Firefox 3 bookmarks lost after unclean shutdown

Bug #241609 reported by rw on 2008-06-20
168
This bug affects 11 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox-3.0

ubuntu 8.04, firefox 3.0+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.1

Note: the following was an intentional experiment to (successfully) verify identical problems reported by
two other users at our site

a) After an unclean shutdown of the machine (by switching off the power), and subsequent removal
of the stale lock file that firefox leaves behind, firefox 3 will start up, but WITHOUT ANY BOOKMARKS.

b) Tried the suggestions listed on http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Lost+Bookmarks#Restoring_bookmark_backups
but none of them worked

c) Actually, the attempt to restore bookmark backups, as described on the aforementioned website, consistently
resulted in the error "Unable to process the backup file".

d) The box has firefox 2 installed as well, using the same profile. Firefox 2 has NO PROBLEMS at all. Thus
this is a regression only affecting firefox 3

e) I could only restore the bookmarks in firefox 3 by deleting the complete profile and restoring it from a nightly backup

The following list is the output of "diff -qr bad.firefox firefox", where bad.firefox has the non-working profile and
firefox is the good one restored from backup:
Only in firefox/b48x3vsr.default: blocklist.xml
Only in firefox/b48x3vsr.default/bookmarkbackups: bookmarks-2008-05-27.json
Only in firefox/b48x3vsr.default/bookmarkbackups: bookmarks-2008-06-11.html
Only in bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/bookmarkbackups: bookmarks-2008-06-20.html
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/bookmarkbackups/bookmarks-2008-06-20.json and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/bookmarkbackups/bookmarks-2008-06-20.json differ
Only in bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default: bookmarks_backup.html
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/Cache/_CACHE_001_ and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/Cache/_CACHE_001_ differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/Cache/_CACHE_003_ and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/Cache/_CACHE_003_ differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/Cache/_CACHE_MAP_ and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/Cache/_CACHE_MAP_ differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/compatibility.ini and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/compatibility.ini differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/compreg.dat and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/compreg.dat differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/cookies.sqlite and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/cookies.sqlite differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/extensions.cache and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/extensions.cache differ
Only in firefox/b48x3vsr.default: extensions.ini
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/extensions.rdf and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/extensions.rdf differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/history.dat and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/history.dat differ
Only in bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default: install.log
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/localstore.rdf and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/localstore.rdf differ
Only in bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default: localstore-safe.rdf
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/places.sqlite and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/places.sqlite differ
Only in bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default: places.sqlite-journal
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/prefs.js and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/prefs.js differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/secmod.db and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/secmod.db differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/urlclassifier3.sqlite and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/urlclassifier3.sqlite differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/XPC.mfasl and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/XPC.mfasl differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/xpti.dat and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/xpti.dat differ
Files bad.firefox/b48x3vsr.default/XUL.mfasl and firefox/b48x3vsr.default/XUL.mfasl differ

JohnBender (johnnyb01) wrote :

I had the same problem today, but I found an easier workaround. I simply copied the old profile folder (~/.mozilla/firefox/xyz.default) in its entirety to the same location with a new name (~/.mozilla/firefox/foobar). Then I edited the 'profiles.ini' file (located in ~/.mozilla/firefox) and replaced the old profile folder name with the new one. When I ran Firefox again, the bookmarks, address bar, and navigation buttons were all working again. (Note that if I re-edit the profiles.ini file and put the name of the old profile folder back into it, the problem recurs.)

moogle301 (moogle301) wrote :

JohnBender, i was wondering how you did that? im okay generally with computors and can fix minor problems but i have no idea what you're talking about filename replacing -wise.. i can't even find that folder or whatnot.. could you please explain?
perhaps i should just go back to firefox2 somehow and they'll reappear?
all i know is now the 'back' buttons is always grey even when i can go back by hitting 'backspace' key and there is no web address in the bar at the top, they're all blank.. i used to love firefox, then my tabs sometimes wouldn't close, and i upgraded to ff3 and now all this happens.. all my lovely bookmarks i did so much research about as to whether they'd be safe when i upgraded.. everything was so nice for a few days :(

moogle301 (moogle301) wrote :

okay i found the location through some serious googling, but copy what old folder? is this some back-up you made?
i have some json files one of which is possibly before they all disappeared but i don't know what to do
i can't believe this happened, i'd prefer firefox not have bookmarks than have a terrible bugs which deletes everything i only had record of on here...

moogle301 (moogle301) wrote :

btw to anyone else, to find the folder on vista search
%APPDATA%\Mozilla\
into the windows search folder

Christian Gunning (helmingstay) wrote :

I tried JohnBender's suggestion, and noticed that a bunch of files were owned by root. Is there any reason they should be owned by root? On a whim, I found that the following solved all the problems described above:

sudo chown -R myusername.myusername .mozilla/firefox

Christian Gunning wrote:
> I tried JohnBender's suggestion, and noticed that a bunch of files were
> owned by root. Is there any reason they should be owned by root? On a
> whim, I found that the following solved all the problems described
> above:
>
> sudo chown -R myusername.myusername .mozilla/firefox
>
>
Has any of you run firefox with sudo or su?

Does johnbenders fix everyones, btw the easiest way to tesst this is to
try with new profile by following the guide at:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MozillaTeam/Bugs

 status incomplete

--
Sincerely Yours,
    John Vivirito

https://launchpad.net/~gnomefreak
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/JohnVivirito
Linux User# 414246

Changed in firefox-3.0:
status: New → Incomplete
JohnBender (johnnyb01) wrote :

> Has any of you run firefox with sudo or su?

I was not running firefox as root (I used the Applications menu), and none of the files in my profile folder are/were owned by root.

> Does johnbenders fix everyones, btw the easiest way to tesst this is to
> try with new profile

I'm not sure if the "rename profile" wizard would do the trick or not. The weird thing was that by copying the profile folder, I'm using the *exact* same files that previously wouldn't load. This leads me to believe the bug is not in some corrupted profile files, but rather in the code reading the profile.

On that note, it may be that this bug is already fixed. I edited 'profiles.ini' again and tried running with my old (previously broken) profile. It started up with no problem, which it would not a month ago, so maybe one of the recent updates has fixed this issue... without changing my profile files. Has anyone replicated this bug recently?

rw (rwichmann) wrote :

> On that note, it may be that this bug is already fixed. I edited 'profiles.ini' again and tried running with my old (previously broken) profile.
> It started up with no problem, which it would not a month ago, so maybe one of the recent updates has fixed this issue... without
> changing my profile files. Has anyone replicated this bug recently?

I just tested it (still have the broken profile laying around...) and firefox started up fine this time.

JohnBender (johnnyb01) wrote :

Unfortunately, I just had this happen again this weekend, so it appears that the bug is not fixed. I copied the old profile and edited profiles.ini as indicated above, and everything worked with the new profile. However, I immediately shut down Firefox and tried to run it using the original (now broken) profile, and the bookmarks were still gone. I am currently running OK with the profile copy, but this indicates that the bug is still around.

It doesn't seem to happen every time there's an unclean shutdown, unfortunately. But, if anyone is interested in generating unclean shutdowns, I get one every time I use Pandora, when the Pandora tab is in the last window I close when quitting Firefox. It seems to close cleanly, but on the next run, I got the "Firefox is still running" message. So, I deleted the '.parentlock' file in the profile directory. After this, Firefox was not able to read my bookmarks; they were not deleted, since the profile directory still contained all the information to restore them.

Mark Thomas (ubuntu-firefox) wrote :

I have been experiencing the same problem.

I keep my profile on an SMB file share so I can sometimes run Firefox from Windows XP and sometimes from Ubuntu. When it occurs under Ubuntu, I can repair it by running Firefox instead from Windows XP and immediately exiting. When I open it under Ubuntu, the problem is repaired.

The next time it happens, I'll check permissions on the file share to see if I can spot the difference before and after opening under XP.

colas (colas-nahaboo-net) wrote :

It seems to have disappeared for me too (firefox 3.0.3 Ubuntu).
I could reproduce it by killing my X server with an open firefox in it.
Not anymore.

Same behavior for me, under ubuntu 8.04 AMD64, firefox 3.03, history, bookmarks were gone.

Solved by renaming profile folder and changing profile.ini.

Juan

Alexander Sack (asac) wrote :

are you using NFS for your home or even more?

clovepower (mzattera) wrote :

Happened to me today as well.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv:1.9.0.3) Gecko/2008092510 Ubuntu/8.04 (hardy) Firefox/3.0.3

Ubuntu 8.04.1 AMD64 Desktop Linux set 2.6.24-21-generic

No bookmarks, empty bookmark bar, and any attempt to restore it (form firefox backup or JSON file) failed.

This was NOT after a unclean shutdown, as I shout off Ubuntu using shutdown button.

I'm NOT using NFS as far as I can tell.

I was NOT out of disk space in /home.

To solve the issue, I copied my .mozilla/firefox folder, deleted old one, and copied the copy back.

This is a serious bug that should be addressed IMHO since the regular user who sees his bookmarks disappear will (and rightly) panic.

I'm available to provide any info you need.

clovepower (mzattera) wrote :

...also, I'm NOT using AdBlock Plus (I saw somebody complained about this)

Michael Bell (michael-bell) wrote :

I have the same problem. Solved it by changing
StartWithLastProfile=1
to
StartWithLastProfile=0

in profiles.ini

Alexander Sack (asac) wrote :

Michael Bell wrote:
> I have the same problem. Solved it by changing
> StartWithLastProfile=1
> to
> StartWithLastProfile=0
>
> in profiles.ini
>
>
when you see this, maybe removing localstore.rdf in your profile before
starting firefox helps?

ChrisC (ccurrier99) wrote :

This is still occurring. Ubuntu 8.04 Firefox 3.05. Had error message along with same symptoms above. However,
addon session manager worked, and I could easily navigate to search. Found the suggestion: 'sudo chown -R myusername.myusername .mozilla/firefox' which worked. For us noobs, just remember to replace 'myusername' with the same name you log into Ubuntu with....

Aner Perez (aner-perez) wrote :

This does not seem to be Ubuntu related as it has occurred to 3 different people at work on Fedora 9 and 10. Copying the profile directory to a new name worked in these cases. It has occurred on Firefox 3.06 also.

John Vivirito (gnomefreak) wrote :

Please look for this bug upstream, This is more of an upgrade corrupting profile by the sounds of it but there should still be an upstream bug report.

Martins K. (martinsk89) wrote :

Just happened with me; Ubuntu 8.10 + Firefox 3.08. BTW, I did previously try to run "sudo firefox". Normally this would start another Firefox, 3.1b3, which is installed for root user, but that time 3.08 started. When I later tried to run Firefox as normal user, all the bookmarks were gone and FF reported it as unable to restore them from backup. Moreover, when I open a web page by clicking a link, the address bar does't change (actually it remains empty). The icon next to the tab title shows that the web page is still loading, although in fact it's loaded.

Running "firefox" from terminal gives the following output:

Torbutton logger online
[04-24 17:21:29] Torbutton NOTE: Skipping no location: chrome://browser/content/browser.xul

I've installed Torbutton, as you see. But Error Console gives the following error, repeated for several times:

Error: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80570016 (NS_ERROR_XPC_GS_RETURNED_FAILURE) [nsIJSCID.getService]" nsresult: "0x80570016 (NS_ERROR_XPC_GS_RETURNED_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: file:///home/admins/.mozilla/firefox/w544d3yb.default/extensions/%7Be0204bd5-9d31-402b-a99d-a6aa8ffebdca%7D/components/ignore-history.js :: anonymous :: line 67" data: no]
Source File: file:///home/admins/.mozilla/firefox/w544d3yb.default/extensions/%7Be0204bd5-9d31-402b-a99d-a6aa8ffebdca%7D/components/ignore-history.js
Line: 67

The mentioned JS file in attachment. Later I'm going to try the mentioned solutions..

imadcat (hui-young) wrote :

check out this site: https://pirlwww.lpl.arizona.edu/wiki/MacDesktopProblems#Firefox_Problems

Firefox Problems

Disappearing Bookmarks

If Firefox crashes, you may appear to lose your bookmarks. Starting with Firefox 3, automatic backups of your bookmarks are created automatically, so one fix is to try to restore from a recent automatic backup. To do this, select the Organize Bookmarks... item from the Bookmarks menu. Click on the rightmost button near the top of the window that appears and select Restore and pick the date of the backup from which you wish to restore. This should bring back your bookmarks.
If this fails with the message "Unable to process the backup file", the places.sqlite file in your Firefox profile may be corrupt. This file stores the bookmarks and your browsing history, but it may be deleted, as it will be re-created at run time. The bookmarks will be re-created from the bookmarks.html file in your profile, but your browsing history will be lost. To do this:
go to ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles (either in the Finder or by using a terminal). There you'll see an oddly-named directory which contains your Firefox user profile. Descend into that directory and find the files named places.sqlit*. You may see places.sqlit, places.sqlite and places.sqlite-journal. With Firefox stopped, move all these files aside (e.g. to your Desktop) or rename them. Then start Firefox again and see if your bookmarks reappear.
Firefox won't start

Sometimes Firefox crashes and you get this message about "A copy of Firefox is already open. ..." when you try to restart. The following "find" command will fix things up so Firefox will restart:
/usr/bin/find ~/Library/Application\ Support/Firefox/Profiles/ -name "\.parentlock" -delete
In fact, you can do a similar thing if Thunderbird crashes on you:
/usr/bin/find ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/ -name "\.parentlock" -delete

Tim Bates (tin) wrote :

I just had this yet again when we had a power failure. I use an NFS home dir, which houses the profile.
Ubuntu 9.04 with Ubuntu supplied Firefox 3.0.13

To fix it, I tried the method listed above of copying the profile and pointing the profiles.ini to the new dir. I used "cp -a" as myself (not root).

drew212 (mstngdrew212) wrote :

Other people are experiencing the same problem, their bugs have been marked as duplicates of this one.

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
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