Backing up Thunderbird

MouldyOldDough
MouldyOldDough Posts: 1,665
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edited 11 November 2023 at 4:12PM in Techie Stuff
In the past - I have always used Mozbackup - But see that the latest version of Thunderbird has a backup built in (zip file) - is this reliable or should I still use mozbackup ?

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  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,814
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    You could just copy the Thunderbird profile folder...

  • facade
    facade Posts: 6,911
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    edited 12 November 2023 at 6:44PM
    In the past - I have always used Mozbackup - But see that the latest version of Thunderbird has a backup built in (zip file) - is this reliable or should I still use mozbackup ?

    I was all excited to read this, so I had a look. With trembling fingers I pressed the button, selected a folder and watched the progress bar move to 100%.

    The answer to your question is-

    DO NOT USE IT.

    It creates a broken zipfile that windows won't open.  Using Winrar to test it it is full of crc errors.

    The good thing about it is that it provides a button to jump straight into your profile folder*, go back up the tree one step and copy this profile folder to a usb stick as Neil_Jones suggests.

    *I suspect they know it doesn't work, as they suggest simply copying the profile as we have always done if it is above 2GB (naturally mine is.) Whether it works flawlessly with small profiles is anyone's guess, I wouldn't trust it with my 100% failure rate!


    EDIT:

    Yes, they know it doesn't work, but released it anyway, you'd think that it would be trivial to just throw an error message and halt when it figures out the zip is getting over 2GB, rather than creating one that is full of errors with no comment....


    EDIT 2:  When mine first "upgraded" I was annoyed that I couldn't find any way to force a check for new mail.
    Today the obvious right click on the email address of the mailbox has "get messages" as the first item. I'm sure it wasn't there before, maybe it has patched itself when I did a reboot this afternoon....




    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,814
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    I think what you mean to say it works, but only if your file is less than 2Gb.  Which will be able for 99% of users.  So its not true to say it doesn't "work" per se.  It does.  But not in your specific case as you have lots of data

    But anyway its usually far quicker to just copy the profile folder (which you can zip yourself in Windows) and then copy it away.
  • facade
    facade Posts: 6,911
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    I think what you mean to say it works, but only if your file is less than 2Gb.  Which will be able for 99% of users.  So its not true to say it doesn't "work" per se.  It does.  But not in your specific case as you have lots of data

    But anyway its usually far quicker to just copy the profile folder (which you can zip yourself in Windows) and then copy it away.

    What I mean to say is

    It definitely doesn't work if your file is above 2GB (because I personally tested it), and based on that I wouldn't trust it to work with files under 2GB either (but I can't test it, to trust it it has to work every single time).

    In my naiveté I can't imagine a reason why simply zipping up the contents of the profile folder would fail if, and only if, the profile folder exceeds 2GB, there must be something fundamentally wrong with what they are doing.


    However, as I said, the one good thing about the backup function is it provides a one press shortcut to the profile folder instead of searching for it in the buried menus.

    (once again, I am a 1% outlier- seems I am in that 1% with everything that I do though! :) )
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • If things are working for with Mozbackup why not keep it going?
  • facade said:
    I think what you mean to say it works, but only if your file is less than 2Gb.  Which will be able for 99% of users.  So its not true to say it doesn't "work" per se.  It does.  But not in your specific case as you have lots of data

    But anyway its usually far quicker to just copy the profile folder (which you can zip yourself in Windows) and then copy it away.

    What I mean to say is

    It definitely doesn't work if your file is above 2GB (because I personally tested it), and based on that I wouldn't trust it to work with files under 2GB either (but I can't test it, to trust it it has to work every single time).

    In my naiveté I can't imagine a reason why simply zipping up the contents of the profile folder would fail if, and only if, the profile folder exceeds 2GB, there must be something fundamentally wrong with what they are doing.


    However, as I said, the one good thing about the backup function is it provides a one press shortcut to the profile folder instead of searching for it in the buried menus.

    (once again, I am a 1% outlier- seems I am in that 1% with everything that I do though! :) )
    currently my profile is 6Gb
  • facade
    facade Posts: 6,911
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    edited 14 November 2023 at 10:20AM


    currently my profile is 6Gb
    Join me in the 1% club!

    It isn't hard to have a profile over 2GB if you don't delete past emails (except spam) and you've been using Thunderbird for 10 years or so. I moved from Outlook Express when I moved from XP to Win 7.


    I forgot to say, the backup button appears to work, doesn't give any errors and produces a zip file of the correct size.
    BUT, if you try and open the zip file it is corrupt. Which is Super Bad Form if the user is trusting and doesn't check the backup.

    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • facade said:


    currently my profile is 6Gb
    Join me in the 1% club!

    It isn't hard to have a profile over 2GB if you don't delete past emails (except spam) and you've been using Thunderbird for 10 years or so. I moved from Outlook Express when I moved from XP to Win 7.


    I forgot to say, the backup button appears to work, doesn't give any errors and produces a zip file of the correct size.
    BUT, if you try and open the zip file it is corrupt. Which is Super Bad Form if the user is trusting and doesn't check the backup.

    I still have emails from my Win 95 days - although not in my profile
    I used to use Outlook express too
  • J_B
    J_B Posts: 6,383
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    I used to use Outlook express too

    4.71 was best!!! ;)
  • J_B said:
    I used to use Outlook express too

    4.71 was best!!! ;)
    I think that I used MS internet mail prior to OE
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