the missing local folders) on your W7 PC? i.e. can you send and receive email even if all of your old mail in the inbox seems gone?

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_screenshot_on_the_forum">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_scr ... _the_forum</a><!-- m -->
Thank you for your reply. I did nothing on the old (W7) PC. I didn't know the term "profile" till now. Just established TB on the new PC and thought all was well. But when I resumed work on the old PC, found that the local folders were no longer there. TB works OK on both PCs and on a laptop which has been dormant for the past few weeks, but no local folders on it, either. Will study all this and try to understand, including backing up profile, etc. Would appreciate advice on steps to take to try restore the missing folders.
I guess at this point I just would like to know whether my local folders have disappeared for good or is there any way to get them back?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 20th, 2017, 6:21 am

So you aren't really missing a "Local Folders" account, you're just missing your old data (downloaded messages etc.) because you didn't migrate it? If so, you can get everything back, it just takes work.

You can move your old profile to the new PC , switch to using it using the profile manager, install the ImportExportTools add-on and import your folders from the new profile into a child directory in Local Folders, and then merge the contents by dragging and dropping the messages. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC , http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager (for how to change which profile is used by default) and http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders . If you're lucky you don't need to use the ImportExportTools add-on to migrate any new mail you got after you switched systems because your POP account is configured to leave a copy of the original message on the POP server, and when your old profile checks for new mail it downloads it again (because this is the first time that profile saw that new mail).

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 22nd, 2017, 2:36 pm

tanstaafl wrote:So you aren't really missing a "Local Folders" account, you're just missing your old data (downloaded messages etc.) because you didn't migrate it? If so, you can get everything back, it just takes work.

You can move your old profile to the new PC , switch to using it using the profile manager, install the ImportExportTools add-on and import your folders from the new profile into a child directory in Local Folders, and then merge the contents by dragging and dropping the messages. See <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC</a><!-- m --> , <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager</a><!-- m --> (for how to change which profile is used by default) and <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders</a><!-- m --> . If you're lucky you don't need to use the ImportExportTools add-on to migrate any new mail you got after you switched systems because your POP account is configured to leave a copy of the original message on the POP server, and when your old profile checks for new mail it downloads it again (because this is the first time that profile saw that new mail).
I would like to forget the new PC for the time being and just restore my local folders on my W7 PC. Would this be simpler or is it even possible? How?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 22nd, 2017, 3:35 pm

I am confused by the terminology you are using. I thought your profile (which has at least one working account plus a Local Folders special account) was working on your old PC and you were just running into problems figuring out how to migrate to the new PC.

Please copy (just) the mail and news accounts section from help -> troubleshooting information on your old PC so that I get a idea of what you currently have.

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 23rd, 2017, 6:04 pm

tanstaafl wrote:I am confused by the terminology you are using. I thought your profile (which has at least one working account plus a Local Folders special account) was working on your old PC and you were just running into problems figuring out how to migrate to the new PC.

Please copy (just) the mail and news accounts section from help -> troubleshooting information on your old PC so that I get a idea of what you currently have.
Thank you very much for your patience. Hope this is the info you asked for. Again, I had no problem with my old PC until after I had gone onto Mozilla with my new PC and established an account using same ID and password. Then I discovered that my local folders were missing on both my old PC and my laptop when I logged onto TB. Except for that, TB works fine on all. Before your first response a few days ago I didn't know what "profile" meant.


ID Incoming server Outgoing servers
Name Connection security Authentication method Name Connection security Authentication method Default?
account1 (pop3) pop.att.yahoo.com:995 SSL/TLS Normal password smtp.att.yahoo.com:465 SSL/TLS Normal password true
smtp.att.yahoo.com:465 SSL/TLS Normal password false
account2 (none) Local Folders None Normal password

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 23rd, 2017, 6:24 pm

That information states you have a Local Folders account. Its account2.

Its possible you aren't aware of its existence if the Yahoo POP account is configured to use a global inbox. That hides the POP accounts folders in the folder pane and has it use folders in Local Folders instead. In fact, some people have gone so far as renaming their Local Folders account, which can really cause confusion. The other location Local Folders should be mentioned in is tools -> accounts.

Please try to explain why you think you don't have a Local Folders account. When you send a message I'd expect the Yahoo account to use the Outbox folder in Local Folders to temporarily hold the message as its being sent. If necessary I suggest you post a screen shot of the folder pane (with the accounts expanded so that we can see their top level folders). See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_scr ... _the_forum

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 23rd, 2017, 7:07 pm

tanstaafl wrote:That information states you have a Local Folders account. Its account2.

Its possible you aren't aware of its existence if the Yahoo POP account is configured to use a global inbox. That hides the POP accounts folders in the folder pane and has it use folders in Local Folders instead. In fact, some people have gone so far as renaming their Local Folders account, which can really cause confusion. The other location Local Folders should be mentioned in is tools -> accounts.

Please try to explain why you think you don't have a Local Folders account. When you send a message I'd expect the Yahoo account to use the Outbox folder in Local Folders to temporarily hold the message as its being sent. If necessary I suggest you post a screen shot of the folder pane (with the accounts expanded so that we can see their top level folders). See <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_screenshot_on_the_forum">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Posting_a_scr ... _the_forum</a><!-- m -->
Before we go any further, perhaps I should describe what it is that I am calling "local folders". In the right most column of my TB home page, part way down there is a heading of "LOCAL FOLDERS". Under that are, currently, listed 3 folder names - "Junk", "Trash", and "Outbox", in that order. What I am missing is all the folders below that that I had established over the years, moving emails from inbox each to an appropriate folder. There were about 15 or so, of them named according to whom or what entity the email was received from. Does this make any sense? (I'm closing down for the night - looking forward to seeing your reply in the morning)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 24th, 2017, 4:34 am

That helps. You have the the Local Folders special account, but are missing some folders in it.

Sometimes Thunderbird spontaneously changes the "local directory" to a different directory. Its not clear why. Thats the directory used to store all of the files for an account. When this happens Thunderbird will automatically create a new empty version of any "special" folders such as the inbox, drafts, trash and outbox. So it will appear as if you lose the contents of your inbox and some non-standard child folders you had created. They still exist, they're just ignored because Thunderbird is looking in the wrong place now.

The workaround is to change the setting back to the old value using the Browse button at the bottom of the accounts server settings. Then if necessary import the new folders (because you've downloaded some new mail into the the new inbox, which you no longer see because you've changed what directory tree it uses) per http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders

I suggest you use help -> troubleshooting information -> show folders to open windows explorer at your profile, browse to the Mail subdirectory and look at the timedate stamps to figure out where the old Local Folders account directory is. The new account directory is probably something like Local Folders-n , where 'n' is some number. Its possible its moved several times over the years, so that you don't want to restore the original Local Folders directory (no numeric suffix).

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 27th, 2017, 11:57 am

tanstaafl wrote:That helps. You have the the Local Folders special account, but are missing some folders in it.

Sometimes Thunderbird spontaneously changes the "local directory" to a different directory. Its not clear why. Thats the directory used to store all of the files for an account. When this happens Thunderbird will automatically create a new empty version of any "special" folders such as the inbox, drafts, trash and outbox. So it will appear as if you lose the contents of your inbox and some non-standard child folders you had created. They still exist, they're just ignored because Thunderbird is looking in the wrong place now.

The workaround is to change the setting back to the old value using the Browse button at the bottom of the accounts server settings. Then if necessary import the new folders (because you've downloaded some new mail into the the new inbox, which you no longer see because you've changed what directory tree it uses) per <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders</a><!-- m -->

I suggest you use help -> troubleshooting information -> show folders to open windows explorer at your profile, browse to the Mail subdirectory and look at the timedate stamps to figure out where the old Local Folders account directory is. The new account directory is probably something like Local Folders-n , where 'n' is some number. Its possible its moved several times over the years, so that you don't want to restore the original Local Folders directory (no numeric suffix).
Making progress. Found my "local folders" but have not been able to figure out how to get them back onto the local folders list of my TB home page. Any given folder is listed multiple times with different extensions, i.e, folder "Diane" shows up as a directory "Diane.mozmsgs", then later as text message "Diane" which is followed by "Diane.msf". Downloaded the export/import addon but don't understand just what keystrokes are used to accomplish the move of the folders to TB homepage. Nothing I do seems to work. Any suggestions?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 27th, 2017, 3:31 pm

I added some more text to http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_fol ... il_folders . Ignore *.mozmsgs. Ignore *.sbd. Ignore *.msf. You ONLY want the files named after the mail folder with NO file extension.

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 28th, 2017, 6:18 pm

tanstaafl wrote:I added some more text to <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders#Find_the_mail_folders">http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_fol ... il_folders</a><!-- m --> . Ignore *.mozmsgs. Ignore *.sbd. Ignore *.msf. You ONLY want the files named after the mail folder with NO file extension.
Thanks again, for this info. However, I'm still stuck. I do the (from Local Folders) "Tools/ImportExportTools/Import mbox file".
I then get a big window titled "Select The Mbox File to Import". I have already been to "inbox.sbd" and clicked on one of the folder names (one without an extension) before doing all this. But I can figure out how to satisfy this window which has a cursor flashing at the bottom in the "File:" blank. Your instruction says to "Browse to the mbox file and press the Open button". Apparently I don't know how to do this as nothing I have tried works. Would appreciate more info.

mebuckster
 
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Post Posted April 28th, 2017, 6:19 pm

In the sentence beginning "But I can figure---" should read "But I can't figure ---"

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