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Contacts Missing from Address Book

  • 18 uphendule
  • 5 zinale nkinga
  • 437 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu cmorettz

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Apparently the last update lost my contacts. The address books are still there, but there are no contacts in them. They all seem to be empty address books.

Not sure if this part is relevant, but...

While searching the forum for an fix I noticed others had similar problems that were supposedly fixed in update version 78x. I checked my version, it said 68x on the updates page of the options menu. However, when I checked the update history, it said it was version 78x. I unchecked the automatic updates (may have been in safe mode as that was one of recommendations I found) and checked for updates and it said version 68x was available. Thinking this might bring back my contacts since 78x seemed to have borked the address book, I updated it. Didn't help, but now it says it's up to date with version 68x and version 78x doesn't seem to be available. The history shows it updated 68x on Oct 1 after 78x was updated on Sep 15.

I've used Thunderbird for over 10 years and never had a serious problem before. This is very frustrating as I had over 100 contacts, many with a charity that I help.

How can I get my contacts back without re-entering them manually?

Thanks.

Okulungisiwe ngu jane.blue

All Replies (18)

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What is the version of TB currently installed? If it's 78, Help/Troubleshooting, Profile Folder, Open Folder, close TB. Rename abook.mab.bak to abook.mab, history.mab.bak to history.mab, abook.sqlite to abook.sqlite.bak, history.sqlite to history.sqlite.bak, then restart TB and see if Personal Address Book and Collected Addresses are correct.

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Thanks for the reply. Current version is 68.12.1. It was 78 but after updating manually it is now 68. When I check for updates it tells me I have the most current version.

Those files were all there so I followed your instructions. It brought back one of four address books - the smallest and least important one, but that's a start.

Okulungisiwe ngu jane.blue

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If you have gone back and forth between 68 and 78, it's possible you have more than one profile folders, and one of them probably contains the correct abook.mab and history.mab. In TB 68, Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles, note the name of the current profile in use, then see if there are other profiles listed. If there are, you want to copy abook.mab and history.mab from the other profile into the current profile, with TB closed. To avoid overwriting files, rename a file before possibly overwriting it.

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I was updating/editing my previous post as you were posting. As I wrote > Those files were all there so I followed your instructions. It brought back one of four address books - the smallest and least important one, but that's a start.

I checked the about:profiles and it looks like the default profile is the only one. Is there anything else I can try?

I appreciate your help - thank you.

Okulungisiwe ngu jane.blue

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Check the C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles folder just in case there's a profile folder that isn't showing up in about:profiles.

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Just the default profile there.

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If you find mab files besides abook and history, e.g. impab.mab, there is a way to add them to Address Book. Rename the existing abook.mab to abook.mab.bak, then rename impab.mab to abook.mab. When you restart TB, the contacts in impab will be in Personal Address Book. You can then move the contacts to a new address book, close TB, delete abook.mab, and rename abook.mab.bak to abook.mab to have the original Personal Address Book shown when TB is restarted. Note that mab files can be viewed in a text editor, to identify the contents.

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Checked all the MAB files and found nothing. Checked the BAK MAB files in the app/roaming/... area and one did have a partial list. It's an old list as there are addresses I deleted long ago. Still, that will help me get some back (I presume).

I'll try it tomorrow, it's getting too late now. I really appreciate your help. It's very nice of you to give me some of your time and attention.

I'll check back here tomorrow (Friday) to see if you have any other ideas or cautions about trying to restore the address book from the BAK files using the method outlined in your last post.

Thanks again, Jane

PS - Since updating to version 78 is no longer an option, if I downloaded the latest version and installed it over the old installation, do you think that would recover my address books?

Okulungisiwe ngu jane.blue

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jane.blue said

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Same problem. Since updating to latest version (78.4.0), all 23 lists are visible, but only the contacts in 4 of them.

Only 1 profile used since 10mths ago. Only mabs there are a-books, a-book baks, history.mab.bak.

Isn't this happening to lots of people who've updated (who have large address books)?

If there isn't easy & quick solution, I could do System Restore to only 5 days ago - but is there better way to revert to last version?

Thank you for your help! Much appreciated.

Okulungisiwe ngu Andrew

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This is weird. I went back to version as previously stated, with no way to update to 78. I finally gave up. A couple days ago it automatically updated, and lo and behold, my address books were all back. Strange, very strange, but I'm glad to have it working again.

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Where do you find these mab files? And abooks? etc.

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Christine said

Where do you find these mab files? And abooks? etc.

In Thunderbird, Help > Troubleshooting Info > Open Folder.

jane.blue said

This is weird. I went back to version as previously stated, with no way to update to 78. I finally gave up. A couple days ago it automatically updated, and lo and behold, my address books were all back. Strange, very strange, but I'm glad to have it working again.

Tried to simulate what you did, by reverting to v68 using System Restore. In Tools > Options, I changed the setting to stop automatic updates. Reverting to v68 returned the contacts in *most* lists. Without updating, after restarting, the contacts in more lists came back.

Still have more missing, though. Don't know if updating would bring them back, or cause them to be lost again! Haven't the developers looked at this yet?

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Same problem here: Upgraded to 78.6.1 from 68.x. Out of 12 address books, 8 updated to the new format properly, and 4 failed.

  • In my profile folder (default), the address books which transferred properly have the old data saved as abook-#.mab.bak. Of course, the corresponding abook-#.sqlite are there too.
  • For the ones which did not transfer properly, abook-#.mab is still there without the ".bak" added. A corresponding abook-#.sqlite has been created, but apparently they do not contain any contacts, as they are empty in the TB address book.

I have tried removing the empty sqlite and restarting Thunderbird, but this just recreates the same problem.

If there were only some way to import a *.mab file, or to manually translate them to sqlite, perhaps that would fix the problem? Since I have already updated to 78.x, I don't see any way that I can go back and export the *.mab data to an importable format.

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There's a roundabout way mentioned above:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1306811#answer-1354967

This works in TB 68, so for TB 78, rename abook.sqlite, rename the .mab file to abook.mab, restart TB, see if the .mab contacts appear in Personal Address Book, move them to a new address book, then rename the renamed abook.sqlite to abook.sqlite. Close TB while editing the profile folder.

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Thanks, moving the reluctant *.mab file to abook.mab did get me to success!

In case it helps others: I thought that I had effectively already tried this solution, because starting TB with abook-3.mab (for example) did generate a new abook-3.sqlite. But the abook-3.sqlite was empty. I mistakenly assumed that the problem was in the translation mab->sqlite, and that the same thing would happen if the filenames did not have "-3". However, renaming abook-3.mab to abook.mab and then starting TB did create and successfully populate a new abook.sqlite. So having that exact filename was key.

@sfhowes: Sorry for the "thumbs down." I clicked before I realized my error, and I can't find a way to "unclick."

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I too have this problem. I am running Tbird 78.8.0.

When I right click on the contact in an email they sent to me, I get the option to edit the contact. It shows him in my Personal Address Book, but that is greyed out. I tried to edit it to add his name and it seemed to accept that but when I went back to edit the same contact again, his name has not been added.

So some part of Tbird knows the address is in my personal address book. But when I click on address book to find the contact, it's not there. It seems to me that Tbird is using two different address books and they are not communicating with each other.

Also my address book is listing 10 entries that are completely blank. When I try to delete them, they do not go away.

I am a little leery about tinkering with the files you mention. Is it possible, ask I hopefully, that the upcoming edition of Tbird will remedy this problem?

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Windows 10 crashed. had to do a reset. now cannot find .mab files anywhere in my pc. running 78.8.0

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