How Do I move Thunderbird from Windows 8 to Windows 7?

I have a copy of Thunderbird v 31.1.0 on my WIndows 8.1 laptop, which I am going to stop using very soon. I want to transfer  ALL of my Thunderbird files including numerous emails in various sub-folders to the replacement computer I'll be getting, which will run Windows 7.

I will need to make the transfer from the Windows 8.1 computer to an external hard drive and then to the replacement computer. Having read the instructions on Mozilla's site and several others after a Google search, I do not feel 100% confident in the process, as I still don't have a thoroughly clear idea of how to do this successfully, so I thought it best to run it past the experts on Experts-Exchange for the RIGHT way to do it, before I make an attempt that will screw things up.

Thanks for any help you can offer
RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAsked:
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Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware EngineerCommented:
Further - consider using Thunderbird Portable, on a usb device attached to your existing 8.1 laptop; copy the contents of your existing profile directory into the Data/Profile dir of TB Portable, then you can plug the USB device into either your new machine or existing 8.1 machine, and access your email consistently.  Once you are established on your new machine, you can simply copy the TB Portable folder over to the new machine, and keep the usb copy as a backup (or erase for other uses)
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The Mozilla instructions were how to use Easy Transfer which I do not particularly recommend (it does not have any near a 100% success rate).

I looked at the site below which has instructions for moving your Thunderbird profile.

http://email.about.com/od/mozillathunderbirdtips/qt/et_backup_prof.htm

Look on the right side:  Back up or Copy ...

I think that should help.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I just copied the entire profile directory from one computer to another and that worked fine.  Install Thunderbird on the Windows 7 computer but do not use it.  Find the copy of the profile from the old computer and copy the contents of the old profile to to the new profile.  When you open Thunderbird on the Windows 7 computer, everything should be there and working.  At least that's what happened when I did it last week.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
All great answers! Tried the portable one and was amazed at how the software actually performed as it professed to. One of the better "portable" programs I've seen.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@RadioGeorge - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help
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