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I can't import bookmarks from firefox profile backup.

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Hard drive broke. Bought a new one. Fresh Win 7 ultimate install. Fresh FireFox install ver 27. I had saved the xxxxxxxxx.default folder to import the bookmarks into the new install. Following the directions for copy and paste into the correct directory does not work. No bookmarks appear. I have a huge folder(310 MB) within the backup files called Cashe that seems to have a lot of something in it. The file called places.sqlite seems about empty. I don't know if my copy was corrupted or if it actually was that small, 10 MB?

Where are the bookmarks really kept, in places.sqlite? If so I guess they are lost forever. But what is the Cashe folder for?

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"But what is the Cashe folder for?"

The Cache folder shouldn't be in the actual Profile folder, but would be in a similarly named location which wouldn't have the places.sqlite file; unless you moved your Profile folder to a non-default location on your hard drive. The difference in folder locations is Application Data vs. Local Settings / Application Data.

Also, the places.sqlite file is roughly 10MB when new. So "your" bookmarks can't be in that file.

Can you find the /bookmarksbackup/ folder with a number of
bookmarks-yyyy-mm-dd-#.json files in it?
That's the date the backup file was created, followed by a number .

If you can find the latest backup file, you can Restore that json file thru the Library window using Import and Backup > Restore - > Choose file...

"Import" is for bookmarks.html type bookmarks files.