Monday, September 10, 2007

importing Eudora address books into Thunderbird

The solution to "Can't import empty address book".

The import of Eudora address books into Thunderbird (as of version requires a registry entry pointing to the Eudora data folder.

Put the text below into a text file, adjust the path, save as "EudoraAB-to-TB.reg" or whatever.reg and double-click it. The import should now work, whether you have Eudora installed or not.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Adjust C:\\Path\\To\\Folder below so that it points to your Eudora data folder
; with your nndbase.txt and nndbase.toc files and/or your Nickname sub-folder

"Current"="Anything C:\\Path\\To\\Folder Anything"

The path is normally the path to your Eudora data directory, which contains your .mbx files, your eudora.ini, etc. However, all you really need to have there are your address book files: either nndbase.txt and nndbase.toc, or a sub-folder called "Nicknames" which would have other .txt and .toc address book files, or both the nndbase files and files in the Nicknames folder.

Without this registry entry, you get the standard Windows braindead browse for folder dialog. But whatever you select in that dialog, Thunderbird ignores it and the import just fails with a stupid and misleading message saying "Can't import empty address book". With the registry setting it works, even if the folder contains nothing but the address book files and you don't even have Eudora installed on the machine.

Update: This problem has since been reported in Mozilla bugs (bug 395808). However, the similar registry entry provided didn't work for me when I tried it because it lacked the third word after the path. You really need 3 words in that registry value. The first and the last can be anything, and the path in the middle must of course be correct.

If it still doesn't work, see also bug 368634 (Unable to import if Eudora is using '.nnt' format).

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