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Transfer of Thunderbird data to a new PC

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Mike Johnson
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Post Posted July 17th, 2008, 11:06 am

Hi - please could someone explain in plain English how I can transfer the contents of Thunderbird (all the folders, messages, addresses, inbox, outbox etc) from one PC to a new one? Can it be done? I have a new PC at work and don't wish to lose all the previous few years-worth of e-mails!
Many thanks,
Mike

Daifne
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Post Posted July 17th, 2008, 11:56 am

JE SUIS CHARLIE
“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.” ― Harlan Ellison
Please do not PM me for personal support. Keep posts here in the Forums instead and we all learn.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 17th, 2008, 2:28 pm

The simplest solution would be to backup your profile with Mozbackup, copy the *.pcv file it creates to the new PC, install Thunderbird on the new PC, and then use Mozbackup to restore the profile.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/MozBackup

jsides18
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Post Posted July 17th, 2008, 2:48 pm

tanstaafl wrote:The simplest solution would be to backup your profile with Mozbackup, copy the *.pcv file it creates to the new PC, install Thunderbird on the new PC, and then use Mozbackup to restore the profile.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://kb.mozillazine.org/MozBackup">http://kb.mozillazine.org/MozBackup</a><!-- m -->
I installed Thunderbird on my new computer when the old one went kaput. I had everything backed up on an external hard drive and I have found the old profile with all my information. However, when I first opened up the new copy of Thunderbird it downloaded a hundred or so emails some of which I do not want to lose. My address book consists of two addresses I had to reply to. Does anyone know how I can combine the two so I don't lose my old or my new emails?

Daifne
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Post Posted July 17th, 2008, 7:45 pm

Try this method

To make this easier, you need to set Windows to "View hidden files and folders" and to not "Hide extensions for known file types". See this for easy instructions for how to do this: http://spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=272 Use the instructions for XP if you're using Vista. They are the same.

I want you to install this extension: ImportExportTools: http://nic-nac-project.org/~kaosmos/mboximport-en.html

To install a Thunderbird extension do the following:
Right click the download link and choose "Save Link As...". Then open Thunderbird, in Thunderbird go to Tools->Extensions->Install (Tools>Addons>Extensions in version 2.0). Find the just downloaded .xpi file and select it. The installation will now begin. You will need to close and reopen Thunderbird to complete the install.

When it's installed, first select the folder you want to import into and then go to Tools>Import/Export in Mbox/eml format and under it, Import Mbox File. In the next screen you will get a choice to either import a selected file or to select a directory. Select the third option and when you get to the Windows file navigation window, find your OLD profile under C:\Documents and Settings\*user name*\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\*random string.profile name*\Mail and then select each account folder one at a time. This means that you will need to go through the Tools menu once for each account. The messages will be in a new folder named for the original with three numbers, ex: Inbox123, which you can then move the messages out of and sort as you want.

For your address books, install the MoreFunctionsForAddressBook extension. When it's installed you will have some new menu items under Tools in the address book manager. First open the manager with Tools>Address Book. Now go to it's Tools and find Actions for addressbook. Under it, select Import addressbook from mab file. It will ask you to create a new address book by naming it. Do so. Then, in the file navigation window that opens, find your old profile and look for the files with the .mab extension. Your personal address book is abook.mab and the collected is history.mab. You may have others that you either imported from another program or created yourself. You will need to do them one at a time. Once in, you can drag and drop the addresses from the imported books into your new Personal/Collected address book.

If you have any filters set in your accounts, the files you want to copy is msgFilterRules.dat This goes in the Mail/*account* folder. For Junk controls training, the file is training.dat and it is kept in the top level of the profile folder.

When you have completed this, compact your folders now and regularly in the future. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders

That should be everything. Let me know how it turns out.
JE SUIS CHARLIE
“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.” ― Harlan Ellison
Please do not PM me for personal support. Keep posts here in the Forums instead and we all learn.

sueburn
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Post Posted September 2nd, 2008, 11:31 am

tanstaafl wrote:The simplest solution would be to backup your profile with Mozbackup, copy the *.pcv file it creates to the new PC, install Thunderbird on the new PC, and then use Mozbackup to restore the profile.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/MozBackup


Thank you, thank you! I have been trying to transfer my Thunderbird profile from my old computer to a new one and was having nothing but trouble. The help articles about this weren't very helpful for this non-techie. But the MozBackup was quick and easy -- there should be a better way to find this solution in the knowledge base. Thanks for the direction.

Guest
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Post Posted September 2nd, 2008, 12:12 pm

Thank you thank you thank you! Your advice was terrific, after a long search in vain on the web!
Greetings from Germany,
KB

Guest
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Post Posted October 13th, 2008, 1:19 pm

Thank you for talking the trouble to give this advice - it has worked fine

& Greetings from the UK!

Coolmeadow Kid
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 12:47 pm

I know this is an old thread, but I'm having the same problems. I've tried every idea I can find, and none are working, even the Mozbackup that I've used before. I'm going from XP Home 32 to 7 Pro 64. Firefox moved without a hitch. So why am I having trouble with Thunderbird? It is moving what appears to be the complete address book, and moving a few of the sent file, but nothing else. When I use Mozbackup, it wipes out the account I've set up in the Thunderbird download. I reinstall that info and the address bock and sent file from before shows back up automatically. Any ideas? Thanks! Jim

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 2:13 pm

Thunderbird's profile is located in different locations under Win 7 versus Win XP. You need to edit the file that Thunderbird refers to to identify it's data directories to account for that difference. See this article -- http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_to_a_new_PC

Coolmeadow Kid
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 3:02 pm

Yes, I've tried that...I can find both places, and after using the easy transfer program I even had the same profile number/code as the old XP machine. I've tried overwriting the information, and deleting the profile and copying the old one back in, but all ends with the same thing. Most of the time I have to enter the account information, and I only get a few of the old sent mails. Nothing in any of the other folders. Sent and Inbox would be the critical ones. Address book seems to be there, but may not be the current up to date one (this is my wife's computer, and I haven't had her look at it yet since I can't get the Inbox to show up. Until that happens, it's a moot point) I've wiped the hard drive and started over so many times, I'm afraid it won't store more information. #-o I hate feeling like I can't figure this thing out. I wanted to get her a more stable up to date computer and then upgrade mine to something a little faster. I guess when she's ready to do it on her own, she can hire a computer person to do it for her. I've spent parts of 6 days on it, and all I get is this frustrated feeling. It's odd that Firefox made the transition without a hitch. It's perfect. Unless you have an idea to try, I'm going to call it quits and go on to something I can feel good about. I've got some sanding in the shop I've put off for too long. Even that sounds inviting right about now. Thanks for your help. Jim.

Coolmeadow Kid
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 3:05 pm

Oh, forgot to mention, when I use the Mozbackup to try to restore the profile, it wipes out the account in Thunderbird. I have to re enter it manually, and then all the same infor is there as before. Jim.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 3:10 pm

Are you editing the file Profiles.ini on the Win 7 machine to point to the correct location for the profile? It needs to point to C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\ and not to C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\etc.

Coolmeadow Kid
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 3:25 pm

Hmmmmm, I went into that screen to make sure it was pointed to the right profile per some instructions I found (xxxxxxxx.default). Don't remember it having a pathway other than getting to the screen. Should it have something on the page I was able to change the profile name? I'm merging two partitions right now, so may take a while to finish before I can go back and look at it. Keep in mind I'm a newb at this tech stuff, yeah, probably didn't need to point that out. But If I didn't understand what your message was, don't be afraid to point it out in very specific terms...I won't take it the wrong way. :) :) Jim

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 30th, 2012, 3:35 pm

In the data you transferred from the XP installation there is a file named profiles.ini. In that file, located under C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\, there is a line that references the location of that profile directory. Since you copied from the XP system it likely reads " C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\". That location is not valid on the Win 7 system so you need to correct the text to point to C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

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