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Bookmarks file keeps getting overwritten

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by Alex Ethridge, Oct 7, 2008.

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  1. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Running Windows Vista Ultimate. I have several other machines running Windows 2000 and XP and this problem does not exist on those systems.

    I need to define a custom location for the Firefox Bookmarks.html file so I went back to version 1.5.

    I uninstalled Firefox 3 and installed Firefox 1.5. Then I added the following line to the prefs.js file:

    user_pref("browser.bookmarks.file", "D:\\AC\\Netscape\\bookmarks.html");

    Problem is that every time I start Firefox and see the bookmarks, none of my bookmarks are there. An inspection of the bookmarks file at its location shows it was overwritten by a near empty bookmarks file.

    I have repeated this operation in as many ways as I know how, uninistalled and reinstalled, booted, etc. over and over in several ways and the result is the same every time. I even tried Firefox 2 and the result was the same.
     
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  3. hewee

    hewee

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  4. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Thanks but that isn't what's happening here. It is simply being overwritten by a near-empty bookmatks.html file.

    I thought I had found a workaround; but, the workaround may be the cause of another oddity. I tried marking bookmarks.html "read only". It seemed to work, in that it didn't get overwritten, so I went to remove the read-only attribute and found it had already been removed, without my help.

    The oddity: After a day's use, I looked into the folder where bookmarks.html is stored and I had over 400 bookmarks files, bookmarks-1.html through bookmarks-409.html.

    I deleted them and I guess I'll just wait and see if they come back.
     
  5. hewee

    hewee

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    Wow that is odd but you sure had a lot of backups.
    In the Firefox profile where you got the bookmarks.html file you should have one other "Bookmarks.BAK File"

    It has been a long time so can't remember but when I upgraded from FF 1.5 to FF 2.0 I had a bookmarks.??? that looking at it I knew was from FF 1.5 and not being used because the date on it was older. But it was the backup like the "BAK File" is.
    So your want only one "BAK File"

    Look here too Netscape 7.x, and Mozilla 1.x Corrupt Bookmarks File
     
  6. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I have examined the bookmarks.html made by Firefox 3 and compared it to the one that Firefox 2 made and the HTML code appears to be very different. I think if I could convert the version 3 bookmarks back to the version 2 format, it might fix my problem.

    I could not find such a converter so I decided to import version 3's bookmarks into IE7 in hopes I could then import IE7's into Firefox 2.

    Didn't work. I got an error message from IE that said it was not a valid file.

    I must have hundreds of bookmarks in there, all arranged into folders. This is a real mess.
     
  7. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    It was as I suspected and wrote in the above post. Firefox 2 saw the Firefox 3 bookmarks file as invalid. I guess this because version 2 kept overwriting it.

    I went back to one of my machines that still had Firefox 3 and exported the bookmarks file to HTML format. I then placed that bookmarks file onto the machine running Firefox 2, overwriting its bookmarks file.

    It worked. I hope I don't get any subsequent surprises.

    I could have avoided all this confusion and frustration if I had known to export the Firefox 3 bookmarks to HTML in the first place, before removing it and installing version 2.
     
  8. hewee

    hewee

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    MozBackup is a good program to backup and restore with.
    http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/

    You can backup your profile or parts of it like your bookmarks.
    May be good to do as you keep playing around trying to fix things.

    What format is the bookmarks in Firefox 3?

    But lets hope you got it fixed now.

    Note on the MozBackup it makes the backups to a .pcv file.

    What's *.pcv format?

    It's a normal ZIP file. You can rename PCV to ZIP and extract files manually too.

    But you can not rename it back so if you want to open it as a zip file make a copy of your backup and rename it to a zip file.

    I have always used MozBackup before and upgrade or changing versions.
    Even backed up FF 1.5 when I went to FF 2.0 and backed 2.0 also.
    But at that time I had add-ons that I wanted and I could not get others to replace them.
    So I installed FF 1.5 over top FF 2.0 and restored the 1.5 backup and all was like nothing happen. Well add to reinstall two add-ons but still that was nothing and I had all back like I never did anything in a short time.
    I have never had any trouble with bookmarks and mine are very old because they started with netscape 3 so are about 10 years old and I just move them to the next version and then to firefox etc. Same with the cookies and passwords.
     
  9. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I have learned (not soon enough) that Firefox has changed entirely both how bookmarks are stored and how they work. I like it simple so I'll just stick with version 2 for now. With version 2, I keep my bookmarks on a user-data partition that is backed up every two hours on a scheduler so I don't need an additional backup to worry with. Also, I want all computers using the same bookmarks and the backup system takes care of keeping those files synchronized on a tight schedule--all simple and easy with Firefox 2.

    I have spent a lot of time, trouble and money getting the every-two-hour backup tweaked like I want it. And then comes along Firefox 3 and throws a monkey wrench into the works. I wish I had known about that before I loaded it.

    I could have modified my backup batch to go get those files; but, why go to that trouble when I can use version 2 and not have to worry with tweaking a new leg of the batch. Besides, it's just another thing that can go wrong and complicated synchronization scheme to develop.

    Yes, I tinker a lot and frequently worry over things that others think aren't worth the time and anguish; but, I'm a controller and I want it working like I want working. Occasionally, I have to surrender to the whims of the developers; but, not until after a long battle.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  10. eladkarako

    eladkarako

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    [on firefox 3]
    ff3 (firefox 3..) uses sql files and no longer needed the bookmarks.html, but sometimes it is still been writen to your c:\doc..\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<randomprofile.default>

    open ff3, type in "about:config" in the address bar (no commas) and press enter, if you got alert message, just click continue.
    now - type in the lower search "browser.places.importBookmarksHTML" (again no commas).
    CHANGE IT TO FALSE ! (by double clicking it..)

    now you can simply exit ff3 (changes are been saved immediately).
    open task-manager and wait for firefox.exe to disappear.
    wait 1-3 sec' and start ff3 again.

    make any changes you will on the bookmarks, just for testing, shutdown firefox and notice changes remain after firefox reopened later..
     
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