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Thunderbird Portable Questions

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wpr
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 3:46 am

I'm a long time user of SeaMonkey Portable and recently set up Thunderbird Portable.

I want to copy my SeaMonkey message files to Thunderbird but cannot find where they should be copied to. The Import option doesn't work. If I could located the mail folder, I could copy the files manually. I have three email accounts set up and they all receive incoming mail fine, but there is no Mail folder as I have with SeaMonkey.

Thanks for any help.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 4:16 am

Perhaps the issue is that in the SeaMonkey profile you had those accounts set up as POP type accounts while in Thunderbird they are set up as IMAP? See these article for information on moving profile data --
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_SeaMonkey
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_ ... hunderbird
For a concise, less detailed version of the process, see this thread --
viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1421375&p=7251375#p7251375

For an alternative approach, see tanstaafl's posts in this thread -- viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2942915&p=14209121#p14209121

wpr
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 4:47 am

Thanks for the reply.

My email accounts are POP in both SM and T. I want to copy from SM to T.

I just looked at the forums thread from 2009 and found the solution, but this raises a whole set of other questions.

The Profile and its sub folders and files are on my C drive (C:\Users\user1\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\ofo7wj3f.default-nightly). This is totally unacceptable, since this is supposed to be a portable application. There shouldn't be any files written to the C drive, just to my Thunderbird Portable folder, which is on my E drive.

The source of the code is portableapps.com. Anyone know of another source for Thunderbird Portable that does not do what this is doing?

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 5:27 am

You can get the latest official release of Thunderbird Portable here: https://portableapps.com/apps/internet/thunderbird_portable Scroll down the page for locale versions other than English US. You should only download TB Portable from there.

You certainly shouldn't have a profile folder for Thunderbird Portable in your AppData\Roaming location. Don't know what is happening with that. If it was me I would just shutdown TB Portable and delete that entire Thunderbird folder. And, if you downloaded a new TB Portable from the link given above, just delete your current 'install' of TB Portable and do a 'reinstall' using the new install file you just downloaded.

The location for the TB Portable Profile folder should be (assuming you did a default 'install' of TB Portable): E:\ThunderbirdPortable\Data\profile

You should always only launch TB Portable by launching the file E:\ThunderbirdPortable\ThunderbirdPortable.exe Doing otherwise can lead to problems.

If you haven't already seen it then this webpage has some good information on TB Portable: https://portableapps.com/support/thunderbird_portable
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DanRaisch
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 5:43 am

The location for the TB Portable Profile folder should be (assuming you did a default 'install' of TB Portable): E:\ThunderbirdPortable\Data\profile

Well, actually, the default installation of the Portable version would be on whichever drive the user selects.

After launching the downloaded installer executable ( ThunderbirdPortable_60.6.1_English.paf.exe ) the first screen displayed should read "Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition" and have "Next" and "Cancel" buttons at the bottom right of the dialogue. Clicking on "Next" brings one to a "Choose Install Location" dialogue where the user can select both the drive and directory for installation.

There is absolutely no need to install the portable version on the C: drive or, if one chooses that drive, to install it under C:\Users\USERID\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird.

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 6:10 am

DanRaisch wrote:
Well, actually, the default installation of the Portable version would be on whichever drive the user selects.

Yes, you are right Dan. However, the OP did say he had installed to E:\ so that was why I wrote what I wrote. On reflection, yes, I should have stated the general case - that would have saved possible confusion. Apologies.
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DanRaisch
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 6:14 am

Not a problem. In fact, I should have written that "the default installation of the Portable version would be on whichever drive the" the installer is launched from! That is, if the installer is downloaded to C:, it will default to installation on C:. If downloaded to a flash drive identified as E:, it will default to installing on that E: flash drive. On that second screen of the installation program, the user then gets to override the default.

wpr
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 7:28 am

Thank you all for your responses.

I just 'reinstalled' from the portableapps.com site (it seems oxymoronic to me to be installing portable software), and the Mail folders are now in the expected places.

I have many folders in my Roaming folder for portable software that I use. Is there any way to prevent this from happening? This seems to me to defeat the whole point of the portability.

Thanks again for your help.

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 9:14 am

wpr, I can only speak for portable apps that I download and use from PortableApps - so take it that is what I'm referring to here.

It is very important when launching PortableApps that you only use the launcher supplied by PortableApps to launch the program in question. (This clarified a bit here https://portableapps.com/support/portable_app#using - I would strongly recommend reading all of that webpage.) The launcher supplies, to the PortableApp (proper), the path it is being launched from. If that path doesn't get supplied to the PortableApp then strange things can happen - like the app itself defaulting to use its default paths to create things like, in TB Portable's case, a profile folder in AppData\Roaming.)

To see what happens if you don't do this try the following experiment:

(1) Shut down your running copy of ThunderbirdPortable and give it a little while to exit gracefully.

(2) Drill to the your AppData\Roaming folder and look to see if there is a Thunderbird folder in there. On my own install of TB Portable there is a Thunderbird folder there and it contains the subfolders Crash Reports and Pending Pings while TB Portable is running - on exit it removes the Crash Reports folder automatically. This seems to be normal for the TB Portable that I use. In any case, delete the entire Thunderbird folder.

(3) Now, for experiment purposes, do a fresh 'install' of TB Portable to a location that isn't the same as your, now, working copy of Thunderbird Portable.

(4) Now in your experimental 'install' of TB Portable drill to the following file [WhatEverDrive]:\ThunderbirdPortable\App\Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe and launch TB Portable using that file.

(5) Now look in your AppData\Roaming folder and you will see a new Thunderbird folder has been created. Open that folder and you will find that despite creating Crash Reports and Pending Pings folders anew it also contains a Profiles folder - which is something you don't want TB to do for a PortableApp. See, this is one of the things that can happen if you don't use PortableApps' launcher to launch program 'x'.

(6) Experiment over. Shut down TB now and give it a little while to exit gracefully. Now in AppData\Roaming delete the entire Thunderbird folder and then delete your experimental 'install' of TB (just delete the entire folder you 'installed' it to).

(7) Using the PortableApps launcher launch your known working good copy of TB Portable - and you should be back to square one.

All the above said, I did note from your original post that the profile path you had was: C:\Users\user1\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\ofo7wj3f.default-nightly Not an area of expertise for me but it seems that default-nightly being part of the profile name suggests that somewhere along the line you might have installed a TB beta. Maybe that was the cause of the difficulty you experienced.

wpr wrote:I have many folders in my Roaming folder for portable software that I use. Is there any way to prevent this from happening? This seems to me to defeat the whole point of the portability.

I have variable experience in this regard too. I use lots of portable programs nowadays, most of the software I now use is portable, but some are just more portable than others in this respect. In any case PortableApps usual provide the best experience but even they aren't always a 100% perfect.
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kerft
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 10:47 am

A common way to screw up and think you are running Thunderbird portable but actually be running thunderbird.exe is to run thunderbird portable, and then pin the thunderbird icon to the taskbar. What typically gets pinned is thunderbird.exe which is wrong.

wpr
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 3:33 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to have to think about using portableapp's launcher. They've already made what should be a straight-forward process much more complicated. Most other portable software comes in a zip file, which is extracted to a folder and then run from that folder. No 'installation' required.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 3:43 pm

That is exactly what the Portable Thunderbird "installer" does too. There is no true Windows installation as there are no registry entry changes and the install can be in any folder you choose.
I should have written that "the default installation of the Portable version would be on whichever drive the" the installer is launched from! That is, if the installer is downloaded to C:, it will default to installation on C:. If downloaded to a flash drive identified as E:, it will default to installing on that E: flash drive. On that second screen of the installation program, the user then gets to override the default.

wpr
 
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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 3:55 pm

So is the 'launcher' referred to by BuddhaNature something different from the standalone file (i.e., thunderbird....paf.exe)? This is what I used previously, with the file on my S drive and the destination folder on my E drive. I, of course, do override the default destination, but there are still entries in the folder on my C drive.

Are you saying if I had the standalone file on my E drive, where my destination for the 'install' is, that no files would be put into the folder on my C drive?

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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 4:35 pm

Yes. If you wipe out the Thunderbird files currently on your C: drive and download the file ThunderbirdPortable_60.6.1_English.paf.exe and launch it there, the Thunderbird program file AND the Thunderbird profile files will be uncompressed onto that E: drive from which you will be able to run it.

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Post Posted April 6th, 2019, 4:53 pm

wpr wrote:Are you saying if I had the standalone file on my E drive, where my destination for the 'install' is, that no files would be put into the folder on my C drive?

Yep, the clue is in the name, Portable Apps were originally designed to be, er, portable on a flashdrive. Installed on a flashdrive, they use their own self-contained profile...on the flashdrive.

Personally, I think they should still do that even if installed on a proper drive, C drive, even if there are existing profiles. But, they don't.
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