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I’m nervous! I do not want to lose

Migration of Thunderbird data from Old to New computer

I want to migrate my Mozilla Thunderbird e-mails and address book etc from my old computer to my new computer
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  • I also had some trouble in migrating, but finally succeeded!
    1. The Thunderbird data is stored in the application data folder. If you look at the account settings, you will find a description of the local directories used. Go to this Thunderbird directory and save it on an external storage device, like a USB stick.
    2. Go to the new computer, download Thunderbird and install it as a new installation.
    3. When opening the file, specify a dummy account name like test.tst or something alike. Look for the specification of the local directory and write it down or print it.
    4. Go to the local directory of the new PC you just found. rename the Thunderbird file name xxxxx.default to xxxxx.backup and copy your back-up from the old PC to the new PC, using the directory name that was specified in the set-up of the *new PC*.
    This way Thunderbird finds all data as in the old situation and will reflect the full mail and address log as before.

    Hope this helps...
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  • It shouldn't be this difficult! I transfered data from old computer to new computer using the Easy Transfer Cable. Everything worked slick - and it imported all files created using Outlook Express from several years ago. But it didn't import a single e-mail from Thunderbird. The import option in Thunderbird doesn't even list this program as an option! It shouldn't be this difficult!
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  • I’m disappointed
    Yes I have just moved to a laptop from a PC, Have used Mozilla/Thunderbird for about 6 years and would have expected the transfer and/or import to be a few clicks and done.
    I have copied my profile folder onto a usb drive and then when I select import, I choose "Import Everything", click Next and next screen shows no options at all. There is a Next Button and clicking does nothing so am forced to choose Cancel instead? I am using Thunderbird 3.0.1
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  • This article worked well for me. Just move the old profile over and edit profiles.ini to point to it:
    http://support.mozillamessaging.com/e...
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  • Once you have installed Thunderbird on your new computer, you can copy your Profile folder from your old one. This will bring in your address book, messages....

    Here's how to find your Profile folder: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder
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  • I’m disgusted
    None of the various referrals I've seen seem to relate to the new (3.1+) T'bid and none seem to be for Win7. I just got my wife a new Win 7 laptop, and have te old hard drive in a USB external case, but cannot find a way to get her old emails and contacts into the new macine. Do I have to import it to Outlook and THEN import it into T'bird? Why is a seemingly simple task so difficult, instead of a simple Import choice? Why can't I select ImPort and have an option to brose to the old files location? I'm about to tell her to just use Outlook and forget about all her saved mail and addresses. What a farce!!
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  • The article referenced in jlanhurst's reply (two replies above this one) still applies to 3.1, and gives many scenarios for moving a profile. Since you're on Windows, you can use MozBackup to move the profile (backup the old profile, restore to your new installation) -- how hard is that ??

    Of course, if you want to pay for Outlook, I'm sure BillG will be happy... ;-)
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    • First of all, you didn't answer why it is so complicated to transfer files from TB to TB. Second of all, the article referred to is not clear about what 'relative' and non-relativce means. Thirdly, the article does not reference Windows 7 when talking about transferring profile files. It only talks about XP/2000.

      So my question is how does one migrate the data. please provide a link to some article that refers to migrating data from xp to windows 7.,
    • Warren:
      > First of all, you didn't answer why it is so complicated to
      > transfer files from TB to TB.

      I did not answer that question for the same reason I can't answer the question "Why aren't we all omnipotent ?" -- I simply don't know the answer.

      > Second of all, the article referred to is not clear about what
      > 'relative' and non-relativce means. Thirdly, the article does
      > not reference Windows 7 when talking about transferring
      > profile files. It only talks about XP/2000.

      The article could use clarifying ("relative" vs. "non-relative"), and adding the correct steps for Win7 would be appreciated if you'd care to contribute to the documentation effort.

      > So my question is how does one migrate the data. please
      > provide a link to some article that refers to migrating data
      > from xp to windows 7.

      Here's a few:
      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/wi...
      http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wi...
      http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de...
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  • Bhuvnesh Thakar: This topic is about moving Thunderbird data from one computer to another, not from one version to another. Install TB2 on your second computer, restore your data (and make sure the restore was OK by using it with TB2), THEN upgrade to TB3.
    • Thanks for the reply. I can't help about non relative and relative because it is tech speak and I don't know what they mean. Nor do I know what steps are for \windows 7.
      Sorry for not being clear. I meant how does one migrate emails and address book from xp to windows 7. My Xp computer died; i have the data on backup- but dont know how to transfer the files (profile) after I have already downloaded new emails.
    • Warren:
      > [...] after I have already downloaded new emails.

      I'm assuming you mean you've already downloaded new emails on your Win7 computer, correct ?

      If so, see this article for information about the files/folders in your (backed up) profile:
      http://kb.mozillazine.org/Files_and_f...

      If you don't need to save the address book on the Win7 machine, you should be able to just copy the one from the backup over (i.e., replacing) the one on the Win7 machine.

      The emails might are a little trickier, if the folder names are the same in the backup and Win7. Probably the easiest thing to do would be to use the "ImportExport Tools" extension to move your emails from the backup. I have not used this tool, so therefore cannot provide any instruction as to how to use it; however, others swear by it as the best way to import email from recovered profiles.
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  • Thanks for the email. However, I need a step by step guide to moving my profile over from the old machine\s profile (stored as part of a partitioned drive on my new computer). What do I specifically need to do?
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  • Secondly, why isn't address book set up so that I could easily import my TB address book files? All the options it gives are for other email programs!!
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  • Warren: I don't know what to tell you. I can't give you step-by-step instructions 'cuz I don't use Windows; I can only provide generic Thunderbird-centric instructions because the operating-system specific instructions vary by OS (the referenced Microsoft articles should provide sufficient detail for Windows, though).

    One thing you COULD do is use the "ImportExport Tools" to export the data you've already downloaded on the Win7 machine, then copy the whole backed-up profile "on top of" the existing Win7 profile (see the link in jlanghurst's reply, above), then re-"import" the already-downloaded emails using "ImportExport Tools".

    Since you aren't comfortable/confident with what you're doing, one thing I WOULD advise is doing a backup of the Win7 profile before you start doing any replacement, import, etc. That way, if you make a mistake you can just start over. Since you're using Windows, you can use "MozBackup"; see:
    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird...
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  • Well, I tried to follow the directions you gave to import the old address books. I renamed the old books and copied them to the new profile in windows 7. unfortunately they dont appear. (I didn't want to use the same file name as I have new addresses in my windows 7 TB address book and I dont want to lose them). Is there something I am doing wrong?
    As for microsoft website it does not refer to TB, only refers to Outlook as far as I can see.
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  • Oh, one other thing. You write:
    "One thing you COULD do is use the "ImportExport Tools" to export the data you've already downloaded on the Win7 machine, then copy the whole backed-up profile "on top of" the existing Win7 profile (see the link in jlanghurst's reply, above), then re-"import" the already-downloaded emails using "ImportExport Tools"."

    Can you explain the above\? Where do I find ImportExport Tools? Your description has many steps...can you state them in a step by step fashion as I cannot follow what you mean at all. (just assume I am a total neophyte and take me through the whole processs above). Thanks|
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    • I can not agree more with Warren's issues and frustration. All I want to do is move my old data (which resides on an XP machine) and place it on a Windows 7 machine, but the directions that I read in this thread are just not understandable for me. Are those of us who don't understand expecting too much from others who are capable of providing directions?
    • Hurrah...I did it. I used MOZBACKUP tool available at Mozilla site. It backs up entire thunderbird and creates a file. You just copy it on new machiine, use same tool to restore. One hitch, it will restore in same drive / directories. that is, if you had thunderbird files in D: Drive and "Thunderbird" directory, then it will need a D: Drive and will create "Thunderbird" directory and resore everything including addressbook, all account settings etc.. Also, you must be careful that you use same version of Thunderbird on both machines,. You can upgrade version later once all mails are restored. I got guidance from this thread only for this. Thanks all for help.
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  • What do I do if I have already download TB 3.1 on the new machine and downloaded new emails onto that program? How do I do this in this case when the old machine used an old version of TB? (I downloaded the new version on the new computer as I assumed, wrongly, that there would be an option to import old TB files to that...no, it only has options for other programs! That is a defect TB people should correct in new versions of TB.
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  • Can someone please answer my question above?? I go to the pages recommended by several people but cannot understand them at all. What I need is a step by step guide as to what to do. Where to find the files, where to put them. When someone says "use import/export tools' for example, I need to know where I find these tools and what do I do. Secondly, I am told to copy over address files. From where toi where exactly! It doesnt do anyone any good to just have general instructions. We neophytes need detailed instructions that are understandable to neophytes, not to experts.

    After all, it is whoever designed TB to only import files from other email programs when you start up at new version of TB that causes the problem when someone has a backup of all their old emails from an older version of TB and wants to import them into the new version of TB (which is the reason \I understand I cannot use the mozilla backup tool). I thought TB's design would allow me to automatically import old TB emails when starting up a new version of the program, but no that didnt happen...clearly a failure in the software design!

    Thanks for your patience and please help...it has been 3 weeks since \I got this new computer and \i really need to access to my old emails soon!

    To reiterate my basic question.....i want my old emails to appear in my TB 3.1 program when \i start it up. How do i do that? I want my old address book to appear in the /TB address book.How do I do that?
    • Hi,
      All I can think of is solution below.
      If you do not have many mails on new computer downloaded, create a GMAIl account on temporary basis (Or any otehr mail account), send all mails from new computer with new TB version to this account. Remove new version, install same old version of TB what you had on old computer, use MOZBACKUP tyo backup all data (Including Address book, mails and account info). restore on new computer (With same old TB version). Once restored all old mails, download all mails you sent to GMAIL Account back in to new computer old version of TB, take a backup using MOZBACKUP. Then upgrade this version to latest new version.

      This is the best I can think of. Hope you will succeed. this is a bit round about way but this is the only solution I could think of for your problem.

      Wish you success.

      Bhuvnesh Thakar
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  • Thanks for the suggestion. However, there are over 1000 emails now on my new system so that doesn't seem feasible.

    Can't I just download the old version of TB onto the new computer and just open that old version when I want to see the old emails? If that will work, where do I find the old version of TB to download?
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  • I’m frustrated
    Been watching this stream for awhile, ever hoping...

    On my Mac, I'd backed up my entire drive, including Thunderbird 2, just about when TB3 was released. I was in the middle of a project, so I innocently downloaded that and kept going, assuming that I could bring in all my old messages when I had the time. Ha!

    So, based on all the above back'n'forth here, it looks like the simplest solution might be what Warren suggested the other day, to just have both Thunderversions and open #2 just to look at older messages (and only send/receive with the new version).

    So, can I just:

    1. drag(?) my TB2 application to my Applications folder (or is a formal install required; and if so, how?)

    2. drag (again, ?,) the corresponding Profiles folder to Library/Thunderbird folder, to take up residence next to TB3's profiles folder. I see that those two profiles folders have unique names, so it could conceivably work.

    But I thought I'd run it by y'all first, to avoid any looming digital hellfire and damnation or, y'know, messiness.

    What I'd really like, naturally, is to be able to add all my old messages from 2 into 3, but that's just a Nice To Have if this workaround would work.

    Thanks,
    Bill

    http://rosswriting.com
    • Warren and Bill:

      Not sure if this will help specifically, but I move Thunderbird back and forth between a Windows XP machine and a Mac machine frequently, and wrote up my own set of instructions because I found the process to be a bit tricky. See:

      http://www.imagetree.org/resources/Th...

      These instructions are written under the assumption that Thunderbird is working on your source machine, and that you merely wish to move all the files to the destination machine. Also, I have not worked with Windows7, so cannot be much help there.
      Best of luck,

      -Patrick
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  • Thanks. However, there is one problem. You write to delete all email files on the target machine. I have emails on the target machine. How do I preserve them?

    Secondly, how do I import the old address books without losing the new one?

    Lastly, does your method also work if I have backed up the files on my source machine to my new machine? ie. my source machine died, the store where |I bought my new computer put the old files on my new machine in a different directory.
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  • With a friend's help I found a simple solution. Just open up and name a couple of profiles on the target machine. That way, when you launch TB you have the choice of launching the TB with the old emails and address books or the new one. It seems there is no problem with using an old version of TB on the original emails and the new version on the new TB as they both open fine as if they were the new version of TB.
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  • Thunderbird 3.1, WIN7
    1. Set up new Thunderbird 3.1 with mailbox etc.
    2. Copy your entire old profile folder (the one with the cryptic name) to the %APPDATA%\Thunderbird\Profiles folder. Write down that cryptic name.
    3. Start Thunderbird.
    4. Right click the account in the left pane and select "Settings"
    5. Bottom right "Local Directory": highlight the text and press "Ctl C" (That's something like:
    "C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Thunderbird\Profiles\0uos2c03.default\Mail\pop.yourmailserver.de")
    6. Hit "Browse ..."
    7. Highlight the text right to "Folder" and hit "Ctl V"
    8. Replace "0uos2c03" (or whatever cryptic thing there is) with what you have written down before.
    9. Hit OK, shut down and restart Thunderbird.

    You can do the same with your local folders if you use them.
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  • I’m frustrated- this should be easy and intuitive
    My HD crashed. I want all my Thunderbird emails, folders and address book ( I have the Profile handy) placed into the Thunderbird on the new HD. I find the tech speak above impossible to understand. Please someone out there- HELP!!!!!!!!!!
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  • I’m frustrated- this should be easy and intuitive
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