Entire folder disappeared after Thunderbird performed compacting operation.
I got a scare earlier today. I was about to move a number of messages from my inbox into a folder... only the folder had disappeared! Last night Thunderbird performed a compacting operation. I remember Outlook was famous for getting messed up after its compacting operations; therefore I made it a point never to compact Outlook.
I performed a search for the person's e-mail address; a number of messages showed up and I clicked on, "Open Folder." Miraculously the folder reappeared. HOWEVER, I've just gone through the folder and realize there's a jump from April to August, meaning everything between April to the first of August is missing.
I do regularly back up my Profile folders to another drive. Now I need to know how do I access these backups in order to restore the missing messages? It will require COMBINING a backup which I will create NOW (containing everything between Aug 17th to today) with the one I created on the 17th. How to do this?
And why did it happen??? The profile I'm talking about does contain four different e-mail accounts. Could that have contributed to the disappearing act?
Any assistance will be deeply appreciated,
P.S.: It gets seriously worse. Yesterday I created four new folders. Those folders and everything I moved into them are gone as well. System Restore (I went back to before creating new folders) did not put things back the way they were.
Modified by Dandelion
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System restore is not a data backup. My observation is it creates more issues than it fixes.
I would suggest you right click the folder with troubling contents and select properties and then repair.
As I mentioned in my post, everything from mid-April to Aug 1st is missing from that major folder which temporarily disappeared. Right-clicking on the folder and selecting "Repair" did not bring the missing messages back. So those e-mails will have to be recovered from the backup I created Aug 17th.
In addition, as I mentioned in my footnote, those four new folders I created yesterday have also vanished. I cannot right-click on something that is not there. I moved a lot of stuff into those folders so all those messages are missing as well.
The only way to get back those e-mails which are now in limbo is to recover them from the profile backup I created nine days ago.
What I'm unclear about is how to recover them from the backup while not losing what came in the last nine days?
Normally, if I copy the backup profile file into the Thunderbird directory, that means that whatever is currently in that directory will be OVERWRITTEN. How do I COMBINE the two profiles -- the one created nine days ago and the one currently in the Thunderbird directory?
Color me frustrated.
It is clear that the only way I'm going to get matters back in order with my screwed up Thunderbird is to recover the backup I created August 17th.
My question is, if I copy that backup into my Thunderbird profiles directory, will I not be losing everything that arrived in my inbox since that date??
Please, please someone let me know what I have to do to retain the contents of BOTH profile files: the one currently in my Thunderbird directory (which is hopelessly screwed up, but contains the last ten days worth of e-mails) and the backup profile I created 10 days ago. I desperately need an answer NOW.
re : I've just gone through the folder and realize there's a jump from April to August, meaning everything between April to the first of August is missing.
As you have a backup, I would do the following. Download and install this addon extension 'ImportExportTools'
How to install addon extension:
Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account and select: ImportExportTools > Import mbox file Select first option 'Import directly one or more mbox files' click on 'OK'
Locate the backup profile name folder. If a pop mail account, click on 'Mail' folder, select the pop mail account folder to see contents.
If imap account, then click on 'ImapMail' folder select the imap mail account folder to see contents.
Select the mbox file (it has no extension ) that has same name as folder with missing emails. click on 'Open'
You should see a folder appear in the 'Local Folders' mail account. select/highlight the missing emails. Right click on highlighted emails and use 'Copy to' and select the mail account which is missing those emails.
This should get you back to original situation. You can then choose to remove the folder in 'Local Folders' mail account.
Hi Toad-Hall (love your handle!)
What I ended up doing was to remove the current profile file from the Thunderbird directory and replace it with the backup I'd created Aug. 17th. I knew I could reverse the procedure if I could find no way to recover the last nine days' worth of e-mails. What happened is those nine days of e-mails were treated like newly-arrived messages by Thunderbird (all appearing in my in-boxes); so there was no complicated process of figuring out how to combine the contents of the two profile files needed.
I must say, this snafu took me by surprise, since Outlook was notorious for becoming messed up when you allowed it to compress itself. Would have thought the Thunderbird writers would make sure their program did not have the same bug. Will have to get in the habit of creating backups each time Thunderbird asks to compact its files in case this happens again.
For the time being, things are back to where they're supposed to be.
Thanks for your reply. Will check out the extension you mentioned for future needs.
Compression issues are legend, but perhaps 1 in 100 are something the Thunderbird developers can do anything about. THe issue may well be similar for outlook, but at the slow speed of updates to outlook (one every few years) I would expect it to be less.
The primary problem is anti virus software. It makes a mess if the compression/compaction process by trying to use the same file or files the application is writing to. Such contention is impossible to manage anywhere but in the operating system.
A second leading cause is anti virus programs simply deleting the while mail file as it has found "malware" that this is completely harmless in it's current state is irrelevant. Thunderbird does not "notice" the missing mail file as it is acceptable to only have a local index in certain circumstances, however compacting make is all disappear as the issue is notices.
The first ting to do with missing folders is look for new folder names nstmp and a number. Compacting creates a new file and it is only copied over the existing version right at the end of the process.
The second is to right click a folder, select properties and then the repair button. This forces a reindex of the mail folder and often returns mail that was not visible.
The third thing is to delete the panacea.dat file from the profile folder to force Thunderbird to rebuild the folder tree. Normally this is cached in that file.
Finally there are occasionally corrupt files. These are more often than not caused by malformed emails (spam usually, although some web sites generate them as well) keeping mail you want to keep in folders other than the inbox is sally sufficient to control that to zero (I have never lost a folder in more than a decade of use and abuse)
I apologize for not responding earlier to your informative post.
My attention has been diverted to yet more problems with Thunderbird. To wit, it appears that messages are disappearing randomly from Thunderbird on a daily basis, unconnected to any compacting issues (which have not taken place since these problems began).
I confess to being completely stumped, particularly as it is impossible for me to tell just how many e-mails are vanishing. I only noticed it because there were a number of sent/received exchanges which were currently taking place, and all of a sudden, about half-a-dozen in the sequence were simply gone. Repairing the folder in question did not bring them back. Performing a global search did not uncover their whereabouts.
This profile contains a total of four different e-mail accounts. Could this be the cause of the mayhem that is occurring? My other Thunderbird profile contains only two e-mail accounts, and I've had no problems with that profile. I had posted a while back, asking how to split this Comcast profile into two separate profiles to simplify matters, but since I received no replies, I never went forward with that plan.
I should further mention that when I move e-mails from the inbox to their respective folders I usually just drag and drop, having found using the right-click menu rather cumbersome.
By now I am wondering whether I should not be thinking about uninstalling and reinstalling Thunderbird. I do not see any other way of fixing this unexplained behavior.
Any input, anyone?