thunderbird in ubuntu 10.04 hangs on file read in "local folders"

Asked by Alvin Larson on 2010-05-26

System: Thunderbird 3.04 on Kubuntu 10.04 on 64 bit SMP Monarch.

When I try to open a file in the "Local Folders" Thunderbird just hangs with the time cursor just spinning. Node names show up OK but can't open any of the files. It first did this when the mail files were on a Buffalo storage unit, but it still happens even after I copied the files from the Buffalo to the local disk and I reset the local directory path the the local disk location. Normal mail down load, etc. all works well.

I have many old e-mail files that I need to access so this version of Kubuntu is not of much use to me if this bug can't be fixed.

Thank you,


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peter b (b1pete) said : #1

it looks like the folder/repository with all your older e-mails located on buffalo storage device got, apparently, corrupted there .....'It first did this when the mail files were on a Buffalo storage unit,'.... ; if you still have a copy on buffalo; let's try this

close thunderbird

in order to check that indeed that's the case, first, mount your buffalo storage device to your file system (usually,say, on /media/<buffalo>);

then, I'd suggest to go to your /home folder with hidden folder/files option enabled and open .thunderbird folder then open with your favourite editor


file; watch the following lines and see that they read as follows


where /xxxxxxx/yyyyyyy/ is the path where <buffalo_thunderbird_folder_name> is mounted on your file system. save edited file. launch thunderbird and see the result. if all above edits observed and checked good you can read your buffalo stored e-mails IF the folder is not corrupted.

Alvin Larson (alvinlarson) said : #2

Since my first message I discovered that Thunderbird does recognize the the Local Folders node copied to the local disk from the Buffalo storage unit. Not sure what I did wrong before on that one. I may not have restarted Thunderbird.

The problem still exists when the setup pointer, in Thunderbird, is set to the Buffalo node.

With regard to your suggestion, here is what I have done. This is the original copy of the profile.ini file in .thunderbird:



I tried changing it to the following:



After doing this, Thunderbird won't start up. Get a message about "Thunderbird already running."

Changing the Local Folders pointer in Thunderbird and restarting it seems to have no effect on profile.ini.

I can still address the Local Folders node at /mnt/buffalo/NetscapeMail/LocalFolders with three other computers running Windows XP, Kubuntu 6, and Kubuntu 8.04 so I am not sure about the Local Folders node on the Buffalo being corrupted.

I hope this helps.


peter b (b1pete) said : #3

Alvin, looking at


that you posted, it appears to me that something is not in order; pls make sure that in /mnt/buffalo folder there is a folder, NOT


folder that thunderbird currently uses and created when was configured BUT the one that you'd like to use and say that 's old and works; this folder MUST, mandatory, be of the same format as the the default one above, that is to say that IT has the extension


and is something like


mind you, thunderbird MUST be closed, pls do these changes (you may copy xxxxxxxx.default to /mnt/buffalo/), pls check that xxxxxxxx.default is indeed in /mnt/buffalo/ then edit profile.ini file so the path reads something like


did you edit /etc/fstab file so that /mnt/buffalo gets mounted upon bootup ?

I use this kind of setup for at least 5 yrs with no problem whatsoever (I have all my e-mails of the past 8 yrs available in thunfrtbird be it v2 or v3) tip, the easiest way is to get xxxxxxxx.default folder copied to a usb media that gets mounted automatically at bootup and have profile.ini path point to it. you can carry it with you to any pc that has thunderbird installed, edit profile.ini file to point to it and there you go. it is also v safe and v private, just remove it in store it in a safe place if you do not want intrusion into your e-mails.

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