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Are my Firefox book marks lost forever?

Posted on 2013-01-04
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Last Modified: 2013-01-05
I removed an Adobe product from my program list.
I then went down the list of programs to see if there were any other programs no longer needed, or worse, some program that I was "given" without my permission.

I noticed FF 15.0 and FF 17.0.
I un-installed FF 15.0.
Unfortunately is took 17.0 with it.

Are my FF bookmarks stored somewhere on my computer or are they lost?
Where can I find them?

Windows Vista

Thanks.
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Question by:nickg5
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by:Kent Dyer
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If you don't use an application like Xmarks, Google Bookmarks, or I think even Mozilla has a service too..  If you don't have access to your old machine, you are pretty much lost your bookmarks..

HTH,

Kent
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by:Stelian Stan
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Install FF 17 again and you should have bookmarks back.
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tailoreddigital earned 250 total points
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This article explains where to find them.  

http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-firefox-stores-user-data

I'm not sure if they are removed when Firefox is uninstalled but you could manually check for the places.sqlite file.    If this file is gone, then you have probably lost your bookmarks.
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by:nickg5
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kdyer:
Not sure what yoiu mean by me not having my original computer.
I do have access to the same machine. What affect does that have, or not have?

------------------
I did not think that un-installing 15.0 would also remove 17.0.
If I had known, I'd have saved the bookmarks somewhere.

I just re-installed FF 17.0 and the 2nd comment above is not correct, no bookmarks.
------------------------------
Before installing 17.0, I went to app data > roaming > local and there was a Mozilla folder with a FF folder but it was empty.
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by:nickg5
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not finding a places.sqlite file.
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by:mtz1of4
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nickg5,
did you find your bookmarks?
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by:nickg5
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No unfortunately.
a. the newly installed FF 17.0 is empty of bookmarks.
b. when searching for the places.sqlite file, my system, Vista does not find that file.
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by:mtz1of4
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ok,  one quick question - did you use a special program to uninstall Firefox 15, or just the normal Add/Remove Programs from Windows?
If you used a special program, did it then look at your registry and remove all traces? if yes, your bookmarks may not be available.

Second quick question - Are you viewing hidden files folders? -  - if you are not viewing those yet, see the instructions here - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-see-hidden-files-in-windows-vista/

Then do a search for "bookmarks" in the appdata folder, you should find a bookmarks.html
and with any luck a "bookmarks....json"  like this

bookmarks-2012-12-23.json

This would be December 23rds backup of my firefox bookmarks.

If you find any .json's, you could then open Firefox, hit Ctrl + Shift + B to open all your bookmarks, and hit the "Import and Backup->Restore->From File" and then browse to your last bookmarks-2013-01-02.json file and restore them.

Let me know if that works or not. I have other ideas as well.  You should not have lost your bookmarks, UNLESS you TOLD Firefox to remove all data files when you uninstalled Firefox 15.
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by:nickg5
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mtz1of4:

did you use the normal Add/Remove Programs from Windows?
............yes....................
 Are you viewing hidden files folders?
...........yes...............
If you find any .json's
..............Yes..........
AppData > roaming > Mozilla > FF > profiles > gives a list of about 20 files, all dated 1-4-2013. The file at he very top is "bookmarks backup" That file contains the json file.

you could then open Firefox, hit Ctrl + Shift + B to open all your bookmarks, and hit the "Import and Backup->Restore->From File" and then browse to your last bookmarks-2013-01-02.json file and restore them.
..................I did the above and there are no bookmarks there.

You should not have lost your bookmarks, UNLESS you TOLD Firefox to remove all data files when you uninstalled Firefox 15.
.................I may have been asked a question or two during the un-install, so I may have removed all data files. I said yes to any questions asked and I do not remember the removal process.

When I got FF 17.0, I thought it would have replaced 15.0 with new files.
That is why I never thought that removing 15 would also remove 17 and all data.
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by:mtz1of4
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I may have been asked a question or two during the un-install, so I may have removed all data files. I said yes to any questions asked and I do not remember the removal process.

Hmmm, I'll do an uninstall on my system and watch the removal.  OK, if you put a checkmark in here, look down to Recuva.
FF Uninstall Data
 Do you run Carbonite, or any other backup program on your machine?  That we could recover the files from?

If not, you could try Recuva to recover any deleted files.  If you want to go that route, i would suggest stop using your machine right now so you don't overwrite those deleted files. Overwriting will make it much more difficult if not impossible to recover.
http://www.piriform.com/recuva
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by:nickg5
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I think I put a check mark in that box. I remember being asked that.
I'll look into recuva. Thanks..!!
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by:nickg5
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I got recuva. I did not know the name of the files, based on what they were calling them, so I selected all. Oops, 146,000 files recovered. I could not search all of them. I used the right side scroll bar to scan the files. Tons of appdata files for Windows, a few for Adobe, and Google. I only saw two FF files and they were related to some "program shutdown" from months ago.
I recovered those and went to look at them and they are not bookmarks.

The two fies are 14 bytes and 164 bytes and I can not even open them. Not sure what program to use. They are clearly, I assume, not FF bookmarks.

Luckily I had not saved that many bookmarks on FF. Maybe 20 at most. My other 100's are on IE 9.0
So, they are gone it seems.
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by:mtz1of4
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Either bookmarks.html or bookmarks.......json where the .... = the date format laid out above.
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by:nickg5
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recuvaHere were my choices. I did not see the proper category so went with all.
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by:mtz1of4
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sounds like they are gone.  Sorry for your loss.
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