How to retrieve a long and precious history I lost by running cc cleaner to clean up my register?
The cleanup did not affect my bookmarks, they are all there. History however seems to be gone forever, a reference list that I took months to set up and that means an equally long setback to an editorial project. Weep, hair tearing, ashes all over my torn off clothes will not, apparently, restore that history. Booahhh! Tell me there is some home, please.
Additional System Details
- Shockwave Flash 11.6 r602
- Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.17.2 for Mozilla browsers
- NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
- Google Update
- Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.6
- McAfee MSS+ NPAPI Plugin
- The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
- McAfee MSC FF plugin DLL
- Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 18.104.22.1686
- Unity Player 3.5.1f2
- iTunes Detector Plug-in
- Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 22.214.171.1249
- Enables the interaction of Mathematica content with the latest installed version of Mathematica.
- The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
- Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers
- Office Live Update v1.3
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0
Was this reference list just part of Firefox's ordinary history, or something built using an add-on?
I've never run ccleaner. Do they mention any recovery/undo options? Piriform does have an undelete program named Recuva that could be useful if the reference list was a separate file or folder, and not part of Firefox's built-in history.
Thank you, jscher. Unfortunately, that was a whole built-in history. It surprises me that the bookmarks file was not affected. I wonder why Mozilla does not extend the same protection to history.
Thanks again for trying.
It depends on what CCleaner does. If CCleaner deletes the places.sqlite database -- which contains both history and bookmarks -- Firefox will create a blank database and restore the last automatic bookmark backup. But there's no automatic history backup to restore.
I don't suppose you make regular system backups? If you do, you can get the name and location of your Firefox settings folder (C:\Users\etc.) by using this button:
Help menu > Troubleshooting Information > "Show Folder"
But if you do not have backups, and if Recuva fails, then I can't think of any other way to recover that deleted information.
Gee, jscher2000, you seem to be an expert. Someone advised me to take a look into places.sqlite, but Windows said it could not open it. As for \Users, it does keep a Firefox bookmarks file though not quite updated (March 11 th), but useful anyway. This explain why Firefox restored the bookmarks. I wonder why Mozilla does not adopt a similar procedure to protect history. From now on I will keep a Mozilla browser backup in a pen drive and another in an external HD!
I did not try Recuva yet. Would it be too much to ask you for more specif instructions on how to deal with it?
Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on disk cleaning or recovery. The Recuva software will attempt to locate and undelete files that were "hard" deleted bypassing the recycle bin. This isn't always successful, and needs to be attempted as quickly as possible after the delete because every time Windows adds new data to the disk, the potential for full recovery goes down.
For future backups, if you don't already have software to schedule backup jobs, someone has created a program specifically for Firefox backups: http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/. I haven't tried it myself.
Oh, regarding places.sqlite, in order to view the contents, you need a program that can read its internal format. This extension is handy for that, but understanding which data is where requires quite a bit of squinting and poking around... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sqlite-manager/
It is a long story, but this happened because I could not backup some important folders: Windows 7 cannot handle some large folders. You know the story: Microsoft policy is to sell square wheels for the hapless customer to make them round through infuriating use.
I am thinking of a solution to that "too long name"s problem. If it works, I will ask for your opinion on it.
Meanwhile, thanks a lot.
You could try if you can restore a previous version of the places.sqlite file.
You can use this button to go to the Firefox profile folder:
- Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder
cor-el, that's brilliant. I wonder whether those backups survive CCleaner? I guess aldopereira will soon be able to let us know.
OK, cor-el and jscher2000, I managed to open Firefox profiles default folder. But I could not find a history folder among the listed ones. Does it mean history is gone forever or is there a way to extend the search? (I am quite ignorant to find my own way out this maze...)
There is no history folder. When Firefox is working properly, history entries are stored in the places.sqlite database. If you right-click places.sqlite and choose Properties, can you get a Previous Versions tab as pictured above?
I downloaded places.sqlite and have it installed in Firefox, but (please be patient) cannot find it to right-click it. What is its usual location?
OK, jscher200 and cor-el, I finally found places.squilite file and its properties as indicated. There is a 3/20 version that coul contain Firefox history, but Windows says it cannot open the file. How could I open it?
I meant places.sqlite, of course.
Don't try to open the file. Rename the places sqlite file in your current settings folder, then drop the old one in. I haven't done this, but here's how i would:
Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using
Help > Troubleshooting Information > "Show Folder" button
Switch back to Firefox and Exit
Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then rename places.sqlite to something like places.0327
Copy the old places.sqlite into the folder.
Restart Firefox. Firefox should show your bookmarks and history from the date of the database you copied in.
Modified by jscher2000
jscher2000 and cor-el
It didn't work. After cleanup, Firefox showed today history only. I guess the data are gone and I must give up. I will never ever use cccleaner again, but maybe I made some some wrong answer to one of the many questions I met while using it (otherwise the program would not enjoy so many users).
Thank you, friends, for all the time you spent trying to help a stranger in distress. AP
I wonder whether you might check one more thing. If you look at the newest places.sqlite database and check the Previous Versions tab, are there any older ones to restore? 3/20 would have been best, but something would be better than nothing.
Edit: I using the Previous Versions tab to make copies of some older versions and then compared the number of entries using the SQLite Manager extension. They are different.
Modified by jscher2000
places.sqlite properties informs there is no previous version available. It seems that's it, isn't?
Just to chime in here, Ccleaner is pretty thorough with it's cleaning so I highly doubt the file can be recovered.
If the Previous Versions tab doesn't work, the last hope would be to dig around in your various restore points, if any. Not sure how productive that would be -- particularly if Ccleaner cleans those as well -- but I read about one tool you could try.