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Desperately need help retrieving emails


fnolteiii's Avatar
fnolteiii fnolteiii is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Experience: striving to improve
30-Jul-2012, 08:45 AM #1
Desperately need help retrieving emails
I use Mozilla Thunderbird 14 on a 32 bit Vista Laptop and had a major system crash. I remove the hard drive from the laptop and copied my mail profile as directed by the FAQ section from the Thunderbird help site. I followed the directions to the letter but I have only been partly successful in recovering some of the old emails. I am including my System Info as suggested along with the directions from the Thunderbird web site. Maybe someone will be able to figure out where I went a array. I really need to recover all of the emails that I had saved in folders regarding my kids college information. This couldn't have happened at a worse time. Thanks in advance for whatever help you may be able to provide.

vTech Support Guy System Info Utility version
OS Version: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Business, 32 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T7200 @ 2.00GHz, x64 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 6
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 2046 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce Go 7700, 512 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 138396 MB, Free - 80547 MB; D: Total - 92262 MB, Free - 87395 MB;
Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer Inc., A8JS
Antivirus: GFI Software VIPRE, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled

Here are the instructions for moving a profile from the Thunderbird web page:
Moving a profile

Occasionally, you might want to move a profile or tell Thunderbird to use a profile stored in another location.

Shut down Thunderbird.
Move the profile folder to the desired location. For example, on Windows XP, move the profile from C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default to D:\Stuff\MyMailProfile. (If you are reverting to a backed up profile, this step isn't necessary. Just note the current location of the profile you want to restore.)
Open up the profiles.ini file in a text editor. The file is located in the application data folder for Thunderbird:
On Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000, the path is %AppData%\Thunderbird\
On Windows 95/98/Me, the path is usually C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Thunderbird\
On Linux, the path is ~/.thunderbird/
On Mac OS X, the path is ~/Library/Thunderbird/
In the profiles.ini file, locate the entry for the profile you've just moved. Change the Path= line to the new location.
If you switch from a relative path to a non-relative path, the direction of the slashes may need to change. For example, in Windows, non-relative paths use backslashes, whereas relative ones use forward slashes. Change IsRelative=1 to IsRelative=0.
Save profiles.ini and restart Thunderbird.

I have followed these instructions to the letter with little success recovering the folders I really need, please help!

Many Thanks,
Lozzy-loz's Avatar
Lozzy-loz Lozzy-loz is offline
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Member with 497 posts.
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: England
Experience: Intermediate
30-Jul-2012, 02:26 PM #2
If it were me in your situation I would install Thunderbird on another computer and copy the entire Thunderbird folder from %appdata% and copy it into the newly installed Thunderbird %appdata% after deleting the one thats there.and if theres no corrupt files all the emails should as you left them.
TerryNet's Avatar
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Moderator with 69,189 posts.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ottawa, IL
30-Jul-2012, 07:28 PM #3
Puzzling why you get some of the mail but not all.

Have you looked in the profile to see if the actual mail folders are there? In the profile there are folders named Mail (for POP accounts) and ImapMail (for Imap accounts). In each of those folders is another folder for the particular account, and in that folder are the mail folders. My attachment show my POP account for, and you can see I have mail in Directions, Drafts, Inbox, Junk, Misc, Registrations, Sent and Trash. And, by the way, in a pinch I could look at the contents of the mail folders using a text editor (e.g., Notepad).
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