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Huge Firefox issue. I am significantly scared.

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  • Seneste svar af chefjeff

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Yesterday I went to my history to locate a prior site I had visited. There was only 1 site in history, which of course surprised me, and it was to CapitalOne.com/link accounts. This is my credit card company. I removed Firefox from my Macbook and then re-downloaded Firefox and installed. Nothing has changed. My settings are correct, meaning that I should be able to have sites visited in history, yet only the one site populates, and I've been to a lot of sites today....the credit card/link accounts site is the only site that is in history. You can imagine how nervous I am right now about doing anything on line. I sure hope that someone will help out here.

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Hi Jeff, great news, and so good to hear that someone at Apple support knows the ins and outs of Firefox profile folders.

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With the History Manager, only the last visit data is retained.

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I cannot even remove the last visit site at all.

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Can you make sure Firefox is not set to automatic private browsing? That's on the Settings page -- either:

  • Mac: "3-bar" menu button (or Firefox menu) > Preferences
  • Windows: "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Settings (previously "Options")
  • Linux: "3-bar" menu button (or Edit menu) > Preferences
  • Any system: type or paste about:preferences into the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it

In the left column, click Privacy & Security.

On the right side, scroll down to the History section.

What do you have set here?

  • Firefox will: Remember history -- this is good
  • Firefox will: Never remember history -- this is a problem
  • Firefox will: Use custom settings for history -- make sure you DO have a checkmark for "Remember browsing and download history" and you do NOT have a check mark for "Always use private browsing mode"

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Good morning jsher, and really, big thank you for your intent....regrettably after following your advice, I am still at square one. My Firefox is already set to "remember history"....Just for the ducks of it though, I did go to see what the custom settings were as well. In that area, there were a couple of check marks and I removed them all, since I have never used custom settings. I set the mode, back to "remember history".....I still the same issue. I have the single CapitalOne banking site in my history, which cannot be removed, and nothing else ever gets added to history, after browsing. I wish like the dickens that there were someone to answer a question such as mine, over the phone. But again, your trying to help me out is really appreciated.

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How are you viewing your history? For example:

  • History sidebar (Command+Shift+H)
  • Library window (History menu > "Show All History")

Do they show any history for earlier days?

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Hmm, maybe the database file is locked. Could you let us know what you get when you run the "Verify Integrity" function. That's here:

Open Firefox's Troubleshooting Information page using any of these methods:

  • "3-bar" menu button > Help > More Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > More Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter/Return

Near the bottom, there is a section titled Places Database -- that's the file which stores history and bookmarks. You can use Find (Command+F) to more quickly find that section. Click the button labeled Verify Integrity. There may be a 10-15 second delay before results appear.

If all is well, the report that appears below the button should start with:

> Task: checkIntegrity
+ The places.sqlite database is sane
+ The favicons.sqlite database is sane

Does yours say that, or something else? You can select and copy the report, and then paste it into a reply for review and comment.

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First off you have raised the bar hugely, for staying with me on this issue. jsher, you have gone the extra mile for me, and my thanks are yours. I've done as you instructed, and it sure looks as if something indeed is wrong, but it's all a new language to me :) Thank you once again, and here is "our" report. Looking forward to your findings. Best wishes and thanks, Jeff

> Task: checkIntegrity - Unable to fix corruption, places.sqlite will be replaced on next startup > Task: invalidateCaches - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: checkCoherence - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: expire - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: originFrecencyStats - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: vacuum - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: stats - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task. > Task: _refreshUI - The task queue was cleared by an error in another task.

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chefjeff said

> Task: checkIntegrity - Unable to fix corruption, places.sqlite will be replaced on next startup

Hi Jeff, that indicates that the file that stores bookmarks and history was damaged. After quitting and restarting Firefox, it should be rebuilt using the last bookmark backup. Does it work any better?

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Note: You need to delete the places.sqlite file while the browser is closed. Then the browser will recreate the file using a backup.

Type about:support<enter> in the address bar.

Under the page logo on the left side, you will see Application Basics. Under this find Profile Folder. To its right press the button Show Folder. This will open your file browser to the current Firefox profile. Now Close Firefox.

Locate the above file. Then rename or delete it. Restart Firefox.

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Well, the good news then, is that this was not a malware or virus situation....it was so creepy to see only the "link accounts" for my credit card.

Now between jscherr and FredMcD, I have what would appear to be a simple task...FredMcD's solution seems like something to follow, but I'm also reaching out to you jscherr again....your instructions for getting to the damaged file was easy as pie. If you are feeling it, might you offer up the same type of roadmap for me, a.ka. figurative "hand holding" to walk me through the steps?

Thank you gentlemen both. Jeff

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Hi Jeff, did a quit/restart not repair the file? I wonder whether it is locked by another program. A normal shutdown/restart of your Mac might be needed in that case.

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Happy Sunday, as I type this out from my Safari browser :). Below is now my message when I try to open Firefox.

Profile missing. Your file cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.

While I am now in worse shape than before, I do have a better feeling that this was not all from a virus or malware. Yesterday I ended up doing what I thought to be what FredMcD had suggested. I found my profile folder and renamed it "Wishmeluck"  :). I shut down Firefox and restarted, but I cannot even access the browser. I'm breathing through all of this, so hopefully there might be a solution. I guess I could once again remove the entire Firefox app from my mac and re-download....but if you have other thoughts on this, I am totally listening! Thanks Jscherr Jeff

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One addendum to all of this...Still using Safari right now. In the library of my Mac, I was able to find my re-named "wishmeluck" folder, which is my firefox profile folder. The one that Firefox cannot locate as of now. As of this moment, the folder is now on my desktop, so clearly not lost. Would love some help getting it put back into firefox, so I can still fix the issue.

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chefjeff said

Yesterday I ended up doing what I thought to be what FredMcD had suggested. I found my profile folder and renamed it "Wishmeluck"  :). I shut down Firefox and restarted, but I cannot even access the browser.

Hi Jeff, Firefox is looking for your profile folder under its original name and location.

Can you undo your changes?

If not, you can use the steps to create a new profile as a starting point, and then we can try to figure out how to get some of your data back into it. That is covered in this article: How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible.

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Well hey there jsherr, I mean this...I want you to have a giggle on me, because even I am giggling! Today was a day of "Murhphy's Law", if ever there was such a day. In my attempts to undo the change I made to the profile folder and it's new name of "wishmeluck", I decided to be brilliant. In theory anyway. I decide to use my Airport tower (router/back up device) to restore my computer back to 48 hours prior. Purportedly this would undo all I had done, and then I could be back to square one....but at least now a hopefully easy fix for my Firefox issue. WELL....my Airport tower somehow would not transfer all of the data to bring me back, and then I decide to call Apple for support. I am connected with Kyle in Nevada....a part of Nevada where he said he lives in the middle of nowhere. He asks me to input my password to the Airport tower, and as I'd never used it a single time, other than for backing up, I admittedly had no idea of my password. Kyle then tells me to do a factory reset on the Airport tower, which he walked me through. Every wi-fi connected device, from my electric vehicle, to my Nest thermostat, to smart buttons, to streaming t.v., etc. etc.....ALL disconnected, and quite the feat to rejoin all of my wi-fi accounts. UGH. I honestly did not even remember all that I had connected to wi-fi....I sure wish he had mentioned this BEFORE the factory re-set, so I might be able to figure out my list. Anyway, long story longer....phone call with another Apple guy....this time a very caring gent, and after 90 minutes, he could not help me. SO....I'll pick this up on Thursday of next week for my Genius Bar appointment at the Apple store near my home. I guess I'll be using Safari until then....not enjoying! Perhaps on Thursday you might re-visit our thread so I can at last get my Firefox issue resolved. Be well, Jeff

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I am adding to my day of "Murphy's law"....just now I typed out my excellent day, for a bit of a joke, and to release some pent up frustration...when I hit reply, for some reason my tale of woe did not get sent. Anyway, my note to you started with the rest of my Murphy's Law issues. I will hopefully condense the story, to give you an idea. I feel like I am living the life of The Cat in the Hat right now....just a big mess that gets messier. Could not undo the changes to my profile folder from Firefox, but it is sitting on my desk top under the new name "wish me luck". I decide to try for the first time to restore my computer to where it was 48 hours ago. According to Apple, this would make my folder on my desk top, return to where I dragged it from, and also with it's original name. Sounds good, right? Apple walks me through how to do this, and the data would not back up to my computer. Apple guy wants to go into my Airport Tower (router/back up) device. I've never used this before other than being secure in knowing it would back up often, and act as my router. I did not remember my password to get into the Airport, so before I knew it I was being told to do this and that....essentially a full factory re-set. He never mentioned to take heed of all of my connected wi-fi devices, for easier rejoining after he would fix everything. Anyway, no fix of any kind, and scrambling to remember all of my wi-fi devices connected....sheeeesh! Now I have a "Genius Bar" appointment on Thursday of next week to hopefully get my Tower working properly. At least then I will be able to get to the bottom of the Firefox issue....if you are feeling it, perhaps you could check back on this thread next Thursday, as I will no doubt be coming back to you with my tail between my legs. Be well, and thanks truly....Jeff.

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Hi Jeff, I see one of your replies is in the spam moderation queue. Something in there must have looked a bit off to the filter.

You still could try creating a new profile as a starting point, and then we can try to figure out how to get some of your data back into it.

First step is covered in this article: How to run Firefox when your profile is missing or inaccessible.

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Thanks once again jscherr for sticking by me/this thread. At the end of the day I am going to consider all of this a good thing to have happened. I say this because for a very long while I've known that my Airport tower was on its way out. I plan on purchasing a dedicated router and also back up software separately, versus all in one. This morning I am actually scrambling to see if there are professionals in the Sherman Oaks area where I live, to just get my fix done. However, I do plan on looking at what you linked me to in the above. Per chance might you know of any fee based part of Mozilla where one could call and get walked through the process of putting the profile folder back where it belongs?

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Hi Jeff, Mozilla doesn't have any paid support option.

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Sir jscher! If you are standing, then sit down. If you are sitting, then please stand up....This morning on a 2 hour phone call with Apple, a brilliant fellow "David" was able to go through a back door to find the original name of the file I re-named. And it was returned to the area where it emanated from. Don't ask how many people I spoke with over this past weekend, and the time spent. "Dessert" for me was that through so much trial and error, I was just wanting to be able to use Fireox again, and was prepared to then pick your brain on how to fix the issue within Firefox. Miraculously when we re-named the file back to it's original name, and then put it back where it belongs, my Firefox re-configured to pristine condition. No more issue whatsoever! History within Firefox is once again working. I did not expect this bonus. Do you think I am happy??? Cloud 9 in happiness right now. Thank you for being there to bounce all of this off of.

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