Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted [SOLVED]

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999mintie
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Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted [SOLVED]

Post by 999mintie »

Hi, maybe this is better placed as a newbie query though I could not find a comparable thread.

I have linux mint 17.3 Rosa 32 bit Cinnamon since mid December. Before that I have used earlier versions. Always with Thunderbird for email with no real drama.

On Thursday last, the inbox had about 200 emails, the send box about 100 and total storage was in the MB range. Yesterday I logged on and all emails had gone. The new ones downloaded in last 2 days were there, but nothing visible of the previous. I looked at mozilla help, and tried repair folder. Nothing. I went to profile, deleted the msf files and rebooted. Then compacted. The data files are empty.

The only out of ordinary event last week was a Thunderbird recommendation to compact all folders - which I did.

I am assuming all emails are now lost. More disturbing is why did it happen and how can I prevent it again?

Advice appreciated.
Last edited by 999mintie on Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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johanna
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by johanna »

Hello,
I use Claw Mail and the same thing has happened to me today. When I logged in this morning, there were no emails in my inbox.
In fact all my folders with saved emails from friends are empty.
The sent mail were there, but I could not access them.
Very odd. I have received a few mails today and they appeared normally in my inbox.
regards, Johanna

Cosmo.
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by Cosmo. »

First question: What type of e-mail account, IMAP or POP3.

First step: close TB completely and open your file manager. Make hidden files visible (ctrl-h). Now copy (not move) the complete folder .thunderbird in your home to a save place. We can proceed after your answer.

@joanna:
Please open a new thread about this. Claws uses a quite different storage system than TB; answers to the OP do not apply for you.

999mintie
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by 999mintie »

Hi Cosmo

POP3.

TB closed.

Can't remember how to open file manager, though think I have already done so previously as dot folders visible.

.Thunderbird folder copied (not moved) to different location.

M

Cosmo.
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by Cosmo. »

Does this mean, that you managed to open your file manager? Anyway: open your menu and enter in the search bar: nemo.

Important: Linux file system is case-dependent: not .Thunderbird, but .thunderbird. (I assume in this case a typo by you.)

Proceeding:
Open TB, click the sandwich icon -> help icon -> information for troubleshooting.
This opens a new tab in TB. You find in the upper part the information for the profile folder and a button to open this in your file manager. Click it.
Now close TB again.
Double click in the file manager the folder named Mail, now double click the folder with the name of your e-mail account. Delete the file Inbox.msf. Be careful: Do not delete the file Inbox (without ending)!
As you are here: What is the size of the file Inbox?
Start TB. Do you see your mails?

999mintie
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by 999mintie »

Hi again

I think I opened file manager some months ago and made all system files visible. Anyway did Nemo again and yes, it is .thunder... not .Thunder...

Started TB. Opened Trouble shooting information. 4th line down, profile directory, opened directory. Found email folder for pop account. Opened that. Deleted inbox.msf.

Noticed that inbox folder (without the msf) was 91kb. this is much too small.

Closed directory. Opened TB. No past emails in inbox.

M

Cosmo.
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by Cosmo. »

You are right, 91 kb means, that the inbox is nearly empty. Sorry to say, but your mails are lost, except if you have a backup.

What you can try is to download the files, which are still on the server:
Close TB, delete in the same folder the file popstate.dat.
After opening TB again you can download all mails, which are still on the server. This might give you some mails, which you already have, a second time.

999mintie
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by 999mintie »

Please advise if this explains the situation.

In account settings - about 5-10 days ago - I changed the 'Disk Space' line from 'don't delete messages ever' to 'delete messages after 4 days'. I had thought this only meant delete messages still on the server as I have had problems with the server inbox filling up.

Is it possible that this also means delete messages in the profile, in addition to those in the server?

It has never been a problem in other comps. In fact I have another Thunderbird account that has 1GB of messages with the same setting.

chiefjim
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by chiefjim »

999mintie wrote:Please advise if this explains the situation.

In account settings - about 5-10 days ago - I changed the 'Disk Space' line from 'don't delete messages ever' to 'delete messages after 4 days'. I had thought this only meant delete messages still on the server as I have had problems with the server inbox filling up.

Is it possible that this also means delete messages in the profile, in addition to those in the server?

It has never been a problem in other comps. In fact I have another Thunderbird account that has 1GB of messages with the same setting.
It appears you answered your own question confusing disc space with server settings. Disc space refers to your hardware.
Desktop:
Mint-18.3 Mate 64 bit
MSI B85M-E45
Intel G3258
Crucial Ballistic Sport 8GB DDR3 1600
2TB HDD WD Black 7200rpm

Laptop:
Acer Aspire AS5552-5898
Mint-17.3 Mate 64 bit
AMD Phenom II Triple-Core N830
4GB Memory DDR3
500GB HDD 5400rpm

999mintie
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted [SOLVED]

Post by 999mintie »

Now that's a pity

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Moem
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted

Post by Moem »

999mintie wrote:It has never been a problem in other comps. In fact I have another Thunderbird account that has 1GB of messages with the same setting.
Is it possible that these messages are stored in different folders than the Inbox? This setting might only be applied to the Inbox folder. But I'm not in the know, so I'm offering this as a hypothetical.
Sorry you lost your emails!
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

Cosmo.
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted [SOLVED]

Post by Cosmo. »

There are in the account settings the server settings, where you can set to delete the mails after a given amount of days. This affects the mails on the server. Regarding of your settings you can re-download the still exiting mails with the advice from my previous post.

And there the settings about the storage space. This affects what it says: You storage space and will delete all older post and in addition also the mails on the server. If you have used this setting you will also not be able to re-download again.

BTW: it is a bad habit, to collect tens or hundred of mails in the inbox. The inbox is the most problematic mail-folder, because it collects by design all (except you would use filter) mails, that you receive. This means, that the content of this mail-folder (technically the file Inbox) gets permanently changed. You should always move mails after reading to the proper storage mail folder; that is the purpose of Local Folders.
You wouldn't collect hundred of letters, that you receive, in your post box, would you?
Similar is valid for the sent-folder.

But in case you have deleted anything and do not have a proper backup, then the computer will do what you advice: It deletes.

BTW: If you would not have used the repair function (starting post), there would have probably be a chance to restore the mails anyway. But now it's too late.

999mintie
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Re: Thunderbird emails mysteriously deleted [SOLVED]

Post by 999mintie »

Cosmo

Thanks for the follow up and advice. Only way to learn.
M

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