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Lost Bookmarks, for the Third Time

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Post Posted May 11th, 2005, 9:49 pm

craigevil wrote:Anyone that is not completely new to computers knows to backup important data
You've been doin' this far to long to really believe that...lol!! :)

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Post Posted May 11th, 2005, 10:34 pm

Anonymous wrote:
craigevil wrote:Anyone that is not completely new to computers knows to backup important data
You've been doin' this far to long to really believe that...lol!! :)


OK they should know. Windows should have a BIG popup that reminds you to save data.

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Post Posted May 11th, 2005, 11:11 pm

This is absolutely insane.

Before you claim that your bookmarks are missing, prove that you know how to search for them.

Power users, please verify something for me. I have a 5 station network at home and a 20 station at the office. I have just checked every machine - does anyone else find a <u>bookmarks.<b>bak</b></u> file in their profile folder? I noticed that some in this thread have mentioned it.

On every one of my machines this exists, and compares bit-by-bit with the HTML file, same date and timestamp as well. I'm not certain if it's a common program we have installed or IF, as rumor had it a few months back, that FireFox automatically creates a backup of your bookmarks.

I suspect the latter, but would like someone who <u>knows</u> what they're doing to verify it.

I say "knows" because from reading this thread, it is quite apparent that many are in denial about what's happening. "I've tried every suggestion and they're still lost" - c'mon, you've backed them up with the extension offered and they're still gone? PBCAK (Problem Between Chair And Keyboard).

So I would like someone, anyone, who can find their bookmarks.html file to see if the bookmarks.bak file is on their system along with it.

My suspicion is that when FireFox closes, it writes the Bookmarks.html file to Bookmarks.bak. That way, if FF closes unexpectedly, it wouldn't have time to write the BAK file, and if there were data missing from the HTML file, it should be present in the BAK file. A simple rename procedure should do the trick - provided you had the wherewithall to find your bookmarks in the first place.

I suspect the main value of the Bookmark backup extension is that the user gets to decide where to put their backup - so they can find it. The fact is, there already is a backup (if I'm right about the BAK file)

Finally, I have never backed up my bookmarks with any extensions. I have found that if you always start with Profile Manager, #1, you get a good sense of profiles and having different bookmark files, and #2, if you name them properly, you will always know when FF is running in the background because Profile Manager won't start, it'll just launch your last profile in a new instance.
The nice thing about standards in computing is that there are so many from which to choose.

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Post Posted May 11th, 2005, 11:30 pm

Allright I've been using Firefox for about 2 years and have never had a problem; ever. But yesterday after booting up my PC (No Crash before hand) I opened firefox and half my bookmarks were gone, no biggie maybe I did something. Now about ten minutes ago I turn on my PC again and now ALL my bookmarks are missing along with all the ones firefox comes with (mozillazine, etc.). Now I have No extras on firefox whatsoever, just version 1.0.3. plain and simple. I scanned for viruses and spyware and all that and nothing. I checked my .bak file and it is the same exact thing as my bookmarks.html file. It says

"<!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1>
<!-- This is an automatically generated file.
It will be read and overwritten.
DO NOT EDIT! -->
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<TITLE>Bookmarks</TITLE>
<H1 LAST_MODIFIED="1115877917">Bookmarks</H1>

<DL><p>
<DT><H3 ADD_DATE="1115875909" LAST_MODIFIED="1115876937" PERSONAL_TOOLBAR_FOLDER="true" ID="rdf:#$h812r">Bookmarks Toolbar Folder</H3>"

and thats it. I searched for any backups or misplaced files and found nothing. I have no clue what could have caused this other than a bug in Fx itself :/

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 12:47 am

Found a new culprit. From the Linux Questions Forum:
"Firefox 1.0.3 Bookmarks Problem ( post #1)

Hi!

I've searched through the threads here and found many people who also had problems with missing bookmarks in Firefox. However my problem is slightly different. Therefore I've opened a new thread. I hope someone can help me troubleshoot the problem I'm facing.

My Problem: (I'm using SuSE 9.1 btw.)

1. Updated Firefox to version 1.0.3 using YaST.
2. Everything was fine until a few days later, my bookmarks disappeared. There were no crashes or lockup with the computer the day before.
3. A quick check at ~/.mozilla/firefox/o1rui04j.default
showed that both the 'bookmarks.html' and 'bookmarks.bak' were still there.
4. Clicked on 'Manage Bookmarks' and found to my surprise that all the bookmarks has appeared again.
5. Closed 'Manage Bookmarks' and found that all the bookmarks except those in 'Bookmarks Toolbar Folder' were listed on the browser again. However clicking the addresses on the bookmarks produced no response.
6. The only way I can resolve this problem is to delete the profile folder. (o1rui04j.default)
7. But this problem reproduces itself every few days after I deleted the old profile.

What I Found Today :

- After the bookmarks disappeared for the umpteenth time today after I've yet again deleted the old profile 2 days ago, I did this:

1. Left the default profile alone.
2. Created a new profile - everything was functioning under the new profile.
3. Copied every file from the default into the new profile folder one by one and tested firefox using the new profile each time after a new file has been copied into it.
i.e: Copied history.dat from default to new. Opened firefox - everything ok.
Copied prefs.js from default to new. Opened firefox - everything ok.
..... and so on.
4. And I finally found the culprit - <b>localstore.rdf
- The moment I copied this file into the new profile folder, the bookmarks disappeared. And when I deleted 'localstore.rdf' the bookmarks appeared again.</b>

So, can anyone please tell me why this is happening?

Thanks in advance."
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... did=322621


Has anyone else seen this?

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 12:57 am

Yeah, you shouldn't have to backup bookmarks.
Bill Buckner shouldn't have gotten out of bed on Oct. 25, 1986, etc.

Rule 1: Know your machine - It would be nice if everything you ever owned ran smoothly, never broke, never screwed up, never did anything but treat you like the gorgeous man/woman you are. Sometimes it's not your fault when you're slapped around like an ugly, spent piece of trash. Then again, maybe you haven't looked in the mirror in a while.

Rule 2: Backup your crap - You are nothing but foolish if you take any and all of your data for granted.

Rule 3: Keep your ass down on a ground ball - This should have been drilled into your skull during T-Ball.

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 6:58 am

YrbkMgr,
Yes, Fx keeps a backup bookmarks file, and the handling of files seems to be pretty robust. As an experiment, I deleted bookmarks.html. Fx simply created another. The user would never even know. I tried terminating Fx and pulling the plug on the computer while Fx was updating new bookmarks. Every time I tried this, I got an extra temporary file, but bookmarks were still intact.

craigevil,
This is very interesting. The problem of intermittently appearing bookmarks sounds very much like this one. <i>It is important to notice that in both cases the bookmarks were present, and the files were intact the whole time.</i>

YrbkMgr

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 8:05 am

AnotherGuest. wrote: As an experiment, I deleted bookmarks.html. Fx simply created another.


Yes, that what FF does when there is no bookmarks.html file for a specific profile. But I'm not sure that addresses the issue.

There is a boatload of confusion. If, for whatever reason, FF loads a new profile, it will <u>appear</u> as though your bookmarks are gone, because it loaded/created a new profile - and with each new profile, a default set of bookmarks is created, as you've demonstrated indirectly.

The <u>real</u> issue for most users is not lost bookmarks - it's that FF is sometimes left as a running process.

This causes Firefox to force Profile Manager to the screen. Many users aren't familiar with this, and just like the "Do you want to allow ActiveX to run" in IE, they click "okay". This effectively creates a new profile. This makes it look like your bookmarks are missing - and functionally, they are - from this new profile.

From what I've read here, Profile Manager isn't always loaded, it's just a new profile that is created and "everything's gone". That's a clear indication that FF created a new profile. Using Profile Manager to resolve the issue is usually the quickest way to get back all of the old settings.

That's one of the reasons why I always recommend using Profile Manager to start FF.
The nice thing about standards in computing is that there are so many from which to choose.

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 8:12 am

YrbkMgr wrote:That's one of the reasons why I always recommend using Profile Manager to start FF.


I always do that. Basically so I can test extensions to see if they will work without problems.

Only takes a couple extra seconds. That way you know exactly which profile is loading.

YrbkMgr

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 8:18 am

Exactly Craig. When a site doesn't work, I check it with a plain jane "as installed" profile. If it works, I know it's a misbehaving theme or extension or a rogue setting. In the process I've been able to tell that I've just launched FF with it still running as a process. I can close it out, and kill the process, and lo and behold, back in business.
The nice thing about standards in computing is that there are so many from which to choose.

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 8:25 am

Folks, YrbkMgr's explanation three messages above is the clearest I have seen. It should be required reading.

My experiment does not attempt to reproduce the cause of most bookmark "loss". It was intended to show just how hard it is to destroy the bookmark files accidentally.
Last edited by AnotherGuest. on May 12th, 2005, 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

Dan_Francis

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 8:27 am

I agree that new users' lack of awareness of Profile Manager (and that while it appears as an options in Thunderbird 'all programs' path but NOT in Firefox) causes a problem. However, always starting Firefox via Profile Manager is unnecessary and a sheer waste of time and would certainly not be necessary if the all programs path gave the option, or users were told how to create a PM desktop icon. I have used (like countless others) virually every version of Firefox, and count on the fingers of one hand the number of times the 'Default Profile is in use, create a new one' problem has popped up. Drawing attention to this issue, by say including a specific help item in the 'Help > Help Contents' task bar option is a 50/50 question - many users get put off by being given the heads up on a possible issue.

Either way, the importance of backing up of data is so old its ridiculous having to persuade anybody (new IT users or not, its their responsibility to adopt at least a cursory level of maturity when using a piece of technology just a tiny bit more complex than a Microwave Oven!) of its necessity!
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craigevil

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 8:47 am

Actually when you open the profile manager there is a little box that says "don't ask at startup" if you leave that unchecked every time you start Firefox the profile manager pops up. It takes about 3 more seconds to open Firefox that route and you know which profile is being used.

Personally I have only had problems twice. But for some reason others keep having the same issues over and over again.

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 9:06 am

Bookmarks deleted - Why - Please advise.
M A F F U T O O

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Post Posted May 12th, 2005, 9:14 am

maffutoo wrote:Bookmarks deleted - Why - Please advise.


Read this whole thread, make sure you have the Firefox extension 'Bookmark Back Up 0.3.3' installed and don't expect to get spoon-fed everytime you have a problem - especially since you have given precisely *zero* information that might enable anyone to help you! :)
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