win7 Ult. Firefox has lost all my bookmarks - how do I get-'em-back@ please

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win7 Ult. Firefox has lost all my bookmarks - how do I get-'em-back@ please
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mgbinnewhaw
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December 4, 2014 - 6:59 am
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Due to a recent Flash Player cock-up on Adobe's part, a few days ago I installed a fresh copy of Firefox (F/F). But this morning when I looked for one, I found a blank page of bookmarks when I should have a few dozen which had so far survived a few replacements of my copy of F/F.

I'm fairly sure I read somewhere that F/F spreads its files all over the shop and so wonder if anyone can tell me where to look for my bookmarks.

As usual any expected help will be very gratefully received.

Regards,
mgb

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Jim Hillier
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December 4, 2014 - 2:28 pm
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Hi MGB - Not sure if this will work after a reinstall but worth a try.

Firefox automatically creates backups of bookmarks which can be restored, here's how:

    Open Firefox, click on the "Bookmarks" item in the menu bar across the top and select "Show All Bookmarks".
    Click "Import and Backup" and then select "Restore".

Do you see a list of backups in chronological order? If yes, click on the most recent backup.

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jayesstee
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December 5, 2014 - 4:02 pm
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Hi Guys,

Don't know if this helps, but FF stores all its info. (bookmarks, add-ons, etc.) on a this folder:
C:\Users\"Username"\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox
where "username" is what ever is your (er) actual username!

If the new installation has not overwritten the old one, than transfer the old folder: "Profiles" and the corresponding file: "profiles.ini" to the new installation.

If it has overwritten, then access to an old backup is your only hope.

Incidentally, the add-on "xmarks" is an excellent way to backup bookmarks and share them with other browsers.

Alternatively, "MozBackup" will save the FF configuration as insurance against accidents.

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mgbinnewhaw
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December 13, 2014 - 2:09 pm
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Hiya Jim/jayesstee,

Sorry about tardy response. unexpected stay in hospital.

As I expected, two spot-on suggestions - thank you both very much.

Jim, I tried your suggestion and found 5/6 restore points going back about 1 month. But each contained about 2k's worth of info when there should be a few dozen bookmark's worth. I must have done something silly to unknowingly delete them. well before I noticed they were missing.

jayesstee, your tip about profiles led me along the path to where I was expecting profiles.ini but it is no longer described in current version 34 as an .ini file (or else I have obliterated FF profiles) because I couldn't find any file by that name. However, I now know where to look /what to look for and how to backup my bookmarks at my convenience. I have a full system backup and all I need to figure out is how to extract FF.

So, thank you both very much indeed for such excellent and penetrating advice.

Regards,
mgb

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jayesstee
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December 14, 2014 - 2:38 pm
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Hi mgb,

Thanks for the compliment.

I also have FF v34 and I definitely have the folders and files that I will describe shortly. Their location may have been “inherited” from earlier versions of FF, but when I temporarily renamed the “Firefox” directory, FF loaded like a new, virgin installation. It installed a new set of folders and files in the same location.

What you should be looking for is the following:
C:\Users\"Username"\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox

Then within the Firefox folder there should be the following:
“Crash Reports” folder – might not exist if you haven’t had a FF crash,
“Profiles” folder and
“profiles.ini” file

Within the “Profiles folder there should be one or more folders of the form:
abcdefgh.default
where “abcdefgh” is an apparently random alpha-numeric’s.
If there is only one, then this is the store of bookmarks, history, open tabs etc.

Whether you have one or more of these “abcdefgh.default folders”, you should have, one level up, a “profiles.ini” file.

If you have the “abcdefgh.default” folder, but no “profiles.ini” file exists, then you could create one in notepad.
It takes the form:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/abcdefgh.default

If you have more than one “abcdefgh.default” folder than you will have to try each one in profiles.ini in turn.

Anyway if this is of any use, please let us know. I assume that you haven’t got a backup?

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mgbinnewhaw
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December 14, 2014 - 6:16 pm
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Hiya jayesstee,
Any compliment is greatly enhanced by the quality of your delivery of the procedure I should follow.

I couldn't see a profiles.ini file because I had not unchecked "hide known file extensions" in folders options. So, I have all the files in the correct places.

The only trouble is the alphanumeric.bookmarks files number only 6 going back to early Nov. whereas I need at least 1 month earlier. Each file is about 2k whereas my backup files are 18 to 25 k (yes I found them on a Genei9 backup, but haven't restored them to the correct directory yet).

As far as "if this is of any use......." as you Americans say "does a bear shit in the woods?"!!!
I will of course let you know the outcome of my restore attempt.

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mgbinnewhaw
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December 23, 2014 - 9:06 am
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Hiya jayesstee,
Well, this has certainly been a most interesting and fruitful experience thanks to you and Jim - but it isn't finished!

I re-installed Win7. Why? Because the copy I was using was illegal (I was waiting for a legal copy from MS). Now when I look for AppData under C: it isn't there.

When I look at my backup copy there it is, fat and sassy, complete with bookmarksbackups.json dated 11/09/2013 size 9KB - perfect!

Now my question is how the hell can I get the backup to restore to a directory that doesn't exist?

mgb

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jayesstee
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December 23, 2014 - 2:56 pm
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Hi mjb,

You obviously have the "cussed" version of Win 7!

mgbinnewhaw said

Now when I look for AppData under C: it isn't there.
mgb

Are you looking in "C:\" not "C:\Users\"Username"\"?
Or have you changed your "Username"?  If so open an account in the old "Username".

Anyway if you have Firefox, you must have the aforementioned folders/files somewhere?

mgbinnewhaw said

Now my question is how the hell can I get the backup to restore to a directory that doesn't exist?
mgb

I'm not an expert on backup software.  I use Acronis 2014 and when I identify a file (or folder) I wish to restore it, Acronis prompts me to decide whether to use the original or a new location.  So if I no longer had the original location, I could recreate it.

Before Acronis, I used Ocster Pro.  On requesting a restore, Octster would mount a virtual disc with the required backup on it. ↓I could then copy them to the required location.

If your backup software, doesn't do either of these, then why not check its help-files and/or any help forum on its website.

Anyone else out there who has sound backup software knowledge, please come to the rescue!

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mgbinnewhaw
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December 23, 2014 - 5:20 pm
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Hiya jayesstee,

I'm not sure about Win7 being "cussed" I think my brain is showing the ravages of 75yrs. of being bashed - I now see AppData under C:\users\mike\AppData. I'm losing track of which of three HDs I am looking at, and which backup I should be attempting to restorer from. So I've disconnected the distracting HDs (I still had the illegal Win7 running on a separate partition).

I'm using Genie9 as my main backup prog though I also have Acronis 2015 (newly upgraded from 2013/14), but the updates are out-of-date.

Genie9 does ask whether I want restore to the original location or a new one. When I chose original the bl***y thing wrote the file I know not where and anyway said "restore failed". Haven't tried specifying a new location, because I'm not sure of the path syntax, but will try that next, followed by a visit to the Genie9 forum.

There is one other area of confusion you could clear up, please. There is not a Profile.ini folder present on my new Win7 \Firefox folder. There is a Profiles folder containing an alphanumeric.default, which in turn contains a bookmarkbackup folder containing .JSONLZ4 bookmark files (see attached SS).

AppData.PNGImage Enlarger

Can you explain what is what in this confusion-creating structure, please.

Regards,
mgb

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dandl
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December 23, 2014 - 6:03 pm
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Hi mg
Have you tried using the Import and Backup tab under the show all bookmarks tab in Firefox. Click on the bookmarks tab and click on the show all bookmarks tab. Daniel.

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mgbinnewhaw
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December 23, 2014 - 6:10 pm
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Hiya Daniel,
Tried everything run-of-the-mill before coming here.

mgb

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dandl
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December 23, 2014 - 6:21 pm
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I have Firefox open if I can help but I am running Firefox in Linux Mint.

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mgbinnewhaw
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December 23, 2014 - 6:55 pm
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Afraid I need a Genie9 guru or jayesstee's insightful observations. Thanks very much for the offer.

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dandl
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December 23, 2014 - 7:00 pm
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I think you can copy and paste thoses firefox backups to your desktop and restore them with firefox from their.

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dandl
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December 23, 2014 - 7:28 pm
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mg, did you have any of thoses bookmarks stored in your Favorites folder through IE? If so they should be in your bkup data. Daniel

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