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Help please! I accidentally deleted my preferences....

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Threemoons

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Post Posted February 19th, 2021, 6:35 pm

Ugh. Deleted my preferences in Roaming (long story). Tried restoring my profile with Moz Backup (profile only) and while emails in secondary folders are showing up, emails in folders from my 3 main email accounts are NOT. Obviously they are on my drive somewhere; is there any way to force a rebuild of the index? I have TONS of business emails archived in there that I need to get to. If you were wondering what I was trying to do: I had let one of my primary email accounts get huge before downloading them via POP and it choked up and would NOT download some 500+ emails from a specific date range/show my inbox as empty via Webmail. Running Windows Pro 10 64 bit; latest version of Thunderbird. Help a noobish person please! :cry: :oops: ](*,)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 19th, 2021, 7:05 pm

Mozbackup is no longer maintained and is buggy. I suggest you stop using it.

I suggest the first thing you do is backup your profile using a copy&paste of the directory with windows explorer. Then look for a older version of prefs.js in the profile that has got a different file extension. I have prefs-1.js though prefs-4.js for example. Rename the newest one to prefs.js.

You could also add the account(s) again and afterwards use the Browse button at the bottom of the accounts server settings to set the "local directory" (where the account stores its files) back to the old local directory. Normally deleting an account (or deleting prefs.js) just makes Thunderbird forget about stuff, it doesn't actually delete any of your accounts data.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Recovering_de ... l_accounts

Threemoons

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Post Posted February 19th, 2021, 7:13 pm

@tanstaafl THANK YOU! The one thing I DO do right is religiously back up every major downloading session with Moz Backup, but I will now start backing up my profile. I just finished doing the whole backup, including backing up emails, and all seems to be OK. I DID lose emails from a small account that I only occasionally use (I had downloaded earlier this PM before I started on my main 2 accounts) but that's OK; I didn't lose anything really important there.

I will definitely keep your response in mind when this happens again...will start a new thread elsewhere when the original problem crops up again. Very much appreciated! I love this community.

FOLLOWUP QUESTION: To be crystal clear: Do I need to back up my profile in Local, Roaming, or both? Thanks so much!

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 19th, 2021, 8:11 pm

Backup just Roaming. Local seems to just have some caches that you can ignore. I believe it exists only as a side effect of Gecko's design .

Threemoons

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Post Posted February 19th, 2021, 8:39 pm

Thank you so very much again! Done. In the absence of MozBackup is there a better comprehensive backup tool for Thunderbird?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 19th, 2021, 11:12 pm

See viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3059177

I normally just use help -> troubleshooting information -> open folder to goto the profile in windows explorer and then copy&paste the entire profile directory to somewhere safe rather than use a program. The ImportExportTools add-on (replaced by ImportExportTools NG) was decent. Besides the expected features (scheduled backups in unique directories) it let you specify the same backup directory for each backup (to save space) and do unscheduled backups . What I didn't notice until later on was that its replacement lost those two features and still has no support for a compressed backup. That makes it seem overkill to me since I have mainly IMAP accounts (and the email providers are pretty good about backups) and the rest of the important files don't change often.

If you have similar needs I suggest you try Hexasoft from https://www.hekasoft.com/hekasoft-backup-restore/ instead. The other possible reason to use Hexasoft instead is there is always the possibility a new Gecko implementation in a major release breaks the ImportExportTools NG add-on and you have to wait a couple of weeks until they update it.

Threemoons

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Post Posted February 20th, 2021, 3:31 pm

@tanstaafl thanks so much again for your help! My issue: I have IMAP accounts on all of my accounts, but even they run out of room, and I have email archives going back YEARS. So, I really need to find a way to back up ALL of my emails and settings. Also am researching best way to move all of my Tbird settings to a new machine as I am upgrading soon, etc. If you can recommend a good migrator, that would be awesome...Thanks again!

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 20th, 2021, 4:45 pm

The ImportExportTools NG add-on is a good way to export the mail folders as mbox files. You can use the same add-on to import them into the Local Folders account later on if needed. Or use MboxViewer from http://sourceforge.net/projects/mbox-viewer/ to view the contents of the file.

I'm not aware of a good migrator tool due to the changes made in version 68 that tie a profile to a specific Thunderbird installation location. The simplest way is to upgrade Thunderbird to whatever version you are going to use on the new PC and then copy the contents of ..\Roaming\Thunderbird to the new PC. Then install Thunderbird in the exact same directory as the old PC on the new PC. Ideally you'd use the same windows username on the new PC so that the hash value based on the Thunderbird installation directory is a match. If you can't then when you start Thunderbird on the new PC and it automatically runs the new account wizard, abort the wizard, click on about:profiles in help -> troubleshooting information, and press the set as default button for the desired profile.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Mail_Utilities
http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP_backup
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Archiving_your_e-mail

Threemoons

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Post Posted February 20th, 2021, 5:59 pm

@tanstaafl Thank you so much again for all of your help...breathing a bit more easily now! :D :D :D

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