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I am building a new computer and want to make things easier/better for backups and other issues

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I am keeping my hard drive but moving Windows to a SSD. I currently run Windows 10 Pro on a 64-bit machine but run Thunderbird 32-bit. I have previously moved my Thunderbird profiles off C: and onto another drive/partition (for several reasons). I am using this build as a reason to try and upgrade some processes including backups. I have a few questions about Thunderbird that I can't seem to find the answers to.

It seems that the Thunderbird 64-bit version is new. Is it wise to upgrade now?

In some places I have seen people say that I should uninstall the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version, but, other people say I don't have to. What are the issues, concerns, and, problems with upgrading to the 64-bit version when I already have the 32-bit version installed?

In looking at changing my backup processes, I have considered renaming and/or moving the folder location of my Thunderbird profiles. I know where to change those locations in Thunderbird. But, to make it easier in the future, is it possible to use an environment variable to help specify the file name? Something like "%my_email_folder/steve%" where in the future I can move or rename the folder/files in Windows and just change an environment variable? Is there another way to accomplish this in Thunderbird?

Concerning backups, specifically for Thunderbird, does Mozilla have a recommended scheme for backups or an app/tool to do backups of Thunderbird profiles/data? My backup process will handle Windows and application backups, but, this question is about the Thunderbird data. I am trying to separate applications and their data as much as possible to make backups/restores more efficient and effective.

Thanks in advance for the help.

I am keeping my hard drive but moving Windows to a SSD. I currently run Windows 10 Pro on a 64-bit machine but run Thunderbird 32-bit. I have previously moved my Thunderbird profiles off C: and onto another drive/partition (for several reasons). I am using this build as a reason to try and upgrade some processes including backups. I have a few questions about Thunderbird that I can't seem to find the answers to. It seems that the Thunderbird 64-bit version is new. Is it wise to upgrade now? In some places I have seen people say that I should uninstall the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version, but, other people say I don't have to. What are the issues, concerns, and, problems with upgrading to the 64-bit version when I already have the 32-bit version installed? In looking at changing my backup processes, I have considered renaming and/or moving the folder location of my Thunderbird profiles. I know where to change those locations in Thunderbird. But, to make it easier in the future, is it possible to use an environment variable to help specify the file name? Something like "%my_email_folder/steve%" where in the future I can move or rename the folder/files in Windows and just change an environment variable? Is there another way to accomplish this in Thunderbird? Concerning backups, specifically for Thunderbird, does Mozilla have a recommended scheme for backups or an app/tool to do backups of Thunderbird profiles/data? My backup process will handle Windows and application backups, but, this question is about the Thunderbird data. I am trying to separate applications and their data as much as possible to make backups/restores more efficient and effective. Thanks in advance for the help.

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Other than trying to determine if the 64-bit version is buggy and if there are problems with not uninstalling the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version, here is the solution to what I was trying to find out and do.

I created a key in the Windows Registry that mapped the drive letter "T:" to the highest folder in the Thunderbird data folder structure. (This is the folder that I had previous moved from the C: drive that contains the "Profiles" and "Crash Reports" subfolders.) For me, this folder is named "Email - Thunderbird".

The new key is in the path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet > Control > Session Manager > DOS Devices

Right-click on the "DOS Devices" key, click "New",and, click on "String Value". Create the name as "T:" (without the quotes) and assign the value of "\??\S:\Email - Thunderbird\" (without the quotes). The "\??\" is very important and necessary, but, the reasons why are beyond the scope of this thread.

Open up Thunderbird, and for each email account, go to the "Account Settings" and select "Server Settings". In the "Message Storage" portion of the panel on the right, click on the "Browse" button next to the "Local directory" folder value. Then, I browse to the T: drive and specify the folder for that specific email account. Repeat for each email account.

Why do this? First, originally I wanted to separate the "data" from the programs on C: . This seems to be a better scheme when it comes to backing up and restoring Windows as well as the data associated with various programs. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this thread. Second, if I ever want to rename or move my "Email - Thunderbird" folder, I don't have to change any settings in Thunderbird. I just go into the Registry, change the value for the "T:" key to the new folder path, and, reboot the computer. Now that I have figured this out, I will look into implementing this in other programs.

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It seems that the Thunderbird 64-bit version is new. Is it wise to upgrade now?

There will be no difference you can notice when using the 64-bit version, but 64-bit is the future. So I'd go for it.

In some places I have seen people say that I should uninstall the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version,

That's what I'd do. This way the program files will get installed in the proper location Windows is using for 64-bit software. The profile will remain untouched by this.

But, to make it easier in the future, is it possible to use an environment variable to help specify the file name? Something like "%my_email_folder/steve%" where in the future I can move or rename the folder/files in Windows and just change an environment variable?

Backing up the Thunderbird profile is as simple as copying the profile folder. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data#w_backing-up-a-profile

I don't see how using an environment variable will make things easier for backup purposes.

Thunderbird itself always determines the profile location via profiles.ini.

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There will be no difference you can notice when using the 64-bit version, but 64-bit is the future. So I'd go for it.

I understand that 64-bit is the future, but, you misunderstood my question. Basically, is the new 64-bit version buggy or is it safe to upgrade to yet?

That's what I'd do. This way the program files will get installed in the proper location Windows is using for 64-bit software. The profile will remain untouched by this.

Again, I think you have misunderstood. I am asking about people who have upgraded from the 32-bit version to the 64-bit version. I understand that the profiles will not be changed or deleted. Basically, is there a problem with not uninstalling the 32-bit version first? Does Mozilla have a document discussing the issues?

Backing up the Thunderbird profile is as simple as copying the profile folder. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data#w_backing-up-a-profile I don't see how using an environment variable will make things easier for backup purposes. Thunderbird itself always determines the profile location via profiles.ini.

Again, you have misunderstood. Several years ago when I was transitioning from Outlook to Thunderbird, I named the folder "Email - Thunderbird". What if I want to change the folder name to "Email" or move the "Email - Thunderbird" to be a subfolder under "Backup everything here"? If I change the folder name, I have to manually change the "Message storage local folder" value for every email address in Thunderbird. If I were to use an environment variable such as "%my_email_folder%", then, if I ever want to move/change the Thunderbird folder again, all I would have to do is change the value in the environment variable.

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is the new 64-bit version buggy or is it safe to upgrade to yet?

It works for me. And if it wasn't safe to use, it wouldn't have been made available on the Download site.

is there a problem with not uninstalling the 32-bit version first?

I don't know. As said before, I'd always uninstall the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version.

Several years ago when I was transitioning from Outlook to Thunderbird, I named the folder "Email - Thunderbird".

I don't know what folder you're talking about.

If I change the folder name, I have to manually change the "Message storage local folder" value for every email address in Thunderbird.

I can only guess you're talking about the 'Local directory' setting in your Account Settings. If so, it it strongly recommended not to mess with that, as most people trying will screw things up.

I still don't understand why you'd need an environment variable to backup the Thunderbird profile folder.

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It works for me. And if it wasn't safe to use, it wouldn't have been made available on the Download site.

All software companies have posted versions for download that were buggy to some degree. Basically, has ANYBODY out there had problems with the 64-bit version and/or is there a link to a knowledgebase of known bugs for the 64-bit version?

I don't know. As said before, I'd always uninstall the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version.

OK, so, you don't know of a known problem. Basically, I am asking if ANYBODY knows of problems with not uninstalling the 32-bit version of Thunderbird first?

I don't know what folder you're talking about.

I am talking about the parent-most folder name that contains Thunderbird profiles and other "data"

I can only guess you're talking about the 'Local directory' setting in your Account Settings. If so, it it strongly recommended not to mess with that, as most people trying will screw things up.

I specifically said the "Message storage local folder value for every email address in Thunderbird".

If you open Thunderbird and click on the name of an account in the left panel, you have an option to select "View settings for this account". Then, under that account name, select "Server Settings". In the "Message storage" portion of that panel is the "local folder" value of the folder path to the "data" for that that specific email account. Hence "Message storage local folder" value.

I still don't understand why you'd need an environment variable to backup the Thunderbird profile folder.

Again, you don't understand. I will post my "solution" in a separate post.

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the_steve_randolph said

All software companies have posted versions for download that were buggy to some degree. Basically, has ANYBODY out there had problems with the 64-bit version and/or is there a link to a knowledgebase of known bugs for the 64-bit version?

One issue with 64-bit TB is MAPI connections, e.g. emailing a file from an app like Word through TB. If you rely on this feature a lot or the sending app is 32-bit, TB 32-bit would be a better choice.

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Other than trying to determine if the 64-bit version is buggy and if there are problems with not uninstalling the 32-bit version before installing the 64-bit version, here is the solution to what I was trying to find out and do.

I created a key in the Windows Registry that mapped the drive letter "T:" to the highest folder in the Thunderbird data folder structure. (This is the folder that I had previous moved from the C: drive that contains the "Profiles" and "Crash Reports" subfolders.) For me, this folder is named "Email - Thunderbird".

The new key is in the path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet > Control > Session Manager > DOS Devices

Right-click on the "DOS Devices" key, click "New",and, click on "String Value". Create the name as "T:" (without the quotes) and assign the value of "\??\S:\Email - Thunderbird\" (without the quotes). The "\??\" is very important and necessary, but, the reasons why are beyond the scope of this thread.

Open up Thunderbird, and for each email account, go to the "Account Settings" and select "Server Settings". In the "Message Storage" portion of the panel on the right, click on the "Browse" button next to the "Local directory" folder value. Then, I browse to the T: drive and specify the folder for that specific email account. Repeat for each email account.

Why do this? First, originally I wanted to separate the "data" from the programs on C: . This seems to be a better scheme when it comes to backing up and restoring Windows as well as the data associated with various programs. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this thread. Second, if I ever want to rename or move my "Email - Thunderbird" folder, I don't have to change any settings in Thunderbird. I just go into the Registry, change the value for the "T:" key to the new folder path, and, reboot the computer. Now that I have figured this out, I will look into implementing this in other programs.

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BTW, I went ahead and installed the 64-bit version WITHOUT uninstalling the 32-bit version first. I had no errors during the installation and after it was finished, the 32-bit version was no longer installed. I have not had any problems since then that would be related to the upgrade.

And, while reassigning the "Local directory" value for each email account, I noticed that (apparently by default) the file name for each account had a name similar to the mail server (i.e. mail.myisp-2.com). So, I used this as an opportunity to rename each file to better match the email account (i.e. myisp.com---steve_randolph). Related to my original focus, this should make it easier to identify specific things if I ever have an issue with backups or restores.

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I have a similar question, but not exactly. I just got a new computer. My old one is a 64-bit Windows 10 computer, but the version of Thunderbird is 68.10.0, 32-bit.

As someone already mentioned, it's probably a good idea to go to a 64-bit version, but the question is how/when. Here's what I'm thinking I should do.

1. Install 32-bit on the new computer. 2. Copy over the Thunderbird profiles from the old computer. 3. After I'm sure the migration worked, upgrade to 64-bit.

Two questions: A.) Does that make sense? I should also mention that this is an OLD installation. I was using Eudora initially, back before Windows 7 (I can't remember what OS it was at the time). B.) How do I upgrade to 64-bit? Can I just install it and then uninstall 32-bit, or will that get rid of my data?