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Can't Copy Profile to External Drive

  • 19 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 26 views
  • Last reply by johnoo

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Have been carrying this out for years, but today there is a problem. Go into "Profiles" on Firefox, set to copy to external drive, get message:- "An unexpected problem has occurred" How do I copy the profile?

Have been carrying this out for years, but today there is a problem. Go into "Profiles" on Firefox, set to copy to external drive, get message:- "An unexpected problem has occurred" How do I copy the profile?

All Replies (19)

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Should have stated, it gives a error code of 0x80004005

Modified by cor-el

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Was the browser closed when you tried this?

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No, Browser was open. Used my normal method:- Help/More Troubleshooting information/Profile Folder/Open Folder/Select rvqpcndb.default, Get the error message! I'm using latest version of F.Fox 98.0 Any ideas?

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Some files in the Firefox profile folder are locked when Firefox is running and Firefox also keeps some data in memory and only flushes to the profile when you close Firefox. You should only backup profile data when Firefox is closed.

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OK, but how do I find the "Profile" folder when Firefox is closed? As I said in previous post I currently find it by using this path:- Firefox Help/More Troubleshooting information/Profile Folder/Open Folder/Select rvqpcndb.default,

Hope you can help

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Use that to find and open the profile folder, but fully close Firefox before you do anything like copying or opening the files in that folder.

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Seburo, Thanks, but if I fully close F.Fox I would not be able to find F.Fox Help. Am I missing something?

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OK, Have carried out using method stated, ie found path to Profile thus:- Firefox Help/More Troubleshooting information/Profile Folder/Open Folder/Select rvqpcndb.default, Then I closed Firefox. Tried to copy Profile but got the same error message:- error code of 0x80004005

Have been doing this copying of Profile monthly for years & have never had this problem Using version 98.0 of Firefox, & have not made any changes to computer. So what is wrong?

Modified by cor-el

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johnoo, have you tried renaming the profile folder before attempting the copy?

I have had problems in the past with error messages when trying to backup my profile. So what I do now is:

1. Make sure all Firefox windows are closed. 2. In FileExplorer rename the profile folder (by, for example, adding a "b" to the end). 3. Copy the profile folder to the backup destination. 4. Delete the final "b" from the profile folder's gname to restore it back to what it originally was.

(You could also delete the final "b" from the backup copy's folder name, although I just leave it. You can always delete it later if and when you ever need to restore the backup.)

For me at least, I stopped getting errors when I started using the above renaming method.

Modified by TechHorse

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Techhorse, Just tried your method/idea, get the same error message. Also why am I getting this problem after 10+ years of just selecting Profile & copying to external location? Something must have changed, is this due to the release of 98.0 on 8th March? Perhaps this requires investigation!

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Sorry to hear that. Have you gone into the profile folder in FileExplorer (while Firefox is closed) and tried to copy individual files and folders from within it to another folder?

If it turns out you can copy some items from within the profile folder but not others, well this might help someone figure out what has gone wrong? Can you, for example, copy the bookmarkbackups folder?

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Another thought is, do you still get an error if you try manually copying your profile in FileExplorer after a clean reboot, and before you have first run Firefox that session? (you may need to make a note of where your profile folder is located on your harddrive first)

Just trying to rule out the possibility that if you run Firefox then close it, it still leaves some files locked so they are still blocked when you later try and copy them in FileExplorer.

Modified by TechHorse

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Tried the idea of copying bookmarkbackups folder & this did copy, but could not open the copy as it was a "JSONLZ4" folder. To my shame, I can't understand your next idea :- Another thought is, do you still get an error if you try manually copying your profile in FileExplorer after a clean reboot, and before you have first run Firefox that session

But does copying the bookmark folder give somebody information to find solution to problem?

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johnoo the fact you can copy the bookmarkbackups folder without error means that it is not this folder that is causing the problem. If you tried copying other files and folders from the root of your profile folder you might be able to find out which ones are causing the issue. You could try copying several items at a time until you start getting errors. Once you know what precisely within your profile folder is causing an error when you try to copy it, this may help someone find a fix.

To clarify my suggestion: 1. Restart your machine. 2. Open FileExplorer and navigate to your profile folder. 3. Try copying the folder. DO NOT launch Firefox before trying step 3. If you do not think you can remember where your profile folder is, create a shortcut to it on your desktop before starting the steps above.

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Techhorse, I'm not that bright at messing with computer programs, think I would mess it up! Have you tried saving copy of Profile folder using F.Fox 98.0 issued on 8th March?

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If Firefox is completely closed then copying the content of a profile folder shouldn't be a problem. On Window copying specific data from the main location in "AppData\Roaming" is sufficient.

You normally do not need to backup up a full profile folder, it is sufficient to backup files that store important data.


You can copy/backup certain files in the current profile folder with Firefox closed and use these files to transfer or recover personal data. Note that best is to avoid copying a full profile folder.

You can use the button on the "Help -> More Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page (Root directory).


  • bookmarks and history: places.sqlite
  • favicons: favicons.sqlite
  • bookmark backups: compressed .jsonlz4 JSON backups in the bookmarkbackups folder
  • cookies.sqlite for the Cookies
  • formhistory.sqlite for saved autocomplete Form Data
  • logins.json (encrypted logins;32+) and key4.db (decryption key;58+) for Passwords saved in the Password Manager
    key3.db support ended in 73+; to use key3.db in 58-72, make sure to remove key4.db
  • cert9.db (58+) for (intermediate) certificates stored in the Certificate Manager
  • persdict.dat for words added to the spell checker dictionary
  • permissions.sqlite for Permissions and possibly content-prefs.sqlite for other website specific data (Site Preferences)
  • sessionstore.jsonlz4 for open tabs and pinned tabs (see also the sessionstore-backups folder)
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Cor- el/Others, This is too much for me. For years I've been copying my Profile using this pathway:- Help/More Troubleshooting information/Profile Folder/Open Folder/Select rvqpcndb.default, I then have copied the Profile to a external drive. But since version 98.0 has been released there has been a problem & I get this error message:- error code of 0x80004005.

Could I suggest that a problem has been put into the system on version 98.0? Could I further suggest that the experts try to copy Profile the way I have been carrying it out & see if they get the same error? Thanks for the help

Modified by cor-el

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It is possible that your security software keeps an handle on some files that causes the copy from working properly.

Boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support to see if that has effect in case security software is causing problems.

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My security software is AVG, been using it for years with no problems. As to booting in safe mode, this would give me problem. As I have said before I'm not skilled enough to try such things. Have you looked at my idea of trying to save your Profile using the pathway I've used to see if you have a similar problem?