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Can't get back into Firefox

  • 10 uphendule
  • 2 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu jscher2000

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(I've previously posted this issue on a couple of other forums, with no help thus far. If you've seen either of those posts, please forgive the duplication; I'm a bit desperate.)

After updating Firefox yesterday and restarting my Win7 I was unable to open my Firefox. The error message was "Can't open this item. It might have been moved, renamed, or deleted." I was given the choice to remove it or not. When I chose not, the event and error message reiterated; so I chose to remove. Thereafter I've been unable to bring up or download Firefox, with the following error message with each try:

XML Parsing Error: undefined entity Location: chrome//browser/content/browser.XUL Line Nunber 50, Column 1:

All Replies (10)

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Hi Odin3, when I quote your post, I see some additional content that I guess got "eaten" by the XML line:

I tried the Clean Reinstall, as suggested by jscher2000 at Unfortunately, it didn't work--the same error message appeared and the install wizard wouldn't start.

I do have a new (so far unused) computer and I expect I'll be able to start Firefox from scratch there. It would make things a whole lot easier for me however if I could at least refer to my current Fx settings and properties when doing so. Can you help?

Could you try this. If it works, we can go look for your old data afterwards.

Create a new Firefox profile

A new profile will have your system-installed plugins (e.g., Flash) and extensions (e.g., security suite toolbars), but no themes, other extensions, or other customizations. It also should have completely fresh settings databases and a fresh cache folder.

Exit Firefox and start up in the Profile Manager using Start > search box (or Run) -- note that the path depends on where Firefox is installed on your system:

  • "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P
  • "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P

When the Profile Manager comes up (hopefully), don't delete or remove anything.

Click the Create Profile button, assign a name like July2019, and skip the option to relocate the profile folder. After creating the profile, select it and start Firefox in that profile.

Will Firefox start?

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It suddenly occurs to me that if the install wizard didn't start, you might not have an installation of Firefox to run.

To rescue your profile folder so you can mine it for useful files, type or paste the following in the Windows 7 Start menu search box and press Enter to load it:


That should expand to the hidden folder:


Back up your data from here to some place (removable storage drive?) so you can move it to your other computer.

This article describes the valuable stuff in that folder: Recovering important data from an old profile.

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Thanks, jscher! Following your instructions I see 5 profiles I could apply to Fx on my new computer. The most recent is about 10 months old. Should I just use that one? Or use the oldest followed by the next-oldest, etc?

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When you say the most recent is 10 months old, that sounds too old if you use Firefox frequently. Could you check the dates inside the profile folders in the bookmarkbackups subfolder to see whether one of them was used more recently?

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Yes, I see more recent dates inside that subfolder. So should I just copy the profile with the most recent bookmark dates, or what?

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You should copy over the whole folder, but you might use files selectively if there are problems with the profile.

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Thanks again. I'm sorry to be such a dummy, but I still have questions.

I don't know what you mean by "copy over the whole folder." Do you mean the Profiles folder (with 5 profiles), or the profile folder within it with the most recent dates. I also don't know what you mean by "use files selectively if there are problems with the profile." I don't know how I would recognize a problem (or exactly what I should do if I should recognize a problem).

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I meant to copy over the profile folder you want to use on the new system. Some files in a profile contain hardcoded paths that won't work well on the new system, but you might not discover problems until you try it.

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Thanks again, jscher, for your efforts to help me.

For whatever reason, however, you failed to respond to some of my follow-up questions, and so I was unable to continue with your "suddenly occurs to me" solution. I proceeded to apply your alternate solution, which did succeed in enabling me to download and open Fx on the computer I've been using. But unfortunately, since I couldn't supply my Fx password (didn't even know I had one!), the Fx that loaded was completely bereft of all bookmarks, history, and settings--as if I were a brand new user.

The good news is that perhaps on its own (?), my Chrome browser had imported much of that information. So although reconstructing my Fx will be a laborious process it will not be nearly as laborious as it might have been.

Okulungisiwe ngu Odin3

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If you never set up Firefox Sync before, then it makes sense that connecting to a Firefox Account wouldn't bring over any data.

But you were going to manually copy files from the old system to the new system. Where did that get hung up?