Solved Transferring Thunderbird profile to new desktop

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bj nick

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Or wait......the old computer has BOTH default folders.....can I just ADD the "default" folder (not "default-release") to Thunderbird? Or "Thunderbird -> Profiles?" So they're both in there, rather than replacing one with the other?
 

bj nick

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Okay, so.....I realized that there are TWO locations for the Thunderbird Profiles.......the location you find on TB--"troubleshooting information-- open folder" is under ROAMING......repeatedly copying that profile just left me with the same Archives: only 2020-2021. Finally realized that the massive 25G Profile is under LOCAL, not ROAMING. The Local profile is only about 2.5G......so.....right now in the process of copying the Local profile to flash drive, then I'll attempt to copy it to the new desktop Thunderbird folder and hopefully that will do the trick. I'll report back.
 

JohnWill

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The stuff in Local is a cache, the only thing I've EVER done to move Thunderbird mail is to copy the profile in Roaming. AAMOF, I didn't even realize that Thunderbird had anything in Local, but it's nothing you need to move the mail. Take note of what is actually in that folder! Notice all the stuff is really a sub-folder called cache2/entries. This is data that will be rebuilt by Thunderbird when it needs it.

1625702206311.png

Now let's look in Roaming. This actually looks like real mail profile data, the reason is that it IS the real email database!

1625702366869.png

Unless you have a very unusual installation, nothing of value is in that Local folder.
 

bj nick

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Well, that's interesting, John......cuz I tried again and again and again to copy the Roaming profile to the new desktop, and every time I got NONE of my archived folders. Then I got on an extended tech call with Cox, and he tried everything as well.....nothing doing. But once we discovered the Local profile, and copied it over to the new machine, BAM, everything's there. I doubt my setup is anything unique, but I couldn't say. The old desktop was built in 2014, the new one is NEW; nothing but Windows 10 at the start. Not sure how to proceed in the future.....but I do know that copying this "Local" profile gives me exactly what I needed. I'm pretty thrilled with it.
 

JohnWill

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Well, that's certainly interesting, it sure doesn't mirror my experience with Thunderbird. I'm kinda' surprised that the stuff in Local is useful. I regularly move my TB profile between my desktop and laptop, and the only thing I copy is the Roaming folder. That's all I've ever done, and it's worked for many years.
 

bj nick

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Hey John, I posted this issue in the Mozilla TB Forum and I'm interested to hear what they have to say....I will report back when they do. Baffling issue, but there's always an answer somewhere....meanwhile I have all my email folders set up right now, so all is well.
 

JohnWill

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It'll be interesting to see what they say, since when I asked years ago they told me to move my profile in Roaming. :D Since that has always worked, I never looked in Local, I know that's typically more like TEMP storage than long term data.
 

bj nick

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I guess I spoke too soon. Unbelievable, TB just vanished from my computer sometime in the last few minutes. Just poof...gone. I had to reinstall TB, and OF COURSE my precious archived folders are not there. To say I'm at the hair-pulling stage is an understatement. I cannot fathom why this is going on. I've had TB FOREVER......why is this happening??? The profile was there, everything was working, now it vanishes.
 

bj nick

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And....now it's back. I copied the "other" profile into my current TB on Roaming, now it's all back. However, I have zero confidence in it right now. No idea what is going on, or the logic/ reasons behind it.
 

JohnWill

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Well, I have to say... "I told you so". :D I think it'll stay now that you've copied from the Roaming folder. The fact that the Local folder data was all in a directory named CACHE gives it away. ;)
 

bj nick

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I don't know...... I didn't copy from the roaming folder as far as I know, I just copied it to the Thunderbird folder so there's the smaller profile in there and then this one, they're both in there together. I don't know, it's all confusing to me.
 

JohnWill

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There's sometimes a "default" profile in there, but my profiles.ini in Roaming/Thunderbird points to my profile JohnMail. The profiles.ini file determines what TB is going to look at for it's mail database.

1626140101412.png 1626140150110.png
 

bj nick

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Sooo confusing.....here's what I see, in these screenshots: on Help-Troubleshooting info - Profile folder- open folder.; then what you see in Roaming.....seems like the .ini is looking at the smaller default-release folder....above it is the BIG profile which contains all the stuff I NEED. But...in TB, all's well, at least so far; I see everything. Obviously I trust nothing at this point, after The Vanishing Incident....
 

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JohnWill

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What are the sizes of all the other folders? It certainly appears that the 25GB one would be the active one! Notably, none of the entries in your profiles.ini actually point to that folder! If that's your actual data, you need to fix the file to point to the correct data path.

I think if you clean up the .ini file, you'll probably find your mail. I'd model it after my .ini file and put the correct data file in the path and see if that doesn't get you going. You have duplicate entries there confusing things.
 
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