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Unable to get my tabs back after power outage and "restore previous session" doesn't show up.

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Well, I've spent most of my day trying to figure out how to fix this. My power unexpectedly went out overnight and I left my computer on. When I woke up, i saw that the computer was off. So I started my computer, but when I went to get onto Firefox, none of my windows and tabs were there. (and I did have a ton of tabs open.) There wasn't even a "Restore Previous Session" icon to press on the Firefox homepage or a "Well, this is embarrassing" window. I tried opening "sessionstore.js" and "sessionstore.bak", but then a window came up titled "Windows Script Host" and said "Microsoft JScript Compilation Error." Then all there is to do is press "Ok". (By the way, at another time today when I tried opening a .js file, it said "Windows can't open this file" and it wanted me to choose the program I wanted to use to open the file, or use the internet to find a program. I chose Notepad, but then it was just a bunch of letters, words and symbols.)

I've also tried entering "about:sessionrestore" to get my windows and tabs back and then it says "Well, this is embarrassing." and "Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs." And there are no windows and tabs showing up below that sentence, with check marks, like it is when session restore has worked for me in the past. The only thing that worries me is that I did restart my computer between when I first started it this morning and now, when I'm writing this. I wanted to see if the "Restore Previous Session" icon would bring up my missing windows and tabs from before. But all it brought up automatically were the current windows and tabs that I have open right now. So now I'm wondering if I've permanently lost those tons of tabs that I had open before the power went out.

The other thing is that when I first got onto Firefox today, I could see all of my history from the days, weeks, and months past. Now I can only see today's history. I know I pressed something when I was trying to fix things but I don't remember what I pressed. Maybe that changed whether or not I could see the previous months' history. I did try "places.sqlite", "places.sqlite-shm" and "places.sqlite-wal" to restore my history, but again it said "Windows can't open this file" and it wanted me to choose a program to open the file. So again I chose Notepad, and it was just a bunch of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Hopefully someone may have an answer for me. Thanks!

Well, I've spent most of my day trying to figure out how to fix this. My power unexpectedly went out overnight and I left my computer on. When I woke up, i saw that the computer was off. So I started my computer, but when I went to get onto Firefox, none of my windows and tabs were there. (and I did have a ton of tabs open.) There wasn't even a "Restore Previous Session" icon to press on the Firefox homepage or a "Well, this is embarrassing" window. I tried opening "sessionstore.js" and "sessionstore.bak", but then a window came up titled "Windows Script Host" and said "Microsoft JScript Compilation Error." Then all there is to do is press "Ok". (By the way, at another time today when I tried opening a .js file, it said "Windows can't open this file" and it wanted me to choose the program I wanted to use to open the file, or use the internet to find a program. I chose Notepad, but then it was just a bunch of letters, words and symbols.) I've also tried entering "about:sessionrestore" to get my windows and tabs back and then it says "Well, this is embarrassing." and "Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs." And there are no windows and tabs showing up below that sentence, with check marks, like it is when session restore has worked for me in the past. The only thing that worries me is that I did restart my computer between when I first started it this morning and now, when I'm writing this. I wanted to see if the "Restore Previous Session" icon would bring up my missing windows and tabs from before. But all it brought up automatically were the current windows and tabs that I have open right now. So now I'm wondering if I've permanently lost those tons of tabs that I had open before the power went out. The other thing is that when I first got onto Firefox today, I could see all of my history from the days, weeks, and months past. Now I can only see today's history. I know I pressed something when I was trying to fix things but I don't remember what I pressed. Maybe that changed whether or not I could see the previous months' history. I did try "places.sqlite", "places.sqlite-shm" and "places.sqlite-wal" to restore my history, but again it said "Windows can't open this file" and it wanted me to choose a program to open the file. So again I chose Notepad, and it was just a bunch of letters, numbers, and symbols. Hopefully someone may have an answer for me. Thanks!

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 12.0 r0
  • Google Update
  • 5.1.30214.0
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 11.0.06
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.51.2 for Mozilla browsers
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 12.0.5.146
  • GEPlugin
  • Coupons, Inc. Coupon Printer 4.0.2.0
  • Catalina Savings Printer
  • Citrix Online App Detector Plugin
  • The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
  • NPWLPG
  • MetaStream 3 Plugin r4

Application

  • Firefox 28.0
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:28.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/28.0
  • Support URL: https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/28.0/WINNT/en-US/

Extensions

  • avast! Online Security 9.0.2013.75 (wrc@avast.com)
  • Troubleshooter 1.1a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • YesScript 1.9.1 (yesscript@userstyles.org)

Javascript

  • incrementalGCEnabled: True

Graphics

  • adapterDescription: Intel(R) G45/G43 Express Chipset
  • adapterDescription2:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x2e22
  • adapterDeviceID2:
  • adapterDrivers: igdumd64 igd10umd64 igdumdx32 igd10umd32
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  • adapterRAM2:
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  • directWriteVersion: 6.2.9200.16571
  • driverDate: 2-11-2011
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  • numTotalWindows: 2
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  • windowLayerManagerRemote: False
  • windowLayerManagerType: Direct3D 10

Modified Preferences

  • accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar: 0
  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 358400
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 358400
  • browser.display.background_color: #C0C0C0
  • browser.display.use_system_colors: True
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 6
  • browser.sessionstore.upgradeBackup.latestBuildID: 20140314220517
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20140314220517
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 28.0
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • dom.w3c_touch_events.expose: False
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 28.0
  • font.internaluseonly.changed: True
  • gfx.direct3d.checkDX10: False
  • gfx.direct3d.last_used_feature_level_idx: 1
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.database.lastMaintenance: 1396204269
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104858
  • places.history.expiration.transient_optimal_database_size: 167772160
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  • plugin.importedState: True
  • plugin.state.java: 2
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  • security.disable_button.openCertManager: False
  • security.OCSP.disable_button.managecrl: False
  • security.warn_viewing_mixed: False
  • storage.vacuum.last.index: 1
  • storage.vacuum.last.places.sqlite: 1394428658

Misc

  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

If you have any files places.* or sessionstore.* make copies of them and put them somewhere safe such as the Windows Desktop. Not in any Firefox profile or program path.

The files are not designed to be opened with Windows or directly with Firefox.

You probably have lost the tabs. But if you make copies of those files we may be able to explain how you can check them to see if any information or tabs may be recovered.

In future it is probably wise to rely more on bookmarks rather than the rather fragile restore session system. With Firefox 29 Firefox sync is improved with Firefox Accounts and that should be helpful with keeping backups of Firefox state.

If you have accidentally cleared your History Firefox does not keep backups. The History is stored within the places.sqlite file as you probably realise. It is possible your Windows Operating Sytem will be able to recover previous versions of this file. That would allow you to get your History and bookmarks back from whatever the date of the previous file you are able to recover. TAKE CARE always manually back up any existing places.sqlite file (Or any other file for that matter) you have by copying it before attempting any restore of a previous version.
The Previous versions option is available when you right click files.

If you do not back up you will regret it is the previous version is corrupt or not having the expected content.

Back up the files. Try restoring the places.sqlite and post back with how you get on. I will explain what to try with the session restore files after you try that.

If you have any files places.* or sessionstore.* make copies of them and put them somewhere safe such as the Windows Desktop. Not in any Firefox profile or program path. The files are not designed to be opened with Windows or directly with Firefox. You probably have lost the tabs. But if you make copies of those files we may be able to explain how you can check them to see if any information or tabs may be recovered. In future it is probably wise to rely more on bookmarks rather than the rather fragile restore session system. With Firefox 29 Firefox sync is improved with Firefox Accounts and that should be helpful with keeping backups of Firefox state. If you have accidentally cleared your History Firefox does not keep backups. The History is stored within the places.sqlite file as you probably realise. It is possible your Windows Operating Sytem will be able to recover previous versions of this file. That would allow you to get your History and bookmarks back from whatever the date of the previous file you are able to recover. TAKE CARE always manually back up any existing places.sqlite file (Or any other file for that matter) you have by copying it before attempting any restore of a previous version. <br /> The Previous versions option is available when you right click files. If you do not back up you will regret it is the previous version is corrupt or not having the expected content. Back up the files. Try restoring the ''places.sqlite'' and post back with how you get on. I will explain what to try with the session restore files after you try that.

Question owner

Hi,

I'm sorry but I'm pretty confused. Please bear with me, as I am a newbie with all of this! I backed up the files, but I'm having trouble restoring the places.sqlite files. In order to restore the places.sqlite files, I'm supposed to right click the file and select "restore previous versions", right? When I do so, it says, "There are no previous versions available". Or am I supposed to double-click the file? When I do that, it takes me to the Internet Explorer Downloads box. I hit "Open" and but then I can't find it. What should I do?

Thanks for your patience! I really appreciate your help!

Hi, I'm sorry but I'm pretty confused. Please bear with me, as I am a newbie with all of this! I backed up the files, but I'm having trouble restoring the places.sqlite files. In order to restore the places.sqlite files, I'm supposed to right click the file and select "restore previous versions", right? When I do so, it says, "There are no previous versions available". Or am I supposed to double-click the file? When I do that, it takes me to the Internet Explorer Downloads box. I hit "Open" and but then I can't find it. What should I do? Thanks for your patience! I really appreciate your help!
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Yes I can understand you being confused there is an awful lot of information you need to take in and learn as you encounter such a situation. I will try to expand my explanation to cover the points you ask.

right click the file and select "restore previous versions", right?

That is correct when using Windows to try to recover for instance files where the working fie is corrupted, but a previous version worked

If you have no previous versions available from Windows you need to work on whatever you do have. With any file restore operation it is always a good idea to make copies of not only the originals but also the restored files.

If you restored the places.sqlite with Windows that could possibly have resulted in a copy overwriting your working file that is even worse than the original file.

When you restore a file using the Windows OS it restores the files in their ordinary working location and they should function as expected without needing to do anything else. Generally it is probably best to try such restores when the files are not in use and in this instance that means when Firefox is closed.


For the benefit of any other readers of this thread note :
The places.sqlite is in the Firefox profile and easiest to find before closing down Firefox as the troubleshooting information page (about:support) may be used to find it.


The places.sqlite database is the only file Firefox itself has with the full History information in it. The database also contains bookmarks but Firefox should have some other backups of those. If the database is deleted Firefox will restore the database but all it can do is add back bookmarks information from its backups the History is lost.

There is almost no chance of getting the History back unless there is another copy of that database. Either one Windows is able to recreate, or one that was somehow created by another method, that normally being the user deliberately making a manual backup of your profile or places file in advance. Or maybe having in place other backup procedures.

 am I supposed to double-click the file?

That is not going to help in these circumstances. There are advanced methods of studying the files but right clicking does not help in this instance.

Open tabs information is stored in the series of files sessionstore.* It may take rather a lot of messing about to to get any useful information out of whatever files you have. It would normally probably be a lot quicker just going back to the sites concerned, but that is made more difficult if you have overwritten the History database so you may need to try if the tabs were important to you. I can give more details in another post if you need to try that

We could have a lot more luck with your bookmarks. Did you bookmark most of the sites concerned ? If so then at least you have a good chance of finding the sites again.

Have you already got a fairly complete listing of your bookmarks in the Firefox bookmarks library/menu ? If you need to try to get back lost bookmarks that existed in the last few days but not are not present right now make a backup copy

  • Of the profile folder called bookmarkbackups ( With its contents ! )
  • places.sqlite Remember whenever attempting restoring bookmarks always backup the database file places.sqlite first.
Yes I can understand you being confused there is an awful lot of information you need to take in and learn as you encounter such a situation. I will try to expand my explanation to cover the points you ask. ''right click the file and select "restore previous versions", right?'' That is correct when using Windows to try to recover for instance files where the working fie is corrupted, but a previous version worked If you have no previous versions available from Windows you need to work on whatever you do have. With any file restore operation it is always a good idea to make copies of not only the originals but also the restored files. If you restored the ''places.sqlite'' with Windows that could possibly have resulted in a copy overwriting your working file that is even worse than the original file. When you restore a file using the Windows OS it restores the files in their ordinary working location and they should function as expected without needing to do anything else. Generally it is probably best to try such restores when the files are not in use and in this instance that means when Firefox is closed. ------ For the benefit of any other readers of this thread note : <br />The places.sqlite is in the Firefox profile and easiest to find before closing down Firefox as the ''troubleshooting information page'' (''about:support'') may be used to find it. * [[Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data#w_how-do-i-find-my-profile]]_how-do-i-find-my-profile --------- The ''places.sqlite'' database is the only file Firefox itself has with the full ''History'' information in it. The database also contains bookmarks but Firefox should have some other backups of those. If the database is deleted Firefox will restore the database but all it can do is add back bookmarks information from its backups the History is lost. There is almost no chance of getting the History back unless there is another copy of that database. Either one Windows is able to recreate, or one that was somehow created by another method, that normally being the user deliberately making a manual backup of your profile or places file in advance. Or maybe having in place other backup procedures. '' am I supposed to double-click the file?'' That is not going to help in these circumstances. There are advanced methods of studying the files but right clicking does not help in this instance. Open tabs information is stored in the series of files ''sessionstore.*'' It may take rather a lot of messing about to to get any useful information out of whatever files you have. It would normally probably be a lot quicker just going back to the sites concerned, but that is made more difficult if you have overwritten the History database so you may need to try if the tabs were important to you. I can give more details in another post if you need to try that We could have a lot more luck with your bookmarks. Did you bookmark most of the sites concerned ? If so then at least you have a good chance of finding the sites again. Have you already got a fairly complete listing of your bookmarks in the Firefox bookmarks library/menu ? If you need to try to get back lost bookmarks that existed in the last few days but not are not present right now make a backup copy *Of the profile folder called '''''bookmarkbackups''''' ( With its contents ! ) * ''places.sqlite'' Remember whenever attempting restoring bookmarks always backup the database file ''places.sqlite'' first.
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

I'm having the exact same problem, but I have a backup of Sessionstore which I renamed Sessionstore.old on my desktop and it is 6,01Mb while the other one in the Mozilla profile is 2,38Kb. I don't get the option to restore either of them. Is this a lost cause or can I somehow retrieve my lost taps that should be in my sessionstore.old.

Note: Yesterday I took a backup of Sessionstore and put .old in front on my desktop after I used system restore. After that I deleted the old one in the profile because it didn't have the tabs. and copied the one I backed up in there and deleted the .old text in front and that is when I noticed no restore available. Should I maybe have had backed up Sessionstore.bak too which I didn't? Don't know if this picture will help, but I hope so in some way or another.

I'm having the exact same problem, but I have a backup of '''Sessionstore''' which I renamed '''Sessionstore.old''' on my desktop and it is 6,01Mb while the other one in the Mozilla profile is 2,38Kb. I don't get the option to restore either of them. Is this a lost cause or can I somehow retrieve my lost taps that should be in my '''sessionstore.old.''' Note: Yesterday I took a backup of '''Sessionstore''' and put .old in front on my desktop after I used system restore. After that I deleted the old one in the profile because it didn't have the tabs. and copied the one I backed up in there and deleted the '''.old''' text in front and that is when I noticed no restore available. Should I maybe have had backed up '''Sessionstore.bak''' too which I didn't? Don't know if this picture will help, but I hope so in some way or another.
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

I forgot to mention that I made a Firefox account on the 2.7.14 the day after I was able to restore my session and synced tabs and everything. Is it possible to retrieve the tabs from there?

I forgot to mention that I made a Firefox account on the 2.7.14 the day after I was able to restore my session and synced tabs and everything. Is it possible to retrieve the tabs from there?
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17541 solutions 158604 answers

The name of the file in the Firefox profile folder should be sessionstore.js

The name of the file in the Firefox profile folder should be sessionstore.js
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

It was never .js to begin with. So I just have to change it or are my tabs fucked? Most of the tabs were valuable, but don't remember all of them which is bad for me.

It was never '''.js''' to begin with. So I just have to change it or are my tabs fucked? Most of the tabs were valuable, but don't remember all of them which is bad for me.

Modified by Crymogea

the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
5406 solutions 40248 answers

Windows tends to hide the file suffix for "known" file types. You need to access "Folder Options" > View and un-check the box for "Hide extensions for known file types"

Windows tends to hide the file suffix for "known" file types. You need to access "Folder Options" > View and un-check the box for ''"Hide extensions for known file types"''
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

Alright, I've done that. Thanks! What is the next step I have to take? As I mentioned before I have a backup of this Sessionstore.js, but only that file. Can I restore my tabs with it? I don't get the option to restore to previous with it, but I can with the one in the profile folder. Should I maybe move and replace with the one I backed up with the one in the profile folder?

Alright, I've done that. Thanks! What is the next step I have to take? As I mentioned before I have a backup of this '''Sessionstore.js''', but only that file. Can I restore my tabs with it? I don't get the option to restore to previous with it, but I can with the one in the profile folder. Should I maybe move and replace with the one I backed up with the one in the profile folder?
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

I tried to copy & replace the one in the profile folder with the one I backed up, but to me it seems that when I replaced the one in the profile folder it changed back to the one I wanted to replace it with. I'll just attach a picture so hopefully that is better for you guys.

When I copied & replaced the one in the profile folder it changed and is now 2,59KB, but not 5,80MB like it should be.

I tried to copy & replace the one in the profile folder with the one I backed up, but to me it seems that when I replaced the one in the profile folder it changed back to the one I wanted to replace it with. I'll just attach a picture so hopefully that is better for you guys. When I copied & replaced the one in the profile folder it changed and is now 2,59KB, but not 5,80MB like it should be.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17541 solutions 158604 answers

You can open the file in the Scratchpad (Firefox/Tools > Web Developer) and click the "Pretty Print" button to format the file for inspection. The content should be plain ASCII text with no other binary data.


Make sure to use this startup setting or check for "History > Recently Closed Tabs/Windows".

  • Tools > Options > General > Startup: "When Firefox Starts":
    "Show my windows and tabs from last time"

Copy the file to the Firefox profile folder while Firefox is closed.

You can open the file in the Scratchpad (Firefox/Tools > Web Developer) and click the "Pretty Print" button to format the file for inspection. The content should be plain ASCII text with no other binary data. ---- Make sure to use this startup setting or check for "History > Recently Closed Tabs/Windows". *Tools > Options > General > Startup: "When Firefox Starts":<br>"Show my windows and tabs from last time" Copy the file to the Firefox profile folder while Firefox is closed.
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

Open Scratchpad > Open File > Select Sessionstore.js that I backed up > Pretty Print and the Scratchpad should look like this right? Should I now save the file like this and copy it to the Firefox profile folder?

Open Scratchpad > Open File > Select Sessionstore.js that I backed up > Pretty Print and the Scratchpad should look like this right? Should I now save the file like this and copy it to the Firefox profile folder?

Modified by Crymogea

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17541 solutions 158604 answers

No, there is no need to save the file in pretty print format. If the file looks this way until the end then the file is OK and should work when placed in the profile folder.

If it doesn't work then maybe check for a trailing comma (,) like },} at the end of a section that shouldn't be there.

No, there is no need to save the file in pretty print format. If the file looks this way until the end then the file is OK and should work when placed in the profile folder. If it doesn't work then maybe check for a trailing comma (,) like },} at the end of a section that shouldn't be there.
Crymogea 0 solutions 7 answers

I want to thank all of you for making this work. I really appreciate it. Kudos to you moderators! :)

I want to thank all of you for making this work. I really appreciate it. Kudos to you moderators! :)