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I lost access to FireFox and cannot restore it

Posted on 2014-03-20
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Last Modified: 2014-03-22
I have a desktop PC using Windows 7. On my taskbar, I have several program shortcuts, the one in question is Firefox (FF). I use FF every day by starting it from the taskbar. today, clicking on it, as well as right clicking and looking for a way to start it, did not open FF.

Since I know it worked every day this week, I did a system restore to the last date prior to today (approx. 3/15). the restore showed "successful," but the problem with FF was not solved or changed in any way.

I searched under the C drive for FF and found "firefox.exe" but clicking on it as Administrator also did not open the application. I'm at my wits end because although I can probably download FF again (??), I doubt my bookmarks and folders as well as any of the special FF applets (forgot if that is what they are really called) will be loaded.

Any thoughts on what I can do to restore FF without spending days bringing it back to resemble what I now have? As a side note, the reason I don't use Internet Explorer is the top row of menu items (File, View, etc) do not display when I open it. See picture attached.

Thanks.
EE1.jpg
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Question by:photoman11
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Accepted Solution

by:
jcimarron earned 400 total points
ID: 39943889
photoman11--
Based on your IE screen shot, click on Alt to restore File, Edit, View, etc.  Or right click on a blank spot of the toolbar and check Menu Bar.

Concerning Firefox, back up your bookmarks, etc. and then uninstall reinstall.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39944418
jcimarron,

Brilliant! the IE instructions were perfect.

Now, for Firefox, I'm a bit confused after going to your link. For example:

- you suggest backing up my bookmarks, yet following the path of the URL link, I found 2 different profiles on my PC, each one stating default. One also had a number and the contents were more recent and far more extensive than the other. Wouldn't that be the folder of the backup? I opened it and found one for each day from 3/11/14 through 3/20/14 (JSON File type).

- Do you know what is causing FF not to open since there are 2 primary directories under the Mozilla folder, and 2 more levels under them (2 of 2 each, including the profiles mentioned above).

Not being very technical, I'm not sure what I'm eventually trying to accomplish, so blindly following some FF instructions make no sense to me.

Can something relatively simple have happened that caused FF not to open, and doing something simple (that I understand) can correct it???

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39945620
I'm getting convinced my PC is haunted! Today, for the heck of it, I turned on my PC and clicked on FF on the taskbar and IT OPENED!. The bookmarks and bookmark folders were all messed up but at least FF opened and was functional.

I tried everything but could not get the bookmarks or bookmark folders operating as before I had the problem. Any thought on what I should do? Should I send you a screenshot or is my explanation sufficient?

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39945631
photoman11--
Your last post crossed with mine.  Reboots often fix many problems.
I am not sure what more there is to do other than get your data back in the order you prefer and hope not to have more instances of FF not functioning at all.  But maybe I do not understand what you mean by bookmarks, etc. "not functioning".

This was my original post before your last.  There would no long seem to be much purpose in backing up FF data.
I have two folders in the Firefox|Profiles folder.  One is "default" the other is "DefaultUser".  There are no other folders.  Is that what you have?
I think I would choose "default" based on the instructions in the link I provided.
Of course you could always back up both.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39946172
Please see attached screen shot for what my bookmark dilema is.

Also, What I was trying to explain was: what specifically from the linked URL you provided, should I do to solve my problem; and what sections are no longer necessary?

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39946181
Ooops. Forgot the file.
EE-bookmarks.jpg
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Assisted Solution

by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 400 total points
ID: 39946396
photoman11--
When I suggested uninstall/reinstall Firefox and posted the link
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles
I was trying to answer your original question
"Any thoughts on what I can do to restore FF without spending days bringing it back to resemble what I now have?"
With a backup of your bookmarks, etc. it should be much easier to bring Firefox "back to resemble what you have now" after you uninstall/reinstall FF.  Of course, you may not lose your bookmarks, etc. when you uninstall/reinstall, but you are prepared if you do.

But then you posted that FF was now functioning although "I tried everything but could not get the bookmarks or bookmark folders operating as before I had the problem"

I am not sure I see a problem from your screenshot.  You show three columns on the left side of the screen.  The furthest left and furthest right both show Bookmarks.  The middle shows History.  So I would not think you need to do anything further.  But if I misinterpret and that is not what you want, then we are back to my original suggestion ( http:#a39943889 ) backup and then uninstall/reinstall.
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Assisted Solution

by:Sudeep Sharma
Sudeep Sharma earned 100 total points
ID: 39946953
photoman11,
When you click on the the Bookmarks and then to Bookmarks Toolbar, what do you see. Most likely you would see "Most Visited", which is also on your screenshots. This is by default. If you wanted your saved bookmarks rather than most visited, then you may wanted to removed the Most Visited and drag the Bookmarks to the BookMarks ToolBar.

To do this first, click on BookMarks and then click on Show All Bookmarks.
Click on Bookmarks Toolbar, from right side menu, click on Most Visited and delete it.
Then drag the Bookmarks Menu from left to the Bookmarks Toolbar,

I hope that is what you wanted.

Sudeep
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39947721
Thoroughly convinced PC is haunted. Booted it this AM and it is just how I wanted it (I did NOTHING since yesterday).

Sudeep may be onto something, however. I did want my saved bookmarks not the most visited, but now that they are there (different than the screenshot of yesterday), I'm a happy camper.

Can't wait till tomorrow when all the bookmarks will lead to the devil!

Thanks for all your help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39947730
Great advice. These guys know their stuff.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39947823
photoman11--Glad to have helped.  As mentioned reboots often help get things back to how they should be.
You may still want to backup those bookmarks, etc. incase FF starts acting up again.
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