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Thunderbird Portable leaving data on PC?

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kingofpenguins
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Thunderbird Portable leaving data on PC?

While using Thunderbird Portable on someone else's computer, I think that some data may be kept on the drive. This computer is set to use the Windows XP style login screen (the one that lists the users). After I finished with Thunderbird Portable and logged out (with messages still in my Inbox), on the login screen, it displayed how many unread messages there were and on which account (and then showed my email address if you clicked it). This was with my USB flash drive removed from the PC.

The only way that I could see to stop this behavior was to either hack the registry, or to use the TweakUI Power Tool from Microsoft to do this for me. I actually had to download TweakUI to disable this feature to prevent it from showing this data on this persons PC (who uses only webmail, so he wouldn't notice that the feature was gone).

As far as I know, this data is still stored on that computer and will reappear if the feature is re-enabled.

ZachHudock
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did you set thunderbird

did you set thunderbird portable as the default mail client for the PC? doing this could cause issues. You should never set a portable app as a system default, unless you are ok with data being left behind, or things possibly not working.

the only other thing i could think of is that didnt "safely remove" the flash drive, and it was just pulled out while thunderbird was still running.

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

kingofpenguins
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Thunderbird Portable was

Thunderbird Portable was _not_ set as the default mail client, and the flash drive was safely removed with all the applications and PortableApps menu closed.

ZachHudock
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well i'm stumped then. lets

well i'm stumped then. lets hope somebody with a bit more experience can help you solve this issue

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

Jimbo
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The launcher handles that... weird

I don't know what happened in your case, but the launcher correctly backs up and restores the registry keys involved... just tested it to make sure

The key is at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail

There is a subkey under that for each email account, with details of the app and the number of mails. The TBP launcher saves the current contents when it starts, TB updates it while it is running, but then, when you close TBP, the launcher restores the previous state, removing any accounts that TBP put in place, and putting back any that were previously there. I just tested it here with a couple of sample accounts, and it worked fine.

Did you definitely launch it from the launcher, rather than the app?

kingofpenguins
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I opened TBP directly from

I opened TBP directly from the PortableApps menu, so it /should/ have reset the key, but something may have gone wrong somewhere. :/

Anyways, shouldn't Thunderbird be patched so that it won't change the key at all, that way this problem would not exist, even if the launcher didn't reset the key properly?

Jimbo
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Not at all.

the apps distributed here are completely unchanged from the upstream applications.

Particularly in the case of the Mozilla suite apps, it would be illegal to do otherwise without all sorts of other things being done.

But the effort involved in re-working and patching the various apps, and redoing it all every single time there was an update would be ridiculous.

The launchers here are specifically written to make the normal application portable, handling the placement of settings files, editing them on the fly for drive letter changes, and backing up and restoring registy alterations wherever needed.

As for what happened here. I'm not at all sure - did the PC ever crash and reboot uncleanly while you were running TBP? Once the data got left in the registry, the launcher will faithfully back it up and restore it to place from then on.

kingofpenguins
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Ah yes, the whole Mozilla vs

Ah yes, the whole Mozilla vs Debian thing. I remember now. Smile
Now I get to use some strange thing called Iceweasel Wink

Well, the PC never crashed or rebooted. I just used it like I would do normally with no problems, until after I logged out. So it looks like it was a problem with the launcher somehow.

Anyways, is there anywhere else saying what you just said about the lack of patches and the launchers job so that everyone will know that they should be using the launcher?

wingmanjd
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Updates

I also have seen updates for the portable Mozilla programs being shown in the add/remove list as well.

kingofpenguins
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How were you updating your

How were you updating your Mozilla programs? Did you use the built in updater, or did you update like you're supposed to do with the portable applications?

https://portableapps.com/support/thunderbird_portable#upgrading

wingmanjd
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I was using...

...the built in-updater.

*looks around sheepishly*

Jimbo
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which explains it all :)

When you run the built-in updater, it will install a full copy of the app onto the machine, in a directory that just happens to be on your flash drive.

It will add all of the registry entries for the uninstaller, which is why you are seeing it on your list, and then it will restart the application directly, instead of by using the launcher, which will immediately update the unread counts that you're seeing, and they will never ever leave by themselves.....

Best thing you can do, after running the updater, it unplug the flash drive, uninstall (it will fail) using control panel, if it still appears in the program list, install the same version totally normally (not the portable one, the standard one of that numeric version), then uninstall it again.

After that, remove the registry keys for the unread mail, then you should be good to reinsert your flash drive, reinstall the portable version onto it if you want to be tidy, but that isn't strictly necessary, and then you can run it from the launcher as normal, and everything should be good.

wingmanjd
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What happens when...

...there's already a version of TB on the PC (true install) and a portable version on the flash that is being updated "incorrectly?" Will the true install's version incorrectly say it's newer?

Simeon
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no

I haven't tried it so I'm only guessing but I don't think it will say it is newer. Only some places in the registry like uninstallers will point to the wrong location. If that happened to you that you updated the portable version incorrectly, the beat thing is to update the local version afterwards. That will overwrite all the "wrong" things and everything should be ok.

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

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