MozillaZine

MBOX Files with 0 bytes

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
m610
 
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Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 1:59 am

I saw another thread discussing this but it was never resolved.

I just discovered that a number of my email folders and sub-folders are empty. I tried the usual fixes, such as deleting the index file, but that hasn't worked. I then noticed that the MBOX files that are missing the emails have 0 bytes. That sounds bad.

This shouldn't be a matter of automatically deleting old emails. That feature is turned off, plus I still have much older emails.

How/why did this happen?

Can I fix it/recover the emails?

What can I do to avoid this?

I have backups but only for the past year. I have no idea when these emails went missing. They are from 2012, 2013 and so on.

Mike

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 4:34 am

How is the account set up in Thunderbird, as POP or IMAP? Find out using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings->Server Type at the top right of the dialogue.

m610
 
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Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 9:22 am

It's POP.

The emails used to be there, in my local folders. They were from 2012-2013.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 11:42 am

With a POP account those zero byte files suggest that there was file corruption in those four and five year old files and the data has been lost when Thunderbird could no identify a valid End Of File marker. If those archive folders were not accessed regularly, the corruption could have existing in the folders in which the messages originally existed before being moved to the archive location. All of this means, unfortunately, that the data may be unrecoverable.

For future reference:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Keep_it_worki ... derbird%29
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Another possibility is that something deleted the mbox files but left the *.msf files alone. When you start Thunderbird if it detects a *.msf file in the profile without a corresponding mbox file it will create a empty mbox file for that folder.

makaiguy

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Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 8:04 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Another possibility is that something deleted the mbox files but left the *.msf files alone.

One common way for this to occur is for an antivirus scan to find what your antivirus program thinks is a problem in one of your messages, so it deletes or quarantines the entire message file for that "folder".
Doug Wilson, "The Makai Guy"
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What a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away - Doobie Brothers

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