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Issue Moving Thunderbird to External Drive

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bobyorke
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Issue Moving Thunderbird to External Drive

Hi and thanks for reading this.

My wife and I have both used TB for years - mine as Portable TB on an external drive and hers as regular TB on her C drive. With her SSD getting full-ish, I decided to move her over to Portable TB on an external drive, but I've hit a problem.

I installed Portable TB on the drive and it ran fine, so I copied her original profile to the external drive, and again, no problem. TB fired up and I could see her existing email, and downloaded 20-odd new messages.

Thunderbird also carried out an auto-update, which all went normally - i.e. the update happened and TB restarted itself OK. The problem is this: I then exited TB and - an hour or so later - started to show my wife how to run the Portable edition. Instead of starting up normally, TB threw up the following error:

Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition, cannot be started. You may wish to reinstall to fix this issue (ERROR: thunderbird.exe could not be found)

I'd be grateful for any help with this, as I'm foxed.

John T. Haller
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Something Moved

ThunderbirdPortable.exe expects itself to be in a directory and then Thunderbird to be in App\ThunderbirdPortable\thunderbird.exe relative to it. If you see that error, it's not there. Your autoupdate may have updated the local install and not the portable one if the Thunderbird update service was triggered. This could have removed your portable copy of Thunderbird inside Thunderbird Portable. I've never heard of this happening, so it's just a guess. The majority of folks update via the PA.c Platform. Check and see if it's there.

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

bobyorke
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Hi John, thanks for your

Hi John, thanks for your reponse. I searched the entire external disk but there was no sign of thunderbird.exe at all, and it seemed to me a lot of other files were missing - unless TBPortable.exe creates a lot when it first runs? Anyway, I deleted everything and redownloaded, reinstalled a couple of times, but with pretty much the same result - I did this using the PA.com installer, by the way.

For no real good reason, I took the external drive to my own desktop machine and tried installing there, and the whole thing worked without issue, which suggested some issue between TB, PA.c and my wife's HP Pavilion.

TB also worked fine when I re-attached the drive to my wife's machine. However, TB wanted to update itself, so I went ahead and did that, after which everything failed again - same symptoms as before.

Once more I reinstalled using my own machine - worked fine - and TB is still working fine after reattaching to my wife's machine, but I guess I'm currently in a place where I will have to take the drive to my own machine each time an update is required.

Not sure what all this points to, but thanks again for your help.

John T. Haller
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That Location

It would seem that somehow your wife's laptop has Thunderbird installed locally but pointing to the location that the portable install's internal copy of Thunderbird is somehow. If you don't need Thunderbird installed on your wife's laptop, I'd recommend uninstalling it locally. You can then reinstall it afterwartds if you'd like, You may have to have the external connected for the uninstall to complete.

There are no issues normally running Thunderbird Portable alongside a locally installed Thunderbird.

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

OldFran
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I have a similar problem: same error message

I have 2 PCs, each having Thunderbird installed on the C: drive. In addition I have installed thunderbird portable, along with its data files, profile, etc on a disk that I switch between the two PCs. When I recently did the switch, I started getting this same error message. I reinstalled Thunderbird on the C: drive to no avail. Now I will switch back to my other PC and see what happens.

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