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Bookmarks and backups disappeared. Worked fine at last shutdown, next startup gone, no updates. How do I fix?

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Turned on my computer, loaded Firefox and bookmarks gone. Backup gone. No updates or changes. Worked fine and all there prior to shutdown last use. Restarting computer - no change. Scanned - no viruses/malware. Other user, my wife still has hers, just mine are gone.

Where are they and how do I get them back? Why are they gone?

Turned on my computer, loaded Firefox and bookmarks gone. Backup gone. No updates or changes. Worked fine and all there prior to shutdown last use. Restarting computer - no change. Scanned - no viruses/malware. Other user, my wife still has hers, just mine are gone. Where are they and how do I get them back? Why are they gone?

Chosen solution

Fixed - problem started with win 10, screwed up user id/permissions. Found by accident trying to delete a file and checking permissions when it wouldn't. It showed I had permission but still prevented deleting. After running recovery it seems there were still residuals lurking around and I had to clean up some things in the registry. Conferring with hp (3 yr warranty on bus machine) I got confirmation that recovery to factory image might not get everything wiped - best to to a factory recovery disk/flash drive for new OS install, complete format.

Anyway, cleaned up registry, removed traces of stuff including old Mozilla files, reinstalled, copied places files back from my external backup and voila - there were my bookmarks. Windows disappeared them for who knows why.

Moral of the story: regularly copy your places file to another location, even if it's in a folder in your documents. Win 10 evaporated the contents of the backup folder too so you can't count on that. I do mine once a week, replacing the file in my external drive, and in a folder in my docs. One place isn't enough.

Win 10 generally crap for work, 7 is way better, faster loading and no headaches. We do hard shut downs so see the painfully slow boot/logins for 10. 7 never screwed up Firefox either. The 10 machine is a month old, 3 complete recoveries, 1 restore, Office 2016 still wonky.

If you need reliability for work, stick with 7 as long as you can (assuming you need office compatibility). If you don't need word/xcel/pp/outlook go mac. As to office 365 - wife uses it at work, efficiency guru estimates it costs her 2 hours/day lost productivity.

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Additional System Details

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:58.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/58.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4266 solutions 59806 answers
What about the rest of your profile? settings, passwords . . . . . Look on your desktop. Do you see a folder called; '''Old Firefox?''' https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recovering-important-data-from-an-old-profile https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-run-firefox-when-profile-missing-inaccessible

Question owner

No "Old Firefox" folder. Nothing else wrong with profile, everything else fine, nothing missing or not working on whole machine other than Bookmarks and files is Bookmark Backup folders gone. No one used machine after I shut it down and fired it up again. I was using Firefox prior to shut down and it was fine, all bookmarks there. IE, Chrome, Edge all fine. All other profile is fine. I go to Users/Appdata/Mozilla/Firefox/Profile etc and it's still there. There is a Places file there. No virus/malware. No updates. No Bookmarks appear in the browser and nothing in the backup file, it's empty. I did not touch those files.

Where did those files go?

No "Old Firefox" folder. Nothing else wrong with profile, everything else fine, nothing missing or not working on whole machine other than Bookmarks and files is Bookmark Backup folders gone. No one used machine after I shut it down and fired it up again. I was using Firefox prior to shut down and it was fine, all bookmarks there. IE, Chrome, Edge all fine. All other profile is fine. I go to Users/Appdata/Mozilla/Firefox/Profile etc and it's still there. There is a Places file there. No virus/malware. No updates. No Bookmarks appear in the browser and nothing in the backup file, it's empty. I did not touch those files. Where did those files go?
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4266 solutions 59806 answers

Hmm. I can't think of anything good. Is your history still there?

Places Maintenance [v57+] See; https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/use-troubleshooting-information-page-fix-firefox#w_places-database

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Locked_or_damaged_places.sqlite

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Bookmarks+not+saved#w_fix-the-bookmarks-file


Firefox automatically makes backups of the bookmarks. These are stored in the bookmarkbackups folder.

Is the folder in your profiles folder? Anything inside?


Type about:profiles<enter> in the address bar. How many profiles are listed? How many should be there?

Hmm. I can't think of anything good. Is your history still there? Places Maintenance [v57+] See; https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/use-troubleshooting-information-page-fix-firefox#w_places-database http://kb.mozillazine.org/Locked_or_damaged_places.sqlite https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Bookmarks+not+saved#w_fix-the-bookmarks-file ----------------- Firefox automatically makes backups of the bookmarks. These are stored in the '''bookmarkbackups''' folder. Is the folder in your profiles folder? Anything inside? ------------------ Type '''about:profiles'''<enter> in the address bar. How many profiles are listed? How many should be there?

Question owner

I have it set to never remember history, so no history as expected, and as usual. The backup folder is there, but empty.

I checked the about:profiles and it shows 3 - my active one plus 2 others. Looking in the C:\Users under my name in the app data I only have 1. The other 2 are shown to be in the Profiles folder, but are not there (I set to show hidden files but assume that is not the issue here).

Not sure why there are others. I did an uninstall/reinstall recently and cleaned up file folders manually, also a while back I did a recovery from a microsoft issue (the best their support could offer from a new install of office).

The question now is whether to clean off the 2 profiles that shouldn't be there. I regularly save Favorites, Outlook files, Bookmarks to external hard drive so have a reasonably recent places file handy. Just want to know why the disappearance.

I have it set to never remember history, so no history as expected, and as usual. The backup folder is there, but empty. I checked the about:profiles and it shows 3 - my active one plus 2 others. Looking in the C:\Users under my name in the app data I only have 1. The other 2 are shown to be in the Profiles folder, but are not there (I set to show hidden files but assume that is not the issue here). Not sure why there are others. I did an uninstall/reinstall recently and cleaned up file folders manually, also a while back I did a recovery from a microsoft issue (the best their support could offer from a new install of office). The question now is whether to clean off the 2 profiles that shouldn't be there. I regularly save Favorites, Outlook files, Bookmarks to external hard drive so have a reasonably recent places file handy. Just want to know why the disappearance.

Question owner

More information - I replaced the places file in the Profiles\*.default folder and still don't have bookmarks. This is really odd since this is how I reload bookmarks all the time from my own backup, as well as for a new install such as on this new computer. As mentioned, my wife's works fine, I loaded her bookmarks the same way and they work.

Any suggestions other than uninstall and reinstall?

More information - I replaced the places file in the Profiles\*.default folder and still don't have bookmarks. This is really odd since this is how I reload bookmarks all the time from my own backup, as well as for a new install such as on this new computer. As mentioned, my wife's works fine, I loaded her bookmarks the same way and they work. Any suggestions other than uninstall and reinstall?
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4266 solutions 59806 answers

zelo said

The question now is whether to clean off the 2 profiles that shouldn't be there

Before you do that, what are the dates on those folders? It's possible that Firefox had been refreshed, but it went bad.

Also, check the dates on places.sqlite files and the bookmarkbackups folders.

We may be able to use these to recover some data.

''zelo [[#answer-1081706|said]]'' <blockquote> The question now is whether to clean off the 2 profiles that shouldn't be there </blockquote> Before you do that, what are the dates on those folders? It's possible that Firefox had been refreshed, but it went bad. Also, check the dates on '''places.sqlite''' files and the '''bookmarkbackups''' folders. We may be able to use these to recover some data.
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4266 solutions 59806 answers

zelo said

I replaced the places file in the Profiles\*.default folder and still don't have bookmarks.

Let’s do a full clean re-install;

Download Firefox For All languages And Systems {web link}

Save the file. Then Close Firefox.

Using your file browser, open the Programs Folder on your computer.

Windows: C:\Program Files C:\Program Files (x86)

Mac: Open the "Applications" folder. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-download-and-install-firefox-mac

Linux: Check your user manual. If you installed Firefox with the distro-based package manager, you should use the same way to uninstall it. See Install Firefox on Linux; https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/install-firefox-linux

If you downloaded and installed the binary package from the Firefox download page, simply remove the folder Firefox in your home directory. http://www.mozilla.org/firefox#desktop ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Look for, and remove any Mozilla or Firefox program folders. Do not remove the Mozilla Thunderbird folder if there is one.

Do Not remove the profiles folder.

After rebooting the computer, run a registry scanner if you have one. Then run the installer. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If there is a problem, start your Computer in safe mode and try again.

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Linux+Safe+Mode This shows how to Start all Computers in Safe Mode; Free Online Encyclopedia

''zelo [[#answer-1081707|said]]'' <blockquote> I replaced the places file in the Profiles\*.default folder and still don't have bookmarks. </blockquote> Let’s do a full clean re-install; [http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/ Download Firefox For All languages And Systems] {web link} Save the file. Then '''Close Firefox. ''' Using your file browser, open the '''Programs Folder''' on your computer. '''Windows: ''' C:\Program Files C:\Program Files (x86) '''Mac: ''' Open the ''' "Applications" ''' folder. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-download-and-install-firefox-mac '''Linux: ''' Check your user manual. If you installed Firefox with the distro-based package manager, you should use the same way to uninstall it. See Install Firefox on Linux; https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/install-firefox-linux If you downloaded and installed the binary package from the Firefox download page, simply remove the folder Firefox in your home directory. http://www.mozilla.org/firefox#desktop ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Look for, and remove any '''Mozilla''' or '''Firefox''' program folders. Do not remove the '''Mozilla Thunderbird''' folder if there is one. '''Do Not''' remove the profiles folder. After rebooting the computer, run a registry scanner if you have one. Then run the installer. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If there is a problem, start your '''Computer''' in safe mode and try again. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Linux+Safe+Mode This shows how to Start all Computers in Safe Mode; Free Online Encyclopedia

Question owner

One more quirk - I was manually deleting files/folders and was prevented from doing so. Message was that I need permission from DESKTOP-NSHHFV8\myname and I can find that exactly nowhere. I searched all over the computer and have no idea what this is or where it came from.

I checked my wife's user account and it has .DESKTOP-NSHHFV8 after her name. Odd. I will run a system scan again. My hp has a lot of additional security software/hardware for password/identity protection so I'll check to see if that is part of it.

One more quirk - I was manually deleting files/folders and was prevented from doing so. Message was that I need permission from DESKTOP-NSHHFV8\myname and I can find that exactly nowhere. I searched all over the computer and have no idea what this is or where it came from. I checked my wife's user account and it has .DESKTOP-NSHHFV8 after her name. Odd. I will run a system scan again. My hp has a lot of additional security software/hardware for password/identity protection so I'll check to see if that is part of it.

Chosen Solution

Fixed - problem started with win 10, screwed up user id/permissions. Found by accident trying to delete a file and checking permissions when it wouldn't. It showed I had permission but still prevented deleting. After running recovery it seems there were still residuals lurking around and I had to clean up some things in the registry. Conferring with hp (3 yr warranty on bus machine) I got confirmation that recovery to factory image might not get everything wiped - best to to a factory recovery disk/flash drive for new OS install, complete format.

Anyway, cleaned up registry, removed traces of stuff including old Mozilla files, reinstalled, copied places files back from my external backup and voila - there were my bookmarks. Windows disappeared them for who knows why.

Moral of the story: regularly copy your places file to another location, even if it's in a folder in your documents. Win 10 evaporated the contents of the backup folder too so you can't count on that. I do mine once a week, replacing the file in my external drive, and in a folder in my docs. One place isn't enough.

Win 10 generally crap for work, 7 is way better, faster loading and no headaches. We do hard shut downs so see the painfully slow boot/logins for 10. 7 never screwed up Firefox either. The 10 machine is a month old, 3 complete recoveries, 1 restore, Office 2016 still wonky.

If you need reliability for work, stick with 7 as long as you can (assuming you need office compatibility). If you don't need word/xcel/pp/outlook go mac. As to office 365 - wife uses it at work, efficiency guru estimates it costs her 2 hours/day lost productivity.

Fixed - problem started with win 10, screwed up user id/permissions. Found by accident trying to delete a file and checking permissions when it wouldn't. It showed I had permission but still prevented deleting. After running recovery it seems there were still residuals lurking around and I had to clean up some things in the registry. Conferring with hp (3 yr warranty on bus machine) I got confirmation that recovery to factory image might not get everything wiped - best to to a factory recovery disk/flash drive for new OS install, complete format. Anyway, cleaned up registry, removed traces of stuff including old Mozilla files, reinstalled, copied places files back from my external backup and voila - there were my bookmarks. Windows disappeared them for who knows why. Moral of the story: regularly copy your places file to another location, even if it's in a folder in your documents. Win 10 evaporated the contents of the backup folder too so you can't count on that. I do mine once a week, replacing the file in my external drive, and in a folder in my docs. One place isn't enough. Win 10 generally crap for work, 7 is way better, faster loading and no headaches. We do hard shut downs so see the painfully slow boot/logins for 10. 7 never screwed up Firefox either. The 10 machine is a month old, 3 complete recoveries, 1 restore, Office 2016 still wonky. If you need reliability for work, stick with 7 as long as you can (assuming you need office compatibility). If you don't need word/xcel/pp/outlook go mac. As to office 365 - wife uses it at work, efficiency guru estimates it costs her 2 hours/day lost productivity.
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4266 solutions 59806 answers

That was very good work. Well done. Please flag your last post as Solved Problem so others will know.

That was very good work. Well done. Please flag your last post as '''Solved Problem''' so others will know.