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T'Bird Portable New Version Updates don't seem to work and also takes extreme amount of time on USB flash drive - SOLVED

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habanero.dave
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T'Bird Portable New Version Updates don't seem to work and also takes extreme amount of time on USB flash drive - SOLVED

Topic title is the concise summary, I apologize for such a long post below to add more details.

I'd already posted a topic on Thunderbird's primary forum and was referred here. Here's a link to that topic but all info in it is reposted here on this Portableapps topic:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1410653?utm_campaign=questio...

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I've been using 32bit Thunderbird portable on a Win7SP1+ x64 system for years, running off a Sandisk Extreme Pro USB flash drive (essentially a USB bridged SSD, not a slow storage media at all). It has plenty of free space and no other issues I'm aware of, running other apps though seldom do any others, update if ever.

For quite a while, a simple version update, say a ~5MB download, takes a long time, like over a minute. This is a minute after it's downloaded successfully, closed, and T'Bird relaunched, then little update box takes that long to finish. I eventually just decided it's quicker/safer to copy the T'Bird portable folder over to an SSD, run T'Bird from that to do the update, then copy it back to the Sandisk Extreme Pro. That seems really odd and if anyone knows what's up with that, I'd gladly like to know.

However now, the past update (I always update to latest version) and this update, something strange happens. It states an update available, or i put it off and later click Help>About Thunderbird to click the update button, and it downloads it, then I click "Restart to update thunderbird", and it closes, and a very brief updating window box is present (states Thunderbird is installing the update, or something to that effect), with the update bar not moving at all, so within about a second, that update box closes and T'Bird starts, and has not updated, still on (as of right now), version 102.9.1.

If I then repeat the above, clicking Help>About Thunderbird, it again presents the button to click "Restart to update Thunderbird", so I click it, and same as above, keeps failing to update. There is no error message. I've repeated this process multiple times and it won't update to 102.10 that it had already downloaded.

I also tried toggling the setting "Use a background service to install updates", to turned on (was turned off by default?), but every time I restart T'Bird, it's off, uncheckmarked again. Attached is that update box with the bar that never moves, just appears for a second then T'Bird is running without having updated.

The extreme slowness updating running T'Bird from the flash drive has been ongoing for a long time but this failing to update at all is something new for the last 2-3 versions at most (AFAICT).

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To clarify, I can't get 102.9.1 to update from either the USB flash drive and/or the copy on an SSD, both fail to apply the update, which this exact same configuration has worked fine for years besides the last version or two. I wish I remembered if there was something special I did to get it to update to the 102.9.1 but I don't recall anything besides just clicking the restart button again which doesn't work this time.

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Okay it gets weirder still. Doing nothing differently, except waiting the amount of time between my first post and now (almost 3 hours), the version update worked normally as expected by just launching T'Bird, except as initially mentioned, that it takes a strange/excessive amount of time to merely upgrade a 5MB update file to a USB flash drive capable of near SSD speed. Running same copy from SSD now also updates fine ~3 hrs later and updates very fasat.

To clarify, this USB bridged SSD flash drive is very fast. It has never been a problem running any other more intensive portable /other apps, nor T'Bird day to day for years.

Is the takeaway that if I want to version update this config, I have to wait hours to run T'Bird again? Failing any other solution, that seems to be the case.

Thanks for your reply!

John T. Haller
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Proper Upgrade, USB Flash Drive Is Nowhere Close to SSD

While Thunderbird's built-in updater remains functional within Thunderbird Portable, when was the last time you did a proper upgrade of the entire app? It's described here: https://portableapps.com/support/portable_app#upgrading

Without upgrading the full app, the launcher never gets upgraded. And it's changed quite a bit over the years.

It's also worth pointing out that your USB drive will have *much* worse performance than an an average SATA SSD with small writes. Your specific drive gets around 10 MB/s with random reads and writes. A $53 Sandisk SATA SSD (1TB Ultra 3D) will get around 50x that speed.

Thunderbird's internal updater does a differencing update, so it'll be really slow on your USB drive but much faster when you do it on your internal SSD as you've seen. The manual way of updating (as well as the PA.c Platform's updater) wipes all the files and then installs new ones, so it'll be faster on USB.

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

habanero.dave
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Thanks John. I just did that

Thanks John. I couldn't tell you the last time I did one of the alternate update methods. I had the (launcher?) ver. 1.6.12.0 date 8/31/2011. I just did that per your instruction, downloaded and applied the standalone installation to the copy of T'Bird Portable on the SSD.

It is the same version # 102.10.0 I already had, but I noticed that the original copied to the SSD, is ThunderbirdPortable.exe v. 1.6.12.0 while the copy on the SSD that was replace by the standalone installer is now v 2.7.1.0. After checking the profile/data was there, did same to the USB flash drive copy and seemed to work, but yeah it is writing so many small files, fairly slow to apply the standalone too. I couldn't even imagine how long it would take on my slower USB flash drives.

Will see if that does the trick, waiting till next T'Bird version to be released, OR will I probably have to keep updating the standalone from time to time, or every time instead of through the Thunderbird app itself like I was used to doing?

I also noticed it took up an additional ~226MB of storage space and switched me to the 64bit version of Thunderbird. Any gotchas involved with that? It's been a while since I had any urge to put the flash drive into a 32bit system but I do happen to have one still on the network, does the launcher detect that and launch the 32bit version and still keep the profile/data?

Thanks again,
Dave

John T. Haller
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Automatic Bits

Both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions are now included, hence the install size increase. And additional installation time. The launcher automatically selects the correct one base on the host OS. The same profile is used for both. From a user's perspective, it just works wherever you go.

You can use TB's built in updater, but will miss our launcher changes. The launcher has to change as TB does. For instance, your 12 year old launcher would have left files and directories behind on each machine because newer TB does more local stuff outside the profile directory than old TB that our current launcher has been updated to handle.

Better app performance overall would require a hardware upgrade. If you wanted to stay with a USB stick style, the BUFFALO External SSD would be about 15-20x faster for small writes and the Kingston DataTraveler Max would be 10-20x faster. A good external SSD would be even faster. Note that I don't have personal experience with either of these.

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

habanero.dave
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As a conclusion to this topic

As a conclusion to this topic, T'Bird Portable informed me of a new version yesterday.

I used the apps' update button, it downloaded and did complete the update.

It was still running on the USB flash drive so took a good minute to update once relaunched, but it worked to update to 102.10.1 x64.

Thanks again John!

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