Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mozilla Thunderbird Corrupted Folder Workaround

In the past 5 years, many colleague of mine have lost their emails (Thunderbird in Linux OS). So I take the step to overcome this. I've taken this post from here, just want to share this because not all people willing to search and read thoroughly long technical article like that. Editing a little bit to give more understanding (for myself, actually :D), so I hope you could understand it as well. Please keep in mind that I done these in Linux, but could be done in Windows as well, with a little adjustment of course :)

Here's a little quote and introduction:
If the corruption is severe, deleting the .msf files won't help much, and compacting the folder may just make it worse. You'll typically run into this only with the Inbox folder. It's much more vulnerable to corruption because many users tend to store lots of messages in it, and they also frequently delete messages in it. That's why it's recommended that you DON'T permanently store messages in your Inbox folder and instead move them to other folders. You can fix the problem by replacing the corrupt folder with a new known good folder into which you copy the messages from the corrupt folder.
Follow these steps:
1. Exit Thunderbird
2. Make a temporary backup of your profile folder (usually in /home/[username]/.mozilla-thunderbird/)
3. Start Thunderbird
4. Create new folder and name it (e.g. "TestFolder")
5. Open your seemingly corrupted folder (e.g. "Inbox"), selected all messages then copy them to your newly created folder
note: In extreme cases (if Thunderbird and/or the computer become extremely sluggish), you may have to choose only a few emails at a time.
6. Verify that all of the messages have been copied
7. Right-click on the new folder, then choose "Compact"
8. Go to you profile folder (/home/[username]/.mozilla-thunderbird/) to see if your new folder looks like it has been compacted. Compare the size with the original folder which you copied the messages.
9. On Thunderbird, check the new folder to make sure you still have all your messages (by looking at the Total message count at right below status bar of Thunderbird)
10. If it looks good, then do the following:
  • Go to profile folder, then rename your old directory (e.g. "Inbox") to "InboxOLD"
  • Delete its .msf file (e.g. "Inbox.msf")
  • Rename the "TestFolder" to "Inbox"
  • Delete "TestFolder.msf"
11. Restart Thunderbird and use as usual

note: This workaround will work ONLY if your seemingly corrupted folder hasn't corrupted at all. If it is corrupted, or already contains a lot of messages, Thunderbird will "hidden" the message and marked it "deleted". So compact-ing will only delete the messages.

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