Corrupted bookmarks.html file causing Firefox v1.5.0.4 to hang on startup

Posted on 2006-06-07
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
Earlier today, a Firefox error appeared causing all browser tabs / windows to close.

After partially loading, Firefox now hangs indefinitely.

Here's what I've done thus far:

Action (a):  Tools --> Extensions menu is not accessiable (due to hang), so I manually removed all the extensions from the below following path and restarted Firefox -
\Documents and Settings\(user account)\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\(8-character profile).default\extensions

Result (a):  No change

Action (b):  Uninstalled / reinstalled Firefox v1.5.0.4

Result (b):  No change

Action (c):  Uninstalled v1.5.0.4 / installed Firefox v1.5.0.1

Result (c):  No change
Note(s):  Tried a number of different iterations re:  versions (i.e., v1.0.7)

Action (d):  Restarted in Safe Mode with Networking; launched Firefox

Result (d):  No change

Action (e):  Uninstalled / reinstalled Firefox v1.5.0.4, but manually removed all folders affiliated with Firefox from the below paths -
\Documents and Settings\(user account)\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
\Documents and Settings\(user account)\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

Result (e):  Firefox loaded successfully

Action (f):  Began process of manually adding back bookmarks, extensions, etc.; began by replacing old bookmarks.html file in \Documents and Settings\(user account)\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\(8-character profile).default via Windows Explorer; launched Firefox

Result (f):  Firefox hangs once again

Action (g):  Transferred bookmarks.html file over to one of our test boxes and placed in pre-existing profile w/in above Mozilla directory

Result (g):  Firefox hangs on the second computer as well

Action (h):  Opened bookmarks.html in WordPad to determine where the issues were; markup wasn't formated well, so used HTML-Kit to try and clean up / format (i.e., indent) and hoped that app would flag any errors within the file (my thoughts are that the file was corrupted when Firefox suddenly closed)

Result (h):  Saw bookmarks.html file was 5580 lines long, realized I've struggled with this for several hours and decided to turn to the best forum I know for assistance

In addition...

I've tried the Import... --> From File option via the Bookmarks --> Manage Bookmarks... menu.
No luck.

I've tried cutting and pasting portions of the original bookmarks.html into the auto-generated bookmarks.html via WordPad.
No luck.

I've imported bookmarks.html into IE via the Import / Export Wizard.
Works, but I lose all formatting (i.e., ordering, horizontal breaks, etc.) and - well - they're in IE now.

There's gotta be a utility, extension or something out there that can serve as a solution and option to manually rebuilding all of my bookmarks.

Question by:duyenoyama
    LVL 97

    Accepted Solution

    Greetings, duyenoyama !

    That's a lot work in finding that Bookmarks.html is the problem.  Instead of troubleshooting the old bookmarks.html file, create a new bookmarks.html and add new bookmarks to it.

    Or if you have an old backup of the bookmarks.html file that is not corrupt, you can use that bookmark.html and build the new bookmarks from that.

    Best wishes!

    Author Comment

    Wish it were that simple, war1.


    I've tried cutting and pasting portions of the original bookmarks.html into the auto-generated bookmarks.html via WordPad.
    No luck.


    It's strange as Firefox opens the original bookmarks.html file via the File --> Open File... menu and all bookmarks are displayed.  I just can't get them to appear w/in the Browser heading within Firefox.
    LVL 97

    Expert Comment

    >> It's strange as Firefox opens the original bookmarks.html file via

    I thought you said that you could not open the old bookmark.html without hanging Firefox?

    Is so, why mess with the old bookmark file?  Close Firefox. Rename the old bookmarks.html to bookmarks.old Create a new bookmark file by opening Firefox.. Then add new bookmarks to it.

    Author Comment

    Firefox opens the original bookmarks.html file so long as it does not reside w/in the below directory and hangs when it does:
    \Documents and Settings\(user account)\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\(8-character profile).default

    Update:  luckily did not empty Recycle Bin and found a backup from earlier today of bookmarks.html.  The timestamp of the file reveals 11:00 ET and Firefox crashed at around 14:00 ET.  The backup file loaded fine within Firefox v1.5.0.1

    I can live with losing three hours worth of bookmarks, but frustrated with the fact that I've now lost a half day's worth of work.

    Thanks for the feedback, war1.  Now, how do I award points?

    Author Comment

    Didn't see the 'Accept' button / link on the right-hand margin.  What grade do you think is fair?
    LVL 97

    Expert Comment


    Glad you found a backup of the Bookmarks.  You may want to use MozBackup to backup profile data in the future.

    As to grade, see the Grading Guidelines:

    Author Comment

    Found MozBackup within EE forums earlier today.  Thanks for the suggestions and help.


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