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Thunderbird address book gone/empty/corrupted
How I got where I am: 1) My hard drive started going out. I was unable to get a backup with Windows or 3rd party backup programs. I started copying what I could, just straight copy/paste, nothing fancy. Yes, there's the possibility of corrupted files at any point during this process, though chkdsk, etc. say otherwise. Supposedly, all the bad sectors have been detected and walled off. 2) Did a clean installation of Windows 10 on the new drive and started copying in the stuff I had gotten from the dying drive. This specifically included my Thunderbird profile. Thunderbird itself is a clean, current install (102.6.1...or at least that's what downloaded the other day--it's now asking if I want to get 102.7). 3) When I run Thunderbird, there are no addresses in my personal address book. It seems to have "collected" a couple from emails that I have looked at, but that's all. There's no abook.mab or history.mab to be found. There are abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak files.
So, I need my addresses and...
What I've tried: 1) As I said above, I copied over the entire profile from the dying drive. Presumably that should have included both abook.mab and history.mab files. I am assuming that they were corrupted and were not available to copy. Looking at the bad drive, they do not show up; only the *.bak files. 2) I tried renaming abook/history.mab.bak as *.mab. Didn't work. 3) I tried copying the .mab files from a backup I took a while back into my current profile. Didn't work. 4) I tried renaming abook/history.sqlite and restarting Thunderbird, per https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1306681. Didn't work. I lost even the few addresses that I had collected (yes, they came back when I deleted *.sqlite and re-renamed *.sqlite back to their original file names). Note that Thunderbird did not create new *.bak files the way the answer in 1306681 said would happen. The old *.bak files are still there (assuming that you guys aren't playing tricks with the date stamp on the old files...can't fathom any reason why you would). 5) I tried a few other things from the Support here, but don't have specific notes. Suffice it to say that none worked.
I've spent hours on this and have gotten nowhere. I note that the answers that I'm seeing here all have dates from at least a couple of years ago (or more). Has Thunderbird changed sufficiently that those older responses are no longer valid? Am I so short on sleep that I'm making newb mistakes? Have aliens infested my computer? Inquiring minds want to know.
Copy any .mab or .sqlite file (or .mab.bak file renamed without the .bak) to a folder outside of the TB profile folder. Then, open Address Book, click the Import button, and import a .mab or .sqlite file, and see if the contacts are recovered.Read this answer in context 👍 0
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Copy any .mab or .sqlite file (or .mab.bak file renamed without the .bak) to a folder outside of the TB profile folder. Then, open Address Book, click the Import button, and import a .mab or .sqlite file, and see if the contacts are recovered.
sfhowes, At first blush, that looks like it did the trick.
I copied 25 files out of my profile that end in .bak, .mab, or .sqlite. I see that Thunderbird has recreated at least some of them. Are there any that need to be copied back into my profile or do I delete them, or what?
Upon import, new .sqlite files are created in the profile. I wouldn't copy anything back into the profile, in case there are conflicts. Note that contacts can be moved into Personal Address Book, or any other address book, by drag and drop.
sfhowes, So should I just delete the old *.sqlite files?
There are no .bak files in the profile directory now. I'm going to assume that Thunderbird will make some if it wants them.
What about the .mab files?
You can delete the files that are outside the profile folder and have been imported. TB 102 stores contacts in .sqlite files, so the .mab files can be removed - although they take little space and shouldn't interfere with any operations.
For backup purposes, export address books to LDIF files and keep them in a safe place.
sfhowes, Okay, that should do it.
Thanks for your time. I'm calling this one done (fingers crossed).