wtf firefox just deletet 15gb on my disk!!!

User Help for Mozilla Firefox

User avatar
Posts: 238
Joined: December 13th, 2003, 6:55 am
Location: Canada

Post Posted May 9th, 2004, 12:36 pm

Anonymous wrote:For clarity's sake, the "bug" in question works like this (and yes, I've tested this)
If you say yes to deleting C:\program files\ I can't say I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for you.

But this probably confuses some people because when you uninstall one program, which is in it's own folder, it doesn't make sense for the uninstaller to wipe out all the programs on your PC. If you just quickly see the C:\Program Files listing, and click yes, the person might not have noticed that there wasn't a directory listed after that. Also, most people would actually trust that an uninstaller for one program would actually leave the rest of the system intact. How silly of them to think that, right?

Personally, I'm more disappointed in the complete lack of acknowledgement or response from the developers about this than the bug itself. The installer version of 0.8 should have been pulled from the site as soon as this was discovered.
Firefox: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050317 Firefox/1.0.2
Thunderbird: version 1.0 (20041206)


Post Posted May 9th, 2004, 4:37 pm

mastercontrol wrote:
Personally, I'm more disappointed in the complete lack of acknowledgement or response from the developers about this than the bug itself. The installer version of 0.8 should have been pulled from the site as soon as this was discovered.

Agreed. This is totally unacceptable and irresponsible.

Posts: 520
Joined: October 23rd, 2003, 8:32 pm

Post Posted May 9th, 2004, 9:36 pm

Most Firefox users will not have any issues with this though I agree that it can be very nasty.

There are two major things that need to happen to reproduce
1) you need to do a custom install with a non-standard directory.
2) you need to uninstall and say yes to a message box that says

not all files were uninstalled from the installation directory:
drive:\dir of Firefox install
Do you wan to completely delete this directory?

The easy way to check if this is a problem is for you to check where firefox.exe is located. Open a search window (win key + f or start >> search for files and folders) search for firefox.exe when it finds it right click on firefox.exe and choose open containing folder. If windows can not find firefox.exe make sure that windows is searching your entire hard drive and that it is searching hidden files and folders.

If firefox.exe is in a folder with ONLY the following files and folders then there is no problem.


If Firefox.exe is mixed in with other folders such as Internet Explorer or is directly in program files or windows folder then you could have this happen to you. To avoid this happening I recommend uninstalling Firefox but make sure that you say NO to

not all files were uninstalled from the installation directory:
drive:\dir of Firefox install
Do you wan to completely delete this directory?

Then reinstall if desired and make sure that Firefox is installed to a subdirectory.



Post Posted May 9th, 2004, 9:42 pm

wow wee...guess i'm a bit late for the zip too...shit!!


User avatar
Posts: 28
Joined: February 11th, 2004, 4:44 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 2:12 am

*sigh* I hate to make this thread even begin to pop back into the most recent.... There's alot of fear and speculation and other nasty stuff going on here.. I'm going to try to make the situation clearer for those who aren't sure what bug affects what and if they're going to lose data or not.
This bug has been fixed, it dealt with the Firefox installer, which, to clean up the install path and prevent alot of the known bugs dealing with installing an old firebird/firefox build onto another one, emptied the install folder, this feature, was known as Safe Upgrade.. and was disabled in the Firefox 0.8 installer. The bug itself, was fixed for 0.8.0+ nightlies on 2004-03-16.
This is the Uninstaller side of Bug 228672, this bug only happens IF and ONLY IF, you installed into C:\Program Files (or another folder where the application is now mixed with another apps and data), it can only occur if you originally did a Custom Install, as by default, the install location is safe, C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox.
To avoid this problem, be *sure* you explicitly state the full path, including \Mozilla Firefox if you choose to do a custom install.. the Installer does NOT do this for you.
A simple way to check and see see if you're in danger of losing your files via this bug, is to check the install path, if firefox appears to be mixed with non-firefox stuff.. then don't use the uninstaller. Otherwise you're safe.
Also, since it hasn't been mentioned, the uninstaller *does* prompt you if you want to remove everything in the folder, if you're unsure, choose no. The uninstaller will then, not kill any of your data or other programs. (See Bug 233625 Comment #5)
Tip: Never install an application in a folder not by itself. It's not a recommended practice.
This installer/uinstaller bug, has a very specific set of circumstances that it will affect you. It's a windows only bug, and deals with installing firefox after a windows update, or other application that has set a registry key for pending file rename operations.. The issue is, somehow, the installer/uinstaller corrupt other entries in that key when adding/removing the one they use.
Workaround: Always be sure to reboot prior to installing Mozilla, if you have installed another program or update, that tells you you need to reboot when it completes.
This bug is blocking both the Mozilla Suite 1.7 and Firefox 0.9 releases.

A personal reminder, nightlies are experimental builds released by for testing, you should not install them for anything other than testing, and they can and in some cases will, eat your data. Luckly enough, most of the time these builds are just buggy with no critical errors, but they're auto-generated based on whatever the state of the codebase was in at the time, as long as it could build. It seems alot of people are now using nightlies instead of milestones for non-testing purposes, perhaps because of a need to have the latest and greatest? Please use caution, and remember these builds can do alot of strange stuff. Including eat your entire hard disk without warning.

I hope this post helps some people understand exactly what the bugs are, and how to avoid them.
-- Wolf

Posts: 16224
Joined: March 9th, 2003, 8:12 am

Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 2:20 am

Thanks for the very usefull information.

In this case the really nasty bug is/was in the 0.8 Milestone. After that there have been new bugs, perhaps not that serious but still - people have lost information due to them.

I can understand that people make misstakes. It is understandable in any project. The fact that a bug of this kind is still in there and the lack of information, however is not professional. In my opinion.

Posts: 71
Joined: January 28th, 2003, 2:40 am

Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 2:23 am

Thanks for the informative reply Wolf, I think that clears a lot of things up :)


User avatar
Posts: 14455
Joined: November 27th, 2003, 4:50 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 9:17 am

Is the bug where there is no 'new folder' button in the installer, when running under Win 98 listed at all?
"All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one" - Occam's Razor
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/5.0
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20110624 Thunderbird/5.0

Posts: 2
Joined: May 11th, 2004, 11:58 am

Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 1:29 pm

Late to the party, it's not just Mozilla. The original CD v1.00 of Half-life had a buggy version of Sierra utlilities. Removing Sierra utilities before uninstalling Half-life deleted not just c:\games\half-life but also c:\games. However, Half-life didn't have the warning, it just did it.
Please do not feed the Chrispy.


Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 2:08 pm

Let me see if I've got this right. This is a bug present in the official version 0.8 of Firefox? You can uninstall Firefox safely so long as you say 'no' to the removal of the installation directory at the end of the uninstall and just delete this manually? Or is the uninstall not safe in any way at all? Will the proper uninstall remove the necessary registry stuff where a complete manual delete wouldn't? o_O I must admit I'm very confused by all this and am not exactly happy about having software on my machine that can do this kinda damage.


User avatar
Posts: 276
Joined: August 10th, 2003, 11:09 pm

Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 5:49 pm

The uninstall bug will only ever affect you if you have firefox installed in the same directory as other important files.


Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 8:26 pm

I posted this problem back on March 27th. almost my entire drive got wiped out. The version w/installer should be taken off download list. The zipped version works great.


Post Posted May 11th, 2004, 9:25 pm

If they don't pull the window installer from page then at least put the .zip version there too along with a clear warning of how to setup installer build and how to uninstall it properly.

The only real installer option you had before for Firebird 0.7 and earlier was from for example.

Return to Firefox Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests