Thunderbird is a popular free email client. It can be run as a Windows service using FireDaemon Pro to process emails. FireDaemon Pro will allow you to have Thunderbird start automatically at boot prior to login, start multiple instances of Thunderbird and more. This HOWTO will show you how to set it up. You can also use FireDaemon Fusion to manage FireDaemon and other Windows services via a web browser.
Thunderbird Setup Under FireDaemon Pro
Download and install Thunderbird from the Mozilla website. Be sure to take note of the Windows user account that you used to setup the email accounts. You will need this later.
By default Thunderbird installs to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird so for the purposes of this HOWTO, we will use that directory.
Configure Thunderbird however you want: add your email account(s), change the settings, etc. The most important thing you need to do is to configure Thunderbird to automatically send/receive emails every "x" amount of minutes. To do this, Click Tools Menu->Account Settings. Then go to the "Server Settings" of each Email account and make sure "Check for new messages" is checked in both instances in "All Accounts" section. Also set the time frame for these settings to something like 5, for five minutes.
Download and install FireDaemon Pro into the directory of your choice, typically C:\Program Files\FireDaemon.
Next start the FireDaemon GUI from the desktop shortcut. Click on the "Create a new service definition" button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl+N) and enter the information into the fields as you see below. Adjust the paths to suit your installation. Note that no parameters are required.
For Thunderbird to work properly, you must run it as the Windows user that you used to create the email account. Failure to do this will make Thunderbird run with no email accounts configured and it will not send or receive emails. Due to a Windows limitation, the account must have administrator privileges for the service to work correctly. You can change the Process Priority to allocate more CPU time to Thunderbird or specify which CPU or core Thunderbird will run on (in the case of multi-processor, hyperthreaded or multi-core CPUs).
Now click on the OK button to install and start Thunderbird!