evolution deletes all e-mails in a folder after renaming

Bug #397980 reported by Wim Boon on 2009-07-10
24
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
evolution (Ubuntu)
Medium
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: evolution

Evolution 2.26.1-0ubuntu2
Ubuntu 9.04
One of my mailfolders contained many e-mails and its name was no longer appropriate for its contents.
So I renamed the folder and added some subfolders to it. After this all the e-mails in this main folder were still shown in the right hand half of the evolution window.
Then I dragged one e-mail from this main folder into one of the new subfolders. To my despair all the other e-mails simply disappeared from this main folder! They are not hidden or in the trashbin either so I lost all this information.
E-mails in other folders are still there.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. Please answer these questions:

 * Is this reproducible?
 * If so, what specific steps should we take to recreate this bug?

 This will help us to find and resolve the problem.

Changed in evolution (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Ubuntu Desktop Bugs (desktop-bugs)
status: New → Incomplete
importance: Undecided → Medium
mabab (mabab) wrote :

Same problem here: Evolution 2.26.1, ubuntu 9.04

Thanks for your quick response.

The problem is reproducible:
Steps:
-create a new main folder with name 'test1'
-in folder 'test1' create subfolder 'test2'
-move some messages e.g. from the 'removed messages' folder into folder
'test1'
-move a message from folder 'test1' into folder 'test2'
-rename folder 'test1' to 'test3'.
-move one message from folder 'test3' into subfolder 'test2'. after
completion of this action folder 'test3' contains no messages. only the
subfolder 'test2' is present.
-subfolder 'test2' contains only the message that was moved into this
subfolder in the previous step.the message move earlier into this
subfolder has disappeared.

I repeated this test as follows:
-create a new main folder with name 'test1'.
-in folder 'test1' create subfolder 'test2'.
-in subfolder 'test2' create subsubfolder 'testx'.
-move messages into 'test1', 'test2' and testx'.
-rename 'test1' to 'test3'.
-move a message from 'test1' into 'testx'. : 'test3' lost all messages,
the messages in 'test2' survived, 'testx' contained only the message
moved just into this subsubfolder.

Hope this helps to solve the problem.
Best regards

Wim Boon

Op maandag 13-07-2009 om 12:58 uur [tijdzone +0000], schreef Sebastien
Bacher:
> Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. Please answer these questions:
>
> * Is this reproducible?
> * If so, what specific steps should we take to recreate this bug?
>
> This will help us to find and resolve the problem.
>
> ** Changed in: evolution (Ubuntu)
> Status: New => Incomplete
>
> ** Changed in: evolution (Ubuntu)
> Assignee: (unassigned) => Ubuntu Desktop Bugs (desktop-bugs)
>
> ** Changed in: evolution (Ubuntu)
> Importance: Undecided => Medium
>

Quintin (quintin-vanrooyen) wrote :

This seems to happen when moving a folder from one location to another, here is what happened, follow the steps to reproduce:

I followed these steps:

Created a folder under my inbox, Cassie.

Set up a mail rule for all mail that come from <email address hidden> to go to Inbox/Cassie.

I run the rule on my inbox, and /Cassie now has 200 odd mails.

After doing this for all my colleagues, I decide to make another folder: Inbox/Colleagues and I move Inbox/Cassie to Inbox/Colleagues/Cassie by dragging it to the correct place.

All is well since the mails move with the folder, and the rule is updated accordingly.

Until Cassie sends me a new mail.

Suddenly ONLY the new mail (received after folder move) is displayed in my Inbox/Colleagues/Cassie folder!

In a panic I check the pertinent file in .evolution (it reads kinda like a text document) and all the mails seem to be there in the document.

Ubuntu 2.26.1 Ubuntu 9.04

Regards

Q

MartinE (martin-engbers-gmx) wrote :

I can confirm this bug in Evolution 2.26.1 on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope.
The following procedure consistently triggers the bug:

(1) Create a subfolder in "Inbox"
(2) Copy several messages into the new folder
(3) Rename the folder
(4) Delete a single email from the renamed folder

Expected Result:
    One email has been deleted from the folder.

Observed Result:
    All except one email have been deleted from the folder.
    The remaining email is usually the newest one. Note that
    the emails are simply gone, they don't show up in "Trash"
    either.

Importance:
    CRITICAL.

<rant>
    I lost 7.5 years of university-related emails yesterday, due to
    this bug. Gone. Everything. Because I decided to rename a
    folder. I've never been so happy that I keep regular backups.

    There's no way that this bug is of medium importance. This
    stuff is simply not supposed to happen.
</rant>

MartinE (martin-engbers-gmx) wrote :

Further Information:
    If you do the following:
    (1) Copy several emails into a subfolder of "Inbox"
    (2) Rename the folder
    (3) Chose File->Backup Settings
    (4) Restart Evolution

    At this point, the emails are still there. Now,

    (5) Chose File->Restore Settings and restore from
         the archive created in step (4)
    (6) Delete a single email from the renamed folder

Result:
    This will trigger the bug and delete all but the newest
    email from the folder.

Conclusion:
    Whatever triggers this behaviour gets saved with your
    backup archive! Bad! Very Bad!

MartinE (martin-engbers-gmx) wrote :

Workaround: Dont rename your folders, but:
    (1) create a new folder with the new name
    (2) copy the emails from the old folder to the new one
    (3) delete the old folder

This procedure seems to be useful for "repairing" affected folders
(i.e., folders that have recently been renamed and are now subject to this bug).

Martin.

If you re-create the folder (or move it back where it was) you should get
your old mails back. What I did was copy the text file and made a backup
when your scenario happened.

Hope you get your files back.

On 5 March 2010 18:06, MartinE <email address hidden> wrote:

> I can confirm this bug in Evolution 2.26.1 on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope.
> The following procedure consistently triggers the bug:
>
> (1) Create a subfolder in "Inbox"
> (2) Copy several messages into the new folder
> (3) Rename the folder
> (4) Delete a single email from the renamed folder
>
> Expected Result:
> One email has been deleted from the folder.
>
> Observed Result:
> All except one email have been deleted from the folder.
> The remaining email is usually the newest one. Note that
> the emails are simply gone, they don't show up in "Trash"
> either.
>
> Importance:
> CRITICAL.
>
> <rant>
> I lost 7.5 years of university-related emails yesterday, due to
> this bug. Gone. Everything. Because I decided to rename a
> folder. I've never been so happy that I keep regular backups.
>
> There's no way that this bug is of medium importance. This
> stuff is simply not supposed to happen.
> </rant>
>
> --
> evolution deletes all e-mails in a folder after renaming
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/397980
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>

--
Quintin van Rooyen
<email address hidden>
The New SA Geek!
http://blog.sageek.co.za

MartinE (martin-engbers-gmx) wrote :

Renaming the folder back to its original name had no effect whatsoever. The folder was still empty.

dan downs (ddowns) wrote :

MartinE

Same thing happened to me, but all the mail is still in the file in my
 case ... it's just no longer *listed* by evolution.

Type
grep "^Date" .evolution/mail/local/<thenameoftherenamedfolder>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 17:01:10 -0800
...
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 12:49:11 -0400

and/or

grep "^Date" .evolution/mail/local/<thenameoftherenamedfolder> | wc -l
159

My <thenameoftherenamedfolder> has a first date of
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 17:01:10 -0800,
which is correct and I can see all the 159 emails if I look at the
actual file, even though evolution is only telling me that there are
only 14, going back 3 days.

Until I figure out the indexing problem, I did this:
dan@descartes:~$ mkdir .evolution.backup
dan@descartes:~$ cp -rf .evolution/ .evolution.backup/

Hope you recover everything.

Dan

tjapko smits (tjapko) wrote :

Completely reproducible on ubuntu 10.10 with evolution 2.30.3. I had an existing folder and dragged only 1 email to that folder. The complete inbox was deleted unless the mail that was selected to be dragged. The email in question was placed in the folder and also found the same email in the trash folder.

Any idea about recovering my lost emails would be more than welcome. Off course I have made no backup.

Maybe this information helps. I was not sure that I clicked on the email before I dragged it. I was coming from reading another email and just dragged the email from the inbox to the other folder in stead of clicking on it first. I think it might be related to the problem and therefore I mention it.

We´ve just had the same problem. I´ve tried a couple of things, the following thing seemed to work:

-Go to your home folder
-Mark under ´view´ the option ´show hidden files´

Off course, before you do anything, make a backup of the folder

-Go to the folder ´.evolution/mail/local/
-You´ll see a file ´Inbox´
-Rename the file, for instance ´_Inbox´
-(Close and/or) open Evolution
-Still nothing there.. but you´ll see that a new ´Inbox´ file has been created (in .Evolution/mail/local)
-Delete that file and rename the original file ´_Inbox´ into ´Inbox´
-(Close and/or) open Evolution again.

After that we had our e-mail back in the Inbox.
I hope this works for you as well.

Good luck
Joost

Mark34 (mark34) wrote :

I just had the same problem on Ubuntu 10.10 - all emails but one were gone from my Inbox. Quite a disturbing experience ...

Luckily, the solution that Joost suggested worked for me. Thanks a lot, Joost!

I heard various complaints before but the fact that such a critical bug has been around since 2009 clearly proves to me that the evolution project is indeed defunct. I will move to Thunderbird asap and will never touch evolution again.

Anyone care to test this on Natty and confirm whether it's still an issue? Thanks in advance.

Redmar (redmar) wrote :

I have the same issue in Natty, though I dont recall renaming any folders.

The mails from evolution are now stored in ./local/share/evolution, so be sure to make a backup of that folder before you do anything else.
I've tried renaming the Inbox file as suggested in #12, but that did not solve the problem.

If anybody has a clue as to how to get my emails back that would be much appreciated!

Redmar (redmar) wrote :

My problem in #15 turned out to be something else, so this is still unconfirmed for natty. Sorry for the noise

Stephan Henningsen (zta77) wrote :

In Ubuntu 11.10 with Evolution 3.2.2, when I move a folder, I end up with the folder being deleted and all mails deleted as well on the IMAP server. "Luckily" the folder is still present in ~/.local/share/evolution/mail/174217blahblah/folders/, so I'm not trying to reestablish my mails.

Please fix. This is a horrible bug.

Jörg Frings-Fürst (jff-de) wrote :

Jaunty not longer supported
change status to invalid

Changed in evolution (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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