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  1. #1
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    Firefox is broken

    Today I started Firefox (37) it opened normally but I got a warning, "Firefox seems to be starting slowly". I'm using Win 7 and hadn't noticed any problem, however the suggested option was to "Refresh". Well simply refreshing didn't sound like a big deal so I clicked on the button. A moment or two later Firefox started again, but it didn't look like it used to, all the customizations were gone, amongst which was the RoboForm password manager that I use all the time, and all my Bookmarks, and the toolbar, and Skype click to call.

    Digging further I found a spiel about the User Profile, it had been replaced, all my files were now in a folder on the Desktop called "Old Firefox Data" and a long, long, long spiel on restoring the files that I wanted to keep. Clearly this must be intelligible to Mozilla geeks, but it isn't to me. The answer must be available from the Mozilla Forums where I found that others had exactly the same problems, word for word. And the answers to their questions were just as geeky. To post a question I had to log-in, and of course I used the log-in data stored in Roboform: "Incorrect user name". I've been using RoboForm for 15 years and have never known it to 'forget' a log-in, tried again, same result. So I resorted to the "Forgot user name or password" option. It wanted User Name and e-mail address, but my problem was with the User Name so I was going around in circles. I decided to register again, entered a new User Name and my e-mail address. That produced a message that that address was already registered (or words to that effect). So I created an all new Hotmail account and new User Name and was told that an activation e-mail had been sent, only one more problem, it didn't arrive, not in junk either.

    Back to the Forums, again I had to log-in, which failed of course, but there was another option. "If you are still having trouble go to the MozillaZine Site Discussion where you can post without logging in." So I tried that, and you know what it wanted? User Name and Password! And what's more it said "Enter BOTH words in the text box", but there was only ONE word, not that that really was going to make any difference.

    So... Since I had the original Profile on the Desktop I tracked down the new one in "%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles", and deleted it, then moved the original one into that folder. Tried to start Firefox and got a pop-up, "Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded, it may be missing or inaccessible". Okay, Firefox was broken, so I decided to install a fresh copy. That went well, or seemed to, but when I tried to run the new copy I got the same pop-up about the Profile being missing. So...I uninstalled Firefox from Control Panel, then re-re-installed, same result. I haven't come across the Mad Hatter or the Red Queen...yet, but I have a feeling that they're around here somewhere.

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    David.

  2. #2
    jwoods
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    You could try a System Restore, or restore your system from a known good disk image.

    If you go the System Restore route, boot into Safe Mode to start the restore, and again when restore restarts your computer.

    I have experienced security software blocking the completion of a restore when booting into Windows normally.
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-05-11 at 19:23.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    The first thing to try would be to Move the folder back to the Desktop, reinstate the original Profile folder from the Recycle Bin and then follow the instructions on how to recover your important (not all, some is likely to be 'bad') data from the Desktop folder - this needs to be done with Firefox closed.

    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferri...he_new_profile


    Your important data and their files:
    Bookmarks, Downloads and Browsing History

    places.sqlite

    This file contains all your Firefox bookmarks and lists of files you have downloaded and of websites you have previously visited. For more information see Create bookmarks to save your favorite webpages.
    Passwords

    Your passwords are stored in two different files, both of which are required:

    key3.db - This file stores your key database for your passwords. To transfer saved passwords, you must copy this file along with the following file.
    logins.json - Saved passwords.

    For more information see Password manager - Remember, delete and change saved passwords in Firefox.
    Site-specific preferences

    permissions.sqlite

    This file stores many of your Firefox permissions that are decided on a per-site basis. For example, it stores which sites are allowed to, or blocked from setting cookies, installing extensions, showing images, displaying popups, etc.
    Search engines

    search.json

    This file stores the search engine data. For more information see Use the Search bar in Firefox and manage search engines.
    Personal dictionary

    persdict.dat

    This file stores any custom words you have added to Firefox's dictionary. If you have never added a custom word to the Firefox dictionary, then you will not have this file. For more information see How do I use the Firefox spell checker?.
    Autocomplete history

    formhistory.sqlite

    This file remembers what you have searched for in the Firefox search bar and what information you have entered into forms on websites. For more information see Control whether Firefox automatically fills in forms.
    Cookies

    cookies.sqlite

    Cookies are used by websites for a variety of reasons, some of which include keeping you logged in to a website you have previously logged in to, remembering any preferences a website has allowed you to set, authenticating you as a person who has visited a specific website before, etc.
    Security certificate settings

    cert8.db

    This file stores all your security certificate settings and any SSL certificates you have imported into Firefox.
    File types and download actions

    mimeTypes.rdf

    This file stores your preferences with respect to what Firefox does when it comes across known file types, such as whether you want to save a file or open it with a specific application. For more information see Change what Firefox does when you click on or download a file.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your replies. As it happens I did make a full disk image just 2 days ago using Easeus (paid version). Was I worried, you bet, okay I'm paranoid. To be sure to be sure I copied all the data yet again to an external drive (definitely a sign of paranoia), then ran the Restore option. Chose the source and destination, clicked Next at all the warnings. The machine rebooted, then the Easeus splash screen appeared, with a progress bar which went to about 10%, then stopped. I had to use the power button to re-boot, and to my surprise it did!

    As for the "issue" that Firefox found, the slow start, I do not believe there was any problem at all. Had I read about the damage that "Refresh" can do I would never have touched it. If it had been called "Re-set" I would have looked a lot closer. Why is there no undo option? Seems extraordinary to me. I've had it with Easeus, and had enough of Firefox too. Tomorrow I'll re-read your posts and try your suggestions, more in hope than expectation.


    Thanks again,

    David

  5. #5
    jwoods
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    Fred Langa just wrote an article recently in the Windows Secrets newsletter about ways to safely test file and image backups.

    http://windowssecrets.com/newsletter...image-backups/

    However you manage to get your profile rebuilt, Mozilla has simplified instructions on backing up a Firefox profile...

    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb...refox-profiles

    Some disk imaging software like Image For Windows includes a tool to recover just select files and folders from an image, when that's all you need. I would look for a product that offers similar capabilities.
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-05-12 at 00:56.

  6. #6
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    Why doesn't Firefox fix their problems. I have to imagine a LOT of folks are experiencing these problems.

    I switched from IE about a month ago and things seemed OK for a while, ...BUT now I am having so many problems with 'not responding' to this and that, that I'm about ready to just ditch them.

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    The two places where FF stores everything:
    Users [your acct] appdata local mozilla
    Users [your acct] appdata roaming mozilla
    -- does your image backup have the two above?
    if so, you only need to restore the two above
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    The two places where FF stores everything:
    Users [your acct] appdata local mozilla
    Users [your acct] appdata roaming mozilla
    -- does your image backup have the two above?
    if so, you only need to restore the two above
    Does that mean I should be able to go to the Control Panel and look under User Accounts?

  9. #9
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    ...found this on another forum,...or somewhere?

    Would like to distinguish 2 SEPARATE FF issues that I have experienced in the last several months, and that I think may be being confounded in this thread:


    1) FF shuts down ENTIRELY for approx 20 seconds (I've timed these "freezes"). The screen shows some other application you are running. Another version of this is that the session tab freezes, with the blue-circle (ie. hourglass) churning, the screen still showing the FF session-tab contents. In either case, the system does not respond (not even Ctl_Alt-Del) until the spasm is over. THIS ISSUE IS ADOBE-FLASH RELATED. I eventually learned that uninstalling Adobe Flash clears up 99% of the spasm-freezes. I install Adobe-Flash only if I absolutely must, to see desired content, then uninstall it as soon as there is another freeze. [And, yes, I tried every "solution" that Mozilla and Adobe have suggested - and they help NOT AT ALL. I have concluded that AF and FF are just incompatible, and cannot be used together, at least not consistently.]


    2) Lately there is a different problem, though maybe even more maddening. After every few seconds, FF spasms for a few seconds. The "Not Responding" msg comes from the O/S (W7 in my case), and keystrokes or mouse-moves are lost until the spasm is over (1-3 seconds). Shutting down and re-starting FF works for a while (maybe 15 minutes), until the cycle recommences. This fact makes me suspect memory management issues. Certain compute-intensive sites, eg. Yahoo Message Boards, SeekingAlpha, also seem to hasten entry into the spasm period. Observing the Task Manager list during the spasms (other apps WORK during these spasms, unlike with case 1 above), Firefox is taking upwards of 50% of the CPU. I FOUND - SO FAR - THIS PROBLEM IS INDEED COMPLETELY SOLVED BY THE FF RESET .




    Modified September 1, 2013 8:06:54 PM PDT by PeterScriabin

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beiland View Post
    Does that mean I should be able to go to the Control Panel and look under User Accounts?
    Not there. Through Explorer.exe. Or, your image maker's file manager that lets you browse what's inside of saved image[s].
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  11. #11
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    Don't understand.
    I'm not presently using Explorer, but rather Firefox.

    Usually I view my photo images with IrfanView or Paint, or Windows Photo Viewer

  12. #12
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    beiland, internet explorer is iexplore.exe with the common blue e shortcut icon,
    explorer.exe is what used to be called File Manager, with the common folder shortcut icon.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  13. #13
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    Microsoft always threw this 'Explorer' word around so often it was always confusing to me.

    There are a number of other such words utilized in this modern day computer world that don't always jive with my old understanding of the word's meanings ....ha...ha (72 years)

  14. #14
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    yeah, tell me about it, I'm 63, and most of the world has passed me and my TRS-80 by.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  15. #15
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    Thank you for the links. I've been a regular reader of the paid version since the days of Langalist and did read that article. However, I made the image on the 9th, didn't have time to try out the test, and Firefox screwed up on the 10th. How's that for timing?

    I used to use Image for DOS, and Image for Windows, but the interface was uber-geeky. (At that time I was using a desktop to do video editing and had 4 60GB drives, 3 for Premiere and 1 for backups, but I never got comfortable with the interface.) Next I looked at Ghost, not much less daunting. One of the reasons I then chose Easeus was good comments made by Fred in Windows Secrets. Anybody know anything about Acronis???

    Still cannot log-in to Firefox Forum, still need to know your user name & password if you want a reminder of your user name. I suppose in some alternative reality this makes a lot of sense. Next I'll try to work my way through Satrow's suggestions to recover the profile. I still I do not believe there was anything wrong to begin with so I'd like to restore the entire profile. Nor do I understand why I cannot install a fresh copy of Firefox even after uninstalling using Revo, and cleaning out all the detritus left behind by the Firefox uninstall program. That "Refresh" really has wreaked havoc. Slow starting? Huh! How about 3 days trying to unscramble the egg?

    David

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