Saturday, May 31, 2008

Issue with profiles in Windows & Vista...

Today when i started my PC, somehow for reasons i can't fathom, my firefox browser had reset itself to default. I thought restarting Vista would resolve this problem. And Lo ! what do you know,i not only lost my browser profile settings but my Windows as well now...Well, welcome to Windows. But after toying around for about couple of hours i was able to fix BOTH the issues. So not beating around more, here is what i did.
1. Resolving the issue with windows profile

0. To be safe if this is the only administrator profile you have, create another one before playing around with this.
1. you should be in administrator mode. Open Regedit.
2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE|SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. Back it up first before you modify the registry.
3. There you will find few keys. Look for 2 keys that has the same name one shorter than the other , the longer one having .bad or .bak to it.
4. Well, the longer one with .bak or.bad is your orginal profile. since windows could not load this, it created a new profile with the same name (the shorter one ).
5. rename the shorter one with some extension & take out the extension from the longer one.
6. Exit regedit & restart windows.

2. Resolving the issue with firefox profile

1. go to C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox in your explorer.
2. you will find all the firefox profiles there. open 'em up. Looking at some of the extensions & bookmarks, identify your recent profile.
3. Exit firefox. Through the cmd window, type in
firefox.exe -ProfileManager
4. In the profile wizard that appears ( see the fig ), create a new profile. Give a useful recognizable name while creating the profile.
5. Exit the profile manager, go back to the above path in windows explorer.
6. you should see the newly created profile here.
7. go inside this profile folder & delete all the contents. Copy all the file & folders from you original profile folder into this new one.
8. Restart firefox. Firefox should now load with your original profile ( with all your extensions , bookmarks intact ).


1. Take care to backup your profiles periodically.
2. Use the foxmarks extension to save your booksmarks online. This also allows you to synchronize your bookmarks across computers.

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