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Having problem moving Thunderbird e-mail client to new PC

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Having problem moving Thunderbird e-mail client to new PC
good afternoon
What operating system do you use? Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, Linux? Depending on the operating system, your profile may be stored in a different folder. Also, do you have a USB Flash Drive that you can use to transfer files between the two computers? If you recently installed Thunderbird on the new computer, it automatically creates a new profile when you open it for the first time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Dr. Bell
What additional info do you need. I typed into the 'more info' box, I don't know if that was received.
Ok you just gazumped me, is this live chat?
Running Win 10 on a netbook and a new desktop. Attempting to move all mail and settings from the netbook to the PC.
Don't have a spare flash drive at the moment, have been trying both network transfer and ext HD.
I'm fairly familiar with TB and the profiles/settings and have recreated the required profile in the new install, however when I click on any of the folders TB goes into a loop of indexing and never stops... it reports indexing 100 thousands of msgs after 5 hours and doesn't complete. The error log says it can't write to log4moz.js continuously (ever second).
I've tried Mozbackup, PCMover and obviously the manual method... all the same problem.
BTW: I am in Spain... so time difference may be a problem with answering, but it looks as though I be stuck at this for a few hours yet!
Yes, this is a live chat.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, anything else I can add?
Would you be interested in allowing me to assist you over a remote connection to your system? It would be much easier as I could see first-hand the trouble you're experiencing, it is only an additonal $5 for the service. We would use a program called Team Viewer ( If not, I can continue to assist you over a live chat, it may just take longer to troubleshoot this way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
BTW: I tried copying the contents of the old profile into the new and also tried leaving the old profile as is and changing the profile config to call the old profile, both methods get the folders into TB but with the same problem.
Is TB working fine on the old system?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If you don't mind I really don't like Team Veiwer... had a bad experience once!
Yes TB is working on the old netbook, but the machine is generally flakey... it's old and that is my reason to move the installation.
I understand. No problem. Have you tried completely removing TB on the new system and deleting the profile it created? A normal uninstall of TB will not remove the newly created profile.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
More info, I've reinstaaled TB about 6 times, cleared all cache's and temp files... no difference.
TB uses java for some of it's operations. Do you know if you have Java installed on the new computer? Sometimes new systems do not come with this software installed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I'm am not familiar with Java or know if it is installed.
You can visit to check for the latest version. Under the "Free Java Download" button, there is a button that says "Do I have Java?" If you click on this link, it will run a check on your system to see if the software is installed, and which version is installed if so. Please visit the site and let me know if it is installed and the version installed, if so.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
From the link:-
We are unable to verify if Java is currently installed and enabled in your browser.If you have installed Java and there is an error with the verification, there could be a configuration issue (eg. browser, Java control panel, security settings) or the Java plug-in is blocked by the browser. Try restarting your browser before trying to verify the installation again, and check that the browser allows Java to run.However, I think it is installed because the TB error log say's it is trying to write to this log4moz.js file, but reports it is readonly!
What web browser are you using to surf?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If you have it enabled, try using Internet Explorer and revisit the site. Their site is sensitive to some web browsers. For instance, it can't be accessed with Google Chrome.
Verifying that Java is in place is important to troubleshooting. It may have the log4mox.js file in the folder, but if it can't access the necessary software to write to it, that could be where the read-only error is coming from.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Don't have IE, 10 seems to have MS Edge which I just tried and Java site say's it doesn't support it. Also just tried Chrome and it doesn't support that either.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can you excuse me for about 20 mins... wife has just presented dinner!
Ok, well in that case, I would have to advise you to click the "Free Java Download" button and go forward with the install. If nothing else, it will update to the latest version. Java is used for literally thousands of common software and extensions... every windows-based computer needs it, along with Adobe Flash Player. Sure, take your time. --After Java is installed, if the problem persist we may attempt to disable indexing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Apologies for the break, desert will be by the side of the PC!
OK downloaded, installed and verified Java, same problem I'm afraid.
I've already tried disabling indexing, even on a fresh install of TB before moving the old profile (messages) over, that didn't help.
Did you check the settings again after moving the old profile over? It's possible that setting could be stored in a configuration file within the profile folder. Which means it would have been replaced and reverted back when you copied the old profile over.
I don't see why it would try to index anything at all if that feature is disabled.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The only settings (external to TB) that I know of is the profile config in the TB directory, that doesn't change.
Ok perhaps I have confused things... with indexing enabled TB won't lists all folders, but won't open them to view the msgs, in this case I am getting the error log messages and TB is just sitting there with the timer wheel spinning. When I disable indexing, TB still sits there with the spinning timer, but no indexing error is logged.
So either way, you can't see any messages at all within TB on the new computer.. correct?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Correct... only seeing the list of folders that came from the moved over profile.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Clicking a folder starts the timer spinning
do you know if the versions of TB are the same on both computers?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Exactly the same, I made sure before copying the profile
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Correction and apologies,I made a mistake typing above. Where I said ".... enabled TB won't lists all folders...", won't shouldn't have been typed, it is listing folder in that situation.
The only thing I can think of at this point without jumping right into it myself is that maybe you need to "unblock" the folder/files from the old computer and disable the read-only attribute. Sometimes when you transfer files between computers, the new computer will in a sense block the file before you acknowledge that it is safe.
You will need to open the profile folder on the new system, right click each file and select properties. If the file is blocked, an "Unblock" button will be visible.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was thinking of file attributes and thought I would look for this log4moz.js file and check the status... couldn't find the file anywhere, do you have any knowledge of where it could be located?
Do you see a comm-release or mailnews folder?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just checking
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No can't find either in the profile folder or sub folders.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've been hmmmm'ing for a couple of days now. Shall we give up?
Nah. Never give up..
What is the time there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Silly you have Norton installed on the new computer and not the old computer? Sometimes Norton comes pre-installed on new computers.
Norton 360 or Norton Antivirus *
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nope no Norton. New machine was pre-installed with McFee which I've turned off.
Ok. Have you tried running TB on the new machine in "Safe Mode with Networking?"
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, tried Safe Mode... didn't help.
Just a minute... news coming!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
While we have been chatting, I've been experimenting, I 'think' (not sure) I might have a bodge or something that might give a further clue... more coming.
Ok. Sounds good. Also, have you tried checking the properties of the files in the Profile folders? If they were brought over from the old PC, they made need to be unblocked to work properly.
Just for clarity, the folder is located at: C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've re-installed TB again and instead of copying the FULL profile, I have 1. setup an initial account which also creates some default folders. 2. I've opened both old and new profile folders and copied JUST a couple of the mail folders from old to new, NOT copied the .msf files associated with the mail folders. Doing this I have been able to view the msg's in those folders and TB seems to have created new .msf files. Am I making sense?
Yes. Sounds like you have copied over JUST the "mail folder" files.
Perhaps the MSF files are somehow tied to the configuration of the old computer. If this puts all of your mail back into the new TB, all you should need to do at that point is configure the new TB with your email server settings. Correct?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There are 100's of files in the profile folder... would take me a week to check all the attribs.Yep that is right just the files containing the actual msg's. without the associated .msf files. This could be part remedy even if a very long winded with recreating the old folder structures and then I will need to find a fix for the address books!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I was typing at the same time as you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you know what an msf file is (function)?
No problem. I believe there is a command line that can attrib multiple files at a time...hang on just a sec....
MSF stands for Mail Summary File. It is basically an index file for a mail folder in Thunderbird.
You can remove the read-only status for all files in a directory from an elevated command prompt.
are you familiar with how to open a command prompt window as administrator?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I've just found it in the MSDos db. Problem could be not knowing which attribs are changed and what should be reverted... possible security reasons. Unfortunately, I'm old enough to know the command prompt and DOS :(
LOL. Good information though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK. I'll crack on with my hack of moving individual files. Should I close this session or leave it open in case I need to shout for advice?
Well, it isn't really going to hurt by turning off read-only on everything in the folder. I believe that is more of a fail-safe against the end-user that doesn't know what he's doing (that isn't you). Aside from that, it will only take effect on the new computer. So if there is an issue from it, you could simply reinstall and/or replace the profile folder again. If you navigate to the profile folder from the command prompt and do attrib -r, it will remove read-only for all of the immediate files in that directory. My other recommendation was going to be this: copy the entire TB directory from "C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\" on the old system and move it to the new, and also the entire TB directory from the Program Files folder. If the versions are the same, all of the registered files should be the same on both systems and TB should fire right up as if it were the same on the old system. If it works, could be a giant leap forward, if not, a few steps back.
Shouldn't have to worry about the files being unjustly modified if you re-enable the antivirus after everything is fixed.
That type of move wouldn't normally work if TB hadn't been installed on the new system yet.
Since it is already installed, the files are registered and the registry entries currently exist.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I really hate to say this, I tried copying the profile and actual program files... Tb flashed as though it was about to open and then closed... I did try a lot of things (good and bad and ugly).
Right, and had you installed TB on the new system first before copying over the actual program files? If not, none of the actual program files would have had proper registry entries...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yep had pre-installed TB before copying and did not uninstall so reg entries should have been intact.
I just thought of this as well. If the MSF files are the culprits, you could move the entire profile folder, and then do an advanced search for .MSF extensions, and then delete all of the .MSF files in the folder before opening TB. You would have to turn off "Hide extensions for known file types."
Actually, you could probably just type .msf in the search box of that folder.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yep good thought, but as you say this is 'if' the msf files are the problem, could possibly be something else in the profile, but I'll think on that and might be worth a shot.
I think that would be my next step... maybe make a copy of the profile folder you have now and rename it. Then try searching for .msf in the actual profile folder, highlight and delete them all...then open it up. If it's a no-go, all you would have to do is delete that folder and change the name of the copied folder back to the original.
Or if they are still in the recycle bin, just restore them..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm covered, I have copies of the profile folder everywhere :/... would be without a paddle if I lost that!
Hah, I know the feeling. Had a client that recently encountered a Ransomware virus. It actually encrypted all of his personal files with RSA encryption. LITERALLY, encrypted all of his files. There is currently no tool to reverse the encryption. He lost access to hundreds of pictures, important documents, etc. I put the encrypted files in a separate folder for him in the event they release a fix for the encrypted files. It was quite disturbing...I was able to remove the virus and restore functionality to his system, but he said it doesn't do him much good with no files to access. Anyways, I hope I have done well in assisting you this evening. Feel free to contact me again if you need further assistance. Please remember that JustAnswer only pays their experts for time if they receive a positive rating. Either way, I'll be around if you need me! Thanks for your patience.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should I close this session now... my first time using justanswer. Much appreciate your time, sorry it was a tricky one.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
BTW: I've seen ransom ware, best if people who catch it leave the PC alone and then you stand a chance of recovery.
That is up to you. If you want to keep it open for this specific problem, that is fine until it is resolved. After the issue is resolved, you should consider rating the service you received from me throughout the duration of the issue. If you feel you have adequate information to continue and resolve the issue yourself, then you can close it now. You will probably receive automated notification emails asking you to rate the service you received until you officially close the session - this is to remind clients of the service they used. Some people often forget they chatted in! Heh. -On the note of the ransomware, we found that before it encrypted the files, it actually deleted all of the shadow copies of the files it encrypted, and all of the windows restore points that would have allowed the reversal of the encryption. Since it erased the shadow copies, it made it difficult to find remnants of the files, even with high quality file recovery software. This specific ransomware virus was very detailed and thought out. I'm sure many people have paid the ransom to gain access to have their files decrypted. This specific procedure required you to upload each individual file to decrypt, and then allowed you to download the decrypted file. My client wasn't interested in paying them $500+ for his files...probably couldn't afford it.
Found some resources for you:Address Book folders Profiles
I have an appointment in a bit. Have a blessed evening my friend. Give me a shout back if you need anything else! -Dr. Bell
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does 'rating' actually close the session?. I will definately remember to rate, but at the moment I'm still having a little problem that I want to try ploughing through for a bit and wouldn't know how to get back to you if needed.
A good day to you too Dr.
I believe so. It is the final step to completing the discussion. No worries. Just keep the link to this chat handy and rate whenever you're ready. However, it will timeout after some time of inactivity. (Usually after a day or so). So if you'd like, just keep me posted on your progress until you're ready to end or until you need assistance.
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