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I recently upgraded from windows xp to windows 7. Windows 7 requires re-installing all of my programs, so I had to re-install Thunbderbird. However I failed to backup Thunderbird before doing so. Since the operating system is the only thing that upgraded can I assume that the prior emails are still on my hard drive? And if so, is there a way to retrieve those emails and settings into my new Thunderbird account? If it is possible can someone walk me through retrieving my emails into my current account. Any assistance would be gratly appreciated. Thank you.

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This would only be possible if the emails were still on the server. It sounds like thats not hte case otherwise Thunderbird would have already downloaded those emails for you. – Ramhound Jan 31 '13 at 15:58
Do you use POP or IMAP? – user1301428 Jan 31 '13 at 16:52

When you upgrade from windows XP to windows 7 the hardisk of the machine you are upgrading is formatted which means that all data on the harddisk is removed.

If you havent backed up your data, then these emails will no longer exist on your harddisk.

During the installation do you remember if it asked you to format your disk, and if so what option did you select (quick or full)

Having used a full will mean that this data is probably un recoverable. If it was a quick format you might have some luck using an un-delete tool. But i would not hold out much hope.

What sort of mail service do you connect to, POP/IMAP, as its possible the old emails are still on the mail server

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"When you upgrade from windows XP to windows 7 the hardisk of the machine you are upgrading is formatted which means that all data on the harddisk is removed." - Not necessarily. You can always perform a Custom Install and choose not to format the partition. The old OS will be saved in the Windows.old folder. – Karan Feb 1 '13 at 0:03
Ah i did not know that... i must have missed that option... in that case, if the format didnt happen, the local folders might still be located in C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name> – Steve Feb 1 '13 at 0:18
Yeah, BowlesCR said as much above. – Karan Feb 1 '13 at 0:21

IF you did an in-place OS upgrade only (not a full wipe), the data should still be there somewhere. Look around in the root of your C: drive for things that look like backups of the old "Document and Settings" directory. I know the Windows folder itself usually gets moved to Windows.OLD during an upgrade.

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