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A Thunderbird lost folder oddity and a solution to fix it
vkaryl
Status: Contributor
Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Opened t'bird this morning when I got online and checked mail. My "websites" folder was missing - this is the local folder where I keep mail for each website I run under my web management business. Really weird - wouldn't have been the first time I dragged at the wrong point, and moved something, so I went looking. It was not in local folders anywhere.

So I went looking in the docs and settings/user/application data folder, in the t'bird profile folder. The Websites.sbd folder existed, and the folders under it were intact. The Websites.msf file existed. However, the Websites file was missing (each folder has its corresponding .msf file and same-name/no-extension file). So I'm like, well, can't be any worse than it is already; I made a copy of the entire profile folder elsewhere, then simply copied an extensionless file from one of the other folders (Writing, in this case), renamed it Websites, and voilá - the folder was back, all subfolders and mail intact.

Might be a better way of handling this, but it worked for me!
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techAdmin
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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Those little glitches can be maddening, I've had some issue with t-bird as well, but I have to admit, I switched when it was pre 1.0, took the plunge, and I've really never regretted it.

Had some antivirus issues, as many did, it was popular to blame Thunderbird, I posted in the tbird bug reports too, but after reading the actual bug report documentation I realized it was just one of those things, most email apps have this problem, and most av products simply don't scan the major email files by default.

The folder thing I've seen something like before, when switching from old box to new box and rebuilding my email, but in that case it was just rebuilding itself.

This is a good tip though for any users that might see this type of problem. What version of thunderbird are you using?

By the way, I realized it had been many months since I'd experienced a tbird issue, and so I started switching some friends who were complaining about too much spam over to tbird, they really like it, so it's passing the next user level test, non power user, but educated user. I try not to beta test these products on other people, I do it myself, since I, like you, am better equipped to handle issues if and when they come up.

I'll definitely keep this in mind if I ever come across this problem though as a possible fix. How many emails would you estimate that folder contained? I haven't seen any real issues with capacity yet, but you never know. Does it have subfolders or is it just the one?

Although it's a long shot, you might think about doing a hard disk scan, using the manufactorer test floppy disk, sometimes file corruption like this is actually due to lost hard drive sectors, that happened on my last box, had disk errors, and I'd open some files, programming stuff, and it would generate an error, when I checked, it would be missing a few lines of code, literally, those were I guess the lost bytes of the damaged sector. It's just barely possible this is what happened to you.
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vkaryl
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Um. Version 1.5 beta 1. And this is the single glitch I've had with it.... it's overall an absolutely STERLING program....

Hadn't thought about the hdd scan. Good idea, haven't done it in a while. Thanks for the reminder!

How many emails? Not a clue. 92.7 megabytes worth. [Ah.... I have EVERY EMAIL I've ever sent or received - dating back to whenever.... 1992? Either on disk or cd, or on this drive, the laptop, the old drive upstairs.... I AM the queen of redundant backups. Except of course, it hadn't occured to me to back up the profile/Mail folder for some reason - until today....]

And 27 sub and sub-sub folders.
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techAdmin
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your fix was impressive though, good idea.

I tried to see if I could find this issue documented, nothing out there so far.

Just some weird reviews that have little or nothing to do with the reality of using this application.

I did the whole nightly build/bug testing thing with thunderbird, now I'm happy with it, and will wait for 1.5 to come out, also for my favorite extensions, have to have those too...

Did same with Firefox 1.5, just downloaded the final 1.5, I'd checked earlier betas, too many extension issues, waited, now they are almost all ready to go, just missing I think one I want. I guess my bleeding edge nightly build days are over for this stuff, I'm pretty happy having followed both phoenix/firebird/firefox and thunderbird all the way from the early days of mozilla suite, but now it's downright pleasant to just see the stuff working.

The binary patch update feature is going to be the true killer application though on both tbird and firefox, that's really been a major sticking point, I have to go to friends houses to do the updates, now it will be pretty easy and automatic, which is really important for average users, does someone on dialup little good to tell them about a security patch that requires a 4.5 mB download to fix when it's really just a 2kB patch.

Did some dialup work for a friend over thanksgiving, that was revealing by the way, the amount of time it takes to more or less secure, antispyware, update and install av, and everything else, over dialup was truly astounding, at least 8 hours, maybe 12 or more. No wonder users don't do it.

So good things all around. For some entertaining reading you can check out the thunderbird bug reports. Ok, maybe entertaining isn't the right word...
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vkaryl
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Oh yeah - updating my security suites on dialup is ALWAYS a couple of days worth. But I do it.... which is why I'm clean.

Yep, I'm only missing my formatted source extension for FF1.5, I sure hope it shows up soon, because it's better than Aardvark (which I found a version that works with 1.5, here: nmi.ath.cx/~seb/aardvark.xpi - and if that server's down, try this: ka2er.free.fr/files/aardvark.xpi. I'm pretty happy with FF1.5 - I didn't even mind the betas in between.

I did a huge search on the t'bird oddity before digging and tweaking - nothing. REALLY hard to believe I'm the only person it's ever happened to!
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techAdmin
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:: Quote ::
hard to believe I'm the only person it's ever happened to!

Yes, but sometimes you are the one to have found a new bug. In this case I doubt it, it's why I suggested checking for hard drive sector corruption.

But if you have found a bug, and you can repeat it, it's worth posting a bug report, that's how they improve their stuff.

I have a lot of emails and I haven't seen that issue at all, no problems with > 1000 emails in folder for example, it's all been very smooth overall, though I am going to wait for 1.5 final to come out before I switch, email is just a little touchy for me, I have too much to risk on beta, although I did it once already for pre 1.0 thunderbird, which was DEFINITELY a beta product, but it all worked out fine in the end.

Plus that look you can give people, like: oh, spam, oh yes, I remember when I had problems with that, but I've been using Thunderbird, with its bayesian spam email filter for years, so I don't really see spam at all. LOL.... of course, my dad used to say the same thing about Eudora, which I guess had that for years.

You might ask why MS Outlook or Outlook Express doesn't, but then of course, you can ask why MSIE wasn't updated for 5 years too, or why MS still released the worst text editor known to man, notepad, when so many better ones have come along since then.
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vkaryl
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Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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All true.... though I don't really care about the bayesian spam filter. I use mailwasher and never download anything to my machine that I haven't vetted on the server first. If someone's going to have a problem with mail, it's going to be on the server end, not on my end....
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Having a similar problem, although yet different
smi
Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 3
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I have opened my Tbird today and found none of my emails in my main inbox folder present.

I looked in the directory, found the Inbox file (without extension) and the .msf file. But: the .sbd folder was totally empty.

Any suggestions how to fix this? Would be very thankful, I'm really afraid of losing all my emails.
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techAdmin
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Hello smi, the .sbd folder are empty, so that's normal. The only exception is if you created subfolders, then you'll see the subfolders in them.

So your email is still there, it's just glitched slightly.

It's hard to know without more details though. If I were you, I'd also post on the mozillazine thunderbird forums, you don't want to lose all your emails if you dont' have to.
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I noticed already
smi
Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 3
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.sbd is empty. unfortunately so is my Inbox (without extension) file. Any idea how to get that back (without having a backup of my harddrive?

Thankx.
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