OT Thunderbird email: converting archived Outlook .pst fies?

Sorry a bit OT but I know there's a good body of Thunderbird expertise here...
I want to change my email client from Outlook to Thunderbird. Having been playing with this for a bit, there doesn't appear to be any major problem with importing my contacts and email folders, which is good. However, having used Outlook 1997/2003 for donkey's years I also have a number of archived-off Outlook 2003 .pst files which live on my hard disk until the rarer occasions that I need to access them - these must be thousands of emails in different sub-folders, and multiple Gb altogether. Before I kill off Outlook for good, I need to be able to get these into a form that Thunderbird can access if need be.
There are far too many emails to live within my client permanently, so they need to stay archived. Any ideas how to do this please? Google has not been helping.
Thanks David
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David

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On 02/08/2013 09:44, Lobster wrote:

I installed 'Dovecot IMAP Email server' on my debian based HP microserver, connected and dragged archive folders across to that. Then set up a connection to that on my new email client. Not much in it, obviously Dovecot is not set up to forward live email anywhere itself.
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On 02/08/2013 10:01, Adrian C wrote:

That's what I'd do, TBH.
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On 02/08/2013 09:44, Lobster wrote:

A comprehensive breakdown of the many Thunderbird options for importing and exporting mail is available from the mozillazine web site:-
<http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_Migration
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On 02/08/2013 11:08, DaverN wrote:

Thanks for that link: I think I may have seen it before on my travels but either way I can't see the specific answer I need... I have no problem in importing the old Outlook archive folders; it's exporting back from Thunderbird again into a usable format.
Possibly I'm asking the wrong question and the whole Outlook thing is a red herring. What I need to know is, "if I have thousands of emails and email folders in Thunderbird, can I archive them off onto my hard disk so they aren't clogging up my installation?"
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On Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:02:37 +0100, Lobster wrote:

It doesn't benefit anything to do so. It just makes 'em much more difficult to then refer back to later. In which case, why not just delete 'em?
Yes, you can create a separate container to put mail into, should you really want to... http://kb.mozillazine.org/Archiving_your_e-mail https://support.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/kb/archived-messages
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On 02/08/2013 12:02, Lobster wrote:

Yes, throughout that web article it refers to the "ImportExportTools" extension to Thunderbird. I use that add-on to do precisely what you are asking.
The tool permits you to export emails in a multitude of different formats either as individual emails or as a single text file, with or without accompanying attachments, or in HTML or CSV format, zipped or not. Your choice.
The article also has many cross-referenced hyperlinks to instructions for exporting from Turnpike into many different formats, including PST. It's all there in that article, in full gory detail
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On 02/08/13 12:02, Lobster wrote:

Yes.
But I have to ask 'why'
In thunderbird, you can simp0ly set up new folders called e.g. 'archive1' and push mails and old mail files into those. The messages havent gone, but because they are static, they don't need compacting.
Messages in Thunderbird exist in whatever folder is the default one for Mail. In my case its on a server, not local to this computer at all.
In that directory you will find either fieles of 'folder, and folder.msf' firm or directories cinatining such things, these representing thunderbird folders that have other folders inside them i.e. Thunderbird 'folders' are represented by actual file pairs, except when the folders contain more folders, when a directory is used. Compacting a folder consist in using the .msf index to rewrite the file with deleted messages removed and the messages in the file reorganised.
If you shut down Thunderbird, and move the directories or the file pairs from its mail directory and put them somewhere else, they will simply be missing when Thunderbird restarts. You can restore them by putting them back, and restarting Thunderbird.
I've been able to bring up Thunderbird after a complete OS reinstall simply by coping the .mozilla and ,thunderbird stuff into the new home directory and reattaching the MAIL oflder as a remote share. Thunderbird knows where to find the stuff, and its all there.
This is under Linux, but its probably similar under other systems. In essence Thunderbird has a primary config directory which lives in the users home directory as a hidden dirtectory system. That normally contains all the account stuff as well as the location of the mail folder directory., Inside that mail directory folders are represented as folder and folder.msf files, and folders containing folders are directories containing folders and folder.msf files.
If a folder contains folders AND files there are ALSO raw messages in that folder I am not sure WHAT happens.
And haven't the time to find out.
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On 02/08/2013 12:43, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

it is... under windows you can just move the content of
%appdata%\Thunderbird\Profiles\nnnnnnnn.defualt
and the profiles.ini file from the directory above, and the entire mail profile will shift, including mail, account details, passwords etc.
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Do you have to kill Outlook completely? Why not just leave it for archived stuff? If it really is Outlook and hence part of Office, I've never managed to remove it completely, it seems to pop back after every Office update comes in, grin.
Brian
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On 02/08/2013 11:15, Brian Gaff wrote:

Well yes I do really - I've been meaning to 'go Thunderbird' for ages, but this issue has finally come to the fore because my Windows 7 is very sick and needs reinstalling, and I'm taking the opportunity to install an SSD in my machine when I do that... and my Office 2003 CD is stuffed for some reason so I actually will have no way of reinstating it!
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On 02/08/2013 12:09, Lobster wrote:

I am sure we can find you an office 2003 cd image if required, so long as you still have the serial number for it...
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On 02/08/2013 09:44, Lobster wrote:

I use Thunderbird and get to my Outlook files with PST viewer http://download.cnet.com/PST-Viewer/3000-2369_4-75289424.html also use free file opener http://www.freefileopener.com/
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On Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:09:53 +0100, Arfa Daily wrote:

None of that's behaviour I've ever seen in T'bird - and I've been using it heavily as my mail client for years. I suspect there's been something strange with the setup, and it's getting out of synch with the mail server somehow. What version of T'bird? (Help -> About). If it's an old one, update it. If it's got loads of addins installed, disable 'em and see if that sorts it. If there's other mail clients or phones or spam filters or whatever else all tapping on the same account, turn 'em off for a bit.
Outpuke Excuse, otoh... <shudder>
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On 02/08/2013 12:17 Adrian wrote:

+1
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On 02/08/13 12:29, F wrote:

+2
If you have a jerky mouse or a slow puter, sometimes what amounts to 'fat finger' can do this.
IIRC if you delete ALL the .msf files from the mail directory, thunderbird will re-index. Recently deleted mails may well reappear.
Genrally doing a 'compact;' will restore sanity to all the indices BUT it will give you a spinning wheel for a bit.
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On 02/08/2013 09:44, Lobster wrote:

Not sure that this directly answers your question, but I did a similar thing a while ago. I found that going Outlook to Outlook Express to Thunderbird helped with the import. If you don't want to keep the vast number of e-mail permanently in your client, you could move the folders to a separate location where the client won't pick them up automatically, but could navigate to for reference if desired?
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