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Firefox password manager just stoped responding to my masterpasword .. ?

  • 6 replies
  • 3 have this problem
  • Last reply by FredMcD

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Dear volunteers,.. y'all do tremendously valuable work ... adding to the wisdom of the cloud/crowd. Many times I solved a problem by just looking for postings of others who had the similar problem, but now I had to become a member of this community to ask about this problem. The only thing I could find that sort of addressed (I think??) my problem was But I don't understand that tech-talk.

Anyways ... on July 6 the build in password manager stopped responding to my old and tested master password. The password manager just keeps asking for it... as if my password is wrong - but it is not. I have been using the same password for a few years and never changed it. Prior to this mysterious behaviour I did nothing special to my computer or to Firefox. I'm on Win7 with up to date virus and malware protection.

The thing that makes me think that it is not a question of the wrong password, is that after much fiddling in the section "settings and security" with it's options like resetting, changing, removing or showing passwords ... suddenly my old and trusted master password was accepted again (!) but only in the "change master password" field. So I did change my master password into exactly the same old master password that had worked for the last years. I than closed Firefox ... started it again ... went to a site for which it keeps my password .. entered my (old-new) master password ... and bingo it was again accepted. Joy :) The next day however password manager again refused to cooperate! And now 'it' does not fall any more for the procedure to change the master password. I do know about typo's, and I do sometimes use the copy/paste method from hidden plain text files. When password manager finally accepted my password again ... I did - to be extra certain - a keyboard input in the first field and a copy/paste input in the second field and that was accepted by the password manager. Any one ever heard of such a thing?

All Replies (6)

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I've called the big guys to help you. Good luck.

But for now, disable the Master Password until this is cleared up.

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Does this also happen if you open the Password Manager?

  • Tools > Options > Security: Passwords: "Saved Passwords" > "Show Passwords"

You can try to restore a previous copy of the logins.json and key3.db files.

You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder:

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Thank you cor-el and FredMcD for you prompt reactions :)

No, password manager won't disable itself without giving 'it' the master password.

Yes, It also happens when I open the Password Manager.

   Tools > Options > Security: Passwords: "Saved Passwords" > "Show Passwords"  ...  Just that looping  of the master password 'login' dialogue window.

I did not think of "restore previous copy" option ... so I tried it out on the 2 mentioned files and several others as well in that profile folder. Windows tells me however that it has no previous versions - not even for the complete folder. Strange perhaps for Windows is configured for system and file restore on the 'C' drive.

I than tried to have a look in the System Volume Information folder but access was denied (although I was logged in as administrator. ) 

What still baffles me is that on July 6 after first refusing my master password .. and still rejecting it for numerous copy/paste trials on the several different option in the "security" section .... it suddenly accepted it in the "change master password" field. After restarting Firefox (not shutting down Windows!) it still accepted the copy/paste as well as the keyboard input of the master password. Than I went to bed,.. shutting down the computer. Next day' it' again pretended not to recognise the master password. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Six month ago I migrated my Thunderbird mail client and Firefox profiles from my old XP computer to my current Win7 computer by usb stick. Now I just copied the old 'XP' logins.json and key3.db files to my current Win7 computer - renaming it's corrupted (?) file versions pending a solution. That worked -- same old master password of course. Now I'm missing passwords made in the last 6 months and have some deleted one's back  :)

I have already accepted that this encryption/corruption thing can not be fixed, cracked or hacked. It's just that I now cannot trust password manager any more, and must adept an other way to comfortably but reasonably save, keep my 60 or so completely random and nonsensical passwords an login names organised and at hand. Argh.

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These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) {web link} FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backup of files that you choose.

OPIE {web link} Import/Export extension preferences

In the event that the passwords information is lost, you should record all information in a separate text file somewhere else on your hard drive, or written down. You can easily copy and paste if you need to do so. If you are concerned about someone else looking at that file, you can compress it using a password.

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Thanks for your attention and clear responses. I still wonder ... has this happened before with this or any other password manager? Was it an outside influence,.. a piece of undetected nasty code ..? By the way, today (since months) I got a warning from Avira and Malwarebytes of some potentially unwanted files ... one in the Windows Volume section and the other one in my new Firefox profile folder. I told Malwarebytes to put them in quarantine :)

I always felt, but now experienced that solely depending on a password manager is not a good idea. From now on I will be careful to keep my passwords neatly ordered in a separate text file .. and back that up on a usb stick - encrypted.

bye :)

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I have never has a problem with the Password Manager. But I don't use the Master Password.

One last thing. In the event that the passwords information is lost, you should record all information in a separate text file somewhere else on your hard drive, or written down. You can easily copy and paste if you need to do so. If you are concerned about someone else looking at that file, you can compress it using a password.