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why did my messages disappear when i moved them to a new folder?

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I created some new folders and when I moved emails to those folders they disappeared -- said it "failed" -- even though the mail account is working fine, getting messages, sending, etc.

the folder system seems to get hung up now. used to work fine.

also, i want to retrieve my old emails from my back up external hard drive but i need to know where they are stored.

thanks for any help.

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moved to the Thunderbird support queue