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Transfer Thunderbird email / address book from WindowsXP Pro to Windows 7 Pro

Posted on 2010-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have just upgraded my Windows XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro. I used the Microsoft easy transfer program. The transfer mostly went well.

I use Thunderbird for my email. It was copied to an external drive along with my other files. I have reinstalled Thunderbird and it works just fine. I can't figure out how to import / copy my old emails and contacts into the new Thunderbird.

I can't browse the Microsoft “Old_ComputerFiles” file to see the Thunderbird files but I did do a backup with Norton in addition to that backup. I can see these files and browse them in my new Windows 7 Pro.

The problem is that when I try to do a restore Norton it only sees the recent backups from the new install of Windows 7. I can't use Norton to browse to the old backup I did prior while I still had Windows XP Pro.

I have researched and it seems to me that all I need to do is copy the “profile” folder paste it into Thunderbird after I have deleted the new profile folder from the new Thunderbird.

I have used MozBackup to back up my old Thunderbird file and then restore it to my new computer but I always get a new Thunderbird that does not include my old emails and address book. I've run out of ideas...

Also I could never find that “roaming...” file pathway.

Is there a way to browse the files that were backed up by the Microsoft easy transfer program?

Any you have some new ideas??
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Question by:James Coats
12 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:rknetwork
ID: 33654705
You need to find the folder Documents and Settings which was on your old Windows XP, or wharever other name Windows 7 has renamed it to and find the following folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<profilename>.default>abook.mab - that is you address book file.

You may run a global search for the file name abook.mab on your Windows 7.

After you find it make an Import of this file to your Thunderbird
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:staplar
ID: 33654762
In order to force Thunderbird to recognise your old data in you new installation you need to run Mozbackup again, then delete the thunderbird profile data. Next use Mozbackup to do another restore, use Thunderbird offline and wait for the rebuild, this time you should have a working profile. I am assuming that you already know the profile location etc and have simple missed the final steps.
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Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33654765
Thank you,

I have found the file pathway you gave above. The final folder has a strange name:

"36wev60e.default" it does not have a user name attached to it although I did go through the user name earlier in the file pathway.

Does this folder also contain my emails??

How do I make an import of this file to Thunderbird??
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Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33654821
Staplar,

When you say delete the thunderbird "profile data" do you mean deleate the folder "Profiles" in the thunderbird folder? and then use Mozbackup again while I'm unconnected to the web and wait for the rebuild?

In the windows 7 I can't find a "Documents and Settings" but I did find the folder "Profiles" is this the folder you are calling:

  "...then delete the thunderbird profile data" ???

Thanks
0
 

Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33654920
rknetwork,

I found that file "<profilename>.default>abook.mab"  it was in the default file what I don't know is how to import the file to thunderbird...

can I copy it and paste it over the other file in the new thunderbird??



0
 

Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33654948
I just looked at the following file on my new computer "Mail" and I can see these folders

 "mail.comcast.net" and mail.comcast-1.net

I can see all my old emails and folders but I can't see them in Thunderbird but this is the new thunderbird I just installed.

Is there some file I need to point at these files??

0
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Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33654992
Hey guys I kinda tired right now... I'm going to have a go at your suggestions again tomorrow. I would guess you all are ready to give it a rest too. I'm going to grill me a steak and have a beer. Thanks for the help thus far.
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

by:
mtz1of4 earned 500 total points
ID: 33656799
Samuel,
Do not Delete your OLD Profile folder.  before you delete any Profile folder, make sure it is the one you need to delete.   I believe what staplar was telling you to do was to delete the newly created Profile folder that Thunderbird creates on it's first startup.
See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_profile_folder
on how to move the profile.

I have some questions though. when you ran MozBackup, you did that on the Windows XP machine, correct?

In Win 7, you need to enable viewing of hidden files and folders to see the Roaming path. Open a windows explorer, like My Documents, hit the Tools->Folder Options->View and look at the Advanced Settings->Hidden files and folders and Select the Show Hidden files, folders and drives and then OK out.
Then you should be able to see
C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles

You MAY just be able to point the Profiles.ini to the location of the old email, as long as it's on your hard drive and not on a removable device.  You want TB to be able to find it on every startup, or it will become corrupt.
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Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33657080
mtz10f4

OK now I see the hidden files. I am not going to delete the old TB profile folder. Let me see if I understand this:

1) I can delete the "Profiles" folder on my new Windows 7 Pro machine and then use the MozBackup to navagate back to my external drive to select the old windows XP Thunderbird "Profiles" folder and restore it to the new Windows 7 compter or:

2) delete the "Profiles" folder on the new Windows 7 then copy the old windows XP "profiles" folder from the external drive and paste it into the new Windows 7 Thunderbird folder where it belongs??

Is the above correct?

Thanks for the help
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:mtz1of4
ID: 33657086
#1 will work, yes

#2 then requires you to edit profiles.ini to have it read the exact profile Name

Start with #1
0
 

Author Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33657186
OK... I seem to be having a little problem. I am using MozBackup 1.4.10

I have selected to backup the "default" profile. I then navagate to the "profile" I want to restore on the external drive.

I go through the file pathway up to the old "Profiles" folder and stop there and select it. When I hit the "Open' button I get this dialog box:

"The selected file is not a valid backup file."

Also in the file select field this file name appears without my typing it in:

"Thunderbird 3.1.3 (en-US) - 2010-09-12.pcv"

Am I supposed to open the folder "Profiles" and select a file from within it?
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:James Coats
ID: 33657272
Thanks, mtx10f4,

I just did a cut and paste it seemed the simplest and it worked. Thank you very much as this was important. I will also do a backup of this file now and then just to protect me. Thanks again
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