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Firefox Refresh 'bookmark backups' folder is empty, changed profile.ini to circumvent 'profile missing or inaccessible' problem, no manual backup, pls help.

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Firefox Refresh 'bookmark backups' folder is empty. Had to change profile.ini to profile.iniOLD to circumvent 'profile is missing or inaccessible' problem. Tried jscher2000's suggested procedure for reverting to old profile but didn't understand 'semi-randomized name' within Old Firefox Data folder, which seems to be incomplete, as stated 'bookmark backups' folder is empty and fool that i am did not manually back up my bookmarks (years of research). i thought when i ran time machine they backed up automatically. is there any way to recover bookmarks?

Firefox Refresh 'bookmark backups' folder is empty. Had to change profile.ini to profile.iniOLD to circumvent 'profile is missing or inaccessible' problem. Tried jscher2000's suggested procedure for reverting to old profile but didn't understand 'semi-randomized name' within Old Firefox Data folder, which seems to be incomplete, as stated 'bookmark backups' folder is empty and fool that i am did not manually back up my bookmarks (years of research). i thought when i ran time machine they backed up automatically. is there any way to recover bookmarks?

Chosen solution

oops, i didn't mean to mark that last comment as 'chosen solution'. in fact i was thinking maybe i should delete this string because it's seems inelegant, i mean, jscher2000, cor-el and finitarry your answers are information-dense but i wonder if it is helpful to have so many questions here? guess what? i have my bookmarks back! guess how i did it! i took the awesome 'profile resurrection directions' to the apple store where a great guy did it in 2 minutes. he referred to them while he did his thing and it was great. i agonized all day yesterday but couldn't bring myself to attempt it. thank god for apple and mozilla! except, the guys at the apple store did say i shouldn't use firefox, esp as i have an older computer. hmm. THANK YOU JSCHER2000, COR-EL and FINITARRY!

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finitarry 251 solutions 3421 answers

If you do a search on your hard drive for "bookmarkbackups", you should be able to find all the folders with that name. Using Spotlight for that will be useless, though, since it was crippled and will not search the libraries. I use EasyFind to do searches.

If you do a search on your hard drive for "bookmarkbackups", you should be able to find all the folders with that name. Using Spotlight for that will be useless, though, since it was crippled and will not search the libraries. I use EasyFind to do searches.
cor-el
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Did you look in the Time machine backup for the previously used profile folder?

You can use this button to go to the currently used Firefox profile folder:

If you go up one level, are there more profiles listed?

See also:

Did you look in the Time machine backup for the previously used profile folder? You can use this button to go to the currently used Firefox profile folder: *Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder) *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox If you go up one level, are there more profiles listed? */Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/ *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Recovering+important+data+from+an+old+profile *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Firefox
jscher2000
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8794 solutions 71950 answers

My reference to a semi-random name is that the first part has random characters, and the second part a word such as default.

Did you perform the Refresh when everything was working normally, or after the problem began?

My reference to a semi-random name is that the first part has random characters, and the second part a word such as default. Did you perform the Refresh when everything was working normally, or after the problem began?

Question owner

finitarry said

If you do a search on your hard drive for "bookmarkbackups", you should be able to find all the folders with that name. Using Spotlight for that will be useless, though, since it was crippled and will not search the libraries. I use EasyFind to do searches.

okay, i found easyfind and used it to find this: bookmarks-2015-02-26_4642_6...==.jsonlz4 (i shortened it for posting) easyfind found what spotlight did not. thank you for telling me about it. 2.26.15 is the last major backup i did. so i click and it says i have to choose an application etc etc this is always a dead end for me, i have no idea how to proceed. can this be used to restore from 2.26.15? my hope is to be able to retrieve the bookmarks i had 5.6.15 when i did the firefox refresh. i hope this because 1) i had an old profile before the refresh. even if the bookmarks folder in my Old Firefox Data folder is empty if i can revert to the old profile all will be there, ahem, right? 2) on this page: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them it says: Firefox automatically creates backups of your bookmarks and saves the last ten backups for safekeeping. if one can read this literally then my bookmarks are here, there - somewhere?

''finitarry [[#answer-726075|said]]'' <blockquote> If you do a search on your hard drive for "bookmarkbackups", you should be able to find all the folders with that name. Using Spotlight for that will be useless, though, since it was crippled and will not search the libraries. I use EasyFind to do searches. </blockquote> okay, i found easyfind and used it to find this: bookmarks-2015-02-26_4642_6...==.jsonlz4 (i shortened it for posting) easyfind found what spotlight did not. thank you for telling me about it. 2.26.15 is the last major backup i did. so i click and it says i have to choose an application etc etc this is always a dead end for me, i have no idea how to proceed. can this be used to restore from 2.26.15? my hope is to be able to retrieve the bookmarks i had 5.6.15 when i did the firefox refresh. i hope this because 1) i had an old profile before the refresh. even if the bookmarks folder in my Old Firefox Data folder is empty if i can revert to the old profile all will be there, ahem, right? 2) on this page: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them it says: Firefox automatically creates backups of your bookmarks and saves the last ten backups for safekeeping. if one can read this literally then my bookmarks are here, there - somewhere?
cor-el
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You can restore a compressed .jsonlz4 in the Bookmarks Manager (Library). Mote that a restore replaces all current bookmarks with the bookmarks in the backup, so make an HTML backup to be able to merge this HTML backup after you have restored the JSON backup.

You can restore a compressed .jsonlz4 in the Bookmarks Manager (Library). Mote that a restore replaces all current bookmarks with the bookmarks in the backup, so make an HTML backup to be able to merge this HTML backup after you have restored the JSON backup. *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them

Question owner

cor-el said

Did you look in the Time machine backup for the previously used profile folder? You can use this button to go to the currently used Firefox profile folder: If you go up one level, are there more profiles listed? See also:

thank you for this information. i added the open profile folder extension. i found 2 folders but haven't gotten to the point in the reading where i know what to do with them. when i did the refresh i couldn't restart firefox, i kept getting a message saying my profile wasn't accessible or something like that. i read here to rename the profile.ini thing in order to force firefox to create a new one, which i did. i hope this didn't automatically delete the old profile. if i can read the rest of what you suggested above and locate the original profile.ini that i renamed, i'm hoping that will work. the thing of it is, i tried using easyfind to bring it up but it didn't. maybe it has something to do with the special way you have to press option at the same time you press go in the menu bar? so okay - i just did this and found the special secret file folder! geesh! why is this so labyrinthine! seriously, this is a question. anyway, i'm figuring if i have any hope of getting my bookmarks back this thing is a key.

''cor-el [[#answer-726083|said]]'' <blockquote> Did you look in the Time machine backup for the previously used profile folder? You can use this button to go to the currently used Firefox profile folder: *Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder) *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox If you go up one level, are there more profiles listed? */Users/&lt;user&gt;/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/ *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Recovering+important+data+from+an+old+profile *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Firefox </blockquote> thank you for this information. i added the open profile folder extension. i found 2 folders but haven't gotten to the point in the reading where i know what to do with them. when i did the refresh i couldn't restart firefox, i kept getting a message saying my profile wasn't accessible or something like that. i read here to rename the profile.ini thing in order to force firefox to create a new one, which i did. i hope this didn't automatically delete the old profile. if i can read the rest of what you suggested above and locate the original profile.ini that i renamed, i'm hoping that will work. the thing of it is, i tried using easyfind to bring it up but it didn't. maybe it has something to do with the special way you have to press option at the same time you press go in the menu bar? so okay - i just did this and found the special secret file folder! geesh! why is this so labyrinthine! seriously, this is a question. anyway, i'm figuring if i have any hope of getting my bookmarks back this thing is a key.
cor-el
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You get this error when you have a profiles.ini file, but the profile that has Default=1 is no longer present in the Profiles folder and may have been deleted.

  • /Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/

You can check if the folder that is listed in the profiles.ini file with Default=1 is present in a Time machine backup. Otherwise it is likely that this data is lost.

You get this error when you have a profiles.ini file, but the profile that has Default=1 is no longer present in the Profiles folder and may have been deleted. */Users/&lt;user&gt;/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/ You can check if the folder that is listed in the profiles.ini file with Default=1 is present in a Time machine backup. Otherwise it is likely that this data is lost.

Question owner

jscher2000 said

My reference to a semi-random name is that the first part has random characters, and the second part a word such as default. Did you perform the Refresh when everything was working normally, or after the problem began?

thank you so much for replying. yes, i see now what you mean. i'll try the "old profile resurrection procedure" tomorrow. i hope that 1) the fact that i renamed the profile.ini in order to be able to use firefox after the refresh won't be a factor 2) in answer to your question, things were kind of wonky before the refresh, with my machine and firefox. we got a new router and it's junk. the other one was junk too but the new one hasn't broken yet, though we've had to restart it once. anyway, firefox has been agonizingly slow, it wasn't before this new router though it would get awful right before the update happens. my machine had a glitch, which is what made me do the refresh. i turned it on and it was back to factory desktop picture, clock said it's the year 1903. i had difficulty getting it to connect to the internet but soon it all warmed up and was fine. it's from late 2009 so its like an old car. what free info apple would give over the phone was that it sounds like the internal battery. i was more concerned about there being some sort of malware (?) with firefox, so did the refresh. it took forever, it kept saying almost done until i just didn't want to leave it like that and go to bed so i turned the machine off. when i turned it back on the old firefox data folder was on my desktop but the bookmarks folder was empty. then i couldn't use firefox because it couldn't locate the profile so i looked on mozilla and found to rename the ini thing. i hope i haven't negatively impacted my chances of reverting back to my dear old May 6, 2015 profile?

''jscher2000 [[#answer-726142|said]]'' <blockquote> My reference to a semi-random name is that the first part has random characters, and the second part a word such as default. Did you perform the Refresh when everything was working normally, or after the problem began? </blockquote> thank you so much for replying. yes, i see now what you mean. i'll try the "old profile resurrection procedure" tomorrow. i hope that 1) the fact that i renamed the profile.ini in order to be able to use firefox after the refresh won't be a factor 2) in answer to your question, things were kind of wonky before the refresh, with my machine and firefox. we got a new router and it's junk. the other one was junk too but the new one hasn't broken yet, though we've had to restart it once. anyway, firefox has been agonizingly slow, it wasn't before this new router though it would get awful right before the update happens. my machine had a glitch, which is what made me do the refresh. i turned it on and it was back to factory desktop picture, clock said it's the year 1903. i had difficulty getting it to connect to the internet but soon it all warmed up and was fine. it's from late 2009 so its like an old car. what free info apple would give over the phone was that it sounds like the internal battery. i was more concerned about there being some sort of malware (?) with firefox, so did the refresh. it took forever, it kept saying almost done until i just didn't want to leave it like that and go to bed so i turned the machine off. when i turned it back on the old firefox data folder was on my desktop but the bookmarks folder was empty. then i couldn't use firefox because it couldn't locate the profile so i looked on mozilla and found to rename the ini thing. i hope i haven't negatively impacted my chances of reverting back to my dear old May 6, 2015 profile?
cor-el
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Do you have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop?

How many profiles do you have in the default profile location?

  • /Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/
Do you have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop? How many profiles do you have in the default profile location? */Users/&lt;user&gt;/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/

Question owner

cor-el said

Do you have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop? How many profiles do you have in the default profile location?
  • /Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/

i do. in it there is a profile that starts zg..random..default-bunch of numbers in the special library/application support (?) file there are two profiles in a profile folder cjoc...default egyt...default-bunch of numbers so 3 dif profiles, which to use?

''cor-el [[#answer-726222|said]]'' <blockquote> Do you have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop? How many profiles do you have in the default profile location? */Users/&lt;user&gt;/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/ </blockquote> i do. in it there is a profile that starts zg..random..default-bunch of numbers in the special library/application support (?) file there are two profiles in a profile folder cjoc...default egyt...default-bunch of numbers so 3 dif profiles, which to use?
jscher2000
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8794 solutions 71950 answers

I'm a Windows guy, so... does Finder show the last modified/updated date for the files in those folders? The most recently moved profile folder should have the most recent dates.

I'm a Windows guy, so... does Finder show the last modified/updated date for the files in those folders? The most recently moved profile folder should have the most recent dates.

Question owner

jscher2000 said

I'm a Windows guy, so... does Finder show the last modified/updated date for the files in those folders? The most recently moved profile folder should have the most recent dates.

the profile in the old firefox data file is dated 5.6.15 10:33pm and says it was modified at 10:46pm. of the two in the other folder, one says it's been modified this moment, so i'm sure it's not that one. the other says it was created 5.6.15 but modified at 11:08pm. in this other folder are two profile.ini - one is just plain profile.ini dated and modified 5.6.15 11:40pm the other is profile.iniSPECIAL, the one i renamed in order to use firefox. it was created 12.23.09 and modified 5.6.15 10:33pm. I wish i could revert to this exact thing, because i know this is where my old stuff is, but i'm not sure what an ini is, it's only 4KB (all other have comparable & larger sizes), etc. etc. is there a way to work with this ini that isn't outlined in your reversion instructions, or can i at least use it somehow to deduce which profile folder is the one i want?

''jscher2000 [[#answer-726305|said]]'' <blockquote> I'm a Windows guy, so... does Finder show the last modified/updated date for the files in those folders? The most recently moved profile folder should have the most recent dates. </blockquote> the profile in the old firefox data file is dated 5.6.15 10:33pm and says it was modified at 10:46pm. of the two in the other folder, one says it's been modified this moment, so i'm sure it's not that one. the other says it was created 5.6.15 but modified at 11:08pm. in this other folder are two profile.ini - one is just plain profile.ini dated and modified 5.6.15 11:40pm the other is profile.iniSPECIAL, the one i renamed in order to use firefox. it was created 12.23.09 and modified 5.6.15 10:33pm. I wish i could revert to this exact thing, because i know this is where my old stuff is, but i'm not sure what an ini is, it's only 4KB (all other have comparable & larger sizes), etc. etc. is there a way to work with this ini that isn't outlined in your reversion instructions, or can i at least use it somehow to deduce which profile folder is the one i want?
jscher2000
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The profiles.ini file contains a short list of profile names and locations on your computer. You do not need to do anything with that file to use the "resurrection" procedure in this post: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1058258#answer-719903

You mentioned that there is an empty folder named bookmarks in the profile folder in Old Firefox Data. Do you mean an empty bookmarkbackups folder? That is the one which should contain compressed backup files.

The profiles.ini file contains a short list of profile names and locations on your computer. You do not need to do anything with that file to use the "resurrection" procedure in this post: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1058258#answer-719903 You mentioned that there is an empty folder named bookmarks in the profile folder in Old Firefox Data. Do you mean an empty bookmarkbackups folder? That is the one which should contain compressed backup files.
jscher2000
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By the way, the Old Firefox Data folder should not contain any profiles.ini file. That would be under your Library folder. At least, that's the normal setup.

By the way, the Old Firefox Data folder should not contain any profiles.ini file. That would be under your Library folder. At least, that's the normal setup.

Question owner

jscher2000 said

The profiles.ini file contains a short list of profile names and locations on your computer. You do not need to do anything with that file to use the "resurrection" procedure in this post: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1058258#answer-719903 You mentioned that there is an empty folder named bookmarks in the profile folder in Old Firefox Data. Do you mean an empty bookmarkbackups folder? That is the one which should contain compressed backup files.

right, it doesn't. it's empty. if i revert back to the profile in the OFD folder will my bookmarks simply be there? i guess i shall have to try this one.

''jscher2000 [[#answer-726322|said]]'' <blockquote> The profiles.ini file contains a short list of profile names and locations on your computer. You do not need to do anything with that file to use the "resurrection" procedure in this post: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1058258#answer-719903 You mentioned that there is an empty folder named bookmarks in the profile folder in Old Firefox Data. Do you mean an empty bookmarkbackups folder? That is the one which should contain compressed backup files. </blockquote> right, it doesn't. it's empty. if i revert back to the profile in the OFD folder will my bookmarks simply be there? i guess i shall have to try this one.
finitarry 251 solutions 3421 answers

Places.sqlite from a profile backup should also contain bookmarks.

Places.sqlite from a profile backup should also contain bookmarks.

Question owner

jscher2000 said

By the way, the Old Firefox Data folder should not contain any profiles.ini file. That would be under your Library folder. At least, that's the normal setup.

i'm about to give this a try. are you thinking that if my old firefox data folder has an empty bookmarks file that it's unlikely if i switch back to this profile i'll recover my bookmarks? also, in another post you said ~ Check inside "Old Firefox Data" folder for a folder with a semi-randomized name. If there's only one, that probably has your old settings and add-ons. If there's more than one, you'll want to work with the one that was updated most recently. ~ 1) you don't name bookmarks, too. 2) does this only count for profiles within the old firefox data folder? as i mentioned there are two other profiles in my application support>firefox folder. you said this was a library because the ini are in there. i figured the most recently updated profile is not the one i want. i'm using it now.

''jscher2000 [[#answer-726325|said]]'' <blockquote> By the way, the Old Firefox Data folder should not contain any profiles.ini file. That would be under your Library folder. At least, that's the normal setup. </blockquote> i'm about to give this a try. are you thinking that if my old firefox data folder has an empty bookmarks file that it's unlikely if i switch back to this profile i'll recover my bookmarks? also, in another post you said ~ Check inside "Old Firefox Data" folder for a folder with a semi-randomized name. If there's only one, that probably has your old settings and add-ons. If there's more than one, you'll want to work with the one that was updated most recently. ~ 1) you don't name bookmarks, too. 2) does this only count for profiles within the old firefox data folder? as i mentioned there are two other profiles in my application support>firefox folder. you said this was a library because the ini are in there. i figured the most recently updated profile is not the one i want. i'm using it now.
cor-el
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If the bookmarkbackups folder is empty then you would have to use the places.sqlite file instead.

Did you check the file dates of the files in this folder?

Are you using the time machine?

If the bookmarkbackups folder is empty then you would have to use the places.sqlite file instead. Did you check the file dates of the files in this folder? Are you using the time machine?

Question owner

there are 3 sqlite folders in the old firefox data folder, 1 has the extension wal 1 has the extension shm and 1 doesn't have an extension.

there are 3 sqlite folders in the old firefox data folder, 1 has the extension wal 1 has the extension shm and 1 doesn't have an extension.
cor-el
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The shm and wal files are temporary SQLite files and aren't required (restoring them can cause issues). Only use the places.sqlite file.

  • wal: Write-Ahead Logging
  • shm: Shared Memory files
The shm and wal files are temporary SQLite files and aren't required (restoring them can cause issues). Only use the places.sqlite file. *wal: Write-Ahead Logging *shm: Shared Memory files