[ubuntu] loosing Thunderbird AddressBooks

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http://ubuntuforums.org – This is getting painful. Some time before upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 to Ubuntu 12.04 my address books stopped working. I ended up deleting the abook.mab and history.mab files to get it working again. Now it's happened again. The address books are there (the abook.mab and history.mab files) but Address Book shows them as empty and won't let me add to to them, let alone collect the addresses. Starting Thunderbird in safe mode doesn't help either. Ditto for starting just the address book. When I remove the current .mab files (rename them to .save), Thunderbird creates new ones which work ( (Hardware)