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installs.ini - must I move it ?

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toadisland

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 6:50 am

When I move a profile and profiles.ini from one machine to another, must I also move the "installs.ini" file. I don't know what it does, its purpose, and I don't see it in my Thunderbird app-data.

So this is a multi-question: what is it, what does it do, do i need it, shall i transfer it? 8-[

WaltS48

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 6:59 am

toadisland wrote:When I move a profile and profiles.ini from one machine to another, must I also move the "installs.ini" file. I don't know what it does, its purpose, and I don't see it in my Thunderbird app-data.

So this is a multi-question: what is it, what does it do, do i need it, shall i transfer it? 8-[


Can you open Firefox on the other machine with the transferred profile?

Does it create a new installs.ini file?

It is for the new Dedicated profiles per Firefox installation feature.
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toadisland

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 7:14 am

Thanks for the timely response.
Not knowing about the "installs.ini" file, I've been transferring it.
So I'm asking if I need it.
For your second question - about creation:
there seems to be no second "installs" file and I do not know if the original was modified.

toadisland

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 7:18 am

oops, yes, the transfer is good, works well, moving the profile folder and both ini files

toadisland

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 7:53 am

Apparently, If I have only a single Firefox version on my computer, the "installs.ini" file is superfluous ??
I move profiles from one machine to another to keep "user info" updated as i move locations.

jscher2000

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 9:41 am

toadisland wrote:Apparently, If I have only a single Firefox version on my computer, the "installs.ini" file is superfluous ??
I move profiles from one machine to another to keep "user info" updated as i move locations.

It seems that the information in installs.ini is also present in profiles.ini (search for [Install for the corresponding blocks). So probably Firefox could reconstruct a missing installs.ini from profiles.ini. But I have no idea whether it actually works that way.

toadisland

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 11:49 am

Thanks. I did look at "installations profiles" as suggested above. I think it doesn't apply to me or to what I'm doing. Until I get a definite do or don't from one of you wizards, I'll just keep replacing both ini files when I replace my user profile directory.

the-edmeister

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 6:49 pm

toadisland wrote:Thanks for the timely response.
Not knowing about the "installs.ini" file, I've been transferring it.
So I'm asking if I need it.
For your second question - about creation:
there seems to be no second "installs" file and I do not know if the original was modified.


IMO, you don't need it- due to the Windows Registry ID no longer matching the actual Firefox versions which are installed on the other operating system it just won't work on a different Windows operating system. I haven't messed around in the Windows Registry for close to 20 years so my limited knowledge is quite dated, but Firefox uses the Registry ID's for "linking" Profiles with the applicable Firefox installation thru the installs.ini file.

Contents of my installs.ini file:
Code: Select all
[DD4B00EEFFB46EA8]
Default=Profiles/4htwhpvs.08-25-19_New-custom
Locked=1

The [DD4B00EEFFB46EA8] is the ID of the Firefox installation for the "donor". IMO, if installs.ini was "needed" the Profile wouldn't work with only the the Profile being in the profiles.ini alone. And it is in the the profiles.ini file in addition to the installs.ini file.

So, without editing the Registry ID for the installation that Windows uses all that happens is that Firefox won't work as intended for selecting the appropriate Firefox program installation as it relates to the related Profile. No biggie, you just launch it in a different manner.
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toadisland

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 7:58 pm

I don't understand all that re involving the windows registry, but I've copied the same profile directory and the same (two) ini files to a Dell Win 10, an older Dell Win 10 that used to be a Win 7, to a fairly new HP Win 10, and to an older HP Win 7 laptop. they all seem to work the same, act the same, do the same things.

Thanks, Edmeister, I believe you've helped me before.

dickvl

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Post Posted October 6th, 2019, 10:23 pm

Installs.ini stores data that is used to lock a specific Firefox installation against a (dedicated) profile.
Profiles.ini stores this data as well, but profiles.ini can be rewritten by older Firefox versions that do not support profile locking.
If this happens then installs.ini is used to restore this data in profiles.ini.
There is normally no need to copy installs.ini because folder hashes on another computer might be different and best is to let Firefox create a new lock file.
In case of issues with Firefox accepting a profile, you can remove compatibility.ini in this profile.

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