It finally happened.  Now, for those of you reading, this has been something I’ve put off.  When I say put off, I mean I have put this off for years.  Way back when free e-mail was in its infancy, I got a free Juno account.  I liked it so much, I paid for the service.  Years go by, I switch to broadband, I change my service with Juno (don’t need dial up access much anymore, except with my air card) but keep the account.

I guess it is like anything else – you grow use to the program and can work well within the confines of it.  The program changed, and up until May of this year I was using version 5 of the Juno client.  I mean, I’d been using Juno since 1998, why switch now (please, attempt to stifle the gasps you just had)?  But early in May I got a notification a newer version was available, and I downloaded/installed Juno 8.x – and it wasn’t so bad.  Until yesterday morning, that is.

I’ve seen the ‘Juno is examining your mailbox’ message and the program has placed various items in the recovered folder.  But yesterday it ‘recovered’ everything – over 10 years worth of messages I had in various folders, and lined up all those messages by date and placed them into the recovered folder.  Basically – it wiped out years of my filing system.  I was not a happy camper.

Before you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to consider another mail client.  I still like Juno, I still use Juno – but I can’t use the Juno client anymore.  I needed to recover my data and get stood up again, pronto!  So I write this to let you in on the steps taken – and to get you to think of what you may need to do for your future needs.  Juno is a proprietary software, and by that I mean there is no true ‘export’ tool for addresses (contacts) or mail – it was all in the program and it is what it is!

First Step – Where’s My Backup?

Since I had only recently upgraded the program I needed to find a way to get to the latest breakdown of my files and folders.  I didn’t have much luck in the v8.x area finding tools, but I did find just what the doctor ordered for v5.x – juno5bdb.  I pointed that to my last backup of the Juno 5.x data I had, and then had my data.  If you were wondering, I needed to pick a mail client as well.  I’ve used Outlook for many years, but am a huge Firefox / Mozilla fan, so I went with Thunderbird and like it so far.  So I used the juno5bdb2netscape.bat method described to generate files with no extension which would then be copied to the Mozilla mail directory.

Next Step – Install Mail Client

Since I chose Thunderbird, the install was painless.  The client looked good, and the help files are wonderful as well.  The files generated from the first step were then copied / pasted into the area needed for review in Thunderbird on my hard drive (Local Folders – very similar to Outlook’s profile and .pst handling of mail).  I reopened Thunderbird and there was my folder structure with all the mail that I had in there – my filing system was back!

Get Mail Working

This one wasn’t the hardest to do either.  In fact, by reviewing the information listed below, I had incoming mail in no time via POP3.  But I did struggle with outgoing mail.  I set up the client using settings found at http://help.juno.com/support/email/auth-smtp.html but that wasn’t the answer (would never send mail).  The clue was found in this post – needed to change the SMTP port to 587.  Bingo – Houston, we have outgoing mail!  (Note – I am a Juno MegaMail customer – this is a must to send mail via a third-party mail program.)

What About My Contacts?

As stated earlier, in Juno you can’t just export much of anything in bulk.  This is where I found Dawn.  As stated on their website:

Dawn will convert your address book from one program’s format to another. If you have ever wanted to switch E-Mail programs or even simply use that WordPerfect address book in Outlook Express you have no doubt been put off by being forced to retype every single address by hand. Well, retype no more. A complete conversion is just a few clicks away.

Dawn did the trick – followed the wizard and had my addresses out of Juno and into Thunderbird with no problems.

The Final Clean Up

The last thing I needed to do was to go through mail that was ‘recovered’ in the old Juno program and send them to me, but in Thunderbird.  And now…I’m totally recovered and – as far as I can tell – not missing any data.  A testimony to backing up your data regularly and finding some neat tools to help me switch from a proprietary program to a more robust mail situation!

I hope this post helps someone who may be thinking of switching to another mail client.  I won’t say it was pain-free, but you can glean from my experience and pull this off yourself.  When looking at 10,000 mails with no filing system, I was a bit downcast.  But taking the steps listed above, I was up and running pretty quick – and my filing system was back in place.  Take care, and thanks for reading!

*****UPDATE***** added 1/18/10

I just installed the latest release of Thunderbird, and – while I could receive mail, I couldn’t send it!  If you run into this, here is the ‘fix’ that worked for me.

Once you are in Thunderbird, navigate to Tools | Account Settings, then select Outgoing Server (SMTP) settings.  You then need to select the outgoing Juno account you have set up and then Edit.  Once you are there, you need to uncheck ‘use secure authentication’.  Then click your way back out (select OK, then select OK again) and send your mail!