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Your Thunderbird profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.

  • 12 replies
  • 0 have this problem
  • Last reply by david

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I've gone through most of the questions asked regarding this and have tried to follow all of the directions but none of them work. Let me begin by saying this is the worst time I've ever had at migrating from an old computer to a new computer using TB ever. EVER! This is the worst. I am moving from an ASUS Win11 to a HP Win11 so there shouldn't be that much of a problem. I've done this more than a few times so I know the drill of copying the %appdata% from one place to another. I have installed uninstalled deleted reinstalled, uninstalled reinstalled deleted three times and keep getting the same problem and have been doing this going on three days. I donated to get his copy and am about to ask for my donation back if I don't get a very simple answer. I keep getting that error message no matter what I do. I need a very simple walk through on how to get what I am able to save from the old computer into the new computer without a lot of magic and rain dancing and click here and delete this and see if this sticks. I need a very simple take your profile.zip and unpak it here then open TB and do this. PERIOD. The profile is on the same computer not a server. If I cannot get a quick down and dirty answer please just tell me and I'll ask for my donation back and move to MS outlook and deal with their FU'ed POS. I really don't know why TB has taken a turn for the worst here. But it's not looking good IMHO.

I've gone through most of the questions asked regarding this and have tried to follow all of the directions but none of them work. Let me begin by saying this is the worst time I've ever had at migrating from an old computer to a new computer using TB ever. EVER! This is the worst. I am moving from an ASUS Win11 to a HP Win11 so there shouldn't be that much of a problem. I've done this more than a few times so I know the drill of copying the %appdata% from one place to another. I have installed uninstalled deleted reinstalled, uninstalled reinstalled deleted three times and keep getting the same problem and have been doing this going on three days. I donated to get his copy and am about to ask for my donation back if I don't get a very simple answer. I keep getting that error message no matter what I do. I need a very simple walk through on how to get what I am able to save from the old computer into the new computer without a lot of magic and rain dancing and click here and delete this and see if this sticks. I need a very simple take your profile.zip and unpak it here then open TB and do this. PERIOD. The profile is on the same computer not a server. If I cannot get a quick down and dirty answer please just tell me and I'll ask for my donation back and move to MS outlook and deal with their FU'ed POS. I really don't know why TB has taken a turn for the worst here. But it's not looking good IMHO.
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First, this is a peer-to-peer forum, in that we are volunteers and have no tie to returning donations. Second, the down-and-dirty answer is that your profiles.ini appears to be pointing to a location that does not contain a usable profile. Now, did the old PC have thunderbird on drive C in standard location? Is that also true for the new PC? If so, I suggest this: - be sure Thunderbird is not running on either PC - copy c:\users\<yourid>\appdata\roaming\thunderbird to external media on old PC2 - copy the thunderbird profile from the backedup media to c:\users\<yourid>\appdata\roaming to overwrite the existing thunderbird folder - start thunderbird

If that does not work, there is likely something unusual in your configuration and more info will be needed.

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that was one of many things I read in previous treads like this that I tried.

Let me go through all of the iterations.

Initially I loaded TB on the new computer. when I started it I couldn't find a way to exit out without shutting down TB so I went ahead and created a profile using my wife's email. (bad thing) I shut down TB. Went to the old computer did the %appdata% copied the old profile and profile.ini to a zip file and move it to a usb drive to move to the new computer. Each time I shut down TB before coping the profiles in either direction.

When that all failed and I got the above message I uninstalled TB. However the first time I forgot to delete the TB folders. So that made a mess of things.

After I realized that I needed to delete the folders I uninstalled TB again, deleted the folders and reinstalled TB. This time I allowed TB to start but then shut it down and did not allow it to set up any accounts. I then shut down TB and moved over the old accounts to the new computer and got this same message.

I opened the profiles.ini file to check where it was pointing and it is pointing at the file. So I have no reason to think that the profiles.ini file is the problem.

So that doesn't seem to be the issue. I honestly feel it must be something with the old computer running maybe an older version of TB that I haven't checked that the newer version isn't backwards compatible. I'm sorry for making the assumption that this was some sort of tech support for TB and a refund for my contribution.

I've been using TB for over 20 years now and have never had this problem before.

I think what has happen is that my wife never updates TB, I'm not sure if TB self updates I can't remember ever seeing that it did. She may have such an old version that even the back up can't be read by the newer version. Let me try to update the old computer and try to do the back up again and see if that matters.

I am pulling out my hair with this issue and would seriously hope that a tech from TB would see this and think, oh that's an issue we need to address.

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can I instead of going though what isn't working with the magic of coping via %appdata% profiles just copy from TB while open the emails to a text file or exporting them to a file that I can import them back to TB?

That might sound like a crazy work around but it would be a lot easier than what I've been trying to do the past 3 days.

Let me give you an example:

I open my inbox or any folder and select the emails and find a way to export them to a file called credit card emails. I move that to a usb drive and them move the usb drive to the new computer. I open tb go to file open import and find the file and import those files to a folder I create called credit card?

Like I said it's a crazy work around but it would take less than 3 days.

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If the profiles.ini is pointing to the correct profile, then the error means that Thunderbird cannot find the profiles.ini file. If the old PC is still accessible, please do the steps I suggested and report back. Copying the thunderbird folder is usually successful because it contains both the profile and the profiles.ini.

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Yes, importing each message folder works and many prefer that. If you have the profile already on external media, a simple approach is this: - install the importexport addon - create new folders in Local Folders for each message folder to be imported - highlight one of the new folders, rightclick and select the importexport option to import mbox file. - browse to the profile and select the desired message folder (and IGNORE the msf files). - repeat the above for each message folder (NOTE: in the old profile, POP message folders will be in the Mail folder and local folders will be in Mail\Local Folders folder.)

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Ok so I found the export/import add on, I think I'm going to be using this a lot.

However I think I may have made a major mistake. Since this is something I've done over the past 20 something years I don't do it that often so I went to Youtube to check to make sure of the %appdata% steps just to make sure.

This was just to refresh what I needed to copy. Instead of going to the roaming folder to copy "Thunderbird" folder I foolishly listen to the guy from somewhere in the far east showing how he copies the profiles folder only.

I think that was the issue. I am now coping the Thunderbird folder (which is taking a very long time - 50% at this time). I'm going to try that and see if that won't resolve the problem.

But thanks again.

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Yes, the thunderbird folder is safest. As a reminder, I detailed the steps in a prior post on this thread. I agree, the importexport addon is a super tool.

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nope that didn't work. the copy of the Thunderbird file and mv to the new computer gave me the same error message. I'm going to try using the export/import later. This is really getting too time consuming. I don't know what it is that TB techs have done but whatever they did they are messing with a good thing.

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Ok, so I happen to copy the TB profile from the old computer and then deleted the old profile from the old computer by accident which I'm glad I did. When I moved the old profile to the new computer and opened TB I got the same error message. I then went back to put the export import add on on the old computer (I put the export import on my computer to test it out first). When I opened TB on the old computer I forgot I had deleted the old profile. I closed TB, and copied the old profile to the old computer. Opened TB and low and behold the old profile opened right up.

So there has to be a glitch in the new version of TB that hasn't been found. Or I've stumbled upon something new.

I am using the export import function in hopes that will work but at this time, I'm having doubts.

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It might also be that the configuration of old PC is different. That is, the straight copy assumes both are using recent versions of Windows and that the profile is in the default location on drive C. This is not a Thunderbird issue, but a configuration issue. Every time I've given these steps, there has been success. What you could try would be to use tools>import>import from another thunderbird installation>choose a profile folder.

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Ok everything I've looked at points at one problem, TB. The versions are both 64k both are one version apart from each other and that should not have any effect. The only other thing I can think is that HP has some sort of contract with MS that forbids them loading anything that isn't MS without some sort of work around but that was about 5 years ago and thought I saw some law suit against MS that stopped that practice. I tried to move the profiles over again after deleting the old profiles on the USB and got even more frustrated. So I don't know what else to do but to just use this POS that is seemingly beginning to look like a MS product full of features and no ability. Yes I'm very frustrated after 4 days of trying to figure out this puzzle. I just wish a TB tech would see this and jump on it to solve the problem. It can't be the location problem. It just can't be. I've done this from computer to laptops many times more than I'd can count and have never had this much of a problem. Whatever happen to the time when you could install it on the new computer, copy the profile, move it to the old computer and volla it worked? Even the export import is a task in futilities and more perplexing because it has a 2 gig limit. Oh and for some reason when I exported from the old computer it deleted (as if thinking on it's own) that I was backing up the email and needed to get rid of the space. So now my wife can't go back and worse than sneaker net and open both computers and look at one old email to verify the sender and it's content and then look at the new computer and type in the old information manually. Technology has really taken us from banging rocks on walls to doing it on computers. David thanks for repeating yourself but that really didn't help, the problem extends beyond coping the old profile into the new one. And the locations are pretty much unchanged on both. It's a home computer so there isn't any company idioms needed to point to somewhere different. This is a TB problem.

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The error message is still telling you of the profile problem. Could you please post content of the profiles.ini at c:\users\<yourid>\appdata\roaming\thunderbird\profiles.ini, and also one of the profiles folder at c:\users\<appdata>\roaming\thunderbird\profiles? also, the importexport addon does not have a 2 gig limit.

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