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save as "web page, complete" .html file disappears when overwriting file with same name

  • 18 replies
  • 19 have this problem
  • Last reply by gruff

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On Mac and PC using various versions of FireFox (including 29.0.1 on Win 7) the following occurs:

"Save Page As" a page with several iFrames in the content. I use "Web page, complete" and name the file.

Close FireFox. The .html file and accompanying folder are saved correctly. Then I open the file in FireFox and make some changes to fields in a form. Then "Save Page As" again and use the same name. It prompts to overwrite the existing file and I click Yes.

Three out of four times the file is no longer there. The folder remains but the .html file is gone. Not in the trash or hidden, just gone.

I know this sounds crazy but I have tested it on about 20 computers (both mac and various windows versions), all with different FF versions and different antivirus. The above scenario happens: always on 1 computer, occasionally (random) on 3, and hasn't been observed yet on the others.

Has anyone encountered this before? Are there any antivirus or malware products that could cause this? Any settings in FF that could? Any thing about this page or frames that could cause it?

All Replies (18)

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Do a search using a file explorer. It might have been saved elsewhere.

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Did you try to save the file under a different name (i.e. add version number) to see if that works?

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The files are not saved elsewhere. The .html file disappears. It isnt in the trash or a different folder.

I haven't tried saving with a different name. I will do that to see but either way, that isn't really a solution. We cant tell folks that the Save As feature is sometimes a Delete all my work feature :-)

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Sometimes files are there but are not visible because the folder needs to be refreshed. This happens to me a lot. Have you tried right-clicking in the folder where you saved the file, and doing a Refresh?

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I am a software developer with 20 years of experience. We have spent many hours testing and researching this issue. The file is definitely being deleted. It isn't hidden, or moved. What I'm uncertain about is whether this is:

A bug in firefox A problem with the FireFox installation A problem with the OS A problem related to Antivirus A problem with the html files being saved Something else

Has anyone else ever reported a situation like this? I'm sensing that this is a first. Would it be helpful if I posted a video of the process to demonstrate it isn't imaginary? :-)

We will do some more testing with different files (perhaps without frames) to see if it has any relationship to the content.

Then will try reinstalling FF.

Any other suggestions welcome. Thanks!

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Out of curiosity, does this only happen when you do this process in Firefox? Have you tried saving and re-saving htmls in IE or Chrome?

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Only in FF

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So I have recorded a video of what happens and also created a zip file with the html file and supporting folders.



As I mentioned before, this doesn't happen on every computer. I also noticed that it doesn't happen on all pages. It does happen on pages like this one (generated as part of a survey app) regardless of whether there are frames or the size of the page.

It makes me wonder if there is something in the html that is causing a problem with FireFox.

The computer with the issue has Norton 360 and Windows 7 Home.

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I have now observed this on several Windows 7 Home edition computers. How can I escalate this as a bug?

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I found the solution. Yes, the first time you replace a file it disappears altogether. Just save it again, and it will reappear with the updated date and time code in the directory you chose to save it in. I only wish this were the problem in Firefox v. 30, but that is worse now.

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I think for some odd reason, completely contrary to the definition Mozilla gives for saving webpages, if you save the page as <complete> it will only save the <complete_files> folder but not the html file. However if you save the webpage as it will not create a <x_files> folder but the it will save the html file with all it's parts imbedded therein. However, I just noticed this discrepancy and have no idea how long it's been going on because I've been using Firefox and Thunderbird since day one. The problem is an 80gb database I have of webpages in more than 1100 folders/subjects going back 15 years. I feel as though I've just lost all my data going back to when I started using Firefox. I'm a writer and I'm devastated at the loss of all this research that is nearly impossible to reconstruct.

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I just figured out how to find out how much I've lost and fortunately, it's not that much. I've gone back into my most populated folder (i.e., China) and with my two pane file manager have been able to compare files for matching <_files> folders. I've not found many. Mostly in the last couple of days.

What seems to be happening is as I described above, saving webpages as complete only saves the _files folder with no corresponding html file. But when saved as an HTML Only page, all the components become embedded in the html file.

The fortunate part is that the Save As function in Windows/Firefox defaults now to the selection rather than the <Complete> selection. So the only data I've lost has been those infrequent times when I've noticed it's set for and changed it to <Complete> out of habit. Because it used to work the other way around. Mozilla should have given everyone fair warning on this change.

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On third thought, it's a shame Firefox didn't incorporate this feature into it's first version. Without the supporting _files folders and their contents, I could have probably saved 80% of that 80 gigs and had a database small enough to search quickly.

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Oh my! That whole thing above is different for different websites. On some it requires Complete and others it's HTML Only. What a mess. I wonder if it has anything to do with the new utility I used the other day that removes the arrow from desktop icons.

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the new utility I used that removes the arrow from desktop icons I used a similar program. It should only change the icon display.

How and what is saved depends on what it is you are saving. A web page that is just type, for example, may need only one file with no sub-folder. A web page with lots of images, windows or other things would save the main page as a file, with links in the file to a sub-folder using the same name as the saved file.

Experiment; Go and save a web page. Then open the download manager <Control> J, The page you just saved should be listed. Right click on the entry and select Open Containing Folder. Where ever it is, what ever name it is, your web browser should go right to it.

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It depends on the webpage. For instance, I save mostly webpages from the London Financial Times and I can save as HTML and it will embed all graphics, charts, images, scripts, etc. INTO the HTML file. But near as I can tell, this does not work at any other webpages (NYTimes, Economist, etc.). With these I have to save as Complete Page which also creates the folder.

It would be easier if FireFox would simply fix this problem. Who knows how many FF users don't know about this problem and think they are saving webpages when they are not. I still don't know the extent of the damage I've done to my database.

Modified by gruff

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It would be easier if FireFox would simply fix this problem. That would depend on if others have the same problem.

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It seems from the posts here that others ARE having the same problem. And god knows how many are having this problem and aren't aware of it or are not aware of this forum.