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Re: Sharing Thunderbird Mails Between Linux and Windows

Manish Kathuria wrote:
> In order to make the same set of emails accessible on both Windows XP
> Home and Fedora Core on my dual boot laptop, I have created a separate
> FAT32 partition which I use just for storing the Thunderbird mail
> files and directories. While working on Linux I mount this partition
> through an appropriate entry in /etc/fstab and have configured the
> Thunderbird profile in Linux in such a manner that it points to the
> files and directories on this mounted FAT32 filesystem for accessing
> mails for different accounts. I also make sure that I am using the
> same version of Thunderbird on Windows and Linux.
> Things had been working perfectly fine except for some small hitches
> but recently after I compacted the mail folders and deleted trash
> while working on Linux, the whole partition got corrupted and a number
> of mails were lost.  Though I was able to repair the FAT32 mail
> partition and recover most of the files, its created some doubts in my
> mind regarding this whole arrangement and robustness of FAT32
> filesystem under Linux.

Ouch. This is one of the big problems with a traditional Unix mailbox:
when the mailbox gets large, programs have to do large amounts of
re-ordering and rewriting to delete e-mails, and there's a lot of scope
for things to go wrong.

But I'm still surprised that the FAT32 filesystem was the problem. I
can't recall an occasion when that gave any problems. Have you checked
smartctl -l error /dev/hda (assuming that it's an IDE disk)? Have you
checked memtest86? I *have* experienced problems with disk and memory...

One other thing -- the mailbox was well under 2GB large, wasn't it?

Have you considered a rsync arrangement to keep known-good copies of
your mailboxes? This would involve more diskspace, but would give you a
certain amount of backup.

(And please tell me you've re-examined your backup routines!)

James (using maildir).
E-mail address: james | Let He who Taketh the Plunge
@westexe.demon.co.uk  | Remember to Return it by Tuesday.

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