I could have done without that

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.

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Ava re-enacts my horror.

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.

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Apollo wasn't too worried

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.

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Ava is relieved.

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12 responses

  1. Nothing like computer issues to be a time-suck and ruin your day. Glad you got your stuff back. It’s nice to know that at least one of the kids was worried about their mum’s stress level 🙂

  2. And why does stuff like that always seem to happen on a Friday at quitting time? That’s usually when I get a message that my back up system is down or something like that. Glad you were able to get everything back.

    • Sometimes I do wish I was back working in a big office where you just called the IT guy to fix stuff like this. Home office = me as the IT guy.

  3. I would have had some kind of panic attack! Technology is great when it works, but when it doesn’t, well, things are bad! I quit using Outlook Express when it became an extra cost to get it on the laptop. I don’t miss it! But I don’t use the volume of e-mail that you do, either!

    • I was teetering on the brink of that! I’m using the full (business) version of Outlook, so hopefully won’t have problems with it and the huge volume of email I am bombarded with. With which I am bombarded …

  4. I feel your pain. I used to have a recurring system crash in Simply Accounting every year; almost always right before yearned. So, because backups at that time were ponderous, using floppy disks, and took as much time as the initial data entry, I rarely did them. Instead, every year end would find me frantically re-entering thousands of transactions as if for the first time. Sometimes technology just plain sucks.

  5. “One suggestion that I found on several pages was that you don’t keep anything in your Thunderbird inbox that you want to keep.” Ahaha, how hilariously unhelpful. What a kool-aid drinking suggestion.

    I have no help, just the observation that Ava is so frikkin’ cute. And you are amazing and resourceful to have technology take such a colossal dump on you but manage to save it all anyway.

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