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TB inbox has gibberish folders and lost read mail after upgrade.

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Last seen: 15 years 6 days ago
Joined: 2009-07-12 06:45
TB inbox has gibberish folders and lost read mail after upgrade.


I'm running thunderbird portable on my memory stick, I did the update last week to the latest suggested version (the one that popped up in the update window). It says my current version is version (20090605)

I haven't updated TB since I installed portable apps 1.1 as I haven't had bandwidth.

Now my inbox has below it a whole lot of random folders named /, $ etc. The last few folders are named by single letters a to t Whats in my inbox is a small percent of my mail(seems to be only unread mail, and the other folders are gone.

It does download new mail, but once I've read it it dissapears when I use TB again.

There is a padlock symbol over the inbox folder, can't remember if this was there before or what it means.

If I click on my inbox to try and read the new mail, it opens very slowly and the whole thing crashes really easily.

I have tried on 2 pcs both running windows xp

Wierdly, if I look at the properties of my TB folder on my mem stick, it comes up as over 4 GB, except my whole memory stick is only 2GB.

I also know I haven't compressed folders in a while (it's really slow) and I did organise a chunk of different mail into folders last week.

Any suggestions / fixes greatly appreciated

I'm thinking maybe just delete and reinstall? But hoping there is another way so that I don't have to sort folders etc. again

Also once I close TB, I can't open it again or eject memory stick as pc says another instance of thunderbird is already running.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 33 min ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21

Anytime you see a file size that is larger than the drive, it means there is corruption on the drive. TB is probably attempting to work with it, but can't.

You should check the drive for errors, repair them, then trying running the TB installer again. There is a good chance your mail files are lost due to corruption, so you will need to restore from a backup.

Additionally, if corruption issues show up without you unsafely ejecting or using a PC with a faulty USB port, it is often an indication that the drive itself is about to fail.

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

Last seen: 15 years 6 days ago
Joined: 2009-07-12 06:45
thank you

OK. If my drive is failing that is bad news. I have removed it without ejecting, not often but occassionally it wont let me eject. Usually when that happens I shutdown my machine, but I know that is also not safe.

You said I should check my drive for errors, how do I do that?

And then to reinstall Thunderbird, do I delete the TB folder in portable apps and then install it as I would a new app?
Can I then just replace the profile folder with the one I have on backup?
Do I need to close and open portable apps before I reinstall

Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan's picture
Last seen: 9 years 4 weeks ago
Joined: 2007-04-15 21:08
Shutdown is a safe way of

Shutdown is a safe way of closing them. For myself, the way I like to do it is with Process Explorer, and search for the drive letter (e.g. "F:"). In my experience, TSVNCache.exe has been the biggest culprit (part of TortoiseSVN) but Microsoft Office and are also a nuisance.

To check for errors, right click on the drive and click Properties; Tools tab; Check for errors. Also, from the command line, you can use CHKDSK X: /F.

You can update portable apps by just installing the new version over the top. This is also a better idea than deleting them, as occasionally some apps have changes in their data storage or similar, which the installer will fix.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

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