Re: reading old, saved thunderbird mail

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Matt Morgan wrote:
My server crashed recently. I've restored the files but not the server.

I had an IMAP server on this machine, and I connected it to it from a
few different computers, always with Thunderbird. After the server
crashed, I moved to a mail host instead of running it myself. I can
connect to that host fine, but on this desktop (FC5 and Thunderbird
via yum, i.e.,, when I changed my account settings to point
it to the new host, I lost all my existing mail in Thunderbird.

I had backed up before hand, and I have a couple other computers with
Thunderbird that still have all the local files representing the local
copies of the IMAP inbox & other folders.

There has to be a way to tell Thunderbird just to read the local
files, from the backup copy, or otherwise read my saved mail from
those saved copies, right? I can't figure it out.


It shouldn't be that hard if the mail was saved in a normal thunderbird mail box format. If it was saved in any other format you may have to import it.

Simple test.

If you have a normal set of files such as Inbox, Inbox.msf, and possibly an Inbox.sbd, then you should be able to open those in a local directory.

Put the files in .thunderbird/{default}/Mail/Local/* and go from there. I do this every day with exporting from Evolution (needed to get mail from exchange server) to use in Thunderbird.

You can then write filters to move the mail into your normal boxes if you wish.

Robin Laing

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