Anyone seen my missing email folders? Thunderbird seems to have lost them

Sep 28th, 2010 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd

Well I woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise. It would seem that thunderbird misplaced all of my mail folders, or more specifically the GUI. The mail was there, thunderbird was receiving it just fine, it was even indexing it but the left hand side of my TB window was a big blank nothing. Couldn’t click on anything, changing the views didn’t make it re-appear, resizing it didn’t work, nothing.. The entire folder tree GUI was gone.

My first thought was to just migrate everything back over to Evolution, but I didn’t have the patience for moving the account settings over.  So I figure I would just work though this thunderbird thing.

So in the process of copying my shiznit over to evolution I was prompted with a lovely lovely i/o read/write error which instantly made my heart sink as that means I’m dealing with a corrupted sectors here which is just lovely.  So obviously some file responsible for displaying the folder tree gui was corrupted and it was just a matter of finding that file.

I renamed my profile directory, forcing TB to create a new one and was happy to see the GUI appear again(sans all my emails of course) so I knew the problem was in there somewhere..  It was just a matter of copying bunches of files back bit by bit until TB broke and then narrowing down which file it was.   Word of advice: Read all the file names first to save yourself the time of blindly copying and waiting for it to break.  Because as soon as I saw the file Foldertree_json it became pretty apparent which file is responsible for building the folder tree :).  So I copied everyone back from my original profile, deleted this folderTree_json file and started up Thunderbird.  Being the good application that it was it saw the missing file and rebuilt it based on my emails and voila!  The fix took me 30 seconds but only after 2 hours of reading posts and trying a bunch of shit.  So hopefully this can save someone else that time 🙂

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One Comment to “Anyone seen my missing email folders? Thunderbird seems to have lost them”

  1. Rene says:

    THANKS a lot! I was searching for that piece of information myself, and almost gave up, but then found this site.

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