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Firefox disappeared from my system; files, icons, everything.

Posted

The taskbar shortcut disappeared overnight. Firefox is no longer in the Start Menu. I cannot find the Program Files for it. It is still listed as an App in my Windows 10 Pro settings. I typed "Firefox" in the Start Menu to start the program manually and I get an error message:

"The drive or network connection that the shortcut 'Mozilla Firefox.lnk' refers to is unavailable. Make sure that the disk is properly inserted or the network resource is available, and then try again."

The disk is fine (all three of my internal and my external hard drives are functioning), and I'm obviously using the network right now.

I restarted, same problem. I've run a number of anti-malware scanners and my carefully managed computer does seem to be free of malware.

Then I looked again at the App settings and noticed that it says version 63.0 was installed on 10/24/2018. That was last night. Did the installation fail and commit total suicide or what?

I'm about to download and re-install Firefox, but I'd sure like to know what really happened. Or should I take this opportunity to switch to Edge? I've been considering it, but I've been using Firefox since its inception and an am pretty accustomed to how it works. I'd rather keep using Firefox, but this probably is going to cost me a LOT of time to recover if the new installation does not recognize the tabs I had open. If I have to start over finding all of my tabs I might just make the switch now.

The taskbar shortcut disappeared overnight. Firefox is no longer in the Start Menu. I cannot find the Program Files for it. It is still listed as an App in my Windows 10 Pro settings. I typed "Firefox" in the Start Menu to start the program manually and I get an error message: "The drive or network connection that the shortcut 'Mozilla Firefox.lnk' refers to is unavailable. Make sure that the disk is properly inserted or the network resource is available, and then try again." The disk is fine (all three of my internal and my external hard drives are functioning), and I'm obviously using the network right now. I restarted, same problem. I've run a number of anti-malware scanners and my carefully managed computer does seem to be free of malware. Then I looked again at the App settings and noticed that it says version 63.0 was installed on 10/24/2018. That was last night. Did the installation fail and commit total suicide or what? I'm about to download and re-install Firefox, but I'd sure like to know what really happened. Or should I take this opportunity to switch to Edge? I've been considering it, but I've been using Firefox since its inception and an am pretty accustomed to how it works. I'd rather keep using Firefox, but this probably is going to cost me a LOT of time to recover if the new installation does not recognize the tabs I had open. If I have to start over finding all of my tabs I might just make the switch now.

Additional System Details

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/64.0.3282.140 Safari/537.36 Edge/17.17134

More Information

Question owner

Well this just got weirder. Mozilla FIrefox did not exist in the Program Files directory. Trust me, I checked carefully. Just now I clicked a link in an email and Firefox opened to the V63 upgraded version. Now its directory appears in the Program Files director as it should. What, was it just hidden or something? Was there some installation step that didn't finish until I opened Firefox? (Seems like a paradox to me.)

It still does not show up in the start menu, not even as a recently added or used app. I cannot start it manually from the start menu. Something is still wrong. But since it still has my profile, I'm thinking I might just re-install it and see if it fixes itself.

Well this just got weirder. Mozilla FIrefox did not exist in the Program Files directory. Trust me, I checked carefully. Just now I clicked a link in an email and Firefox opened to the V63 upgraded version. Now its directory appears in the Program Files director as it should. What, was it just hidden or something? Was there some installation step that didn't finish until I opened Firefox? (Seems like a paradox to me.) It still does not show up in the start menu, not even as a recently added or used app. I cannot start it manually from the start menu. Something is still wrong. But since it still has my profile, I'm thinking I might just re-install it and see if it fixes itself.

Question owner

OK, I re-installed and all is now back in order. Hopefully this will be useful to someone else who experienced the same problem during an upgrade.

OK, I re-installed and all is now back in order. Hopefully this will be useful to someone else who experienced the same problem during an upgrade.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8837 solutions 72222 answers

Hi BrianGodfrey, I don't know how the shortcut got out-of-sync with the program. One possibility is that originally Firefox was under 32-bit programs and now it is under 64-bit programs.

  • 32-bit programs: C:\Program Files (x86)\
  • 64-bit programs: C:\Program Files\

Anyway, with Windows 10 doing major updates a couple times a year, support forum volunteers are frequently surprised by new little glitches!

Hi BrianGodfrey, I don't know how the shortcut got out-of-sync with the program. One possibility is that originally Firefox was under 32-bit programs and now it is under 64-bit programs. * 32-bit programs: C:\Program Files (x86)\ * 64-bit programs: C:\Program Files\ Anyway, with Windows 10 doing major updates a couple times a year, support forum volunteers are frequently surprised by new little glitches!

Question owner

I actually checked both Program Files directories the first time around, I just didn't say so because I've been chastised in the past for over-long postings on help forums.  :-) The program directory did not show up until the program was run by clicking a link in an email. Then it showed up. There was still no shortcut in the start menu until I re-installed the program. Then there was. I suspect this is one of those freak problems of timing that would be very hard to replicate and troubleshoot. It's probably best to just leave this thread for others to find in case it happens to them.

I actually checked both Program Files directories the first time around, I just didn't say so because I've been chastised in the past for over-long postings on help forums. :-) The program directory did not show up until the program was run by clicking a link in an email. Then it showed up. There was still no shortcut in the start menu until I re-installed the program. Then there was. I suspect this is one of those freak problems of timing that would be very hard to replicate and troubleshoot. It's probably best to just leave this thread for others to find in case it happens to them.