loss of Thunderbird email records

On or about October 20. 2006, my email and email records disappeared. (There have been a couple of power failures and something about changing a configuration and getting a new file came up from Yahoo Desktop - if any of that is relevant. I've tried to restore by going into Thunderbird/Profiles/y858532m.default/mail. I've checked Google Desktop and have found some email that I remember. I also tried Yahoo Desktop; one important item that had shown up there subsequently disappeared. MyAVG anti virus indicated some files were infected with 1-Worm/Bagle. I started to re-initialize Thunderbird when the window for starting a new Thunderbird account came up but did not complete this because some of the information I typed in was apparently not correct; now when I try to access Thunderbird I get a message asking whether I want to use it as the default mail application. Since I've been having so much trouble with it I have clicked "no". (I've been getting recent mail via Outlook Express and on my Mac IBook, which I am using now because I can't seem to get to experts exchange on my PC).I thought I had found the email records in C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Owner/application%20Data/Thunderbird/Profiles/y858532m.default/mail/ but this no longer turns up under "Search". Can anybody help get all this straightened out? What email program is recommended?
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
"... What email program is recommended? " ==>  The MAIN issue here (from a recovery perspective) isn't what e-mail client you were using;  but the simple fact you don't have a backup.  Hopefully this is a lesson you've now learned :-)   (Enough on that)    ... as for what e-mail client to use => very much a personal preference.   Personally, I like Eudora;  but I've used Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape, and Thunderbird over time and all are fine ==> it's just a matter of which client you feel most comfortable with; and you should always keep a current backup of your mail data (actually of ALL of your data) on another disk (just use an automated synchronization tool like Syncback to do that).

... as for recovery your mail:   Load Windows Explorer;  go to Tools - Folder Options - View; then select "Show hidden files and folders" and uncheck both "Hide extensions for known file types" and "Hide protected operating system files".   Now look at the path you noted above (C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Owner/application%20Data/Thunderbird/Profiles/y858532m.default/mail/) and see if your mail records are there.   If so, first SAVE A COPY to another directory (or, better yet, an external disk);  then open the file with Thunderbird [depending on your associations, you may be able to just double-click the file;  or else you can right-click and "Open With" and then select Thunderbird].   If the file has truly disappeared, the re-initialization of Thunderbird may have overwritten it with a new "blank" mail file ==>  if that's the case, you've simply lost all of your mail.   If you STOP using the drive and install a good recovery program on another drive (slaving the hard disk with your e-mail on that system) you MAY be able to recover the previous version of the files ... but the more you use the disk, the less likely that is;  and it may already be too late since you've used that drive quite a bit since it happened.   Won't cost anything to try ... but will cost $100 or so to actually recover the files if they're available.

nanwillAuthor Commented:
Many thanks. Inbox.sbd, a folder in the outgoing.verizon.net folder, which is one of 11 folders in the "Mail" folder at the end of the path (without the "%", which I can no longer find) seems to contain the folders to which I transferred some of the email. (Most of the other 10 folders have little or nothing in them). However, I've been looking for the various email messages that I left sitting in the Thunderbird inbox as well as the address book. There is a file (255,568 KB) called "Inbox File" listed in the same outgoing.verizon.net folder; I wasn't sure the mail I'm looking for is there. When I first tried to open it with Thunderbird, I got the question about using Thunderbird as the default. I closed out without checking anything and tried opening with Notepad. The message I got was that the program was not responding. I tried Thunderbird again and got a blank page.Then I got a message about virtual memory being low and windows doing something to increase it. Some way or other, some time ago, I managed to find something called Mozilla User Preferences which lists information concerning my apparently now defunct Thunderbird account. If I can't restore everything to Thunderbird as it looked just before the disappearance of the mail and records, I'd like to try whatever program has received the most favorable reviews. (I remember seeing something to the effect that Thunderbird was considered just pretty good). By the way, I had tried to copy some of the folders with my cd-writer but was unable to do so. (Perhaps there's something wrong with the writer, as if I don't have enough trouble!
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