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recovering bookmarks and addresses after crash

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
shakushinnen

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Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Posted August 11th, 2019, 1:27 pm

Hi all,
I have had a crash and am not able to start my computer. I have put the hard drive into another computer, but am not sure what files to retrieve for my bookmarks and addresses; and, what to do with them.
Can anyone help?
Thanks,
... john

JYLD
 
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Joined: July 18th, 2019, 9:59 am

Post Posted August 11th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Addresses are stored in TB's .mab files in your TB profile. Files like abook.mab, abook-1.mab and history.mab.

Firefox automatically backs up your bookmarks to the cloud if you turn that feature on (which you should definitely do). So when you reload firefox on a computer and turn on the feature for that install, it will automatically download your bookmarks, history, and extensions, etc. to the new install.

Firefox does appear to store a series of backups of bookmarks in the Firefox profile bookmarkbackups directory C:\<path to your firefox profile>\bookmarkbackups\

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 11th, 2019, 5:44 pm

Have you tried moving the existing profiles to the boot drive and telling the applications where they are instead (either using the profile manager or by manually editing profiles.ini)? Search for a prefs.js file on the additional hard disk. The Thunderbird profile will also have *.mab files, while the Firefox profile won't.

How to move the profiles:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_p ... hunderbird
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_profile_folder

Whats in the profiles if you decide to import individual files instead:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Files_and_fol ... hunderbird

shakushinnen

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Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Posted August 13th, 2019, 7:16 pm

Hi tanstaafl/JYLD,
I'm trying to take the addresses and bookmarks from a Windows 7 drive so that I can use them on a Windows XP OS. Does that make any difference?
..... john

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 13th, 2019, 8:52 pm

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Files_and_fol ... hunderbird

XP makes a big difference.

The latest versions of Firefox don't support XP. I believe Firefox currently uses *.jsonlz4 files for automated bookmark backups. See if some of the links in https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1224948 help you convert them to *.html files that you can import under XP. Are you going to use a different browser (than Firefox)?

The latest versions of Thunderbird don't support XP. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Go_back_to_an ... hunderbird for how to get the setup program for a older version that works with XP SP3.

The address book format (*.mab) hasn't changed. If you only use the personal and history address books (abook.mab and history.mab) there should be no issues, just copy them over the existing files with the same name in the new profile. Otherwise you need to import the other address books using something like the MoreFunctionsForAddressBooks add-on (which can import *.mab files).

shakushinnen

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Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Posted August 14th, 2019, 9:25 am

Hi tanstaafl,
Can't I just copy the appropriate files from the Windows 7 disk and open them in XP? All I want is the addresses and bookmarks.
..... john

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 14th, 2019, 10:13 am

I gave you a link to where you could get a setup program for a older version of Thunderbird that would work under XP SP3. It would understand your *.mab files, giving you a chance to export them as .csv files etc. I assume you don't want to do that.

There are programs to convert *.mab files to more readable formats but the only ones I know of are commercial programs. They frequently have trial versions with some limitations. The free version of https://www.systoolsgroup.com/mab/converter/ for example only converts 25 items in a *.mab file.

Long ago I had a copy of Aid4Mail. It was a pretty good converter program for Thunderbird data, and is cheaper than many alternatives. https://www.aid4mail.com/

I also gave you a link to a web page about a similar problem for firefox that had a link to https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html which you could use to convert *.jsonlz4 files to .HTML files. Did you try it?

The easiest solution is to import the files into Firefox and Thunderbird on a windows 7 or later PC, and then export the data in a generic format (*.csv file for address books, *.html for bookmarks). You could also install a lightweight Linux on a flash drive/USB drive on your XP PC and convert the data there. In general, those lightweight distros support Firefox and Thunderbird. They'd be slow (due to the USB drive) but should let you convert the files to a format you want. See https://mashtips.com/best-portable-linux-distro/ for some recommendations.

See http://damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/installi ... drive.html to get a idea of whats involved if you want to try that.

Your Windows 7 PC didn't have a factory partition? If you did you could save the two profiles onto a different device (because the original files will get deleted) and then attempt to restore the factory partition (making the hard disk look just like it did when you originally got the PC).

shakushinnen

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Post Posted August 14th, 2019, 11:24 am

Hi tanstaafl,
No, I didn't try any of your suggestions, hoping that there was an easier way. But, now that you mention it, I do have a Windows 7 laptop here, so I'll give that a try.
Thanks again for your help.
I'll let you know how it goes.
..... john

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