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I deleted by mistake bookmarks by uninstalling the previous version of Firefox beta 4.011b... Is there anyway to recover them?

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  • 51 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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As title says.. I deleted my whole bookmarks database my mistake... I thought it would only delete them from Firefox 4.011b folder, but it deleted them also for standard Firefox and Firefox 4.012b....

Chosen solution

Sorry, there isn't a way of recovering those bookmarks without using a file recovery program like Recuva or similar file recovery program. You would need to recover the places.sqite file or one of the bookmark backup files in the bookmarks,json format.

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Chosen Solution

Sorry, there isn't a way of recovering those bookmarks without using a file recovery program like Recuva or similar file recovery program. You would need to recover the places.sqite file or one of the bookmark backup files in the bookmarks,json format.

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Sorry to hear of the problem.

That is a cautionary tale I will remember. I may have expected deleting the bookmarks from 4 beta, even if uninstalling; would have left the 3.6 profile as it was. Luckily I tend to keep additional backups of my bookmarks, so would only have lost anything since the last manual copy.

( note to self : Must remember to automate the firefox profile backup )

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Hey, I used that option when it was first introduced (the first day!) in the Firefox 3.0 trunk nightly "tester" builds almost three years ago, and lost 12 Profiles for 4 different versions of Firefox I had installed at that time. Fortunately, I had backups of most of those Profiles, plus I was using Pikes Bookmark Backup extension, and I wasn't storing my bookmarks file in the Profile folder (an option in the older versions of Firefox). So that "option" just wasted a 1/2 hour of my time, but was a "learning" experience for me. I don't even keep my Profiles in the Profiles folder any longer! After I restored as much as I needed and had a beer to calm my nerves, I filed a Bug report about that new "option". Because I made one stinkin little mistake in that Bug report, it wasn't taken seriously IMO. All that happened was a better warning message that I still don't think is strong enough.

That "option" deletes the appdata \Firefox\ folder that contains the Profile folder and the profiles.ini file - every damn Profile for every version of Firefox that you have installed is deleted with that "option".

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Daaamn a lifetime of bookmarks lost... I hope I remember all my sites.... Well I guess it's entirely my fault by selecting that option in the uninstaller (but it could be more clear for non professional users like me)... Thx guys!

EDIT: Recurva doesn't find any of those files you mentioned sadly

Modified by bellbill

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Sorry man, that's a tough loss to stomach.

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By default, Recuva does not do a deep scan. A deep scan is 80% more accurate than normal scans. To do a deep scan - 1. In the Recuva Interface, click Options. 2. In Options, click the Actions tab and check the box "Deep Scan (Increases Scan Time). If you cannot see Options, click "Switch to advanced mode" button and then you will see the Options button.

After enabling Deep Scan, click the "Scan" button. I am sure you will find your data with a Deep Scan.

Modified by Swapnilrustagi

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Ehy that worked!!! Even if Recuva labelled the file as definetly lost, it has been succesfully recovered, and copying it on the existing one brought back all my bookmarks and notes!!! Thanks a lot guys!!! I hope Firefox 4 will work good as you! :P (Now it's a bit slow for some sites for me)

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Bellbill, I am glad to know that the Deep Scan worked.

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Now would be a good time to remember to sort out backups. Everything else normally takes priority, but even partial backups, and outdated ones are better than nothing, and the newly discovered recovery program is not always going to work.

It is said backup strategies are implemented by two kinds of people,

  • those who think it is a good idea, and
  • those who have previously lost data.

Glad it worked out this time.

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Wow! I glad you were able to recover your bookmarks. As John99 mentioned, now is the time to implement a backup strategy for your Firefox personal data. Keeping in mind that you have data beyond bookmarks, like passwords, that is equally as hard to recover if it is lost, too.

I have been using this Firefox extension since like 2004, long before Firefox 1.0 was even released.
You can easily select which data files you want backed up, and even do bookmarks.html backups (the universal interchange format for favorites / bookmarks that any browser I have ever used can import); plus you can specify where the backups are saved. I put those backups on a small logical drive that I also use for TEMP and cache files, to cut down on drive fragmentation on the C:\ drive.

The built-in Firefox bookmarks backups are saved in the Profile folder, so in cases like you just experienced those backups are gone with the original places.sqlite file. Silly way to do backups, IMO.

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Okay so I did this same thing today and almost cried. But I ran the recuva search and it has yielded many results, but what are the specific files I am looking for to restore the bookmarks and settings? I know it's a profile thing but there are a lot of things and I'm confused.

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Sorry you had that problem. Happened to me once, three years ago when that feature was just added to Firefox in the pre-release tester versions. I filed a Bug about that new feature but it wasn't taken seriously by the developers. I lost a dozen Profiles, but I had backups of the data in most of those Profiles.
See this support article:
The tone of that article is a little different than what you need, but the names of the files you are trying to recover are mentioned there.

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@ the-Edmeister : time to file that bug again,and hope that this time they take it more seriously? Doesn't seem like a marginal issue to me,or maybe the bug is still there and we can reopen and vote for it?

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The Profile Manager and that option to remove personal data is going to be removed from Firefox soon. Probably will be gone from Firefox 5.0.

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@the-edmeister, Are you a Mozilla person? Well, if the Profile Manager is removed what replacement will be there. Or Mozilla is just ending User Profile feature.

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Nope, just a Firefox of 8+ years who is real interested in "Profiles" and has broken Firefox in more ways than you can imagine in his quest for knowledge or same. LOL
Mozilla is working on a new Profile Manager XULRunner application for developers and advanced users who have a need for multiple Profiles and multiple different versions of Firefox being installed. It is now in the Beta2 stage and very usable, and will be complete before the existing built-in Profile Manager is removed from Firefox - will probably be gone from Firefox 5.0, I guess.

Modified by the-edmeister

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10 minutes of panic, and some hate at mozilla developers...


Using Recuva and looking at the link you posted I'm trying to locate the files I need (passwords and browsing chronology, passwords...)

Let's say I feel confident in the recovery: should I copy these files directly into the main folder C/Program Files (x86)/Mozilla Firefox?

Thanks for support :)

Modified by Go3gon

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I will leave it to the-edmeister to give you a full answer.

I think you could conceivably put the profile files anywhere except the program directory, (I am assuming you are using a Windows OS) if the profile.ini was edited to match.

I would suggest you start a new thread to ask your own question, we would then for instance know which OS, and which version of Firefox you were using. The safest way to start going about this may be to create a new profile, and transfer the files into that new profile, but you will need to take care or you could overwrite existing files (such as the bookmarksbackups folder). You will need to take even more care if you try correcting a single existing profile.

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I have erased my firefox version 3.6.20 and have tried using restore point but the firefox but the firefox will not open in any profile. I have come across this thread and used the recuva software to find the erased files. But I am confused to which profile files which will have bookmarks. I have looked up what edmeisters advice was to go to a particular web page but it is still confusing for me. Could someone please show me examples of what bookmark files i would be looking for. And should i restore my computer before the date firefox was erased. What version of firefox should i load on my pc as my previous one was version 3.6.20. I am a simple lady who knows very little about computers and this dreadful mistake happened. Please help.

Regards Annie

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I suggest you start a new thread with your question and give as much info as possible.

The bookmarks are within your profile if you still have that folder and its contents you will have at least some bookmarks that may be recoverable.

Depending on the recovery software you have it may be possible to recover individual files and folders from recovery points at specific dates. What software are you using?

As I said better to start a new thread (post here to confirm you have done that, if no one else has answered within a few of days I will find it and reply - I am likely to be rather busy until at least Saturday)