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Mozbackup - restore

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stod
 
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Post Posted October 21st, 2019, 8:12 am

Yesterday when I opened my mail Client (Thunderbird v 45.1.1) I was confronted with a screen asking me to configure TB. There was no mail!!!!

Fortunately I use Mozbackup and had taken a backup just 3 days ago. So, I restored the profile from this backup. However, whereas it has restored my archived folders (each year I archive my inbox and sent box) it has not restored my inbox, sent box or drafts box for this year. It has also restored one of my other, little used, email accounts. I am struggling now to find where this data is held on the computer and how to restore it. I have found a file under c:\users\[name]\Appdata\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\4zuenagk.default and there is a file there called global-messages-db.sqlite which is a "reasonable size". However, I have no idea whether it is the correct file (I'm a little suspicious as it is dated today) or how to "process" it.

Can anyone help please?

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

Post Posted October 21st, 2019, 9:45 am

If you were using IMAP instead of POP3 then the emails for your inbox, etc. would all still be there and downloadable again.

Since you were using POP3, then its possible the mozbackup restore wrote over the old inbox information. You should have made a backup of your profile BEFORE restoring from mozbackup.

You might try looking inside your mozbackup file (the .pcv file) its really just a zip file, so open it with a zip archive viewer/extractor program. Best would be to make a copy of the file and use that to play with. You could change the file's extension to .zip and then open it with file explorer. Look for files like inbox.sbd and inbox.msf. See what you might be able to do with those.

stod
 
Posts: 56
Joined: February 16th, 2011, 2:53 pm
Location: Portugal

Post Posted October 21st, 2019, 10:24 am

Thanks JYLD. I use POP3 on my main computer as I want to store all my mail on my local HDD. I have mail going back 20 years!. I use IMAP on my other computers and laptop.

I'm sure that I have used Mozbackup before without problems when transferring to a new computer but can't remember.

Yes, I found the *.pcv file and copied it. Then extracted it using a "zip extractor". This has created a folder with the same name as the *.pcv file. Within this folder there are a number of other folders one of which is "Mail" and this contains a folder called "pop.googlemail-1.com". Within this folder is a file called "inbox" (no extension) which is some 1Tb in size. But I don't know how to access the date inside or import it into TB. There is also a smaller "sent" file.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted October 21st, 2019, 10:37 am

Close Thunderbird. Rename the files Inbox and Sent found in the .pcv file to OldInbox and OldSent. Then copy them into the Local Folders sub-directory of Thunderbird profile ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird ). Launch Thunderbird and you should find the data from your backup accessible as sub-folders of Local Folder. If you wish, you can copy messages to the active account Inbox and Sent folders to get back to where you were before this issue.

Note, though, that storing messages in the Inbox of any POP type email account is a very bad practice. As the busiest area of the system, the Inbox is most at risk of data corruption and corresponding data loss. The more messages in the Inbox, the more messages at risk of loss. Creating an organization of folders, typically under Local Folders, and moving all but the most recent messages from the Inbox to that structure, will help to minimize risk of loss and improve performance in the future.

stod
 
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Joined: February 16th, 2011, 2:53 pm
Location: Portugal

Post Posted October 22nd, 2019, 1:43 am

I'm now getting somewhat confused.

I should have said that I have 3 mail accounts that I control using TB. One (mail1) is rarely used; one (mail2) is an old email address kept in case someone doesn't realise that I changed addresses and the 3rd (mail3) is my main email address. When I did the restore using Mozbackup only mail 2 was restored along with my archive folders containing emails in sub folders for each year (I think that I said that I copy all emails here at the end of each year).

I started TB and, because there was no "mail3" (just "mail2") I created a new Account (which is my primary email address). I tried to set it up as an IMAP account but it appeared to hang waiting for a response from the server. So I set it up as a POP3 account (noting the comments above and I will back this up more frequently than once a year; maybe every month).

I followed the instructions, closed TB and copied the files to c:\users\[name]\Appdata\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles renaming them oldinbox, oldsent and olddraft. (I'm not entirely sure why I can only see this folder by entering %appdata% using the Start/Search facility and I cannot see the folder using Explorer)

I then opened TB again. I still had the folder with "mail2" and a Local Folder with the following sub folders.

Trash; Outbox; Archive; Gmail_save; Outlook Express Import and Outlook_Archive.

Archive had a sub folder "inbox" and contained several sub folders for the years 2001 to 2007 with my inbox for these years. No idea why?????

Gmail_save had 3 sub folders drafts_gmail, inbox_gmail and sent_gmail all empty.

Outlook_Archive had several sub folders containing all my inbox and sent mails from 2001 to 2018.

However, there was no sign of my inbox, drafts or sent box (for this year).

So, unfortunately I have still not managed to recover my mail (inbox, sent and drafts) for this year.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted October 22nd, 2019, 5:25 am

(I'm not entirely sure why I can only see this folder by entering %appdata% using the Start/Search facility and I cannot see the folder using Explorer)


From the MozillaZine KnowledgeBase: The Application Data folder is a hidden folder; to show hidden folders, open Windows Explorer and choose "Tools → Folder Options → View (tab) → Show hidden files and folders".


I followed the instructions, closed TB and copied the files to c:\users\[name]\Appdata\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles

But that's not the location the instructions pointed to. The intended location is the Local Folders sub-directory of the Thunderbird profile. In other words, Thunderbird is not seeing the renamed files because they are at least two levels too high in the directory tree. They should be copied into C:\Users\WINUSERID\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxxxxxxx.default\Mail\Local Folders, where WINUSERID is your Windows user ID and xxxxxxxxxx.default is a system generated 10 character random string used to uniquely identify each Thunderbird profile.

stod
 
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Joined: February 16th, 2011, 2:53 pm
Location: Portugal

Post Posted October 22nd, 2019, 8:42 am

Thanks DanRaisch - much appreciated. Okay, senile dementia. I forgot about how to "un-hide" files (procedure is slightly different for Win7 which I still use as I prefer it to Win10).

And now I have got inbox, sent and drafts back into the folder. Just lost 3 days of emails. Also preserved my login password and add-ons.

The question now is how do I ensure that Mozbackup copies the full inbox, sent box and drafts from my main email account ("mail3") in future?

I've still got it set up as a POP3 account but will now copy to my archive folder (which was successfully restored) each month rather than each year.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted October 22nd, 2019, 9:20 am

Can't help you with MozBackup as I don't use it and would point out that it is no longer maintained by the author. See this article for suggestions about other ways of backing up the Thunderbird profile -- http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup

stod
 
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Post Posted October 22nd, 2019, 10:43 am

Thanks DanRaisch for all your help. Will give the new version of Mozbackup (1.5.2 beta rather than 1.5.1) a try.

stod
 
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Joined: February 16th, 2011, 2:53 pm
Location: Portugal

Post Posted November 2nd, 2019, 1:50 am

Unfortunately, it has happened again. I started TB and it prompted me to set up an email account. I switched off the computer and tried again but got the same result. I set up my main email account (as POP3) and it downloaded my emails from last night. Unfortunately I had last run Mozbackup 8 days ago. So, I ran Mozbackup to restore TB but it did not restore either my archive folder or my inbox or sent box etc. It was probably a mistake to re-setup my email account.

I then checked and found an inbox and found a file "inbox.sbd" in a folder:
"c:\users\winuserid\appdata\roaming\thunderbird\profiles\xxxxxx\mail\local folders\outlook_archive.sbd\archive folders.sbd".

This appears to contain all my historic emails in separate folders.

In addition in "c:\users\winuserid\appdata\roaming\thunderbird\profiles\xxxxxx\mail\local folders" there is a file called "inbox" and "sent".

So, can someone please help me to recover my archived messages and my inbox and sent box.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted November 2nd, 2019, 4:02 am

See this article. It's about moving to a new profile but you can treat those files found under the "inbox.sbd" directory as if they were an older profile.
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

stod
 
Posts: 56
Joined: February 16th, 2011, 2:53 pm
Location: Portugal

Post Posted November 3rd, 2019, 3:02 am

Thanks DanRaisch.

The article <a href=' http://kb.mozillazine.org/Recovering_a_ ... isappeared ' target= '_blank' ></a>

was most useful. I just don't understand why it has happened to me twice in 4 weeks. Also used the information that you posted on Oct 22nd 1:25 pm to find the location of my profile

I've recovered my emails; just lost 3 days on first occurrence and 10 days on second occurrence as I hadn't backed up my emails. Now set up my email account as IMAP rather than POP3 and copying all emails to an "archive folder". Just need to get myself organised to copy all emails to my archive folder.

I don't however, understand why Mozbackup didn't backup my email account completely. It recovered one of my email accounts but not my main email account (with inbox and sent). And it recovered my archived folders (thank goodness as there is 20 years of emails stored there!).

Now need to look at importexport tools to see if I can back up my inbox and sent box and my archived files. But, at first sight it seems to ask for a folder. Need to investigate.

PS apologies, I don't know how to put a hyperlink into this message on this forum.

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