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unable to process backup file. Now what?

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Got message this morning that Firefox is running slow--true. Suggested Refresh and said bookmarks would be saved. Attempts to Restore bookmarks get error message saying unable to process backup file. Now what? Others have had this issue but there is no useful info on line.

Got message this morning that Firefox is running slow--true. Suggested Refresh and said bookmarks would be saved. Attempts to Restore bookmarks get error message saying unable to process backup file. Now what? Others have had this issue but there is no useful info on line.

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  • Shockwave Flash 30.0 r0

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:61.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/61.0

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located saved bookmarks as JSON file, attempt to open met with advertising for programs I supposedly need to open JSON file, do I?

located saved bookmarks as JSON file, attempt to open met with advertising for programs I supposedly need to open JSON file, do I?
jscher2000
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Hi AlanHyde, sorry to hear about this problem. There could be a format corruption problem in the file. As a workaround, you can try the following tool on my website to repair or convert one of your bookmark backup files.

(1) Open your bookmarkbackups folder using these steps:

Either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, on the Profile Folder row, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.

Double-click into the bookmarkbackups folder. Here you should find files with names like:

bookmarks-2018-08-27_6133_gibberish==.jsonlz4

(2) Leaving that window open, switch over to Firefox and open this page in a Firefox tab:

https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html

(3) Resize/reposition the Windows Explorer window so you can drag-and-drop one of your backup files onto the white box in the page.

A script in the page should decompress the file and extract the data. Then:

(4) Try the "Check/Repair" button and if the script reports that it found and fixed issues, save the JSON format and try to restore that. (You can use Choose File at the bottom of the Restore menu, Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer.)

(5) If that didn't work, try the HTML export option. Then use Firefox's Import feature to pull in that file (Import Bookmarks from an HTML file). After importing, Firefox may place the entire contents in a "Imported Bookmarks" folder on the Bookmarks menu. In that case, you can manually reorganize using the panes of the Library window.

Hi AlanHyde, sorry to hear about this problem. There could be a format corruption problem in the file. As a workaround, you can try the following tool on my website to repair or convert one of your bookmark backup files. (1) Open your bookmarkbackups folder using these steps: Either: * "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter In the first table on the page, on the Profile Folder row, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer. Double-click into the '''bookmarkbackups''' folder. Here you should find files with names like: bookmarks-2018-08-27_6133_''gibberish''==.jsonlz4 (2) Leaving that window open, switch over to Firefox and open this page in a Firefox tab: https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html (3) Resize/reposition the Windows Explorer window so you can drag-and-drop one of your backup files onto the white box in the page. A script in the page should decompress the file and extract the data. Then: (4) Try the "Check/Repair" button and if the script reports that it found and fixed issues, save the JSON format and try to restore that. (You can use Choose File at the bottom of the Restore menu, [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]].) (5) If that didn't work, try the HTML export option. Then use Firefox's Import feature to pull in that file ([[Import Bookmarks from an HTML file]]). After importing, Firefox may place the entire contents in a "Imported Bookmarks" folder on the Bookmarks menu. In that case, you can manually reorganize using the panes of the Library window.
jscher2000
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8797 решений 71970 ответов
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AlanHyde said

located saved bookmarks as JSON file, attempt to open met with advertising for programs I supposedly need to open JSON file, do I?

JSON files contain structured data. If you open one in a Firefox tab, after a few moments, Firefox will display an indented, tree-style view of the file contents. However, that isn't very useful for restoring the files to your bookmarks.

Note that .jsonlz4 files are compressed using Mozilla's flavor or LZ4 compression and can't be read without first decompressing them. See my earlier reply for a decompression tool.

''AlanHyde [[#answer-1147563|said]]'' <blockquote> located saved bookmarks as JSON file, attempt to open met with advertising for programs I supposedly need to open JSON file, do I? </blockquote> JSON files contain structured data. If you open one in a Firefox tab, after a few moments, Firefox will display an indented, tree-style view of the file contents. However, that isn't very useful for restoring the files to your bookmarks. Note that .jsonlz4 files are compressed using Mozilla's flavor or LZ4 compression and can't be read without first decompressing them. See my earlier reply for a decompression tool.
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I can drop any of the saved bookmarks backup files into your tool, either by dragging or using your browse button, but nothing happens.

I can drop any of the saved bookmarks backup files into your tool, either by dragging or using your browse button, but nothing happens.
jscher2000
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Hi AlanHyde, when you load a file, the script is supposed to automatically:

  • read the file and insert file name and date information below the box
  • decompress the file and fill the box with its data

Do neither of those happen?

I assume you have JavaScript enabled for the page.

Could you check for messages in Firefox's Web Console. You can open the Web Console in the lower part of the tab using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > Web Developer > Web Console
  • (menu bar) Tools > Web Developer > Web Console
  • (Windows) Ctrl+Shift+k

Then reload the page in the upper part of the tab and watch for error or security messages. (The lines with blue triangles generally are not significant unless you suspect a style rule problem.) Anything that sounds like it could be relevant?

Then try to load a file using either drang-and-drop or the Browse button and check for any new error messages. Anything?

Hi AlanHyde, when you load a file, the script is supposed to automatically: * read the file and insert file name and date information below the box * decompress the file and fill the box with its data Do neither of those happen? I assume you have JavaScript enabled for the page. Could you check for messages in Firefox's Web Console. You can open the Web Console in the lower part of the tab using either: * "3-bar" menu button > Web Developer > Web Console * (menu bar) Tools > Web Developer > Web Console * (Windows) Ctrl+Shift+k Then reload the page in the upper part of the tab and watch for error or security messages. (The lines with blue triangles generally are not significant unless you suspect a style rule problem.) Anything that sounds like it could be relevant? Then try to load a file using either drang-and-drop or the Browse button and check for any new error messages. Anything?
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Thanks for your help. I am untrained in these matters. When I drag or browse one of my bookmark backup files into your box, lines of code appear. But that's it. I can click on Save JSON or Check/Repair JSON but nothing happens. After these maneuvers, when I attempt to Restore, I still get the message Unable to Process Backup File. There are no messages of any kind in the log. Nor is Firefox able to create new Bookmarks. Perhaps I am omitting some step that would be obvious to you, but I am attempting to follow your instructions without success. I can sometimes get to an array of files labeled bookmark backup, but when I try to open, save, or run any I consistently get a message that Firefox can't process it.

Thanks for your help. I am untrained in these matters. When I drag or browse one of my bookmark backup files into your box, lines of code appear. But that's it. I can click on Save JSON or Check/Repair JSON but nothing happens. After these maneuvers, when I attempt to Restore, I still get the message Unable to Process Backup File. There are no messages of any kind in the log. Nor is Firefox able to create new Bookmarks. Perhaps I am omitting some step that would be obvious to you, but I am attempting to follow your instructions without success. I can sometimes get to an array of files labeled bookmark backup, but when I try to open, save, or run any I consistently get a message that Firefox can't process it.
jscher2000
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AlanHyde said

When I drag or browse one of my bookmark backup files into your box, lines of code appear. But that's it. I can click on Save JSON or Check/Repair JSON but nothing happens. ... There are no messages of any kind in the log.

Save JSON should pop up a save dialog, but did Firefox download automatically? A new file would appear when you click the Download arrow on the toolbar in that case.

You also could try the Export button, which should pop up a save dialog.

AlanHyde said

Nor is Firefox able to create new Bookmarks.

Okay, that line I bolded because it sounds like your Places database -- the file that stores history and bookmarks together -- could be corrupted. That would explain both problems, not being able to restore your backup AND not being able to add new bookmarks. Here are a couple things to try for that.

First, please exit Firefox and shut down Windows and start it up again to clear any possible file locks or permission confusions. If the problem continues:

(A) Try a Database Check/Repair

The Troubleshooting Information page has a "Verify Integrity" button to do a little light maintenance on the Places database (where bookmarks and history are stored). You can open that using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

Then scroll way down or use Find to search for Integrity in the Places Database section. At first, nothing will seem to happen, but then several seconds after clicking the button Firefox should report some diagnostic results below it.

Please copy/paste the results somewhere safe, then quit/restart Firefox to see whether it helped.

(B) Start a new Places database

This is the file that stores history and bookmarks. Return to the Troubleshooting Information page using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter/Return

Then open your currently active profile folder using a button in the first table on the page. In the Profile Folder row, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.

Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > Exit
  • (menu bar) File > Exit

Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then right-click > Rename places.sqlite to something like placesOLD.sqlite. If you see files named places.sqlite-shm and/or places.sqlite-wal, you can delete those.

When you start Firefox back up again, it should attempt to rebuild your bookmarks from the latest automatic backup. If that doesn't work, we'll continue to work on converting your old backup files.

Any improvement?

''AlanHyde [[#answer-1147624|said]]'' <blockquote> When I drag or browse one of my bookmark backup files into your box, lines of code appear. But that's it. I can click on Save JSON or Check/Repair JSON but nothing happens. ... There are no messages of any kind in the log. </blockquote> Save JSON should pop up a save dialog, but did Firefox download automatically? A new file would appear when you click the Download arrow on the toolbar in that case. You also could try the Export button, which should pop up a save dialog. ''AlanHyde [[#answer-1147624|said]]'' <blockquote> '''Nor is Firefox able to create new Bookmarks.''' </blockquote> Okay, that line I bolded because it sounds like your Places database -- the file that stores history and bookmarks together -- could be corrupted. That would explain both problems, not being able to restore your backup AND not being able to add new bookmarks. Here are a couple things to try for that. First, please exit Firefox and shut down Windows and start it up again to clear any possible file locks or permission confusions. If the problem continues: (A) Try a Database Check/Repair The Troubleshooting Information page has a "Verify Integrity" button to do a little light maintenance on the Places database (where bookmarks and history are stored). You can open that using either * "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter Then scroll way down or use Find to search for ''Integrity'' in the Places Database section. At first, nothing will seem to happen, but then several seconds after clicking the button Firefox should report some diagnostic results below it. Please copy/paste the results somewhere safe, then quit/restart Firefox to see whether it helped. (B) Start a new Places database This is the file that stores history and bookmarks. Return to the Troubleshooting Information page using either * "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter/Return Then open your currently active profile folder using a button in the first table on the page. In the Profile Folder row, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer. Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either: * "3-bar" menu button > Exit * (menu bar) File > Exit Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then right-click > Rename '''places.sqlite''' to something like placesOLD.sqlite. If you see files named places.sqlite-shm and/or places.sqlite-wal, you can delete those. When you start Firefox back up again, it should attempt to rebuild your bookmarks from the latest automatic backup. If that doesn't work, we'll continue to work on converting your old backup files. Any improvement?
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File downloaded, but Windows cannot open or process, and that request elicits cheesy looking advertising offering me programs for JSON files.

File downloaded, but Windows cannot open or process, and that request elicits cheesy looking advertising offering me programs for JSON files.
jscher2000
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Hi AlanHyde, you don't need to open the .json file. You can try restoring the bookmarks it contains using Firefox's Restore feature. Use the "Choose file..." option at the bottom of the Restore menu to point Firefox to the file.

Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer

If you do want to see the contents of the file, try opening it in a Firefox tab. After a few moments, Firefox should display a structured view of the data so you can see how it's stored.

Hi AlanHyde, you don't need to open the .json file. You can try restoring the bookmarks it contains using Firefox's Restore feature. Use the "Choose file..." option at the bottom of the Restore menu to point Firefox to the file. [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]] If you do want to see the contents of the file, try opening it in a Firefox tab. After a few moments, Firefox should display a structured view of the data so you can see how it's stored.
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Of course I've been trying to use that Restore feature all day. That's what occasions the message that Firefox is Unable to Process the File (that it created).

I wish I could undo the entire Refresh. Firefox no longer lets me create new bookmarks. Nor does it save login information.

Of course I've been trying to use that Restore feature all day. That's what occasions the message that Firefox is Unable to Process the File (that it created). I wish I could undo the entire Refresh. Firefox no longer lets me create new bookmarks. Nor does it save login information.
jscher2000
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To "undo" a Refresh, please see the steps in this thread: I did a Reset of Firefox - How do i get add my 'Old firefox data' back?

To "undo" a Refresh, please see the steps in this thread: [https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1173024 I did a Reset of Firefox - How do i get add my 'Old firefox data' back?]
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Thank you for your instructions "How do i get add my 'Old Firefox data' back?" I was able to create a new profile, set it as default, and open it. I next went to about:support and clicked Open Folder. The profile did not launch in Windows Explorer. Instead I get directories asking me to save it someplace. So I now have open on my laptop the new Firefox profile, in Firefox, with no data. What next?

Alternative: I was able to create an HTML page with all my old bookmarks and can reach them through that page which is of course a pain. I attempted to have Firefox Import those bookmarks but clicking Import offered me a choice only of backup files which the program says it is unable to process.

Thank you for your instructions "How do i get add my 'Old Firefox data' back?" I was able to create a new profile, set it as default, and open it. I next went to about:support and clicked Open Folder. The profile did not launch in Windows Explorer. Instead I get directories asking me to save it someplace. So I now have open on my laptop the new Firefox profile, in Firefox, with no data. What next? Alternative: I was able to create an HTML page with all my old bookmarks and can reach them through that page which is of course a pain. I attempted to have Firefox Import those bookmarks but clicking Import offered me a choice only of backup files which the program says it is unable to process.
jscher2000
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AlanHyde said

Thank you for your instructions "How do i get add my 'Old Firefox data' back?" I was able to create a new profile, set it as default, and open it. I next went to about:support and clicked Open Folder. The profile did not launch in Windows Explorer. Instead I get directories asking me to save it someplace.

The idea is you will have two Windows Explorer windows. One will have your profile folder from "Old Firefox Data" and the other window will have your new one.

When you use the Open Folder button from inside your new profile, normally Windows shows a folder full of a huge number of files. You don't get that display, or you get that display, but then the next step of what to do with all those files was not clear? I'm not sure how you got to the point of being asked to save things.

(I know I should make a video, but it's complicated to set up when you don't actually want to muck things up.)

So I now have open on my laptop the new Firefox profile, in Firefox, with no data. What next?

If you need an alternate way to open up that new profile folder so you can clear it out and drop in a copy of the old files, you can use this "shortcut". Paste it into the Start menu search box and press Enter. Windows should load the Profiles folder, which will contain your new profile folder (I can't give you a direct shortcut because I don't know the full name of the new folder):

%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

Here you will hopefully see that one of the files has OldSettings in the name so you can double-click into that one and resume the process, the next step being to exit out of Firefox so all the files here are unlocked.

''AlanHyde [[#answer-1147957|said]]'' <blockquote> Thank you for your instructions "How do i get add my 'Old Firefox data' back?" I was able to create a new profile, set it as default, and open it. I next went to about:support and clicked Open Folder. The profile did not launch in Windows Explorer. Instead I get directories asking me to save it someplace. </blockquote> The idea is you will have two Windows Explorer windows. One will have your profile folder from "Old Firefox Data" and the other window will have your new one. When you use the Open Folder button from inside your new profile, normally Windows shows a folder full of a huge number of files. You don't get that display, or you get that display, but then the next step of what to do with all those files was not clear? I'm not sure how you got to the point of being asked to save things. (I know I should make a video, but it's complicated to set up when you don't actually want to muck things up.) <blockquote> So I now have open on my laptop the new Firefox profile, in Firefox, with no data. What next? </blockquote> If you need an alternate way to open up that new profile folder so you can clear it out and drop in a copy of the old files, you can use this "shortcut". Paste it into the Start menu search box and press Enter. Windows should load the Profiles folder, which will contain your new profile folder (I can't give you a direct shortcut because I don't know the full name of the new folder): %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles Here you will hopefully see that one of the files has '''OldSettings''' in the name so you can double-click into that one and resume the process, the next step being to exit out of Firefox so all the files here are unlocked.
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Sorry to be so dense. From the new Firefox Profile, I click Open Folder. I get a directory of Folders. Which, if any, "launches the brand new profile folder in Windows Explorer"? How do I create the situation you next describe in which I am toggling between a "Firefox profile in Explorer" and a "Firefox profile in Firefox"?

It might be simpler if I could use Import Bookmarks from HTML to get to , you know, an HTML page.

Sorry to be so dense. From the new Firefox Profile, I click Open Folder. I get a directory of Folders. Which, if any, "launches the brand new profile folder in Windows Explorer"? How do I create the situation you next describe in which I am toggling between a "Firefox profile in Explorer" and a "Firefox profile in Firefox"? It might be simpler if I could use Import Bookmarks from HTML to get to , you know, an HTML page.
jscher2000
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AlanHyde said

From the new Firefox Profile, I click Open Folder. I get a directory of Folders.

Do you see folders named blocklists and bookmarkbackups? Then you are there and you don't need to open any subfolders.

How do I create the situation you next describe in which I am toggling between a "Firefox profile in Explorer" and a "Firefox profile in Firefox"?

What I meant was, you have two separate windows, Windows Explorer and Firefox. At that point, you can exit Firefox. To switch windows without closing your Windows Explorer, you either can use the Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut (switches between the two most recently used windows), or click Firefox on the Windows Taskbar to bring that to the front.

It might be simpler if I could use Import Bookmarks from HTML to get to , you know, an HTML page.

Yes, but your Places database is damaged -- you confirmed this by determining that you can't add any new bookmarks the normal way -- so that problem needs to be fixed either by rolling back the Refresh or by creating a new Places database (see https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1231337#answer-1147628).

''AlanHyde [[#answer-1147973|said]]'' <blockquote> From the new Firefox Profile, I click Open Folder. I get a directory of Folders.</blockquote> Do you see folders named blocklists and bookmarkbackups? Then you are there and you don't need to open any subfolders. <blockquote> How do I create the situation you next describe in which I am toggling between a "Firefox profile in Explorer" and a "Firefox profile in Firefox"? </blockquote> What I meant was, you have two separate windows, Windows Explorer and Firefox. At that point, you can exit Firefox. To switch windows without closing your Windows Explorer, you either can use the Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut (switches between the two most recently used windows), or click Firefox on the Windows Taskbar to bring that to the front. <blockquote> It might be simpler if I could use Import Bookmarks from HTML to get to , you know, an HTML page. </blockquote> Yes, but your Places database is damaged -- you confirmed this by determining that you can't add any new bookmarks the normal way -- so that problem needs to be fixed either by rolling back the Refresh or by creating a new Places database (see [https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1231337#answer-1147628]).
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getting there. Where on the new Profile open in Explorer do I Paste the old Firefox Data?

getting there. Where on the new Profile open in Explorer do I Paste the old Firefox Data?
jscher2000
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So you had a folder with blocklists and bookmarkbackups in it, and you cleared out that folder so it's empty. That's where you'll but the contents of the old profile folder, so once again you'll see blocklists and bookmarkbackups here except they will be the old ones.

So you had a folder with blocklists and bookmarkbackups in it, and you cleared out that folder so it's empty. That's where you'll but the contents of the old profile folder, so once again you'll see blocklists and bookmarkbackups here except they will be the old ones.
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I have now wasted two days on this and am admitting defeat. I deleted files from the new Firefox profile, inserted Old Firefox Data, and nothing has changed. I will access my old bookmarks from the HTML page that was created to contain them, unless I can get Chrome to import them. I will gradually be switching to Chrome. This has been a disaster. Good-by.

I have now wasted two days on this and am admitting defeat. I deleted files from the new Firefox profile, inserted Old Firefox Data, and nothing has changed. I will access my old bookmarks from the HTML page that was created to contain them, unless I can get Chrome to import them. I will gradually be switching to Chrome. This has been a disaster. Good-by.
jscher2000
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It should be no problem for Chrome to import the HTML-format bookmark file.

If you change your mind, use the about:profiles page to switch back to the profile that was created by the Refresh and create a new Places file as described in this earlier post: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1231337#answer-1147628

It should be no problem for Chrome to import the HTML-format bookmark file. If you change your mind, use the '''about:profiles''' page to switch back to the profile that was created by the Refresh and create a new Places file as described in this earlier post: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1231337#answer-1147628