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 2.0.0.6) 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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Qualcomm\Eudora\CommandLine]
"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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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! This worked perfectly!

11 October, 2007 00:39  
Anonymous Peter Gilmour said...

Tried it but still get (slightly different) message: 'No address books were found to import.'

Any more thoughts?

19 November, 2007 22:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J'ai Eudora 7 et je confirme : ca n'est pas suffisant. Du reste la cle de registre existe deja.

06 February, 2008 21:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it didn't work, make sure you have the word "Anything" at the end of the line too.

25 February, 2008 02:58  
Anonymous daveg said...

That didn't end up working for me. Thunderbird would complain that the address book was empty. In the end I installed the Eudora 8.0 beta. That was able to import the old address book. And now my Mother can run Thunderbird that looks like Eudora :-)

13 June, 2008 01:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The registry entry was fine on my computer but I had to go into the Eudora settings and remove the "Hide Address Book from Simple Viruses" option.

25 October, 2008 02:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worked perfect wiht Eudora 6.x. Saved me a lots of time.

22 November, 2008 00:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! Just what I needed.

29 June, 2012 01:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't work at all for me. It keeps saying something like "No Eudora Mailboxes to import". I have tried the registry fix since Eudora is not installed. Any ideas?

22 December, 2012 16:42  
Anonymous Paddy Waldron said...

I found this very helpful.

I wanted to import mailboxes created with some very early versions of Eudora.

The format of the descmap.pce file in each mailbox folder seems crucial.

The original descmap.pce looked like this:

In,In.MBX,S
Out,Out.MBX,S
Trash,Trash.MBX,S

In more recent versions, descmap.pce looked like this:

In,In.MBX,S,Y
Out,Out.MBX,S,Y
Trash,Trash.MBX,S,Y

I found that I had to add the ,Y to the end of each line in every descmap.pce before the Import routine in Eudora OSE would see the relevant mailboxes.

05 January, 2014 23:04  

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