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Thunderbird Mail Wiped Out

 
 
Promajority
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      01-30-2005
Greetings,

Today when I got up I kept getting a window indicating that Windows file
system32 is "corrupt and unreadable" and that I should run the chkdsk
utility. I attempted to do so but I got a window indicating that it
could not do so because it didn't have access to certain files and that
I should restart my computer. I did so and before it took me to my
desktop I got a blue screen and what looked like a disk checking utility
run a series of tests and corrections. When Windows finally booted up I
opened Thunderbird and my inbox was empty even though every other file
folder hadn't lost anything.

I had close to 8500 messages in my inbox and would dearly love to get
them back. Does anyone have any idea as to how this can be done?

Thanks!
 
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Ed Mullen
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      01-30-2005
Promajority wrote:

> Greetings,
>
> Today when I got up I kept getting a window indicating that Windows file
> system32 is "corrupt and unreadable" and that I should run the chkdsk
> utility. I attempted to do so but I got a window indicating that it
> could not do so because it didn't have access to certain files and that
> I should restart my computer. I did so and before it took me to my
> desktop I got a blue screen and what looked like a disk checking utility
> run a series of tests and corrections. When Windows finally booted up I
> opened Thunderbird and my inbox was empty even though every other file
> folder hadn't lost anything.
>
> I had close to 8500 messages in my inbox and would dearly love to get
> them back. Does anyone have any idea as to how this can be done?
>
> Thanks!


Your email is kept in your profile (which you should, as you now know,
be backing up on a regular basis). Location depends on operating
system, see:

http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html

Close Tbird completely. Look in the Mail sub-folder, under your email
account name, for a file called "Inbox" - no extension. If that file is
there and shows something other than zero size, you may be able to
recover. Try deleting the "Inbox.msf" file. Do NOT ***REPEAT*** do NOT
delete the file that has no extension! Then run Tbird and report back.

--
Ed Mullen
http://edmullen.net
http://edmullen.net/moz.html
Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
 
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Promajority
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      01-30-2005
Dear Ed,

I located the mail subfolder and the Inbox file without an extension had
2kb in it. I moved Inbox.msf to one of my secondary drive and then
re-opened Thunderbird and there was one recent arrival in my inbox but
no sign of the rest of the almost 8,500 emails.

Am I out of luck or is there anything else I can try?

I realize I should have backed up my profile on a regular basis and I
guess I'm discovering this the hard way.

Thanks for replying.

Steve


Ed Mullen wrote:

> Your email is kept in your profile (which you should, as you now know,
> be backing up on a regular basis). Location depends on operating
> system, see:
>
> http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html
>
> Close Tbird completely. Look in the Mail sub-folder, under your email
> account name, for a file called "Inbox" - no extension. If that file is
> there and shows something other than zero size, you may be able to
> recover. Try deleting the "Inbox.msf" file. Do NOT ***REPEAT*** do NOT
> delete the file that has no extension! Then run Tbird and report back.
>

 
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Z
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-30-2005
Ed Mullen wrote:
> Your email is kept in your profile (which you should, as you now know,
> be backing up on a regular basis). Location depends on operating
> system, see:
>
> http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html
>
> Close Tbird completely. Look in the Mail sub-folder, under your email
> account name, for a file called "Inbox" - no extension. If that file is
> there and shows something other than zero size, you may be able to
> recover. Try deleting the "Inbox.msf" file. Do NOT ***REPEAT*** do NOT
> delete the file that has no extension! Then run Tbird and report back.


BEFORE YOU DO ANY OF THAT, backup the entire profile tree.
 
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Promajority
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      01-30-2005
Z wrote:

> Ed Mullen wrote:
>
>> Your email is kept in your profile (which you should, as you now know,
>> be backing up on a regular basis). Location depends on operating
>> system, see:
>>
>> http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html
>>
>> Close Tbird completely. Look in the Mail sub-folder, under your email
>> account name, for a file called "Inbox" - no extension. If that file
>> is there and shows something other than zero size, you may be able to
>> recover. Try deleting the "Inbox.msf" file. Do NOT ***REPEAT*** do
>> NOT delete the file that has no extension! Then run Tbird and report
>> back.

>
>
> BEFORE YOU DO ANY OF THAT, backup the entire profile tree.


Z,

I cut and pasted the Inbox.msf file to one of my secondary drives just
in case and then then after re-opening and closing Thunderbird went back
into the Mail subfolder and another one was present (it was a different
size than the one I cut and pasted).

Mail has starting coming in so the Inbox file with no extension is now
at 82kb. Will this have any impact on the possibility of retrieving what
used to be in there?

Thanks.


 
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Z
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      01-31-2005
Promajority wrote:
>>> Close Tbird completely. Look in the Mail sub-folder, under your
>>> email account name, for a file called "Inbox" - no extension. If
>>> that file is there and shows something other than zero size, you may
>>> be able to recover. Try deleting the "Inbox.msf" file. Do NOT
>>> ***REPEAT*** do NOT delete the file that has no extension! Then run
>>> Tbird and report back.


>> BEFORE YOU DO ANY OF THAT, backup the entire profile tree.


> I cut and pasted the Inbox.msf file to one of my secondary drives just
> in case and then then after re-opening and closing Thunderbird went back
> into the Mail subfolder and another one was present (it was a different
> size than the one I cut and pasted).
>
> Mail has starting coming in so the Inbox file with no extension is now
> at 82kb. Will this have any impact on the possibility of retrieving what
> used to be in there?
>
> Thanks.


PS: BEFORE YOU START PLAYING AROUND WITH YOUR LAST KNOWN GOOD E-MAIL
FOLDERS, MAKE COPIES OF THEM FOR SAFEKEEPING! JUST IN CASE.


re: specific mail files

I have NO idea how to manipulate the various mail files _within_ the
directories. The way I restored my mail when my drive failed was:

1. Install TB on new drive

2. Created a new, e-mail acct in TB using the correct POP server name
and unticked all the settings that might connect automatically: check at
startup, check every n minutes and, just in case, I checked leave
message on server.

3. I found the root directory of that new e-mail acct with Account
Settings > highlight e-mail acct > Server Settings > Local Directory
(eg: C:\Documents and Settings\...\Mail\mail.MyPopServer.com)

4. Exited TB

5. Renamed the mail.MyPopServer.com folder (from Step 3) to something else.

6. Copied my last known good copy of the old tree, mail.MyPopServer.com,
from my backup to my new hard drive into the Mail directory (where the
renamed directory from Step 5 was).

7. I started TB and I had all my old e-mail.


To retrieve the address book, it was much easier. First, create a new
contact and exit TB. That creates a new file: abook.mab. Find abook.mab,
rename it to something else (or delete it) and put your last known good
copies of your old abook.mab _and_ history,.mab into that directory.

Restart TB. You should have all your old contacts.

Also, once you're happy that email send/recv is working 100%, go back
and tick the settings for check at startup, check every n minutes,
uncheck leave on server, etc. (Assuming that's what you want).

That's how _I_ restored my old mail. I didn't play around with
individual Inbox folders, etc.
 
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Ed Mullen
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2005
Promajority wrote:

> Dear Ed,
>
> I located the mail subfolder and the Inbox file without an extension had
> 2kb in it. I moved Inbox.msf to one of my secondary drive and then
> re-opened Thunderbird and there was one recent arrival in my inbox but
> no sign of the rest of the almost 8,500 emails.
>
> Am I out of luck or is there anything else I can try?
>
> I realize I should have backed up my profile on a regular basis and I
> guess I'm discovering this the hard way.
>
> Thanks for replying.
>
> Steve
>
>
> Ed Mullen wrote:
>
>> Your email is kept in your profile (which you should, as you now know,
>> be backing up on a regular basis). Location depends on operating
>> system, see:
>>
>> http://www.holgermetzger.de/pdl.html
>>
>> Close Tbird completely. Look in the Mail sub-folder, under your email
>> account name, for a file called "Inbox" - no extension. If that file
>> is there and shows something other than zero size, you may be able to
>> recover. Try deleting the "Inbox.msf" file. Do NOT ***REPEAT*** do
>> NOT delete the file that has no extension! Then run Tbird and report
>> back.
>>


If the mail file is only 2 Kb I would say you are out of luck. Any
chance of a backup anywhere?

Not trying to rub it in but this is exactly why the first bit of advice
on my Mozilla pages is to do regular backups. It's a computer, ****
will most definitely happen. We can rant all we want but it's a
man-made device and man-made software. It's gonna break when we least
want it to. Backup ... backup ... backup ... backup ...

--
Ed Mullen
http://edmullen.net
http://edmullen.net/moz.html
Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn't they be wearing
night gowns?
 
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Promajority
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2005
Ed Mullen wrote:

> If the mail file is only 2 Kb I would say you are out of luck. Any
> chance of a backup anywhere?
>
> Not trying to rub it in but this is exactly why the first bit of advice
> on my Mozilla pages is to do regular backups. It's a computer, ****
> will most definitely happen. We can rant all we want but it's a
> man-made device and man-made software. It's gonna break when we least
> want it to. Backup ... backup ... backup ... backup ...


Ed,

I'm by no means blaming the program. I didn't back it up and I should
have and now I'm paying the price. The same of course applies to all
files and programs.

However, I don't understand why it wiped out only the inbox and retained
everything else including my contacts. Anyone have an explanation?

 
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Ed Mullen
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2005
Promajority wrote:
> Ed Mullen wrote:
>
>> If the mail file is only 2 Kb I would say you are out of luck. Any
>> chance of a backup anywhere?
>>
>> Not trying to rub it in but this is exactly why the first bit of
>> advice on my Mozilla pages is to do regular backups. It's a computer,
>> **** will most definitely happen. We can rant all we want but it's a
>> man-made device and man-made software. It's gonna break when we least
>> want it to. Backup ... backup ... backup ... backup ...

>
>
> Ed,
>
> I'm by no means blaming the program. I didn't back it up and I should
> have and now I'm paying the price. The same of course applies to all
> files and programs.
>
> However, I don't understand why it wiped out only the inbox and retained
> everything else including my contacts. Anyone have an explanation?
>


Given your original post describing what looked like a system failure,
no, I have not idea. If Tbird was running during the crash there could
be many files open and vulnerable to corruption during the crash. Why
one file and not others? No rhyme or reason during a system crash.

If you had thousands of emails in Tbird you must have been using some
other mail clients in the past and imported some of those emails. do
you have any of those backed up?

--
Ed Mullen
http://edmullen.net
http://edmullen.net/moz.html
When you open a new bag of cotton balls, are you supposed to throw the
top one away?
 
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Z
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2005
Promajority wrote:
> However, I don't understand why it wiped out only the inbox and retained
> everything else including my contacts. Anyone have an explanation?


Contacts are contained in two separate files, abook.mab and history.mab,
not in any mail folders.
 
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