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Local Folders not appearing after migrating to new PC

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mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 3:36 pm

Hi, I'm dumbfounded...that's not a new condition for me generally but it's kinda bothering me this time.

I bought a new laptop and followed the instructions I've found for copying over the the C:\User\<userid>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird subdirectory over from my old laptop to the new one in order to get "all my data" in my new Thunderbird installation. I've tried:
- bringing up T'bird after installation but exiting out prior to creating any accounts and then copying the migrated directory in.
- not bringing up T'bird after installation but just exiting the install, copying the migrated directory, THEN starting T'bird.
- another suggestion from someone else's post of not copying the entire directory but rather just the files and directories under the profile directory (....\Thunderbird\Profiles\yadayada.default\*.*) into the new one
- using the newly updated "ImportExportTools NG" addon which appears to do the same thing.

The best I get is my mail in my inbox, my calendar, contacts, and other settings. But all the other folders I've filed mail to are not there. The exist on the directory under "yadayada.default\Mail\Local Folders". There are two files with the name of each local folder. One with no extension that appears to contain all the individual emails for that folder, and another that has a .msf extension.

I just don't understand what is preventing me from getting the local folders to appear as well within Thunderbird when they came over in the profile. Both the old and new laptops have the same version of T'bird...they both updated to 68.5.0 today actually. I had to have done this a year or two ago when I put a new HDD in my old laptop because I know I didn't ghost an image of my old HDD but I'll be damned if I remember what I did differently.

Anyone have any great ideas? ](*,)

Matt

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 3:45 pm

Close Thunderbird. Find and delete the files with the .msf file extension in that Local Folders directory. You must have "View hidden files and folders" on http://spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=272 and you need to set "hide extensions for known file types" off (just below View Hidden) if you are using Windows. These are your mail summary files and do not hold any messages themselves. They will be rebuilt the next time you open each folder in Thunderbird. Compact all your folders when you have completed this.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 5:48 pm

Check that the files in "Local Folders" aren't marked read-only. If they are, Thunderbird may ignore those mail folders.

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 7:41 pm

Still no worky gents. First, I got a "Critical error - Could not connect to the database" when I tried that spywarewarrior link.

None of the files were r/o, so I closed T'bird, deleted the .msf files as instructed. I set "View hidden files and folders" on and already had turned off "hide extensions for known file types" because that drives me nuts anyway. Restarted T'bird but still not local folders except the Inbox, Trash, and Outbox.

I selected to Compact all the folders hoping maybe that would make them reappear, waited a couple minutes not knowing how long that might take, exited, restarted, still don't see my folders.

This is Windows 10 Home. I meant to put that in my original post and forgot about 4 different times.

.........I just noticed after uninstalling and reinstalling again and trying to be very meticulous that on the new laptop despite the version number matching and such, I'm getting a somewhat different T'bird. It has some different menu panels and spellings (like "favourite" instead of "favorite")......kinda strange I must say. I'll get back to ya

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 7:45 pm

Sounds as though you have a UK localized version installed. You may want to download a US installer and replace the program files.

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 8:42 pm

Yeah, not sure what really happened there but I definitely have a US version installed now. No more queen's English.

Still have the same issue though. All I see within T'bird under "Local Folders" is Inbox, Trash, Outbox. Well, except for the newly created "test folder" I made to see if it would write it into "\Mail\Local Folders\" subdirectory under the profile but it didn't. I'm very confused. For that reason and even more because of this reason. Several uninstall and reinstalls ago on my new laptop I retrieved new mail from the server hoping that would trigger things to be interacted with and the other folders to be seen and read in. I did *not* retrieve any new mail from the server on the old laptop and still have not. However.....despite uninstalling T'bird and deleting the "C:\Users\<userid\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird" several times now, and running CCleaner to clean the registry as well, and then recopying the \Thunderbird subdirectory to the new laptop (without the today's new mail)........when I bring T'bird up on the new laptop the inbox actually shows the 'new' mail from when I pulled it down a few hours ago!

What's up with that?? I've even restarted the laptop in between. I even wound up having a BIOS update in the middle of all this so that had to have taken care of any residual memory. I erased those msf files. I checked for r/o attributes. I cannot find any other spot where T'bird could be writing to but yet somehow that Inbox does not seem to be getting rewritten back to the older level AND the "test folder" I created is not shown on the HDD in the subdirectory either despite my moving two emails into it.

I think it's time to hit the pillow and revisit this tomorrow......I sure appreciate the help!

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 14th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Wow.......just wow.

So, I did a search on my c: drive for "test folder". The one I added last night but didn't see show up in my \AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\yadayada.default\Mail\Local Folders\ directory as I mentioned. The search discovered it. Turns out it was under \AppData\Local! That's where all the "new" stuff seems to be getting saved and to and used from. I don't know why anything is being created under Roaming and I don't know why the Help/Troubleshooting points to Roaming as the profile location when that certainly does not appear to actually be what's used.

I copied my data into the \AppData\Local\Thunderbird\blahblahblahblah folder structure, brought up Thunderbird and viola! Everything is there. All my mail, my folders, my contacts, my calendars, everything.

My thought is perhaps the help videos and write ups need to be updated because something must have changed recently....I don't know. But that's where the inbox and other folders are being updated both on my old laptop and my new one.

Thanks for the brainstormin'! Live and learn I reckon.....

Matt

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Post Posted February 14th, 2020, 7:28 pm

Something is seriously wrong with that profile as no messages files would be stored in the AppData\Local directory structure in a normal Thunderbird profile. If you launch Thunderbird and use menu path Help->"About Profiles" button. How many profiles are listed?

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 14th, 2020, 7:57 pm

It shows the following:

Profile: default
This is the profile in use and it cannot be deleted.
Default Profile yes
Root Directory C:\Users\Matt\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\wscnhco3.default
Local Directory C:\Users\Matt\AppData\Local\Thunderbird\Profiles\wscnhco3.default

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 14th, 2020, 8:54 pm

I have five real profiles. Local indicates I have 12 and Roaming indicates I have 5. All of the ones in Roaming have the same name as one in Local. Roaming has the real profiles (they're listed if you click on the about:profiles link in help -> troubleshooting information at the bottom of Application Basics, and have all of the files you'd expect in a real profile). Local just has stubs of a profile (they don't even have a prefs.js file - mainly just a safebrowsing and 3 different cache child directories and a few files).

On my system the profile stubs in Local are an artifact of Gecko, and can be ignored. Its possible you have the reverse situation, there are a lot of bugs in how profiles are handled in version 68.

I suggest you look for a prefs.js and abook.mab file and a Mail child directory in each profile. Whichever one has that is the real profile. It should also be the one opened by help -> troubleshooting information -> open folder.

Each account specifies where its mail files are stored in the local directory setting at the bottom of the accounts server settings. That is normally a location underneath the Mail child directory in the profile but its possible to change it to almost anywhere. The location of the prefs.js file defines where the profile is, not where the mail files are.

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 15th, 2020, 1:31 pm

Ok, I searched for prefs.js and abook.mab. I find both under Roaming\ and the only profile that I have, wscnhco3.default as shown in my previous post. There's actually a prefs-1.js as well for some reason. That is the profile which is opened if I go to help -> troubleshooting information -> open folder....in the Roaming folder.

However, the fact remains that nothing I change is reflected under the Roaming profile. I have tried renaming a folder, creating a new folder, even getting my current mail from mail server. I've discovered this is the case on both my old and new laptop. For example I just pulled down my current mail from the server. Under the Roaming directory structure, my Inbox file is dated 7/24/2015! Under the Local\ directory structure, my Inbox file is dated 2/15/2020 as would be expected. So clearly this has been going on for a while. That was on my old laptop.

On my new laptop, I'm not sure how or why but my Roaming structure inbox is dated 2/11/2020 even after just getting my new mail. I don't know how it got such a current date since I copied the profile over from the old. But nevertheless, same situation, under Local, the Inbox is dated today, 2/15/2020 after the mail update.

Yet the prefs.js and abook.mab, whatever that is, are under Roaming.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 15th, 2020, 2:08 pm

"Each account specifies where its mail files are stored in the local directory setting at the bottom of the accounts server settings. That is normally a location underneath the Mail child directory in the profile but its possible to change it to almost anywhere."

Perhaps your profile is in the right location but for some unknown reason your local directories aren't. Compare the locations.

"There's actually a prefs-1.js as well for some reason. "

That usually means for some unknown reason Thundebrird saved your old prefs.js file with a new name and created a new one.

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 15th, 2020, 5:21 pm

So looking at the two prefs files, the first thing is prefs-1.js is dated 10/8/2014 and prefs.js is dated today.

Second thing is prefs-1.js does show:
user_pref("mail.server.server1.directory", "C:\\Users\\Matt\\AppData\\Roaming\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\wscnhco3.default\\Mail\\Local Folders");
user_pref("mail.server.server1.directory-rel", "[ProfD]Mail/Local Folders");
-- and several lines later --
user_pref("mail.server.server2.directory", "C:\\Users\\Matt\\AppData\\Roaming\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\wscnhco3.default\\Mail\\pop-server.nc.rr.com");
user_pref("mail.server.server2.directory-rel", "[ProfD]Mail/pop-server.nc.rr.com");

while the newer prefs.js shows:
user_pref("mail.server.server1.directory", "C:\\Users\\Matt\\AppData\\Local\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\wscnhco3.default\\Mail\\Local Folders");
user_pref("mail.server.server1.directory-rel", "[ProfD]../../../../Local/Thunderbird/Profiles/wscnhco3.default/Mail/Local Folders");
-- and several lines later --
user_pref("mail.server.server2.directory", "C:\\Users\\Matt\\AppData\\Local\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\wscnhco3.default\\Mail\\pop-server.nc.rr.com");
user_pref("mail.server.server2.directory-rel", "[ProfD]../../../../Local/Thunderbird/Profiles/wscnhco3.default/Mail/pop-server.nc.rr.com");

I'm guessing this is what is setting the physical location but I have no idea where or why I would have ever changed that. It seems as to have happened back in 2015 based on the age of the Inbox file under Roaming. Is there something you'd like me to try doing? Copying to a new profile or just modifying the prefs or something?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 15th, 2020, 7:19 pm

Both versions of the prefs.js files have your local directories where you'd expect them (in a directory named after the mail server, underneath ..\Mail). The main difference is one uses Remote, the other Local. But the latest prefs.js (which uses local) uses very different syntax for the local directory. Normally its just relative to the top of the profile. But in this case it goes up four directories (via four ../) and then specifies the remaining path. Legal but definitely not normal.

There is no harm in keeping everything as is, as long as you are aware of it being non-standard, and it keeps working. Just mention it if you need to ask for help moving a profile later on or some of an accounts folders suddenly disappear.

Since everything seems to be working and you have the ImportExportTools NG add-on installed I suggest you use it to backup your profile somewhere safe using the tools -> ImportExportTools NG -> export profile menu command.

mplehning
 
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Post Posted February 16th, 2020, 7:18 pm

I decided to create a new profile. Actually in retrospect I probably didn't need to because all I really wound up doing ultimately was copying everything under my current Roaming profile under my new Roaming profile. Then I edited the prefs.js under the new profile to make those lines about the mail servers point to Roaming instead of Local and use the new profile name. I also copied the Local\Thunderbird\Profiles\<old profile>\Mail directory to the new Roaming profile.

Blamo, got it all. New profile, local folders, mail server, calendar, proper settings, add-ons, the works.

I appreciate all the help!

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