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Cannot import bookmarks file (file is neither JSON or HTML)

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I recently reformatted my laptop with a friend (works in IT), and from what I remember, he saved the bookmarks through the "Import and Backup / Backup" functions. When I went to import it back into Firefox, and I browsed to the location of the file, it was apparently not recognized, as it didn't show up in the folder I know it's in. While in this process, I also noticed that Firefox is either looking for a JSON or HTML file. When I looked at the backup file more closely, I noticed it doesn't have a file extension. When I looked at the properties of the file, it simply says "file". I went online looking for an online tool to help identify the file, and found TrID (http://mark0.net/onlinetrid.aspx/). When I ran it through this identification software all I got back was:

"The file seems to be plain text/ASCII. TrID is best suited to analyze binary files!"

As I see no option in Firefox to load this file type, I'm wondering what could have gone wrong during the back up process. I was able to open the file in Excel (just a hunch because it "seemed" to be a text file according to the online file identification). The file did open, unusable of course, but at least it appears that the file isn't corrupt anyway.

Please could someone help me with this? I have all of my work search links in this backup, and it would be a ton of effort to recreate it all!

My info: Windows XP Home, SP3 Firefox 14.0.1

Chosen solution

Hi cor-el,

Thank You! That solved it! I remember years ago with a similar situation, but not Firefox, and I thought to try this very thing....but I guess I am getting old....LOL

Again, thank you so much!

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All Replies (13)

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"Backup" would have created a JSON file.

Did you unhide hidden files and folders, after installing WinXP?

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/win_fcab_show_file_extensions.mspx

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Hi,

Thanks for responding to my question so quickly! I should have added that I am trying to load this file into my Desktop instance of Firefox (same version 14.0.1) as I haven't set my Laptop up for internet yet. As I mentioned, the file opens in excel (I tried this because it was identified online as an ASCII (text) file. I'm hopeful that the fact that it opens means that the file isn't corrupt, but I don't know that for sure either. It also opens in WORD (but of course it's unusable just like Excel).

I just checked and my Desktop is set for "Show Hidden Files and Folders".

I've e-mailed my friend who actually saved the file, asking if he did anything other than the standard "Import and Backup / Backup" to create the file. Perhaps there will be more information from that, but I doubt it, he does this stuff frequently.

Do you know if there is any way to convert this file (assuming it is actually a ASCII file) into a JSON or an HTML? I've looked around online but found nothing that's user friendly.

Thanks!,

Paul

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Open that file again in a text program like Wordpad and post the first few lines of that text file here. If it appears to be one very long file without any line breaks, post the first 50 or so characters.

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Make sure that the backup file with the bookmarks has the correct file extension:

  • .html for a HTML backup
  • .json for a JSON backup

You can check that via the right-click context menu of that file and open the Properties. If you are not sure about the file type then you can open the file in Firefox via "File > Open File" A JSON backup will show as one long text line without line breaks and a HTML backup as a web page with clickable links.

  • A JSON backup starts with: {"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded":
  • An HTML backup starts with: <!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1>

Add quotes ("") around the name to rename the file to the correct file extension if the current file extension is hidden or if it is otherwise not working.
You can verify the file type in the Properties via the right-click context menu.

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Hi,

It appears to be a JSON file:

{"title":"","id":1,"dateAdded":1312942045734000,"lastModified":1325715791890000,"type":"text/x-moz-place-container","root":"placesRoot","children"

Is there a way to get this file to "remember" it's extension?

cor-el also responded, and basically suggested as you did to identify the file by a continuous string and opening with "title"....etc. cor-el also said:

"Add quotes ("") around the name to rename the file to the correct file extension if the current file extension is hidden or if it is otherwise not working"

I tried doing that, but of course the quote character is not a valid one in file naming, unless I'm misunderstanding the procedure.

I just want to say thank you with all the help you've given me so far....

Paul

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Did you try to rename the file to bookmarks-xx.json via the right-click context menu?

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Chosen Solution

Hi cor-el,

Thank You! That solved it! I remember years ago with a similar situation, but not Firefox, and I thought to try this very thing....but I guess I am getting old....LOL

Again, thank you so much!

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Hi cor-el,

I'm just curious, I followed your instructions from your first e-mail, which were:

Add quotes ("") around the name to rename the file to the correct file extension if the current file extension is hidden or if it is otherwise not working.

I tried that but the " character isn't an accepted character in file naming. I'd like to know what I did wrong....this might be another really great thing to know for future situations.....

Thanks,

Paul

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Hi ed-meister,

Thanks for all your help! After all that, it was simply renaming the file with the .JSON extension.

Thanks!,

Paul

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I only proposed to add the quotes in case Windows is stubborn and refuses to change the file extension. This can happen if the file extension is hidden like Windows does with a .txt or .html file extension among others. If there is no file extension then it shouldn't be necessary, but you should check what Windows reports in the properties to be sure that you succeeded.

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Hi cor-el,

The reason I asked whether I did something wrong was that I couldn't get past typing the first ' in the renaming process before a window came up explaining it wasn't allowed, therefore no character was entered. So how do I make this procedure work? I don't mean to be dogged, it just would be a great thing to know for some possible future situation is all.

And the files properties window does report the change as a JSON file. I would've been surprised if it didn't because I had already loaded the file and it worked perfectly!

Thanks,

Paul

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There are only possible problems if you try to rename a file that has as hidden file extension that you do not see when renaming the file like I wrote above.
In all other cases there shouldn't be a problem with renaming the file.
It is best to check that you add the correct file extension if you save a file in case Firefox doesn't do this automatically as happens when you create a bookmarks backup.

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2 ' isn't the same as "

same key on the keyboard, except you need the shift key (uppercase) to get "