In Brief
How can I recover Thunderbird emails from a quick-formatted drive?
I have already re covered thousands of images using 'magicrescue', but wouldn't know where to start writing a recipe for 'Thunderbird' mail.
It is not just a question of replacing the ubuntu system/grub as in [ File recovery after quick formatting ] nor is it a simple question of deleted thunderbird profile as in [ Recovering Thunderbird mail from HDD ].

Back Story
After an update to U15, I lost all wifi. I thought it might work again with U16, but no. So I went back to U15 - an older build which had working wifi.
Whilst this was going on I inadvertently booted into Win10 which spent hours doing millions of updates at least one of which caused the grub to stop working. So I spent days trying to get both grub and wifi working and finally decided to bin Windows and go full drive U14.
All went well, grub and wifi working, but ... when I did my backups I didn't copy the hidden files and folders, like .thunderbird, so somewhere on the disk around about where /dev/sda7 used to be there may still be recoverable emails - I really hope so!
I have already recovered many images from that region which gives me hope. 'magicrescue' has lots of recipes for sound and vision and it gives advice on how to write your own recipes, but I do not have a 'Thunderbird' email file to hand to analyse for such a recipe.


The email files to be recovered are on a partition which no longer exists (sda7) because I formatted the WIN10/U15 disk (sda) for the purposes of installing the current U14 which works for both wifi and grub (unlike the previous installation). I have already recovered pix from sda7 despite its absence and hope to find the email files in some way.

Toshiba Satellite C70D-B  
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
3.19.0-73 generic 
  • Try photorec which can recover everything if i remember well – laugeo Nov 5 '16 at 18:29

I don't know what you need to make such a "recipe" but by default your Thunderbird profile is stored in /home/username/.thunderbird (where username is your username)

Inside this folder will be another folder named with a random-looking alphanumeric string and the extension of .default. This is your profile folder and contains all your email.

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