Windows 7 & Mozilla Firefox update disasters - PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Lee, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Lee

    Lee Guest

    The last 2 times I had to re-start my HP PC, apparently a Windows 7 update very unfortunately wiped out all of my personal settings, preferences, etc., and even worse, also wiped out everything in my web browsers (coloration of visited links, bookmarks, history, etc.) - incl. the one that I use mostly, Mozilla Firefox.

    What can I do to help prevent such disasters from occurring again? I'm especially concerned about everything being wiped out in my web browsers, & esp. losing the coloration of visited links in Firefox. I make sure that allmy Firefox bookmarks are reguarly backed up in case I need to restore them, so that's not such a significant concern, but most everything else is a real pain in the ass, so any helpful advice/tips/suggestions/recommendationswill be greatly appreciated - thanks.
    Lee, Nov 24, 2012
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  2. Lee

    Paul Drahn Guest

    I would look elsewhere for the problem.

    I have been using an HP Pavilion dv7 laptop with Win7 for over two
    years. I also use firefox and am on version 14.0.1 and get all the updates.

    I have never had a problem with either Win7 or FireFox. Did have to
    replace the hard drive because the cashing hardware developed a parity
    checking error.

    Paul Drahn, Nov 24, 2012
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  3. Lee

    Paul Guest

    With your Windows file search, look for files like
    "places.sqlite" and "urlclassifier3.sqlite". When you
    find those files, you may have located the two folders
    holding Firefox files. (Seamonkey web browser may use
    folders like that as well.) Notice, in the examples below,
    the "5cv0laep" part is randomly generated, which is why
    you can't just dream up the correct path on your own.

    Windows 7 will use different folders than this, and this
    is an example from WinXP.

    C:\Documents and Settings\My Username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\5cv0laep.default

    The "urlclassifier3.sqlite" is next to the CACHE folder. So
    this is potentially a second data folder.

    C:\Documents and Settings\My Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\5cv0laep.default

    Since Windows 7 has a users\My Username kind of tree for
    personal files, you're going to find a different path
    for the two folders.

    The actual program installation would be in a third folder.
    Look for "firefox.exe" to find that. Since you can reinstall
    Firefox at any time, I wouldn't worry about that too much.
    Mine is in C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox , but on Windows 7
    it might be in Program Files (x86).


    If you look at this level

    C:\Documents and Settings\My Username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox

    you'll find a file "profiles.ini". My file contents right now show



    That file can hold more than one reference. You can copy the equivalent
    of "5cv0laep.default" from another computer, and add it as a profile. It
    allows two people to have profiles on one copy of Firefox.

    Both Firefox and Thunderbird, if you launch them from the command prompt
    with an appropriate option, like "firefox.exe -p", it causes the
    Profile Manager to pop up. In there, you can select a profile and
    the usage of one of the two folders you might have put in there.

    C:\Documents and Settings\My Username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\5cv0laep.default
    C:\Documents and Settings\My Username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\1234abcd.Beavis
    C:\Documents and Settings\My Username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\2468aceg.Butthead

    In Profile Manager, perhaps that would show three items to choose from.

    I don't know all the details, but research Profile Manager to learn more.
    The second link is where I learned about "firefox.exe -p"


    Your Windows Update is doing something to your actual user account.
    A user account keeps things like NTUSER.DAT, a registry file of some
    sort. That's one thing that might keep personal settings.

    I have no idea what's broken in your case, so this is
    just some background reading for you. You have a user
    account. But you also have files which constitute your
    "user profile". I expect those files are updated on a regular
    basis anyway, so checking date stamps probably would not be
    sufficient. Maybe a downward change in file size, would indicate
    the file is being regenerated or overwritten. I would have
    thought any corruption would have been preserved, rather
    than just erasing it.

    Note that a Microsoft_Windows_profile is an entirely separate
    topic, than a Firefox Profile.

    Paul, Nov 24, 2012
  4. Lee

    Daniel47 Guest

    Paul, just FYI, I use SeaMonkey on both my Win7 and Linux installations
    and a search of my entire hard drive could not find any

    Lee, there are news groups for Firefox on a private news server
    ( and, I believe, these also appear on Google Groups.
    Asking there might get you more help.

    Also, have a look, in windows explorer, at the properties of a file
    called prefs.js I think FF still uses this to hold it's preferences, but
    if it has been set to "Read Only" any changes you make to the "look" of
    the program would be lost each time you try to start FF.


    Daniel47, Nov 25, 2012
  5. Lee

    Daniel47 Guest

    Paul, FYI Firefox has released Ver 17 in the last couple of days.

    Daniel47, Nov 25, 2012
  6. Lee

    Paul Guest

    Interesting. Seamonkey isn't exactly the same. I can find two folders
    for Seamonkey by searching for ".sqlite" or by looking for folders with
    Profiles in the name.

    Seamonkey\Profiles <--- should be two paths with this
    Firefox\Profiles <--- should be two paths with this

    The urlclassifier3.sqlite file in Firefox, is listed here as
    "Phishing and Attack site protection data". The file is updated
    in the background, by downloading some data from Google. Seamonkey
    must have some other means of doing that. In my copy of Seamonkey,
    there's only one .sqlite file that is large sized, while in
    Firefox, I've got two large .sqlite files, one being urlclassifier.sqlite.

    Paul, Nov 25, 2012
  7. Lee

    Paul Drahn Guest

    Firefox says I am up to date on the 64 bit versions.

    Paul Drahn, Nov 25, 2012
  8. Lee

    Daniel47 Guest

    When I go to, it wants me to
    download Ver 17, for linux in my case, but if you click the link, it
    should offer you the Windows version.

    This might only be the 32bit rather than the 64bit WOW version, but I
    think you'll find there should be a 64bit update available, somewhere.

    Daniel47, Nov 26, 2012
  9. Lee

    Daniel47 Guest

    As I use the one profile for both my Win7 SeaMonkey and my Linux
    SeaMonkey, so the location of my profile does not conform to either the
    Windows or Linux standard locations, i.e. on both I do Custom installations.

    Daniel47, Nov 26, 2012
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