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Thunderbird not downloading all emails?

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Bkup302
 
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Joined: August 13th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Post Posted August 13th, 2019, 8:18 pm

I'm trying to backup a Hotmail mailbox by downloading all emails onto two different HDDs each with its own OS and copy of Thunderbird on them (everything identical). I know this may not be the best way to do it but it's the way that I was able to understand. My intention is to download all the emails to the Profile file on each HDD, then set to Offline mode and never connect the HDDs to the internet again, so they can be a permanent snapshot of the contents of my mailbox as it is today.

However, having followed the same procedures for both installs, I have come out with two different results: After apparently finishing downloading emails, my inbox file comes out to about 4GB on one, while the other it comes out to about 6GB. I was expecting the whole mailbox (inbox plus other folders) to be about 7GB, so it seems to me that the first install has not downloaded all the emails. But I did pretty much exactly the same thing for both of them - all the same options ticked.

Can anyone advise what to do to get the whole mailbox onto the first drive?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 13th, 2019, 9:11 pm

Are you using POP or IMAP accounts? POP accounts only download the inbox from the mail server. They literally don't know the other folders exist on the POP server due to the way the POP3 protocol was designed. IMAP accounts let you access all of the folders on the mail server, and by default create offline copies of all of the folders.

Once you've downloaded all of the mail (into mbox files) I suggest you evaluate using Mbox2XML to convert all of your downloaded mbox files into a .xml file. That would let you read all of that downloaded mail (including attachments) using a browser (without connecting to the Internet), rather than Thunderbird. If you're going to read them using Thunderbird make certain you never use online mode again if you want a permanent snapshot.

See http://tools.elit.nl/mbox2xml.php

Bkup302
 
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Joined: August 13th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Post Posted August 13th, 2019, 10:47 pm

Thanks for the reply. They are configured as IMAP, but for some reason one has downloaded considerably more data than the other. As I remember, the larger one also thought it had finished at some point, but then when I prompted it to sync and download again, it seemed to begin downloading more things. No matter how much prompting, the smaller one does not want to download any more.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 13th, 2019, 11:15 pm

Google imposes a bandwidth limitation on Gmail accounts. When you exceed the limit it hides the existence of additional new mail rather than reporting an error. Are they Gmail accounts?

Bkup302
 
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Joined: August 13th, 2019, 8:09 pm

Post Posted August 14th, 2019, 10:20 pm

It is a Hotmail account.

mgagnonlv
 
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Joined: February 12th, 2005, 8:33 pm

Post Posted August 16th, 2019, 8:07 am

Maybe there are the same issues with Hotmail as Gmail.

Apart from that, if one download is specific while the other one is your current setup, you might have compressed data in one of the setups.

Finally, especially if you have lots of stuff, stay connected for a long time. Even overnight.
Michel Gagnon
Montréal (Québec, Canada)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 16th, 2019, 9:56 am

Is there any pattern in what messages aren't downloaded in a folder? For example, does it download everything up to a specific date, or skip messages with very large attachments, or ....

If you explicitly open a message that was not downloaded does it get downloaded? See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Entire_messag ... AP_message

Is mail.imap.mime_parts_on_demand true? You might try setting it false so that it doesn't optimize what it fetches when you open a message.

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