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Sync Scrambled Bookmarks: How to Unscramble?

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Clueless in Seattle

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Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 10:18 am

I'm running Firefox ESR 45.6.0 on three old hand-me-down computers: A PC with Windows 7 Home, A PC with Windows XP Pro and and an antique laptop with Windows XP Home.

For the last few years I've been using Firefox Sync to keep my bookmarks synchronized between all three of my computers and it's been a quite a while since I've had any problems with it.

But in the last couple of days my bookmarks have gotten scrambled and just keep getting more and more scrambled up.

So this morning I disconnected Firefox Sync on all three computers and then looked at the bookmarks on each computer to try to find the least corrupted set.

Fortunately I seldom run Firefox on the old laptop, because that laptop is so old that it nearly crashes trying to run Firefox. I say "fortunately" because it turns out that the laptop still has what appears to be a nearly intact set of my original bookmarks from a few days ago.

I've Googled around trying to find instructions for how to upload that set of bookmarks to the Firefox Sync server and then force a download of that set to my other two computers. I've found lots of threads that offer solutions to similar problems, but these threads contain conflicting advice and I'm having trouble understanding them because the instructions are so complicated.

I'd be grateful if someone reading this could point me to a web page with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions suitable for an old man like me with worsening cognitive deficits.

P.S. In the meantime I think I'll export my bookmarks from the laptop to a file and then import that file into the bookmarks on the two PCs. That way, at least, I'll have the same set of bookmarks on all three computers.

P.P.S. And then, I think I'll change my password on my Firefox Sync account. I seem to recall from a similar SNAFU a few years ago, that changing my password will wipe out the messed up passwords on the Firefox Sync server.
Will in Seattle
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dfoulkes

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Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 11:50 am

P.S. In the meantime I think I'll export my bookmarks from the laptop to a file and then import that file into the bookmarks on the two PCs. That way, at least, I'll have the same set of bookmarks on all three computers.

Sorry... can't help you with the Sync thing... don't use it...

But... as mentioned above...you are using the term 'import' ... so, I was just reminding you that if you 'import' your bookmarks into those other computers it will 'add' them to the current bookmarks that you have in them...thus duplicating your bookmarks.

If I were going to do what you are planning... in those two other computers... I'd first delete all bookmarks from them so that all bookmarks are gone and then do the import part.... know what I mean?
As you can see she's (The CAT) always alert and on the prowl for Meoware !!

the-edmeister

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Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 12:17 pm

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... intenance/

Try running Places Maintenance on all three computers to see if the Places database is corrupt and causing your bookmarks to be scrambled.



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Clueless in Seattle

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Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 1:10 pm

dfoulkes wrote:...you are using the term 'import' ... so, I was just reminding you that if you 'import' your bookmarks into those other computers it will 'add' them to the current bookmarks that you have in them...thus duplicating your bookmarks.

If I were going to do what you are planning... in those two other computers... I'd first delete all bookmarks from them so that all bookmarks are gone and then do the import part.... know what I mean?


Thanks for that heads up, dfoulkes! I'm afraid the distinction between "import" and "restore" was lost on me.

I already tried to "import" my bookmarks from the good set exported from the laptop, but the process seemed to go south on me. I received a "Warning: Unresponsive script" pop up with this text:
A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, open the script in the debugger, or let the script continue.

Script: chrome://browser/content/places/editBookmarkOverlay.js:1111


I'm afraid my ill-informed efforts to fix this problem on my own only seem to be making things worse. So I'll try to be patient and follow the instructions I receive here. My next step is to install and run the Places add-on on all three computers, per the instructions of the-edmeister.
Will in Seattle
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Clueless in Seattle

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Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 6:25 pm

I'm afraid I couldn't resist fiddling around a bit, so I looked at the list of backups in Library>Import & Backup>Restore and picked a likely suspect from a couple of days ago and tried restoring it.

The program repeatedly gave me that "Warning: Unresponsive script" pop up with this text:
"A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, open the script in the debugger, or let the script continue.

"Script: chrome://browser/content/places/editBookmarkOverlay.js:1111"

Which required me to repeatedly click on the "Continue" button. But after several repetitions of this tedious cycle, voilà! I saw that my bookmarks had indeed been restored to their prior state.

So I now have on the Windows 7 PC what appears to be a complete set of my bookmarks from a couple of days ago.

I immediately saved a .json back-up file of these bookmarks to my desktop and will copy it to my other two computers for safety.

Now, what I'd like to do is completely delete the entire list of old auto backups so that the bad back-ups won't crop up again. How do I do that?

What I'm after is a completely blank slate so that I can restore the good set of bookmarks that I've just saved.

What would happen if I were to close Firefox and then delete or move places.sqlite? Would Firefox create a new blank one the next time I run it? Then could I restore the good set of bookmarks from the .json file that I just saved?

BTW, I installed the Places Maintenance addon on all three computers and ran it on all three, and it seemed to give a clean bill of health on all my machines.
Will in Seattle
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dfoulkes

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Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 9:39 pm

Now, what I'd like to do is completely delete the entire list of old auto backups so that the bad back-ups won't crop up again. How do I do that?

What I'm after is a completely blank slate so that I can restore the good set of bookmarks that I've just saved.

What would happen if I were to close Firefox and then delete or move places.sqlite? Would Firefox create a new blank one the next time I run it? Then could I restore the good set of bookmarks from the .json file that I just saved?


Removing the json backup files is no diff. that removing any Windows file... I would close Firefox and either delete the files or create a folder... maybe named (Old json) and move them into that folder... and then delete that folder after you know all is good.

As for removing your Places.sqlite file... yes, you could delete or move it... but that file also contains all of your browsing history... so, if you don't need the browsing history... do your thing with it.
As you can see she's (The CAT) always alert and on the prowl for Meoware !!

Clueless in Seattle

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Post Posted January 11th, 2017, 10:34 am

Of course! I wouldn't have to delete Places.sqlite; I could just move it to a different folder. Duh!

Thanks for pointing out the obvious to me, dfoulkes.
Will in Seattle
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LIMPET235
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Post Posted January 11th, 2017, 11:03 am

Will,
Just a FWIW...

It's always best just to either "re-name" a file or move it elsewhere, say to the desktop, rather than deleting it, as df mentioned.
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Clueless in Seattle

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Post Posted January 11th, 2017, 11:51 am

Thanks for that reminder, LIMPET235. Of course I should have thought of something as basic as that, I've been playing with computers since the mid 80s when I used to run CP/M on a trio of Kaypros, but I'm afraid the onset of old age is taking a toll on my memory.

I appreciate having you guys looking over my shoulder to help keep me from making too many unrecoverable blunders.
Will in Seattle
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LIMPET235
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Post Posted January 11th, 2017, 12:07 pm

Hey. Don't knock old age. (I'm over 70, so this stuff keeps the mind active.)
It's just another stage of life & the learning curve just carries on.
Plus, the KB articles & a heap of Bookmarks help a little as well.
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RadioYachting. Conficker Test. (Always choose the "Custom" Install.)

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