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November 14, 2006 / Upnishad

Recover corrupted/deleted LOCAL emails in Thunderbird.

I have always loved Thunderbird…but my love crossed all bounds today. Somehow in the morning, somehow (dont blame the birdy) my local folders got corrputed and I missed lots of mails from a specific very dear folder…I panicked but my faith in the birdy never wavered. I remembered that birdy never actually deletes any mails until I compact the folders. I tried to google and found this superb article.. In a nutshell, you can recover those long gone mails as follows : (Disclaimer : This will work only if you have not compacted the folder)

– Turn off Thunderbird, do not compact.

– Using your OS, locate the file without an extension and with the same name as the Thunderbird folder where the messages were last (might be Trash) in your profile folder http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder#Thunderbird
For example, the Inbox file rather than inbox.msf or inbox.sbd.

– Open this file with a simple text editor.

– Change the digits after X-Mozilla-Status all to zero for those messages you wish to undelete if they still exist.

– Save the file

– Turn off the text editor

– Delete the file of the same name with the extension .msf. Example Trash.msf. This will rebuild the message index.

– If you are religious, say a prayer to the deity or saint of your choice

– Say a prayer to Murphy and the God of your choice.

– Restart Thunderbird

This works like a charm….

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. David Pratt / Mar 13 2008 2:11 am

    Notepad will not open the Inbox file which is said to be too large. How can I proceed?

  2. upnishad / May 23 2008 12:11 pm

    David,
    Please try freeware Notepad++ for larger files.
    Thanks.

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