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SOLVED Moving Tb profile to new computer

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DVB
 
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Post Posted January 24th, 2020, 5:11 am

I'm moving to a new computer. I've been using the excellent MozBackup for years, and have just discovered on the Fb support page that it's not been supported for years and is now not safe to use -- a great shame, because it was so easy.
After reading the Mozilla instructions I copied my Tb profile (abc123xyz.default) from my old computer to an external hard drive. Now, reading the instructions again,I see that I should have copied the entire Thunderbird folder in AppData/Roaming, not just the profile folder.
Can I do it with just the profile folder, or do I need to fire up the old computer again, swapping all the cables etc, and copy the whole damn thing again (it's 13.2Gb -- many years of work and personal emails in several accounts)?
And could somebody, please, persuade the creator of MozBackup to update it? Seriously, the Mozilla process sucks. It's just taken me an hour to get Firefox working...
Last edited by DVB on January 24th, 2020, 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted January 24th, 2020, 5:25 am

Not sure why it's taken so long to get Firefox working as it should be just a matter of installing Firefox on the new machine. Getting it working exactly as it did on the old machine might take a little bit longer but even for that an hour should have been plenty.

You should have all the data you need if you have that Thunderbird profile folder. After installing Thunderbird on the new system you'll have a new profile with a new name, such as xyz987ab.default. No need to create all of the accounts in that new profile, just exit the installation process when you are asked for account settings info. Connect the external hard drive and copy the files in the folders one level below abc123xyz.default into the equivalent location in the the xyz987ab.default profile. That will give you all of the accounts and messages from the old profile.

Remember, you want to copy files, not move them. That way if the transfer is not successful you've lost nothing and can try the process again.

DVB
 
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Post Posted January 24th, 2020, 5:33 am

Thanks, Dan. That will save a lot of time and hassle!
There are actually two profile folders in the new Tb: abc123yz.default (which contains just one file, times.json) and xyz123ab.default-release, which contains all the usual stuff. Presumably I copy into the latter, overwriting what's there. Do I need the other one as well?

DanRaisch
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Post Posted January 24th, 2020, 5:41 am

Yes, copy into the xyz123ab.default structure but I'd leave the element with the single file. It's doing no harm.

DVB
 
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Post Posted January 24th, 2020, 6:26 am

Thanks, Dan -- that's worked. All my accounts seems to be working fine and all my emails are there.
Phew!

DanRaisch
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Post Posted January 24th, 2020, 6:35 am

You're welcome.

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Post Posted February 2nd, 2020, 8:28 am

Is there someone who could help me do this on Mac OS? I tried approximating this move after being guided to this thread by a helpful poster, but what I did had no effect.

I'm running Sierra 10.12.6 and Thunderbird 68.4.2. I had issues with Thunderbird and pulled off the Thunderbird folder onto an external drive before reinstalling it on my Mac. I'm trying to get my old emails and address book like the original poster above.

I tried trashing the Profiles folder in the newly-downloaded Thunderbird and replacing it with the Profiles folder I had pulled onto an external drive. The application was closed at the time, then I restarted, but nothing changed.

I put it in Library > Containers > com.apple.geod > Data > ~ > Library > Thunderbird. Thunderbird still works, but I'm really confused. Maybe could someone tell me what I did wrong or how to do it correctly?

On the folder I pulled onto the external drive I have Thunderbird (folder). In that folder are Application Registry, Crash Reports (folder), Instals.ini, Pending Pings (folder), Profiles (folder, the one I copied into the same location on my Mac), profiles.ini.

Within the Profiles folder is a Mail folder with my Thunderbird saved emails. Also somewhere in there I hope is my address book. Is this enough for someone to guide me?

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted February 6th, 2020, 7:44 am

DanRaisch wrote:You should have all the data you need if you have that Thunderbird profile folder. After installing Thunderbird on the new system you'll have a new profile with a new name, such as xyz987ab.default. No need to create all of the accounts in that new profile, just exit the installation process when you are asked for account settings info. Connect the external hard drive and copy the files in the folders one level below abc123xyz.default into the equivalent location in the the xyz987ab.default profile. That will give you all of the accounts and messages from the old profile.

Remember, you want to copy files, not move them. That way if the transfer is not successful you've lost nothing and can try the process again.


Dan, what do you mean by "Connect the external hard drive and copy the files in the folders one level below abc123xyz.default into the equivalent location in the the xyz987ab.default profile." I'm confused by one level below and why not on the same level.

I've been having a serious problem getting Thunderbird to work on my new PC. Please see this thread. viewtopic.php?f=39&t=3058827

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 6th, 2020, 10:47 am

If you copy from the abc123xyz.default level you obviously include abc123xyz.default as the profile name. That would be problematic because one level ABOVE abc123xyz.default the directory with two files and three sub-directories. One of those file (profiles.ini) reflects the name of the Firefox profile in that new installation, which would be a different name than what you would be copying in from the old computer/profile. Copying from one level lower brings over the needed files without any profile name, avoiding the conflict I described in the preceding sentences.

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted February 6th, 2020, 2:56 pm

Okay, I think I understand. So, are you saying that I should copy the old profile FOLDER and paste in into the Profiles folder? "C > Users > user name > AppData > Roaming > Thunderbird > Profiles" instead of copying and pasting the CONTENTS of the old folder into a new profile? That's what I've been doing. Is that what's causing the problem?

I just looked and now I have 4 different profile folders! Two of them say default-release, and the other two say default.

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Post Posted February 6th, 2020, 3:46 pm

So, are you saying that I should copy the old profile FOLDER and paste in into the Profiles folder?

No, just the opposite.
Copying C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles would mean copying over the directory ...\Profiles\abcdefgh.default and it's that directory name (abcdefgh.default) that can cause problems. You want to copy just the contents of abcdefgh.default (the 112 or so files and sub-directories it contains) to the new profile.

I just looked and now I have 4 different profile folders! Two of them say default-release, and the other two say default.

If you don't have accounts working on that system as you intend AND if you have the profile data from the old system, you might consider removing all four of those profile structures and starting over. You can do that by deleting C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\ which will get all four at once.
If you decide to do that, also delete Thunderbird on that machine and then download and run the installer. That will cause Thunderbird to create a new profile. You can stop short of adding account information when Thunderbird asks for it. There would be a "stub" profile created, just the initial directory. Then copying the data over as described above you should wind up with your old data in place in the new location.

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Post Posted February 6th, 2020, 10:32 pm

I deleted the folder and uninstalled Thunderbird. Since you said to delete Thunderbird, and not just uninstall it, I used the program Everything and searched for Thunderbird. It found a folder in C/Users/username/AppData/Local/Thunderbird

In that Thunderbird folder is a Profiles folder that has 14 folders-half default and half default-release. Should I also delete that Thunderbird folder before proceeding?

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 7th, 2020, 6:02 am

Yes, I would delete that as well.

DVB
 
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Post Posted February 7th, 2020, 7:47 am

This is why I complain about Thunderbird and Firefox being a pain to keep clean and tidy, or to back up. Using them is easy; but as a former programmer I can say that if you have to tweak them in any way, they are NOT user-friendly.

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted February 7th, 2020, 10:37 am

Thanks Dan! =D> I've lost track now of how many times you've come through! At least for now, it appears to have fixed the problem. I guess all of those profiles built up screwed things up. Just to make sure things didn't get screwed up again, I saved cookies thunderbird.net and start thunderbird.net in CCleaner (Options > Cookies > Move to 'Cookies to Keep') before using CCleaner.

Do those two urls have anything to do with the operation of mailto or the function of Thunderbird? I checked the urls I visited regrading Thunderbird i.e. DL link, but they didn't match.

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