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Copying Tbird email data to a new PC

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joli
 
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Joined: December 28th, 2007, 10:23 am

Post Posted September 13th, 2020, 3:35 am

I have just bought a new PC and installed TB on it. Prior to that my new PC has already had all my email data copied to it (folders profile and signatures respectively. I use TB only for email and not other stuff like calendar. I now just want to link my newly installed TB to the existing folders on the new PC. Note, that for the present, I want to be able to continue to run TB for managing my email both on the old and new PCs.

What do I have to do to integrate the email data (which is already on the new PC) with the newly installed TB?

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 13th, 2020, 4:25 am

On each of the two PCs, how is the account set up, as POP or IMAP?
In Thunderbird the menu path is Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings->Server Type at the top right of the dialogue.

joli
 
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Post Posted September 13th, 2020, 12:54 pm

DanRaisch wrote:On each of the two PCs, how is the account set up, as POP or IMAP?
In Thunderbird the menu path is Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings->Server Type at the top right of the dialogue.
I have several email accounts on the old PC. Some are IMAP and some POP. I have no accounts set up yet on the new installation on my new PC (and no intention to set any up manually) because I want them taken on board from my old PC. I have copied all the data files from the old to new PC. However these email data files are located in a place of my choosing in my file system and not the default locations suggested by Tbird. I just need a way of Tbird on the new PC joining up with the data files copied over from the old PC.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 13th, 2020, 1:25 pm

OK. You'll have an easy time with IMAP accounts as the messages should still be on the server and therefore will be accessed by Thunderbird from the new computer when you bring over the files from the older system.
With the POP accounts, the messages may only be on the local computer, unless Thunderbird was set to "Leave messages on server". You can check that for each POP account on the older system using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings.
In either case, make a backup of the current profile on the old system: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup Ignore the reference to MozBackup as that utility is no long maintained and there have been reports of problems with it by some users.
Then see this article -- 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

joli
 
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Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 1:13 am

DanRaisch wrote:OK. You'll have an easy time with IMAP accounts as the messages should still be on the server and therefore will be accessed by Thunderbird from the new computer when you bring over the files from the older system.
With the POP accounts, the messages may only be on the local computer, unless Thunderbird was set to "Leave messages on server". You can check that for each POP account on the older system using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings.
In either case, make a backup of the current profile on the old system: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup Ignore the reference to MozBackup as that utility is no long maintained and there have been reports of problems with it by some users.
Then see this article -- 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
IMy Tbird accounts were set up a long time ago so I've just had to go through them to check the numbers. I have 11 accounts set up and they are all accessed via IMAP and so I have no POP accounts left.

As regards my need to back up my profile, my profile is stored on my Windows 10 personal file system under Documents which contains over 40,000 files. These files include my full Tbird profile. I back this file system up regularly by fully copying all 40,000-odd files to one of a series of external backup drives. I have one primary PC on which I normally work and a secondary backup PC which is a standby in case there is a problem with the primary. If I experience a problem with the primary PC I first ensure that all files are backed up from it to an external drive. Before working on the secondary PC I copy all the up to date files to it before working on that one. As I have this very rigorous backup system I question the need to use the mozillazine profile backup.

Due to problems with what was my primary PC, I have purchased a new PC which I intend to make my new primary and have copied all my personal data files (including Tbird profile) to that one. Having now installed Tbird on the new PC I just need to link the Tbird profile to the newly installed application. I've done this in the past between PCs but, because I last did it some years ago, I've forgotten how to link it. My question is: since I have installed Tbird on the new PC and the account profile is on there in my personal file system, how do I link the two together (as I've done in the past)?

joli
 
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Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 2:17 am

joli wrote: ...
My question is: since I have installed Tbird on the new PC and the account profile is on there in my personal file system, how do I link the two together (as I've done in the past)?

Since posting this I have done some further research on linking my newly installed Tbird application with the profile data already stored on my new PC. I've discovered a file on my new PC called:
profiles.ini, located at:
C:\Users\<myname>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\
This seems to be the key that unlocks my request to link Tbird with my profile already copied to the new PC from the old PC. This .ini file contains the following data:

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/fu5wuizi.default
Default=1

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1
Version=2

[Install1312D84E1B400E69]
Default=Profiles/fu5wuizi.default


I believe I just need to edit this .ini file to point to the correct place on my new PC where my Tbird profile is located.
Can someone please help me with the syntax for doing this?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 4:56 am

What version of Thunderbird are you using on your new PC? Version 68 and 78 add entries using a different format to that file than previous versions did. It will add entries like

[InstallE41F2966A2E1B9F4]
Default=Profiles/feu8hx1l.default-release
Locked=1

rather than

[Profile8]
Name=default-release-2
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/x0ficus5.default-release-2

In this case [InstallE41F2966A2E1B9F4] is a hash of the installation directory of the version of Thunderbrid used to create the profile. If you change that string it thinks you're using a invalid version. You could edit Default=Profiles/feu8hx1l.default-release to point to a moved copy of the profile directory you create in ..\Thunderbird\Profiles in %APPDATA% . Note how profiles.ini is using a relative path, not a absolute path.

However, that is frequently error prone. You would be better off using using help -> troubleshooting information -> open folder to open windows explorer at the current profile and copy the contents of the old profile to it, overwriting the existing files. Don't copy the old profile's directory name, just its contents so that your old prefs.js file replaces the new prefs.js file etc.

I'm assuming when you first ran Thundebrird on your new PC it automatically ran the new account wizard (wanted you to add accounts) and you exited that without adding any accounts. That will have created a legitimate but useless profile, and a profiles.ini that links to it.

joli
 
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Joined: December 28th, 2007, 10:23 am

Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 8:33 am

tanstaafl wrote:What version of Thunderbird are you using on your new PC? Version 68 and 78 add entries using a different format to that file than previous versions did. It will add entries like

[InstallE41F2966A2E1B9F4]
Default=Profiles/feu8hx1l.default-release
Locked=1

rather than

[Profile8]
Name=default-release-2
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/x0ficus5.default-release-2
...
Thanks for your response.
The version of Thunderbird I'm using on both the old and new PCs is 60.9.1. Due to virtual identity add-on being essential to me I will not upgrade to a later version unless the virtual identity feature returns.
My PC operating systems are slightly different insofar as my old PC is Windows 10 Home and my new PC is Windows 10 Pro but presumably that makes no difference to Thunderbird ?
The old PC profiles,ini file is:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/jlist0qp.default

[Profile1]
Name=myname
IsRelative=0
Path=C:\Users\<myname>\Documents\email\Thunderbird\profile
Default=1


and this profile has been working satisfactorily for many years. I don't know if the Profile0 (Path=Profiles/jlist0qp.default) is relevant since all my actual data is Profile1.

From the information I've given you what do you recommend I put in profiles.ini on my new PC so I can start using Thunderbird?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 9:07 am

Windows 10 home or Pro should make no difference.

If you're using version 60.9.1 I suggest you just copy the ..\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird directory "as is" from the old PC to the new PC. That will copy the profiles.ini file and any profiles stored in the default locations. It will also copy the installs.ini file but if you installed Thunderbird 60.9.1 in the default location on both PCs that should cause no problems. Then copy C:\Users\<myname>\Documents\email\Thunderbird\profile to the same location on the new PC. I assume you use the exact same windows username on both PCs and both boot off of drive C:.

You could probably get away with deleting the 4 lines for the [Profile0] entry in profiles.ini and not copying the associated unused profile but given how much trouble you've had I suggest you keep things as simple as possible and waste a little disk space.

joli
 
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Joined: December 28th, 2007, 10:23 am

Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 12:06 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Windows 10 home or Pro should make no difference.

If you're using version 60.9.1 I suggest you just copy the ..\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird directory "as is" from the old PC to the new PC. That will copy the profiles.ini file and any profiles stored in the default locations. It will also copy the installs.ini file but if you installed Thunderbird 60.9.1 in the default location on both PCs that should cause no problems. Then copy C:\Users\<myname>\Documents\email\Thunderbird\profile to the same location on the new PC. I assume you use the exact same windows username on both PCs and both boot off of drive C:.

You could probably get away with deleting the 4 lines for the [Profile0] entry in profiles.ini and not copying the associated unused profile but given how much trouble you've had I suggest you keep things as simple as possible and waste a little disk space.
Thanks for that.
I have already long since copied my email data into my Documents folder for testing purposes and it just needs updating before Thunderbird goes live.
My preferred option is to keep the profiles.ini file contents to the minimum and having only one profile referred to in the .ini file viz:
Path=C:\Users\myname\Documents\email\Thunderbird\profile
Yes, my name C:\users\myname is the same for all my Windows PCs. I don't want any actual email data stored within the AppData tree (only the .ini file). I like to store all my personal email data in the Documents folder tree where I keep all my other data. From there it is backed up daily to secure encrypted external drives to ensure that, if anything goes wrong, I can always restore important data.

I'm not entirely sure about correct syntax, but how about the following in the ini file such as:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile1]
Name=myname
IsRelative=0
Path=C:\Users\myname\Documents\email\Thunderbird\profile
Default=1


My old PC does not seem to have anh installs.ini file - is it required?
One immediate advantage of my suggested cut-down profiles.ini file would be that I hope it could be identical for all my current as well as any future Windows PCs.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 14th, 2020, 1:11 pm

"My old PC does not seem to have anh installs.ini file - is it required?"

That is used only after a specific version. I guess it starts with 68.

The edited profiles.ini file contents looks okay

joli
 
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Joined: December 28th, 2007, 10:23 am

Post Posted September 15th, 2020, 6:46 am

tanstaafl wrote:The edited profiles.ini file contents looks okay
Thanks, I've updated the profiles.ini on my new PC to the one I last suggested and, hey presto, it all appears to be working. I'll give it a few days to before hanging out the solved flag.

Based on my experience, moving from one Windows PC to another seems more straightforward than the MozillaZine Knowledge Base suggests. For me it is simply:
1 If it's not already on the receiving (incoming) PC, install Thunderbird there.
2 On the old (outgoing) PC open the Thunderbird profiles.ini file
3 In the .ini file note the Path lines under Profile section
4 Copy all files under the above path on the outgoing PC to the location on incoming PC where you want to store your Thunderbird data
5 On the incoming PC find the Thunderbird profiles.ini file and change the profiles path to where you've just copied files from the outgoing PC.
Job done!

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