Transferring Program & Bookmark Files Via External Enclosure?

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Thread Starter
Mar 28, 2008
Hello, this might be a kind of odd question, so let me give you a little background.

Four months ago my old laptop basically fell apart. There were too many things physically wrong with it to repair it, but the hard drive was still in perfect condition.

I recently gave up on fixing it and just bought a new laptop. I'd like to get all the data off of that laptop though, if possible. Most of the data -like pictures, videos, music and the like- have already been transferred through my external enclosure, but certain files are somewhat more difficult to just swap over from one drive to another, since the second drive is accessed through an enclosure rather than another system.

Specifically, I'd like to be able to transfer the file containing all of my FireFox bookmarks from the other hard drive, but I can't seem to find the proper file to import/export from. When I tried opening Firefox from that drive -I have not yet installed it here yet for this reason- it lists the bookmarks as blank.

Will I still be able to get the bookmarks from that drive, or no?

As for the programs, can I copy them over to the Program Files folder on this system, and have them work just fine, or will I likely need to re-install them as well? I mean like internet games, instant messengers and flash games.

To be more specific, I tried copying over a flash game, but when I opened it here, it opened as a fresh start without the saved data.

And could I copy AIM over, so as not to lose the personal settings, or the list of screen names -I used a lot, and may not remember all of them.

Sorry if these are stupid questions. While I'm at it, a more general question. What's the current best media player, or codecs? I need to re-download media players and codecs to play the many videos I had saved on my other hard drive. Various formats from .avi to .ogg.

Thank you.
Aug 1, 2003
All programs will need to be re-installed in the new system.

For Firefox bookmarks, go to Bookmarks, Organize, File menu, Export to create a file that can be imported to the other system.


Thread Starter
Mar 28, 2008
Um, do you mean go to bookmarks from the program folder...? Because I already told you, if I open up Firefox as a program from the external drive, it doesn't show any bookmarks at all. So exporting from that stage would be completely pointless. What am I missing, or doing wrong or whatever?
Aug 7, 2007
If you have any bookmarks on the current firefox install on the new drive, you will need to export them to save them before doing the rest of this.

on the old drive, navigate to this folder:
X:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\??????.default
Where X is the drive letter of the drive in the enclousure
username is the Username from the old laptop -- this may be owner on some OEM systems
?????? will be a random set of characters, different on every system.

In that folder will be a file, bookmarks.html. Right click that file and choose copy

Now, on the New drive, navigate to X:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\??????.default
Change the 3 colored items as needed (X will likely be C, etc).
With this new folder highlighted, click Edit | Paste, and say yes to overwrite the file.
Now if you exported any bookmarks, you can import them back in.

Other files you may want to copy are
  • prefs.js
  • the entire chrome folder
    These store interface preferences
  • hostperm.1
    Blocked/allowed cookies (this is a plain text file, so can be merged with the current one if you've made changes on the new system)
  • signon.txt or signon2.txt and key3.db
    saved passwords
Another option is to copy the entire contents of the old ??????.default folder to the new ??????.default folder.
This will completely delete anything you have added on the new system though.

Any programs will need to be re-installed. For AIM, your buddy list is stored on AOL's servers, so it will still be there. Haven't used it in quite a while, so I'm not sure about copying over other settings.


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