[SOLVED] Thunderbird not loading any profile

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bigal
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[SOLVED] Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

Mint 20.1 Cinnamon

My working Thunderbird profile is in a sub folder of a HDD drive where all my data is kept. This has worked fine for years. This morning it didn’t. TB profile manager is set to open my selected profile without asking at startup. When I clicked the icon to start TB it presented me with a profile startup page as if I had never used it in the past – Welcome to Mozilla Thunderbird 78.7.1/set up new email address & etc.

I used profile manager

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$ thunderbird -p
to see if it was looking at my normal profile and it was. I run a nightly backup of my data HDD so set up a new profile using the previous nights version. This also failed to start TB and again just presented me with a Welcome to Mozilla screen. So what has changed? There were some updates when I first logged on this morning one of which was a new kernel. I installed the updates before commencing anything else. I had been using kernel 5.4.0-70, the new one was 5.4.0-72. I looked around but could not find any reports of the replacement kernel giving any trouble with TB but rebooted into the previous one just in case. Still unable to access my profile. I have five days of backup files so I tried an earlier profile but that would not load either.

Don’t know where to go from here. Can anyone offer a suggestion please?
Last edited by bigal on Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

I forgot to add that I have also tried restoring to a previous Timeshift snapshot but that does not help either
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
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kc1di
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by kc1di »

When the welcome/profile setup comes up click off it then go to help (note you may have to add a menu bar by right clicking on the top to TB) once in the help menu go to Troubleshooting Information. Under the menu that comes up near the bottom of the list you will find and item called About:Profiles
click on that it will give you a list of all profiles available. Select yours and tell it to relaunch TB should be there.
Good luck.
Easy tips : https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/ Pjotr's Great Linux projects page.
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bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

Hi kc1di,
Is this what you mean please? There are three profiles listed. The bottom one is the one I am using but there is no option to actually open it.
Screenshot from 2021-04-16 13-19-01.png
Clicking on the 'Open directory' does just that. Does not start actually using it, only lists the contents.
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

As a matter of interest I have just tried using the 'About profiles' suggested above to open each of the other profiles shewn in the list in the posted image by clicking on the 'Launch profile' button . Neither of them opened properly. They just giving me the set up account pages.

I'm getting panicky now!
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
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kc1di
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by kc1di »

Don't panic. Here is what I would try first the last profile says it's already set as default so I would copy that profile to your home folder. and relaunch T.B. see if it finds it. If not you may have to create a new profile and just manuall copy all the the stuff I always keep a backup of my profile file on a usb stick just in case that way I only loose whatever I've done since the last back up.
Good Luck.

bye the way which version of Mint and T.B. are you using?
Easy tips : https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/ Pjotr's Great Linux projects page.
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
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bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

Mint 20.1 Cinnamon (64 bit)
Thunderbird 78.7.1 (64 bit)

As suggested, I copied that last profile into the .thunderbird home folder but profile manager did not find it. I then overwrite the ‘default’ profile in my home folder with a copy of my normal profile files. Opening that still resulted in TB asking to set up a new profile as before.

Unfortunately my Timeshift snapshots are created at 17:00 Hrs (local time) which is a time of day when my system is still in use. It means I am backing up programs like Thunderbird and Firefox when they are still running and have, for want of a better word, ‘running’ profiles’; a situation I am not happy with but that is a separate matter.

My data backups, however, are created when all users are logged out so no installed programs are in use. In that sense the backup files are ‘clean’.

I am not sure if my problem is an error in the Thunderbird program itself or in my profile.

My data backup system keeps the last five days of data, these include the TB profiles. Together with my Timeshift snapshots means that I have 5 Timeshift snapshots and 5 data backups.

None of the TB profiles open. All were created when TB itself was not loaded so initially I assumed that the problem is with the program itself. To test that I set up a new Thunderbird profile with which I can both send and received emails. (I note that there is no diary with that). So I have very limited email, No diary, no address books, no passwords.

What do you think of uninstalling Thunderbird and all of its files then reinstalling it?
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

Okay, I tried that.

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$ sudo apt-get purge thunderbird
Then I re installed.

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$ sudo apt-get install thunderbird
That still does not work. TB still opens and asks me to set up a new account no matter which of my original profiles I try to use. My test one with no access to diary, address books etcetera does still work though.
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
mikeflan
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by mikeflan »

I don't like the name of your profile (2021-03-03 etc). I think you should try to use the 2nd profile (default - Set as default profile). Then try to recover the account to that profile.

If that doesn't pan out, then it might be time for you to create the new account and build the new account up to match the existing account. Is that OK with you? Before create the new account look in /home/YOU/.thunderbird/ for a directory like ithagkqh.default2. There may be more than one. Find the one that is most current. It will be the one you will rebuild from. Recreate mail folders in the new account, shutdown TB, copy mail folders over, then restart TB. Keep doing that with addbook, etc. Take Timeshift snapshots along the way.
bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

Hi mikeflan. Thanks for looking at my problem. I do not understand why you do not like my profile name. I have used this format for both Firefox and Thunderbird profiles for many years without any problems at all. Can you explain why you don’t like the format please?

I had already created a new TB account and got it working for one email address – I have several that I normally use within my now broken profile. However, I do not know exactly which folders and files I need from my defective profile. Additionally I do not know how to move them over, just copy and paste? I tried using ‘Tools>import’ but I got a message saying that there was
No application to import data from found
I need all my accounts, all my messages of which there are literally hundreds, all of my addresses and all calender data.

I do not understand why one day the profile was fine than the following day it wasn’t. I also do not know how to find out what went wrong so, if it ever happens again I can correct it.

I have seven profiles in my various backup files. I could use any of them. I shut down normally that night. The next day I could not use any of them.
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
Reddog1
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by Reddog1 »

I don't know if you noticed, but Thunderbird's new version changed the name of the 'default' folder.

Instead of [randomlettersandnumbers].default

It is now [randomlettersandnumbers].default-release

If you copy the contents of your old [randomlettersandnumbers].default to [randomlettersandnumbers].default-release I believe you will get all your stuff back. I did. Good luck
mikeflan
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by mikeflan »

I think Reddog1 is on to something here, but if not:
Can you explain why you don’t like the format please?
I mainly don't like it because it doesn't work :) I thought you might learn something if you tried the other profiles. If Timeshift does not work, which doesn't make much sense to me, then I suspect you might have to rebuild your profile. And you might do that with one of the other profiles that already exist. In 15+ years I have only had to do that once, or maybe twice. It really wasn't incredibly painful, but I keep pretty good records of my settings. It also wasn't all that long ago.
I need all my accounts, all my messages of which there are literally hundreds, all of my addresses and all calender data.
accounts - you may have to rebuild that, but I'm not sure.
messages - no problem. We will get that for sure.
addresses - also no problem.
Caveat: I have only worked with TB ver 68.10.0 and lower. It's possible the newer versions with Lightning included natively will throw us a couple curves.

So lets get going. Start by looking in '/home/YOU/.thunderbird/2021-03-03_015data/Mail/Local Folders' and create mail folders for all files that have no extension. Then create subfolders for items in the folders.
bigal
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Re: Thunderbird not loading any profile

Post by bigal »

Hi all,

I eventually got it sorted.

After many tries at creating new profiles and copying the contents of my so called backup version of my profile I gave up at first. It was only later when thinking about it I saw the error of my ways. Each time I created a new profile I got asked to set up my email account which I did.

I was still searching the internet and eventually came up with this page

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https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/moving-thunderbird-data-to-a-new-computer
That did the trick. First I uninstalled Thunderbird, logging in as root to ensure I got everything

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 $ sudo rm -r thunderbird 
Next I did a search for thunderbird to see what was left

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 $ locate thunderbird 
There were several entries so I manually deleted each of them. I went on and deleted all TB profiles that had been created leaving just the latest one. (As I had been trying to move stuff there were several). I then rebooted.

Once logged back in I copied my backed up profile in its entirety and pasted it into my desired location, noting the path from my Mint username homepage.

Next I installed thunderbird

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 $ sudo apt-get install thunderbird 
Now I used profile manager to point TB to my last but defective profile

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 $ thunderbird -p 
I then closed Thunderbird and following the instructions in the webpage listed above and changed the path in the profiles.ini file to the path noted in the Mint username home page.

Please note that I actually made two changes in the profiles.ini file as there are two entries that show the path. The first is ‘Default’ section. The second is in the ‘Path’ section. Once done and saved I clicked on the menu item Thunderbird and – at last – my original profile was restored and there was peace in my little world.

Thank you everyone for all your help. Along the way I have actually learnt something so it has been a good, if at times frustrating, experience.
Lots of Minty machines but there again I like lamb and I do live in Wales!
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