I recently started using Thunderbird as my E-mail client in the place of Outlook 2010. I exported my address book from Outlook in a .csv format, cleaned it up to get rid of unnecessary fields/clutter, and then imported it into Thunderbird.
Though I didn't have any issues using this address book, it appears to have been corrupt in some way. I could not use Autocomplete to enter an E-mail address (even in troubleshoot mode). For what it is worth, I did not install any add-ons. This was just a basic vanilla install of Thunderbird on Windows 10.
After reading page after page of support posts with similar issues and trying to export my address book to a .LDIF file without success, I became angry and just uninstalled and deleted everything profile related. While I could export my Collected Addresses, the Personal Address Book failed to do anything when trying to export it. As in, no file was ever created in the destination for the Personal Address Book even though it was for the Collected Addresses.
Upon re-install I was able to set everything up again, though it is a lengthy process (which should have a wizard with questions for many of the default settings...). Afterwards I started opening E-mails and just adding contacts in that fashion rather than trying to re-import the address book from .csv that caused my original issues.
Anyway, to my point... There needs to be a tool within Thunderbird to test, check, or otherwise verify an address book file and report any issues it is possibly having. Then there needs to be a better option to back up the data from that address book in some readable format so the end user can check it for accuracy and errors. And finally, there needs to be an option to obsolete/delete the current address book and create a new one if/when it just cannot be repaired in the current state.
From what I was reading in the support forums the current process is quite technical and very involved. I couldn't even get past the first step, which was to backup my current address book by exporting it to the .LDFI file. I didn't even receive an error... I clicked on Save and the save dialog screen just went away as if it had completed, but it didn't do anything!