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Uh-oh. Thunderbird Portable crashing/terminating on start-up

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tmaibaum
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Uh-oh. Thunderbird Portable crashing/terminating on start-up

Hello,

after using Thunderbird Portable under XP Professional for a few month without any problems, I ran into some SERIOUS trouble now. I had one obsolete POP account that I deleted the usual way (Tools > Account settings > Remove account). I'm not sure this is the cause of the problem, but I have no idea what else could be.

After that, TP refused to start again. I.e. it starts showing the splash screen and terminates after one or two seconds without even showing the main window. It also disappears from the Taskmanager.

I copied the TP folder to another computer (I'm normally using it from my local harddisk), where the symptoms are only slightly different: The main window appears for one or two seconds without showing any accounts or e-mail , then the standard XP crash dialogue appears offering to report the problem to Microsoft...

I hope someone here has an idea what to do about this and/or how to restore my archived messages which I totally depend on...

Thomas

PS: I'll be traveling for most of the next 36 hrs or so, so I won't be able to respond to any replies quickly. Please post some advise anyway...

John T. Haller
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Reinstall

A crash like that often indicates a corrupt file in TB itself. Reinstall Thunderbird Portable right over itself (it'll preserve all your data) and try it again.

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

willsmike
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TB Jul 2007 version won't start

Well, I'm in a similar boat... I had been running an earlier version of TBP that came with the Portable Apps bundle, and for about a week it was all fine and dandy. Then it asked if I wanted to load the update, and after a few nags I said yes. Now, when I try to start it (on PA menu or doubleclick on its own file), I get a quick black-screen window that disappears after 2 seconds, and nothing else.

I reloaded TBP (took 2 tries), and it will not light up.

Windows XP, current SP & patches, no virus software running, Win XP firewall enabled.

help?

tmaibaum
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Thanks for your help.

Thanks John for your quick help. Unfortunately I did not have internet access until now (came to San Diego Airport just to get into the internet...). I'll try this immediately.

Thomas

tmaibaum
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No success...

John, I just did what you advised but the result is the same. I also tried to install TBP in a fresh folder and copied just the "data" folder from the old installation into the new folder. When I tried to launch the program, it crashed just the same. Apparently something must be wrong inside the data folder.

NB I did a backup of the old TBP folder by simply copying it to another place. While it was copying, I noticed that the mdb files of the account I had deleted still exist - maybe this points to the cause of the problem? I will try and delete them and see what happens.

Please keep your advise coming, even if it may take a while before I can reply.

tmaibaum
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Still no solution?

Just back from vacation, I need to work with my e-mail and am disappointed that no solution seems to have been found yet... For the time being, I have set up a new, "empty" ThunderbirdPortable folder so that I can at least access the messages that arrived since the crash. If no one can come up with a solution, I may have have to try and import my older mail and settings from the corrupt TP. However, it will be very time-consuming to restore all the extensions, settings, folders for several accounts. That's why I would really prefer to get some more hints. If you have any ideas at all, PLEASE post. Thanks you so much in advance!

AlyM
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May have a possible reason

I had the same problem, starting after I upgraded my stylish extension today. Uninstalling the extension and a computer restart solved my problem. Please note that I am using this without the portable app suite (because I started off using the U3 version.) Good luck!

tmaibaum
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Not sure... Safe mode?

... if and how the causes may be related, even if the result is the same. First off, I didn't update any extensions; I've had the same tried and tested set of extensions for quite a while. Even if one of them got corrupted somehow and I knew which, I still wouldn't know how to uninstall it, because I can't even launch TP. Not even in safe mode. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to post.

tmaibaum
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Update

I played around a bit and found that it is enough to move just the old pref.js to the new location to reproduce the problem. Is this just because the contents of the old pref.js obviously doesn't match its new "environment", or is it plausible to assume that something is wrong inside the old pref.js? If so, is there a way do identify what exactly? Please advise, world. Wink

John T. Haller
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Corrupt

At this point, you can assume something within your profile is corrupt. What I'd suggest is creating a new profile and then copying your mail, etc into it. This will given you a full set of good settings along with all your old mail.

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

tmaibaum
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Thanks

Dear John, do I understand you correctly as saying that it's impossible to determine the exact cause, at least with reasonable effort? I'm asking because if so, I'm going to play it safe now and copy just the mail files and set up everything else from scratch.

Also, do you have any reports of this happening when people deleted an account? (I assume that if so, it would be a general Thunderbird issue rather than one related to the portable version, but anyway.)

John T. Haller
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Corrupt Profile

It's not when deleting an account, it's when a file gets corrupted. This happens in normal Thunderbird on a local hard drive as well. It's more likely to happen on a portable drive as there are other factors at work (accidental removal, under-powered USB ports that cause data loss, etc). If it were me, I'd just rebuild the profile and copy the mail files in (in fact, I've done that with my local TB before).

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

tmaibaum
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OK

Thanks for your explanation and advise (as well as for your other work).

rage6839
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What version

I just updated and I am getting the same error. Is Mozilla going to let Thunderbird go the way of the dodo bird? I formatted my entire usb drive trying to figure out what was wrong. Are the older versions still working or is Thunderbird no longer a viable option?

tmaibaum
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This probably isn't Mozilla's fault

I haven't heard any reports that problem is connected with the newest version or occurring more often with the newest version. (It definitely wasn't connected with an update in my case.) To make sure, you may "install" an older version over the current one and just see what happens. If it doesn't help either, just make a fresh start and just copy your mail files into the new portable folder. You will also have to restore all your preferences, filters, extensions etc. one by one. After installing each extension, restart to see if it'll launch. If it doesn't, launch Thunderbird in safe mode and remove it. It's possible that an extension is incompatible with the newest version. Officially, incompatible extensions shouldn't install in the first place, but there's no guarantee. Depending on how many mail folders, filters and extensions you have, and how strongly your settings differed from the vanilla out-of-the-box version, this may take frustratingly long. But it's the safest bet there is.

consul
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their sandbox needs cleaning. :)

"Officially, incompatible extensions shouldn't install in the first place, but there's no guarantee. Depending on how many mail folders, filters and extensions you have, and how strongly your settings differed from the vanilla out-of-the-box version, this may take frustratingly long. But it's the safest bet there is."

I've noticed more recently that on mozilla's website for their addons or extensions, there were many more that when you clicked on it to download, they were still in the "sandbox" and needed a secondary login. Maybe some of those items are getting out too soon.

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

rab040ma
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One suggestion: IMAP

One suggestion: IMAP.

With IMAP, your mail is at the server. If T-bird needs to be re-installed from scratch, all your mail is still right there.

Your filters and other customizations can be copied over one by one from the old setup until one fails; but even before you do that, you at least have access to your messages.

There are even webmail options that work with IMAP, and you can set T-bird to show your IMAP mail "offline" so you can work on it without being connected.

Not that IMAP completely mitigates the pain of a Thunderbird crash, but it can help a bit.

MC

jdthepig
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I'm having the same problem

I've been getting prompted to update for over a month and I keep saying no. Well, it appears to have automatically updated yesterday and now I can't get into Thunderbird. I get the splash screen and that's it. I have a major amount of email and contacts that I need to find a way to access. I'm not really familiar with how the U3 version works so I would appreciate any information on how to get through this problem.

Thanks!

jdthepig
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resolved my issue

I discovered that the U3 version of my thunderbird.exe was corrupted due to a terminated upgrade. To fix, I backed up my profile, uninstalled U3 version, re-installed U3 version, copied my profile back to the flash drive and I was back in business.

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