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"unable to load address book file abook.mab" since latest thunderbird update in last 2 days

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Immediately after latest update (1 or 2 days ago), when first opening Thunderbird the screen message starting with "unable to load address book file abook.mab....." appears in the middle of the screen and after clicking "OK" T'bird opens, of course without any address books listed. This occasionally happened previously but only after clicking on the inbox. Always able to be worked around by opening a new file and/or closing a new file, then reopening T'bird.

Immediately after latest update (1 or 2 days ago), when first opening Thunderbird the screen message starting with "unable to load address book file abook.mab....." appears in the middle of the screen and after clicking "OK" T'bird opens, of course without any address books listed. This occasionally happened previously but only after clicking on the inbox. Always able to be worked around by opening a new file and/or closing a new file, then reopening T'bird.
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TB now working wonderfully, like it hasn't worked for years. Many thanks again.

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Question owner

Just to clarify that I have not been able to get my address book to open ever since the update (I think 13th Jan). File seems to be there in "Profile" folder but does NOT open and screen msg is the first thing that opens when opening T'bird. Must click "OK" to get past it and have T'bird open. Everything else seems fine in T'bird but no address book is a serious problem. Would greatly appreciate any solution.

Just to clarify that I have not been able to get my address book to open ever since the update (I think 13th Jan). File seems to be there in "Profile" folder but does NOT open and screen msg is the first thing that opens when opening T'bird. Must click "OK" to get past it and have T'bird open. Everything else seems fine in T'bird but no address book is a serious problem. Would greatly appreciate any solution.
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Toad-Hall
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re :File seems to be there in "Profile" folder

Did you right click on the 'abook.mab' file and select 'Properties' then check the 'Attributes' 'Read Only' checkbox must not be selected.

If it is selected:

  • Exit Thunderbird.
  • Then uncheck the 'Read-Only' checkbox.
  • click on OK

Test: Start Thunderbird in Safe Mode

Did address book load ok?

re :''File seems to be there in "Profile" folder'' Did you right click on the 'abook.mab' file and select 'Properties' then check the 'Attributes' 'Read Only' checkbox must not be selected. If it is selected: * Exit Thunderbird. * Then uncheck the 'Read-Only' checkbox. * click on OK '''Test:''' Start Thunderbird in Safe Mode * https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/safe-mode-thunderbird Did address book load ok?
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Question owner

Many thanks for your help. However the "Read only" check box was NOT selected so no progress on this was possible.

Many thanks for your help. However the "Read only" check box was NOT selected so no progress on this was possible.
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Question owner

Still not had any help for this ongoing serious problem (unable to open address book) which largely makes the "otherwise great" Thunderbird quite unworkable with no ability to recall email addresses. ALSO, at the same time this issue started (last update) I am now UNABLE TO DELETE anything (emails or folders) and can only gather them up in a separately created folder hoping to be able to remove them at some future time. This is going to become a bigger problem I am sure as the number of unwanted emails/folders grow. Any help from anybody would be very gratefully received. Even how to rewind back to the edition of Thunderbird prior to the last update may be an interim solution. Many thanks

Still not had any help for this ongoing serious problem (unable to open address book) which largely makes the "otherwise great" Thunderbird quite unworkable with no ability to recall email addresses. ALSO, at the same time this issue started (last update) I am now UNABLE TO DELETE anything (emails or folders) and can only gather them up in a separately created folder hoping to be able to remove them at some future time. This is going to become a bigger problem I am sure as the number of unwanted emails/folders grow. Any help from anybody would be very gratefully received. Even how to rewind back to the edition of Thunderbird prior to the last update may be an interim solution. Many thanks
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sfhowes
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There are a couple of clues near the end of this bug report: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=495911

Open Help/Troubleshooting, click Open Folder to open the profile in Explorer. What is the size of panacea.dat?

Next, launch TB in safe mode (hold Shift when you launch the program). Is Address Book still not loading?

There are a couple of clues near the end of this bug report: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=495911 Open Help/Troubleshooting, click Open Folder to open the profile in Explorer. What is the size of panacea.dat? Next, launch TB in safe mode (hold Shift when you launch the program). Is Address Book still not loading?
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Question owner

Many thanks for this response and your offer of help. The panacea.dat file is 1376kb. Also opened in safe mode and the problem remains the same, nothing changed. No address books and cannot delete anything. Everything else seems fine. Seems directly related to the last update around 11th January 2020 as the problem started immediately thereafter and has remained constant. Happened occasionally before the update with the same screen message appearing only after clicking on the inbox, but creating and deleting a couple of new folders then closing and reopening TB would "work around" the problem quite readily. Not now though, and since the update TB will not open until the screen message appears first then click through it to open TB. Thanks again for help.

Many thanks for this response and your offer of help. The panacea.dat file is 1376kb. Also opened in safe mode and the problem remains the same, nothing changed. No address books and cannot delete anything. Everything else seems fine. Seems directly related to the last update around 11th January 2020 as the problem started immediately thereafter and has remained constant. Happened occasionally before the update with the same screen message appearing only after clicking on the inbox, but creating and deleting a couple of new folders then closing and reopening TB would "work around" the problem quite readily. Not now though, and since the update TB will not open until the screen message appears first then click through it to open TB. Thanks again for help.
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Toad-Hall
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as per info supplied by sfhowes...

Exit Thunderbird. Access profile name folder. delete these files:

  • global-messages-db.sqlite
  • panacea.dat
  • session.json

They will get rebuilt when you start Thundrebird. Start Thunderbird.

Please report back on Results.

Also what OS are you using? Could you say the approx number of mail accounts and folders with emails that you have in Thunderbird?

as per info supplied by sfhowes... Exit Thunderbird. Access profile name folder. delete these files: * global-messages-db.sqlite * panacea.dat * session.json They will get rebuilt when you start Thundrebird. Start Thunderbird. Please report back on Results. Also what OS are you using? Could you say the approx number of mail accounts and folders with emails that you have in Thunderbird?
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Question owner

Just to qualify, before I proceed to delete, I checked the size of the global-messages-db.sqlite file & it is 441 mb?? Want to be sure that when deleting, the contents will return when the new file/s is rebuilt when restarting Thunderbird. I greatly appreciate your help and do have faith in your wisdom but just being cautious. My OS is Windows 7 and I have many folders (perhaps around 800) and there would be thousands of stored emails within. I did wonder if I am expecting too much of the system and if there is a limit on files and storage but I read somewhere that there wasn't? Appreciate your help and look forward to reassurance before deleting the 3 files, following your recommendation then reporting back. Thanks again.

Just to qualify, before I proceed to delete, I checked the size of the global-messages-db.sqlite file & it is 441 mb?? Want to be sure that when deleting, the contents will return when the new file/s is rebuilt when restarting Thunderbird. I greatly appreciate your help and do have faith in your wisdom but just being cautious. My OS is Windows 7 and I have many folders (perhaps around 800) and there would be thousands of stored emails within. I did wonder if I am expecting too much of the system and if there is a limit on files and storage but I read somewhere that there wasn't? Appreciate your help and look forward to reassurance before deleting the 3 files, following your recommendation then reporting back. Thanks again.
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sfhowes
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There shouldn't be any unexpected effect of deleting the files, although I expect the significant one is panacea.dat. Rename them instead if you prefer. The global search database might take some time to rebuild, but you can track the progress in Tools/Activity Manager.

You're not near the limit on the number of folders, but the length of the folder path could be.

If the problem remains, you might consider running in Windows safe mode to test if some external startup app, e.g. AV or security, is in conflict with TB.

There shouldn't be any unexpected effect of deleting the files, although I expect the significant one is panacea.dat. Rename them instead if you prefer. The global search database might take some time to rebuild, but you can track the progress in Tools/Activity Manager. You're not near the [http://kb.mozillazine.org/Limits_(Thunderbird) limit] on the number of folders, but the length of the folder path could be. If the problem remains, you might consider running in [https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-start-windows-7-in-safe-mode-2624540 Windows safe mode] to test if some external startup app, e.g. AV or security, is in conflict with TB.
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Question owner

I didn't delete the 3 files in question but renamed them so the old files are still there (named differently). On restarting TB starting rebuilding the 3 files but after 5 hrs this is the current status: 1. session.json rebuilt same file size as before (1 kb) 2. panacea.dat is now file size 518 kb (previous file was 1376 kb) 3. global-messages-db.sqlite is 165888 (previous file was 452,416 kb) 4. Nothing has changed regarding the reported problem/s. Still no address books and cannot delete any files or folders. Perhaps worth repeating that this problem happened immediately after the last update of TB 11th January 2020. Appreciate help to date and keen to know about the rebuild process as mentioned above, Not sure what this means or what the repercussions are or what to do next.

I didn't delete the 3 files in question but renamed them so the old files are still there (named differently). On restarting TB starting rebuilding the 3 files but after 5 hrs this is the current status: 1. session.json rebuilt same file size as before (1 kb) 2. panacea.dat is now file size 518 kb (previous file was 1376 kb) 3. global-messages-db.sqlite is 165888 (previous file was 452,416 kb) 4. Nothing has changed regarding the reported problem/s. Still no address books and cannot delete any files or folders. Perhaps worth repeating that this problem happened immediately after the last update of TB 11th January 2020. Appreciate help to date and keen to know about the rebuild process as mentioned above, Not sure what this means or what the repercussions are or what to do next.
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Toad-Hall
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Whilst you should not be having an issue with folder numbers, it is something mentioned in that bug. Not so much a problem with actual numbers of folders, but files that are open.

Do you use 'Unified' View ? If yes,: Test: please swap to using 'Folders' > 'All' and restart Thunderbird. please post results.

Do you have old archived emails in their own folders? I mean emails that are more than 2 years old. The age which you are less likely to use, but do not want to lose. If yes, are those old archived emails in an imap account or pop account or 'Local Folders' mail account? If imap account, could you perform a test by unsubscribing to see all those folders with old emails. Obviously they are not lost as they are on the server and you could subscribe again to locate anything necessary, but as a test, unsubscribe from seeing them and restart Thunderbird.

Please say how many folders you unsubscribed from seeing and post back feedback on results.

Whilst you should not be having an issue with folder numbers, it is something mentioned in that bug. Not so much a problem with actual numbers of folders, but files that are open. Do you use 'Unified' View ? If yes,: Test: please swap to using 'Folders' > 'All' and restart Thunderbird. please post results. Do you have old archived emails in their own folders? I mean emails that are more than 2 years old. The age which you are less likely to use, but do not want to lose. If yes, are those old archived emails in an imap account or pop account or 'Local Folders' mail account? If imap account, could you perform a test by unsubscribing to see all those folders with old emails. Obviously they are not lost as they are on the server and you could subscribe again to locate anything necessary, but as a test, unsubscribe from seeing them and restart Thunderbird. Please say how many folders you unsubscribed from seeing and post back feedback on results.
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Question owner

Firstly many thanks for your ongoing help. In answer to your questions I don't use 'Unified' view but simply 'folders'>'All'. And all emails, including old ones, are in folders simply filed under 'Local Folders'.

BUT, I have some good news following your previously posted suggestions and the subsequent results and info I posted on 27th January above. While I was concerned with the "rebuild" by TB and difference in the size of the original "deleted" files compared to the vastly reduced size of the "rebuilt' new ones (still no idea what that means or why/how it occurred) , my ADDRESS BOOK RETURNED after closing TB (& my PC) and reopening the following day, 28th January (yesterday). No screen message and just normal quick opening of TB and address book intact.

HOWEVER, I still CANNOT DELETE anything. The 'Trash' folder appears to not be functional. Cannot delete any emails at all but when deleting folders they delete from their location but reappear (and stay) in alpha order just under the "Trash". Can delete them again from there but they reappear on next opening of TB. Re-opening TB again today was just the same as yesterday, all things appearing normal including address book BUT the delete problem persists unchanged.

Great to have made this progress on the AB but any ideas on the delete problem. I have experienced this on numerous occasions over the last several months but it mysteriously fixes itself for no known reason when reopening TB at some future point maybe 2 or more days later) and then randomly reoccurs again when least expected. Any clues and THANKS again for the help.

Firstly many thanks for your ongoing help. In answer to your questions I don't use 'Unified' view but simply 'folders'>'All'. And all emails, including old ones, are in folders simply filed under 'Local Folders'. BUT, I have some good news following your previously posted suggestions and the subsequent results and info I posted on 27th January above. While I was concerned with the "rebuild" by TB and difference in the size of the original "deleted" files compared to the vastly reduced size of the "rebuilt' new ones (still no idea what that means or why/how it occurred) , my ADDRESS BOOK RETURNED after closing TB (& my PC) and reopening the following day, 28th January (yesterday). No screen message and just normal quick opening of TB and address book intact. HOWEVER, I still CANNOT DELETE anything. The 'Trash' folder appears to not be functional. Cannot delete any emails at all but when deleting folders they delete from their location but reappear (and stay) in alpha order just under the "Trash". Can delete them again from there but they reappear on next opening of TB. Re-opening TB again today was just the same as yesterday, all things appearing normal including address book BUT the delete problem persists unchanged. Great to have made this progress on the AB but any ideas on the delete problem. I have experienced this on numerous occasions over the last several months but it mysteriously fixes itself for no known reason when reopening TB at some future point maybe 2 or more days later) and then randomly reoccurs again when least expected. Any clues and THANKS again for the help.

Modified by Wayne Mery

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Toad-Hall
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re:And all emails, including old ones, are in folders simply filed under 'Local Folders'.

Please offer info the following so the forum is clearly understanding your setup.

Does this mean you only have POP mail accounts and all of the POP mail accounts have been created as deferred accounts...more commonly known as 'Global Inbox'. In which case you do not actually see the pop accounts listed in the Folder Pane; there is only 'Local Folders' mail account containing everything. If unsure: Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings' In Account Settings window: select 'Server Settings' for a pop mail account. click on 'Advanced..' button Have you selected the option: 'Inbox for a different account...Global Inbox (Local Folders)'

How many pop mail accounts do you have in Account Settings that are using the Global Inbox(Local Folders)?

re:''And all emails, including old ones, are in folders simply filed under 'Local Folders'.'' Please offer info the following so the forum is clearly understanding your setup. Does this mean you only have POP mail accounts and all of the POP mail accounts have been created as deferred accounts...more commonly known as 'Global Inbox'. In which case you do not actually see the pop accounts listed in the Folder Pane; there is only 'Local Folders' mail account containing everything. If unsure: Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings' In Account Settings window: select 'Server Settings' for a pop mail account. click on 'Advanced..' button Have you selected the option: 'Inbox for a different account...Global Inbox (Local Folders)' How many pop mail accounts do you have in Account Settings that are using the Global Inbox(Local Folders)?
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sfhowes
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The delete problem may be due to corrupted Trash folders or corruption of the folders that you're trying to delete from. You could try deleting the Trash mbox files and Trash.msf files from the profile folder (in each Mail/<popaccountname> subfolder), with TB closed, and see if deletions work. If not, you could try rebuilding the folders with a similar method, but at this point your best option may be to create a new profile, add your accounts, and transfer the address book from the old to the new profile.

The delete problem may be due to corrupted Trash folders or corruption of the folders that you're trying to delete from. You could try deleting the Trash mbox files and Trash.msf files from the profile folder (in each Mail/<popaccountname> subfolder), with TB closed, and see if deletions work. If not, you could try rebuilding the folders with a similar method, but at this point your best option may be to create a new profile, add your accounts, and transfer the address book from the old to the new profile.
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Question owner

Toad-Hall said

re:And all emails, including old ones, are in folders simply filed under 'Local Folders'. Please offer info the following so the forum is clearly understanding your setup. Does this mean you only have POP mail accounts and all of the POP mail accounts have been created as deferred accounts...more commonly known as 'Global Inbox'. In which case you do not actually see the pop accounts listed in the Folder Pane; there is only 'Local Folders' mail account containing everything. If unsure: Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings' In Account Settings window: select 'Server Settings' for a pop mail account. click on 'Advanced..' button Have you selected the option: 'Inbox for a different account...Global Inbox (Local Folders)' How many pop mail accounts do you have in Account Settings that are using the Global Inbox(Local Folders)?

THANKS AGAIN. In answer to your questions, there is only one pop mail account and the 'Server Settings' > 'Advanced' is selected at 'Local Folders' NOT 'Global Inbox(Local Folders)'

''Toad-Hall [[#answer-1285547|said]]'' <blockquote> re:''And all emails, including old ones, are in folders simply filed under 'Local Folders'.'' Please offer info the following so the forum is clearly understanding your setup. Does this mean you only have POP mail accounts and all of the POP mail accounts have been created as deferred accounts...more commonly known as 'Global Inbox'. In which case you do not actually see the pop accounts listed in the Folder Pane; there is only 'Local Folders' mail account containing everything. If unsure: Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings' In Account Settings window: select 'Server Settings' for a pop mail account. click on 'Advanced..' button Have you selected the option: 'Inbox for a different account...Global Inbox (Local Folders)' How many pop mail accounts do you have in Account Settings that are using the Global Inbox(Local Folders)? </blockquote> THANKS AGAIN. In answer to your questions, there is only one pop mail account and the 'Server Settings' > 'Advanced' is selected at 'Local Folders' NOT 'Global Inbox(Local Folders)'
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Question owner

sfhowes said

The delete problem may be due to corrupted Trash folders or corruption of the folders that you're trying to delete from. You could try deleting the Trash mbox files and Trash.msf files from the profile folder (in each Mail/<popaccountname> subfolder), with TB closed, and see if deletions work. If not, you could try rebuilding the folders with a similar method, but at this point your best option may be to create a new profile, add your accounts, and transfer the address book from the old to the new profile.

MANY THANKS!! I deleted the 'Trash' and 'Trash.msf' files from the profile folder and after they rebuilt on startup I can now delete all unwanted emails into 'Trash' and then empty 'Trash' without any problems. So everything is back working correctly. THANKS (and again equally to Toad-Hall) for your help and perseverance for a great outcome. Just one final question, the files that I renamed earlier that resulted in fixing the AB problem e.g. session.json, panacea.dat and global-messages-db.sqlite are of course still sitting in the profile folder under totally different names. Guessing they are now unrelated useless files and I can now delete them without problem. Is that right? Again, Thank you!!

''sfhowes [[#answer-1285620|said]]'' <blockquote> The delete problem may be due to corrupted Trash folders or corruption of the folders that you're trying to delete from. You could try deleting the Trash mbox files and Trash.msf files from the profile folder (in each Mail/<popaccountname> subfolder), with TB closed, and see if deletions work. If not, you could try rebuilding the folders with a similar method, but at this point your best option may be to create a new profile, add your accounts, and transfer the address book from the old to the new profile. </blockquote> MANY THANKS!! I deleted the 'Trash' and 'Trash.msf' files from the profile folder and after they rebuilt on startup I can now delete all unwanted emails into 'Trash' and then empty 'Trash' without any problems. So everything is back working correctly. THANKS (and again equally to Toad-Hall) for your help and perseverance for a great outcome. Just one final question, the files that I renamed earlier that resulted in fixing the AB problem e.g. session.json, panacea.dat and global-messages-db.sqlite are of course still sitting in the profile folder under totally different names. Guessing they are now unrelated useless files and I can now delete them without problem. Is that right? Again, Thank you!!
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sfhowes
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Yes, you can delete the renamed files, as new versions are automatically recreated when TB restarts.

Yes, you can delete the renamed files, as new versions are automatically recreated when TB restarts.
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TB now working wonderfully, like it hasn't worked for years. Many thanks again.

TB now working wonderfully, like it hasn't worked for years. Many thanks again.
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