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Real strange problem after doing a Firefox Refresh

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the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 30th, 2016, 2:51 pm

ignore the UA string here - different browser that is on the D:/ drive with its Profile there, too
Win7 Tiny7 using Firefox 43.0.4 at the time - decided to do a Refresh on Thursday 1-28 to clean the add-ons I has installed .
First time ever doing a Firefox Refresh, which only works with the Default =1 as shown in the profiles.ini file.

Didn't notice anything strange at first after doing the Refresh. But when I went to launch the Profile Manager I saw two Profiles in the PM window and didn't expect to see two. But one had been Refreshed, so I opened the other which looked familiar and I wanted to see what I done with it or why had created a 2nd one. Couldn't figure out why it was there.

Skip forward two days until a couple of hours ago when I was helping another user and I opened my "user" profiles.ini file only to see one solitary Profile. WTF - I had two Profiles 2 days ago? So I used the other desktop shortcut with the-p and opened the Profile Manager and saw two Profiles with - didn't occur to me at the time that the PM shouldn't have opened without the -no-remote command, but it did. So 2 hours later I finally figured out what was going on ....

And today I noticed that my limited user login account now says Log Off Administrator... and when I restarted Windows I came to realize the two accounts had switched. Limited user desktop and programs appear in the Admin login account and vice versa. Somewhat like these movies ...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093418/ - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096380/ & http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0302640/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 - gotta love a Rob Schneider movie!

My limited user account is using the profiles.ini file from my Administrator account, displaying the Profiles from that Admin account, and opening those Profiles in my limited user account - which may be why both will open (one at a time) without needing -no-remote. As I was opening multiple explorer windows along with the Profile Manager window to get a screenshot of three separate windows open at once to 'document" what I was seeing - I failed to look at the complete file path on the Profile with the shortest name was in the Users > Administrator > AppData path. The refreshed Profile name was so long that only AppData > ... appeared.

And it looks like the Default Profile in that Admin account wasn't touched, as far as I can tell. I am guessing that two limited user account Profiles got moved to the Admin Profiles folder so there's 3 in that folder now - but . And the best part is it looks like the Admin and limited user accounts had switched places; Desktop appearance and settings for my limited user logon account, but the PaleMoon and SeaMonkey Desktop shortcuts are using Profiles from the Admin account now - as opened via the Troubleshooting Information page in both browsers. But I set both of them up in the limited account and didn't even have desktop shortcuts or Profiles in the Admin account.

Things are so messed up now that it looks like a clean install of Win7 is on the table. Good thing that all my other 3 Firefox programs are installed on the D:/ drive along with their Profiles AND the other two Profiles that are associated with that default Firefox installation are on D:/ too. I also have a text list of the desktop shortcut Target lines for the default Firefox installation remote profiles. I may be riding a new horse now (this PC that I built last spring), but I'm no stranger to this Firefox rodeo. This Fox has bucked me before, so I am prepared. But before I reinstall Windows 7, I think I'll try another Refresh to see if Firefox refreshes back to where it was.

I wonder if anyone else has ever heard of something so screwed up?

Ed
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Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted January 30th, 2016, 3:49 pm

you cant use profiles.ini from another account in regulare usage. the linked profiles are only present in current user folder.

if you linked a profile outside user folder as "IsRelative=0" then it may possible (with suffient rights) to use a copy of profiles.ini - anyway each windows user has its own profiles.ini.

if you use palemoon on a firefox profile the profile willbe messed up - those two are complete different. another browser = another profile! same for firefox: other firefox - other profile.

your issus ia caused by mixing up profiles with browser and that means always worst case.

the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 30th, 2016, 5:19 pm

I did another Refresh within the last 1 1/2 hours and nothing has changed to the better, or for the worse.

Nope, didn't "link" those Profiles anywhere or do anything with the profiles.ini file at all. PaleMoon and SeaMonkey were both default installations, as was this Firefox installation. Firefox was default installation back in May 2015, and it got a new Profile few months ago in the limited user account; which is what got Refreshed. All my important Firefox Profiles and the other Firefox program installation are on a different physical drive, that gets an daily automatic backup to yet another physical hard drive, where I also keep the Cache for 3 Firefox Profiles; overall 4 - 250GB hard drives, reconditioned server drives ~$20 apiece.

Whatever happened was probably at the end of the Firefox Refresh and I may not have been watching when the progress meter appeared and then finished up; I saw that today and don't recall seeing that on Thursday. I was in a Windows limited user logon account and didn't have any problems that would have alerted me to a problem after the Refresh was done. I run this PC 24/7/365 (with a UPS to handle line power outages) and never even switch to the Admin account unless I need to update an application like Flash; but the last time I updated Flash I did an uninstall and re-installation of Flash and that was on Jan 19, 2016 - 9 days before when this happened. The only other program I installed this month was GIMP 2.8.16 on 1-4-2016 and that did need a re-boot to complete the installation.

The user account I was using on the day before the Refresh looked and worked the same afterwards and even today - I suspected nothing before I started poking around in AppData/Roaming/Mozilla and then opened Troubleshooting Information to basically "see" that something was amiss - the Profile running in the limited user account was sitting in Admin/AppData/Roaming/Mozilla and the other Profiles that were appearing in the Profile Manager were there too. And most everything else in AppData has flip-flopped between Admin and Limited User account; AppData for PaleMoon and SeaMonkey, BlueGriffon, and Libre Office.

I don't really think that Firefox and that Refresh was the whole cause or only factor, but as close as I can figure something related to the Firefox Refresh triggered something in Windows to swap either labeling of the Logon Accounts or something similar. I probably would have spotted it a day earlier, the day after this happened, if I ever shut-down my PC when I slept.
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LoudNoise
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Post Posted January 30th, 2016, 7:56 pm

Something I am not clear on. Has the Windows Admin account become the limited account and the limited account become the admin? Or is this a matter of the mixing Firefox profiles?
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the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 30th, 2016, 10:15 pm

The Admin account has become the Limited user account and the Limited user account is now the Admin account.

The most noticeable difference is that the everyday Limited account now shows Log Off Administrator ... and I missed seeing that due to rarely using the Windows Start button. The Desktop wallpaper didn't change nor did the layout and number of Desktop shortcuts.

And the craziest part of this is that in the past I have screwed Firefox up so often when playing with Profiles and at times I did it on purpose just to see what would happen "if I did this or did that". But overall I was using Firefox as it was intended with profiles.in file untouched and the desktop shortcut with nothing changed or added to the Target line. And used the buiIt-in Profile Manager when I created one new Profile back in August (the last time I cleaned up back to a default Profile), I try to keep the Default Profile that way so I can see what the average everyday user would see, But over the course of a few months I "test" too many newly found extensions that I later uninstall.
So on Thursday I decided to do a Refresh for the first time ever to clean out whatever prefs didn't get removed when uninstalling those add-ons. And I never did the Refresh before because if only works with the Default Profile which I use so seldom and when I do use it it's usually only for a few minutes to look at something it that Profile. No other Profiles show the Refresh Firefox... button in Troubleshooting Information; I haven't seen it that often and said WTF - do it.

I have seen a lot of complaints this week about Refresh in Firefox 44.0 losing data for many users, far more postings than usual, and since I was still on 43.0.4 I figured Refresh was safe to use - but I found out differently. Oh well, nothing really lost except for a day or so the format C:/ and reinstall Windows which is about a 7 minute totally automated process. Then install the other applications and it was only an 8 months accumulation of programs I missed having and used on my previous PC. The other 2 Profiles that I have been using with the latest release version are safe in a remote folder on the D:/ drive and still work as I set them up. And the ESR version along with Firefox Portable are on the D:/ drive, too. Each with their own Profiles tucked inside the Program Files folder; Portable by the way it is made and ESR via opening the "code" file in the installer and having 7-Zip drop it into a pre-made folder; then creating a Profile/Profile#/ folder and using -Profile on first launch to create a Profile in that folder. "I dunt need no stinkin Profile Manager." And I use a custom user.js that sets certain prefs before I start Firefox the first time, including having the Cache file on the F:/ drive so that the C:/ and D:/ don't fragment as badly as they normally would.

Ed
Last edited by the-edmeister on February 4th, 2016, 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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therube

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Post Posted January 31st, 2016, 12:48 pm

The Admin account has become the Limited user account and the Limited user account is now the Admin account.

I don't see how that can happen - unless you did it (which you can).

the everyday Limited account now shows Log Off Administrator

Where do you see that, "Log Off Administrator"?


If you were using "Run as Admin", I could see where things could get confusing.
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r25479586-
https://forums.informaction.com/viewtop ... 752#p20752
http://www.pcqanda.com/dc/dcboard.php?a ... _id=522696
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.19) Gecko/20110420 SeaMonkey/2.0.14 Pinball CopyURL+ FetchTextURL FlashGot NoScript

the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 31st, 2016, 5:40 pm

I'm still scratching my head over this. Just doing a Refresh which is basically creating a new Profile, putting some data in the new Profile and saving the rest to a folder ("Old Firefox Data") on the desktop, including extensions. I did not know that logon user accounts can be changed from limited to admin and vice versa. That might explain what happened.

"Where do you see that, "Log Off Administrator"?"
Windows button lower-left corner the start popup menu above "Shut Down". Used to "fast switch" user accounts; works much better in 7 than it did in XP.

"If you were using "Run as Admin",..."
No, not purposely using "Run as Administrator" - but now that you ask that box may have appeared asking for the Admin Password right before the desktop shortcuts reappeared.

----------------------------------------

One thing that I neglected to mention, was that just prior to the "timer" / "progress bar" window appearing - like "completing the Refresh please wait" - all the desktop shortcuts flashed off and then only some reappeared, possibly not in the exact order they were in. The Admin logon password may have appeared then; so iic I typed in the password. That would have been when the limited account was changed to being an admin account, I suppose. And I think the "zoom level" switch from 125% (limited setting) to 100% (admin) and then back to 125%. Then the desktop icons "flashed" into their correct position and the missing icons repopulated in the correct arrangement.

No problems experienced after that and I didn't come to realize that a "change" had happened for another 2 days. I stumbled across this situation while poking about in the AppData - Profile folders while helping another user with their question about Profiles.

Thanks for your input, I'm going to pursue this further. And I found this via a quick search - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/10 ... hange.html - I don't seem to have the menu item for "Change your account type" in the "Admin" account. Strange ...
Last edited by the-edmeister on February 4th, 2016, 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LoudNoise
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Post Posted January 31st, 2016, 6:43 pm

It appears that Tiny 7 is a pirated copy of Windows 7. Moving to locked. Use some sense Ed.
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LoudNoise
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Post Posted February 3rd, 2016, 9:59 pm

bump
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Daifne
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Post Posted February 4th, 2016, 7:47 am

Moved to Moz Tech

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