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Firefox weirdness

  1. Jul 13, 2006 #1


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    I opened the browser (Firefox 1.0 on Windows XP) and got a message window saying something along the lines of : Choose profile to open (default was the only profile that existed).

    I clicked on default and got an error message - something like "Firefox is already running an instance of this profile, choose another profile". But as far as I could tell, there was not another Firefox window open (according to the Task Manager, and I was the only user logged in), so I gave up and created a second profile and opened it.

    I've subsequently logged out and back in, but when I open the browser, I'm taken directly to this new profile. I want my old profile back - it has all my extensions and bookmarks. What do I do? Is there something in the Firefox folder that can be loaded to restore default's bookmarks (more important) and extensions (less important)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2006 #2
    Did you check the Processes tab, or just the Applications tab (in the Task Manager)?

    Still using 1.0?
  4. Jul 13, 2006 #3
    If you don't care about what is wrong and just want to get back up and running. You can easily get your bookmarks by doing the following:

    1. First you want to go to your profile folder, and you can get there by doing this:
    a)go to C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Name\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\Your profile.default (it will probably look funky with letters & numbers)
    Note: If you cannot find "Application Data" then you need to turn on hidden folders (click on: Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Show Hidden Files and Folders)
    b) Now you are in your profile. Take the file bookmarks.html and put it somewhere safe, now you have your bookmarks. You can also take out user.js, prefs.js which are some of your personal customizations, if any. And if you have modified your UserChrome and UserContent files, click on the folder "chrome" in your profile and take out those two files.
    2. Now the easy stuff. Uninstall firefox. Delete the profile folder/s if they are still there.
    3. Download firefox and reinstall (or use your old version if you still have it and want it).
  5. Jul 14, 2006 #4


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    Thanks matt. I'll get to it this weekend. It would be nice to know, however, what might have triggered this.

    Neutrino - I did check processes and didn't see anything obvious there (eg:firefox.exe). Yes, I'm still using 1.0, but I guess if I have to reinstall, it'll be what, 1.5(?) from next week.
  6. Jul 14, 2006 #5


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    Check for all other firefox related windows that may be open...

    Those small download windows etc.

    Or delete the new profile, and restart: see if it goes to your old one by default...
  7. Jul 15, 2006 #6
    Firefox thinks your default profile is active because there is a lock on it. I've seen that happen when I run Firefox on two or more machines under the same network account. It can also happen if Firefox didn't terminate properly.

    You can fix it by deleting the lock file(s) in your profile directory. Then run Firefox with the -profilemanager command line argument to switch back to your default profile.
  8. Jul 15, 2006 #7


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    Thanks for the help folks.

    As strangely as the problem appeared, it disappeared as well. Last two times that I deleted the new profile and tried to run firefox, it would give me the same error message. I decided to give it one last try today before reinstalling (wave, I must have no idea how to identify a lock file...but there didn't appear to be any obvious ones) and it worked. I have my old profile back.

    But now I know the gig, if this happens again.
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