On Friday at 5 pm when I was just shutting down work for the week, my entire email inbox disappeared. Holy shit. That’s bad, very bad. Since I got my new laptop set up a couple of weeks ago, (and having downloaded the latest version of Thunderbird, 10.0.2 – which I now believe is a buggy piece of shit) the program has been acting very weird. Whenever I tried to move things from the inbox to other sub-folders, either it would move it, or it not move it but copy it into the subfolder several times. When I tried to delete emails, they wouldn’t go. It kept asking me to compact the folders (like several time an hour). I was really regretting my decision to not take the time and effort when I was setting up my new laptop to migrate my email into Outlook (the business version).
My work and files are entirely dependent upon emails and I have hundreds of them, possibly into the thousands. I have sub-folders and sub-sub-folders. We need to be able to go back 6 or 8 months to pinpoint a specific date or comment or discussion and I need to keep all of these emails. The inbox serves as a holding folder for items that I have not yet completed action or dealt with. When Thunderbird tried to compact the folders and instead made my inbox contents completely vanish, I was almost physically sick.
After almost losing my mind, I calmed down and thought about what to do. I have two external hard drives that are constantly backing up my data. I had enough foresight to realize that if I hooked them up to the new laptop at that point, it would likely overwrite the inbox backup with this corrupted inbox, so I didn’t do that. I got my old laptop, plugged into that and looked at the contents of both back up drives. One had backed up the inbox at 5:03, just moments before the inbox contents vanished. I decided to try to copy that, then paste it/overwrite the inbox file on the new laptop. (It took 30-some minutes to copy onto a jump drive …)
Luckily that worked. While I was waiting, I was googling for some idea of what the problem is. I have found that I’m not the only one experiencing these horrible problems with the software. So continuing with Thunderbird is no longer an option. For the huge volume of email I deal with daily (and the fact that I have to keep so much of it for so long) I need dependable and working software. One suggestion that I found on several pages was that you don’t keep anything in your Thunderbird inbox that you want to keep. Oh, really?! Yeah, that’s not gonna work for me.
I know Outlook Express gets a lot of crap (but does anyone use it anymore? Does it still exist?) but I’ve been using Thunderbird for several years, so I don’t know what the consensus is. I have the full version of Outlook 2010 but migrating all my emails and contacts over will be a huge hassle because Thunderbird and Outlook don’t play nice together. I’m still looking into that, but I think that’s what I’ll have to do. The bonus with that is that I will have the calendar function integrated into the email, so I can easily note and track deadlines.
It took me two hours to get my email back and make sure it was working again. That was two hours I could have done without experiencing.