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Feigning normality since 1973

Good old Microsoft

Filed in: Computers.

For a moment before posting this, I had a feeling I'd written about it before, but Google revealed nothing... So here I present to you the results of trying to update a PC using Windows Update:

"Security Update for Windows (KB839645) Could not be installed because of an unknown error."

Perhaps they'd care to elaborate?

Also on the subject of broken stuff, my PC crashed earlier on today. After rebooting, I found that Mozilla's FireFox and Thunderbird had both completely lost their settings. Not only that, but Thunderbird had completely lost all of my email. The mail was, I'm glad to say, still on the disk, but the configuration file which told Thunderbird where it was was snafu. This appears to be because Thunderbird keeps the file permanently open while running, and it wasn't closed properly during the crash.

Fortunately I was able to recover the data and get my email back, but I doubt the average user would be able to do that.

Posted January 15, 2006 9:37 PM


How did you get your firefox emails back? Thanks.....Lee

Posted by: Lee | February 25, 2007 10:10 AM

The configuration files for Thunderbird are all stored on your system drive under Documents and Settings\Current User\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\blah.default - because Thunderbird keeps some files open, they can get lost if Windows doesn't shut down properly, and your email disappears (though it's still on your harddrive, Thunderbird doesn't know where it is!)

With luck, Windows will have run scandisk after crashing, and there should be a directory on your system drive with some recovered files in. They don't have the original names, but you can either copy them, or open them in Notepad and copy/paste the text inside to restore them (Thunderbird's configuration files are mostly text-based)

I don't remember which files you need to recover. In my case I opened the recovered files and compared them with the default files Thunderbird had recreated to work out which was which. By the looks the files you need to recover are profiles.ini (stored in Application Data\Thunderbirds) and prefs.js and panacea.dat in the profile directory I mentioned above.

Posted by: Alden Bates | February 25, 2007 11:30 AM

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