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moving a TB profile, acc. to the official Help documentation

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wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 18th, 2005, 3:18 am

According to the official Help documentation at mozilla.org, you can move your TB profile by a simple edit of profiles.ini. See http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile#move .

Just out of curiousity I tried this procedure with two different profiles: one with extensions installed, and one with no extensions (or themes) installed. The above method works fine with the latter profile, but with the other profile it fails miserably unless I start up using safe mode. TB starts up but it's just a blank window with nothing showing in any of the panes, no menus, and things where they shouldn't be (e.g., the resizing grippy is in the status bar area instead of in the lower-right corner). In safe mode it's fine, though, which suggests it's the extensions causing the problem.

Can anyone confirm this?

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Post Posted April 18th, 2005, 7:32 am

I never tried it without extensions, but I've failed repeatedly to move it with extensions. I finally succeeded by making a backup, removing my profile, creating a new profile and pointing it at the folder "Thunderbird E-mail" in "My Documents" (on the data partition) and restoring the backup.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 19th, 2005, 1:52 am

Thanks for the feedback, Mr. Liu. Anyone else? Tanstaafl, perhaps?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 19th, 2005, 5:50 am

I didn't have a problem. I'm using version 1.0.2 (20050317) under win2k SP4.

My profile uses the charamel theme and has the buttons!, about:config, webmail and webmail/yahoo extensions. I copied my profile to another directory using copy and paste in windows explorer. I renamed the directory and then added an entry for it in profiles.ini. I used "thunderbird -profilemanager" to launch the copied profile (Test). The extensions worked (including the Next! and Prev! buttons), and it had the charamel theme (themes are stored just like extensions in the profile)

I looked at the local directory settings in tools->account settings->server settings and tools->account settings->local folders to double check its really using that profile (Test). I also checked for new mail using the copied profile, read the new message, exited, and then ran my normal profile (Eric). It didn't have the new message.

The extensions.rdf file in the extension subdirectory within the profile appears to to use the equivalent of relative pathnames to find the subdirectory for each extension. So its not clear why you'd have a problem just with extensions. My profiles.ini file contains:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=Eric
IsRelative=0
Path=E:\Profiles\Thunderbird\Eric
Default=1

[Profile1]
Name=Test
IsRelative=0
Path=E:\Experiment\Test
Default=0

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2005, 5:13 am

Thanks, tanstaafl. I tried it your way (except in my case I edited profiles.ini to create a new profile called "JUNK", located in C:\TBjunk, and then copied my AppData profile content to that location). It does work for me, BUT only as long as the original profile remains in place. The procedure fails on me when I do either of the following:

(1) Rename my original AppData profile folder (in Windows explorer) by adding "BAK" to the end of the directory name.

(2) Use the profile manager to delete the original AppData profile AND delete all of its files.

This suggests to me that even though the "moved" profile does indeed show the new location for "Local folders" (tools->account settings->server settings and tools->account settings->local folders), it is actually still referencing the original AppData profile. Once the original profile is no longer there to be referenced, the "moved" profile no longer works. As soon as I put the original profile back where it was, the "moved" profile starts working again.

If you don't mind experimenting a little more, I'd appreciate it. (No hurry, though.) The reason I'm asking in the first place is that I wanted to revise the http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_profile_folder article. If there's no need to put people through the 5-step rigamarole, then all the better. But so far I have not found the profiles.ini-editing method to work except in safe mode. (And of course, if it doesn't work when extensions are involved, then that mozilla.org page should be modified to say so.)

Thanks very much, as always. Good to see that you're a moderator now, by the way. :)

dave_is_sexy
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2005, 3:22 pm

I followed the steps here:

http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile#move

to move my profile folder and i got a blanx thunderbird panel. I removed my extensions (weather, about:config, & quote colours) and it's all fine.

I re-is-talled the extensions (except weather cos it said "invalid package" or something, and all is fine! And they made Dict now for Thunderbird!!! ^_^


So to confirm it's an extension thing.
NB: If this is solved in Tb 3 or newer, I'd still like a Tb 2 solution. Cheers.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 20th, 2005, 7:26 pm

Thanks for the feedback, dave.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 20th, 2005, 10:29 pm

If I rename the directory for Eric (so it doesn't match the directory in profiles.ini) regardless of which profile I try to run Thunderbird doesn't startup completely, and has a mail & newsgroups title. I can exit it but it never shows the normal panes, the menu is distorted and doesn't work etc.

However, if I rename the directory for Test instead it has no effect on my running the Eric profile, regardless of whether I make Eric profile0 or profile1, or how I invoke it. I have no problems if I edit profiles.ini to have an entry just for Test, as long as the directory name matches.

So my experience is:

1. Editing profiles.ini to restore a profile works as long as all of the data in profiles.ini is good. This means you can't rely upon Thunderbird ignoring a bad entry in profiles.ini just because it was for a profile you're not using.
2. If you copy a profile the original is treated differently than the copy but thats irrelevant as long as everything is correct within profiles.ini.

I really wish Thunderbird also had a log for it starting up, rather than just the network protocol logs.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 21st, 2005, 6:02 am

tanstaafl wrote:1. Editing profiles.ini to restore a profile works as long as all of the data in profiles.ini is good.

Hmm. Does this mean that if you delete your Eric profile (or temporarily put it in another directory) and edit profiles.ini to remove that profile from the list, so that all of the info in profiles.ini is "good", that you can then start up TB with the Test profile? For me, this doesn't work.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 21st, 2005, 8:43 am

Yes. You might try two things.

1. Verify you can still run Thunderbird using the copied profile if you use the USB drive syntax ("thunderbird.exe -profile E:\Experiment\Test" in my case) as a sanity check.

2. Create a new profile from scratch and see if it has the same problems. If I remember right from some other threads you have a unusual prefs.js.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 22nd, 2005, 5:51 am

Here are the results of some further experimenting, with a very clean start. This is on WinXP Home (Japanese version) with TB 1.02. What I did:

1. Renamed my "Thunderbird" directory in the AppData directory to "ThunderbirdBAK". (All old profiles are now effectively gone.)
2. Started TB, did not import anything via the import wizard, and created one IMAP account. (There's now just one profile: "default".)
3. Installed the Signature extension. (I first tried to install the Buttons! extension ver. 0.49 but got an incompatibility error and so used Signature 0.2 instead.)
4. Exited TB and restarted to make sure that the extension has installed properly. (It has.)

5. Copied the contents of the "default" profile from "C:\Documents and Settings\wg\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\wd73s2ql.default" to "C:\TBtest".
6. Edited the sole entry in profiles.ini from this
[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/wd73s2ql.default

to this
[Profile0]
Name=Test
IsRelative=0
Path=C:\TBtest

7. Using Windows explorer, renamed the original profile directory to "...\wd73s2ql.defaultBAK".

8. Restarted TB. At first glance, everything looks OK. All the panes and toolbars show everything as it should be. However, when I look in Tools -> Extensions, the first thing I notice is that the icon for the Signature extension (to the left of the extension name) is missing. When I click on the Options button, the dialog that pops up is badly broken: it shows absolutely nothing. (In step 4, it was fine.)
9. Exited TB and restarted. It is still broken.

10. Exited TB and, using Windows explorer, changed the original profile directory back to "...\wd73s2ql.default". (Did not change anything in profiles.ini.)
11. Restarted TB and opened Tools -> Extensions. Now the icon for the extension is back, and the Options dialog works fine again.

12. Just to see if changing the profile name could be the culprit, I exited TB, did step 7 again, and edited the profile name in profiles.ini like this:
[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=0
Path=C:\TBtest

13. Restarted TB. Once again, things look like step 8 above.

14. Started TB using USB syntax (thunderbird.exe -profile C:\TBtest). Result: same as #8 above. Tried again but aimed at original profile in renamed directory (thunderbird.exe -profile "C:\Documents and Settings\wg\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\wd73s2ql.defaultBAK"). Result: same as #8 above.

From this, as with my earlier experiment noted above, it would again seem that editing profiles.ini works with the "moved" profile (in this case with one extension) only when the original profile remains in place so that it can be referenced by the "moved" profile. I can't think of any other explanation for what happens in steps 10-11 above.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 22nd, 2005, 6:24 am

I am confused by your comments in #14 about the USB syntax failing since by definition its not supposed to rely upon profiles.ini. I wonder if the difference in our results is due to what extensions we used.

I'm using Buttons! v0.50, about:config v0.50, webmail v0.3.3 and webmail/yahoo v0.2.11. I'll experiment with adding some more extensions (including the signature extension) and see if that changes anything.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 22nd, 2005, 7:03 am

tanstaafl wrote:I am confused by your comments in #14 about the USB syntax failing since by definition its not supposed to rely upon profiles.ini.

#14 was just to see if it would make a difference to bypass profiles.ini. The USB syntax did not fail to start TB with the specified profile; what happened was simply that the installed extension wasn't functioning properly in the Extensions Manager once TB did start up with that profile.

tanstaafl wrote:I wonder if the difference in our results is due to what extensions we used.

That very well could be. The profiles.ini edit worked considerably better with my Test profile than my real profile, which as I noted above made TB completely inoperable. In my real profile, I have Folderpane Tools 0.0.1, Buttons 0.5.0, and about:config 0.5. (no added themes). I rebuilt my "unusual" profile from scratch maybe 2-3 months ago, so it's not unusual now apart from the fact that all downloaded mail is stored outside the profile folder itself.

(I see now that the incompatibility error I had with Buttons! is because the version I grabbed from mozilla update for the Test profile is still 0.4.9 instead of 0.5.0. Guess I should have gone straight to chuonthis's site for the real deal.)

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted April 27th, 2005, 7:23 am

This person's experience sounds a lot like what I described in my first post above:
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=257168 (though I can't quite work out to whom he's talking!).

And here's one person for whom the profiles.ini edit, by itself, clearly did not work:
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=255617

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted May 2nd, 2005, 7:01 am

For now I've gone ahead and added the profiles.ini trick to http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_profile_folder as option 1. It only takes about 3 minutes to try moving a profile in this way, and if it doesn't work it's no big deal, and users can then take a shot at the more involved procedure.

In my limited testing, I could use the profiles.ini edit to manually migrate a Mozilla Suite/Netscape 7 profile to TB. Everything seems to have come over fine (account settings, mail, filters, etc.) except for the "Local directory" path for Local Folders. Hence the note in the instructions.

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