How do I restore Firefox Sync data after I set it to be merged?
Here are the steps I took to cause my problem:
1. Installed Firefox 4 Beta
2. Setup Sync.
3. Firefox synced all my bookmarks correctly.
4. Re-installed Windows, re-installed Firefox 4 Beta.
5. When setting up Sync, I chose "Merge Data" by default, instead of choosing "Get data from server".
6. Now my Firefox, even after Syncing, doesn't show any of my old sync data.
Is the data lost forever? Is there any way to recover the sync data from the Sync server?
Modified by globexdesigns
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This also happened for me. I just didn't pick "Merge Data", I picked the one where my computers data was erased, to be replaced by the sync data.. That just didn't happen.
So we can be pretty sure it has nothing to do with the "Merge Data" functionality.
After setting up some bookmarks in my new "formatted" sync data, and trying replacing local bookmarks with the ones on the sync server. Everything worked fine (except the order of my bookmarks)
when they launched Sync, I was very happy. But if they can't restore our old information. This is really a screw up!
I asked around, and found the answer!
Sync is a mechanism for exchanging data between clients (typically instances of Firefox). It's not a persistent cloud store, and it's not a backup service. It doesn't necessarily have all of your data (e.g., old history isn't uploaded), and it's not guaranteed to stick around.
There are also events that will deliberately wipe the server -- a storage version upgrade (as occurred between b7 and b8) being one of them. A wipe is a non-exceptional circumstance; clients will simply re-upload.
So when I tried connecting to sync just after installing FF again, something went wrong for some unknown reason. When I upgraded to FF4 b8, all my sync data was erased!
If we had been using X-marks, we could have just restored our data to something a couple of days old. I haven't been able to do that with FF sync..
Do not despair! You may be able to do what I did. See here for details, but basically I just opened Firefox's bookmark manager, and there's a little restore button there which allowed me to sync with yesterday's bookmarks.
If you are interested, what I had done was inadvertently replaced all of my husband's bookmarks with my own, after inheriting his old laptop and syncing the bookmarks in Firefox via Xmarks. What I didn't realize, was that my husband had Firefox syn enabled (I thought he was using Xmarks), so all of his bookmarks got replaced with mine. So I had to quickly go into Firefox Preferences on my new (his old) laptop to disable sync, and then we restored as above on his laptop.
Hope this helps.
I had a similar problem (was looking to restore the passwords instead of the bookmarks). Hopefully, I use Windows 7 which provides previous versions of the files (right click on a file -> Properties -> Previous Versions).
I copied a version of the browser data directory prior to the "blank merge", then copied manually the files that have changed (directories were compared using WinMerge).
The directory and file name for the browser data depends on the browser flavor (e.g. Firefox, Seamonkey), on the browser version, and on the data you are looking to restore (e.g. passwords, bookmarks). In my case, I was looking for the password file (signons.sqlite) for Seamonkey browser in the "C:\Users\MY_USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\SeaMonkey\Profiles\RANDOM_PROFILE_STRING" directory. I closed the browser, then copied the old password file to the browser data directory, then open the browser: my passwords are back!