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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Recovering / Migrating Mozilla Firefox / Thunderbird Profiles!

OK, I did a hard drive partition whilst running on battery and I left it running and forgot all about it, so.. logical tells us the battery didn't last as long as the process, hence my whole partition was partially stuffed up, big time!

Meaning windows would not boot. I ran the recovery options from the W7 disc and ta-da, Windows now boots.

OK now my desktop won't load at all, so my Windows install is pretty much stuffed up, ad not even the Admin or Safe-mode accounts can load anything up. I'll try a system restore point, opss I disabled that before for some unexplained reason :\

So now I am evaluating what I will lose if I do a fresh install over it, well Firefox Bookmarks NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and also Thunderbird E-mails and address book, Ahh NOOOOOOOOOO this can't be happening, I don't make a regualr habbit of back up, only like once every 3 months. =.="

So I decided to do a fresh install but on a different partion and keep the sutffed up W7 partition so I can attempt to recover the programs etc. (not really recover but like I can acces the Program files oflder of the stuffed up W7 and at least have a remidner of what programs I had installed etc.

I separate my data and OS for this purpose, so that only Firefox and Thunderbird data is lost (hopefully, I haven't yet thought of anything else I might lose except for windows shortcuts and layouts which some can be copied and pasted and maybe saved games, which can also be pasted, see why I said install in a new partition?? you can continue to recover some stuff)

Read Red Tips below first before beginning to save time =)

  • Go to: C:\Users\Gec\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox
    Where C = Drive letter of stuffed up W7
    Where Gec = name of your Windows profile (e.g. Gec's Pictures, i.e. the name you see at the log in screen)

  • Go to "Profiles" > fn489th3.default
    Where fn489th3 = random, your one will not be called this

  • Copy the whole fn489th3.default folder into:

  • D:\Users\Gec\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
    Where D = new drive letter of working W7
    Where Gec = new windows account name

  • Now in: D:\Users\Gec\AppData\Roaming\Firefox\profiles.ini

  • Change "Path=Profiles/zvdf31jz.default" to "Path=Profiles/fn489th3.default"
    Where zvdf31jz.default = random name made by the new Firefox install

  • Save the changes and now open up Firefox, most bookmarks etc. should be there with the exception of Themes.

  • !!! The same works for Thunderbird, with the exception that the location is

  • !!! To avoid this situation again, try using a Mozilla Backup tool called "MozBackup" (recommendation only, i am no way associated with the promotion of the product, BTW it's free anyway ;P)


  1. You need Firefox and or Thunderbird installed in the new W7 install first.

  2. You also need to run the application once first and when asked, select "do not import
    anything" as this will set up the profile folders.

  3. You need to go to Tools > Folder Options > View > Show hidden files, folders and drives
    before you can see the "AppData folder in D:\Users\Gec\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird

  4. You may only see profile instead of profile.ini unless you un-check "Hide file extensions of known file types" (Tools > Folder Options > View > Hide file extensions of known file types"

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