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Portable Thunderbird Melt-Down

JamesGlitz - October 24, 2011 - 3:47pm
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I posted this in the Thunderbird support forum, but haven't received a reply, and have an event with 200 people coming up in two days without access to my emails, so I hope no one's offended by the crosspost.

Portable Thunderbird OSX meltdown
Edit Subject
I am running Portable Thunderbird on a USB drive on OSX. Today it just crashed completely - got stuck opening a message. When I restarted, all my folders were gone, everything moves at a snail's pace, but my settings remained.

2011-10-24 19:52:00 gloda.datastore ERROR got error in _asyncTrackerListener.handleError(): 11: not an error

2011-10-24 19:52:29 gloda.datastore ERROR Async queryFromQuery error: 11: database disk image is malformed

Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE) [nsIJSON.decode]" nsresult: "0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://messenger/content/folderPane.js :: ftv_load :: line 126" data: no]

2011-10-24 19:54:01 gloda.ds.pch ERROR database error:[xpconnect wrapped mozIStorageError]

I tried:

Copying over the entire app to the hard drive. Error message "some content in the inbox is incomplete".

Deleting the msf files. Couldn't do the next step, rebuilding the index files, because there was no right-click option for that on mac.

The USB is not out of space, 4 Gb left.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,

Slightly panicked user named James

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I don't really have a clue but does this help you?

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate


Unfortunately, I'm unaware of any support portable software from Mozilla for OSX. FreeSMUG makes some unofficial builds, but I don't believe they are supported by anyone.

Have you thought about copying the mail files into a Windows version of TB on a Windows box and trying to rebuild it then? Be sure and backup before anything you do.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!


Thanks John. Was all set to try the idea, but now the entire USB drive is failing. I stuck it into my Windows laptop, it took a long time to recognize the files, then I first tried to delete a file (to free up as much space as possible on the drive, despite the 4 gig already on there). After a while it just said the file couldn't be found. Then I plugged the drive in again, and it recognized the drive initially, but never actually showed the files. It's a Corsair Voyager GTR and there's a little LED on it, that shows when it's trying to do something - the light just keeps blinking as if it's working but not getting anywhere. Same thing on the Mac.

Give it a Minute

Give it a minute by itself (on the off chance something is overheating), then try it on one of the two computers. When a drive is failing, don't delete anything or write to it. Only read... copy files off to a local computer hard drive. When flash drives start to die, they can die very quickly. Not as much warning as random errors, weird sounds, etc from a physical hard drive.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!


Thanks. I'll leave it be for a few hours or until the morning. Kinda fear the worst though. Corsair forum is full of this happening.

external media file recovery

Hate to say it over and over again but if you make no backup it's kind of your own fault.

Here is what you can try to rescue your files from your stick.

Try PC Inspector USB recovery tool. It's free ware and should do the trick.

Good Luck and DO YOUR BUs in future Smiling

Thunderbird Portable severely malfunctioning.

Hi Folks,

I have been using Thunderbird Portable 3.1.1 several years on a 32GB EMTEC USB key, which is plugged into a Toshiba laptop (Intel Core2. CPU, U7500, 1.06Hz 1.06Hz, RAM: 1.50GB, 32 bit) under Windows Vista Business.

Now the file size is growing over 4GB compressed.

About a week ago I started experiencing something strange. It started taking 10 minutes to complete booting, but the address book was completely wiped out or, maybe, locked up. While booting, a message like "Problem with Script: resource:///modules/dbView Wrapper.js:235" kept showing up," so I kept clicking on [CONTINUE].

I've also got a message like "!!! unable to open the summary file for INBOX. Perhaps there's an error on disk, or the full path is too long."

I ran the disk check and defrag on the USB key, and found no problem.

I have no idea what caused this. There are two incidents that might cause this problem.

1) I created a new file for automatically forwarding emails coming to the mail box of another domain which I use for my business. The INBOX of this new folder has been completely wiped out, too. When I click on this INBOX, an err message says "Cannot open the summary file."

I want to remove this new file once, but it doesn't seem to let me do it. Will you tell me how to remove it?

2) Since about a few weeks ago I started emailing back and forth with a person in China. I am afraid there might be a bug in his email.

I want to recover the possibly locked up address book and the INBOX. Will you or someone tell me, if I reinstall the Thunderbird executable and override the existing broken one, will it work?

I am every anxious to fix this problem, as I will have to travel next week.

Thanks for your help, someone.
Kind regards,


two things I see

>Now the file size is growing over 4GB compressed.<

What is the flash device formated to? In general when you get them , they are FAT32.
This will like files of less then 2Gb , but will definitely not handle files larger then 4Gb.
When a file is 4gb, it will be damaged definitely, result completely unpredictable.
So you have to somehow export some old mails , or detach big attachments etc.

If the addressbook got damaged I dont know, as this is rather small file called abook. You might be able to recover this one.

But get rid of the mail folder file approaching 4gb first.

>I ran the disk check and defrag on the USB key, and found no problem.<
to run chkdisk is right, but any sort of defrag are completely pointless, it just adds other heavy wear to your flash stick. Do not do it therefore.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland