Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Migration, computer to computer

Good old Blackbox, a Dell SR1750 desktop is finally back in action. It's been a couple a months. Nothing wrong with him that a new motherboard AND a new CPU didn't fix.
So now to migrate off the back up laptop. Want to get my email, my checkbook, my bookmarks and my photos back over onto Blackbox. Plus I need to do a backup anyhow. So I burn all the photo and spreadsheets to a CD. Trickier is getting the email and email address book out of Thunderbird. Thunderbird hides his stuff in c:Documents&Settings/MyUserName/Application Data/Thunderbird, where MyUserName is whatever user name Windows has for you. This way Thunderbird can have a whole separate set of files for each user.
Open the file profiles .ini. Inside it you will see something like this

This means all the active stuff is in a directory named Profiles/xxxxxxx.default.
Just back up the whole directory to CD. On Blackbox I copied xxxxxx.default into the Thunderbird/profiles directory and then hand edited the profiles/ini file to point to xxxxxx/default. Note well. The Name= must be the same as the extension of the file you just loaded. This will get your address book, your email and your spam filters.
Thunderbird is user friendly. Trust me. All this backup tedium, has a reason. Not that it makes any sense to me, but I'm sure the Thunderbird folks will tell you all about it. If you mess up editing the profiles.ini file you draw an absolutely opaque error message and a suggestion to reboot windows.
For Firefox all I really want is bookmarks. From within Firefox I exported the bookmarks to a file. On Blackbox I imported the same file into Firefox.
Isn't backup fun?

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