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'unable to process the backup file' - JSON bookmarks file

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  • Last reply by cor-el

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I deleted my appdata files without thinking, and then cleared my recycle bin. When I opened up firefox again all of my bookmarks were gone. I used piriform recuva to find my deleted files, and recovered the ten bookmark backup JSON files. When I try to restore my bookmarks I get the message 'unable to process the backup file'. The files are 95kb in size, but when I open them up using notepad they're empty, however, when using the restore tool it says '480 items', which I'm assuming is the amount of bookmarks I had, which implies that the firefox can see the data. The same happens for all ten backups I recovered.

Any help would be appreciated.

Chosen solution

What is the name of this file?

Firefox may only be looking at the file name for the number of items.

  • bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.json

The files in the bookmarkbackups folder are currently in compressed .jsonlz4 format (i.e they show binary data similar to a ZIP compressed archive) and can't be decompressed easily to have them in JSON text format. That the files are compressed means that a single error in the file will make it impossible to decompress the file.

Did you check all the available JSON backups to see if any works?

A manually created JSON backup is still uncompressed, so can easily be inspected or opened in a text editor (Scratchpad > "Pretty Print"), but with a compressed file this is much harder.

Recovering a file via an undelete utility is no guarantee that the space occupied by the file hasn't been used by another file and thus is corrupted.

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Chosen Solution

What is the name of this file?

Firefox may only be looking at the file name for the number of items.

  • bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.json

The files in the bookmarkbackups folder are currently in compressed .jsonlz4 format (i.e they show binary data similar to a ZIP compressed archive) and can't be decompressed easily to have them in JSON text format. That the files are compressed means that a single error in the file will make it impossible to decompress the file.

Did you check all the available JSON backups to see if any works?

A manually created JSON backup is still uncompressed, so can easily be inspected or opened in a text editor (Scratchpad > "Pretty Print"), but with a compressed file this is much harder.

Recovering a file via an undelete utility is no guarantee that the space occupied by the file hasn't been used by another file and thus is corrupted.