Thursday, October 09, 2014

Email backup from Microsoft Outlook to Tunderbird / Icedove under Debian

To read an outlook email archive, .pst file, on a Debian system:
  1. On the windows system in Thunderbird, I imported
  2. In Debian I accessed it from Icedove, (the rebranded thunderbird)

1. In Windows 

There was an error in the 3.9 GB pst file created in September 2014.

scanpst.exe

As explained on microsoft support, I tried to use the inbox repair tool: scanpst.exe It has found errors in the file I have asked it to repair the file. It copied the whole content in a backup file .bak. It created a log file and it corrected the archive. I could open it in Outllook, under file / data file management. I compacted the archive, it's now 3.7 Gb in size. I closed Outlook and put it in my online backup folder.

Thunderbird

To be able to access this mail archive under Linux.  I followed a Mozilla article which recommends to import outlook mail (including the .pst file) in Thunderbirdwith the menu:
Tools  / Import /   mail
Thunderbird can only open .pst archive files on a windows machine which has outlook installed. Then I closed Thunderbird and copied the file found under.

2. In Debian 

Icedove

I installed icedove from the synaptic package manager. I started it and closed it again. This created a directory in my home folder: .icedove, this is where I'll paste the Thunderbird backup.
Mozilla's explanation on how to restore Thunderbird backup :
  1. Locate the backed up profile folder on your hard drive or backup medium (e.g., your USB-stick).
  2. Open the profile folder backup (e.g., the xxxxxxxx.default backup).
  3. Copy the entire contents of the profile folder backup, such as the mimeTypes.rdf file, prefs.js file, bookmarkbackups folder, etc.
  4. Locate and open the new profile folder as explained above and then close icedove (if open).
  5. Paste the contents of the backed up profile folder into the new profile folder, overwriting existing files of the same name.
  6. Start Icedove.

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