suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

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Lucio Chiappetti
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suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by Lucio Chiappetti » 2020-08-30, 20:11

Today when I switched back on my laptop, palemoon (which was perfectly working yesterday evening when I switched off) with my standard profile I have been using since I am forced to work from home cannot connect any more to any site (it shows "Connecting..." forever, and a Tools->Web developer->Network shows NOTHING). The network IS working (I was connected in ssh to my institute, and anyhow other profiles work), and palemoon works OK connecting to any local file:// URL.

I tried with an alternate profile I had (mainly for offline work) and with a fresh new profile, and everything works.

I then tried to disable the only two extensions (NoSquint and SavedPassword) which I kept active when a few months ago I copied my standard profile from the institute one (the laptop is rather memory-limited and I found the other extensions were slowing things too much), but that has no effect (the standard profile does not connect). The extensions are not the culprit.

I thought it may have something to do with an automatic proxy config URL in Advanced->Network->Settings (something we use to access library journals we subscribe) and set it to No proxy, but again that is not the culprit.

I scanned through the Preferences, and I found out that when I go to the Applications tab, which comes out blank, palemoon freezes. I have to kiil it and delete the lock file to be able to re-enter the standard profile. I found that removing the file mimeTypes.rdf (which is possibly corrupted) unlocks the tab in Preferences ... but has no effect on the connection problem. So mimeTypes.rdf is not the culprit (perhaps a collateral victim).

I am now sending this while using the fresh new profile, but I would like to recover my standard profile (any suggestion on selective deletions of possibly corrupted files ?) or at least all my bookmarks and SavedPassword passwords (I do not keep history or cache, and for anything else I was ready to lose them when I will return working from the institute.

So far I tried with partial success to recover the bookmarks. I went to the standard profile, exported the bookmarks to HTML, then went to the fresh profile and imported them. This imported the ones in the Bookmarks menu but not the ones in the Bookmarks toolbar. Why ?

As a worst case I could restore my original institute profile of a few months ago, the way I installed it when I started working from home (i.e. untar it in a subdirectory of /home/lucio/.moonchild productions/pale moon and edit profiles.ini adding it with a new name). Then I'd have to cope with the newer bookmarks, and with the few changed passwords (I guess I could look at Saved Password sorted by date ... I will have to do that anyhow when I'll return to work at the institute).

Any suggestion is welcome
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (G.B. Shaw)

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Re: suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by vannilla » 2020-08-30, 23:16

Did you see if the bookmarks in the bookmark toolbar were actually saved in a different folder?
I never had to export bookmarks, but maybe they simply were not picked up by the toolbar and are still there.
Anyway as a rule of thumb, never selectively delete files from a profile: when it's corrupted, back up anything that can be backed up and use a new profile, then import the backups.
Those backups should be done with "exporting" functions rather than copying files.

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adesh
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Re: suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by adesh » 2020-08-31, 03:18

You didn't tell if safe mode works.

Lucio Chiappetti
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Re: suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by Lucio Chiappetti » 2020-08-31, 08:20

I actually never used safe mode before, I thought it was equivalent to using a fresh profile.
Anyhow now I tried and the answer is NO, the standard profile does not work in safe mode (it does not connect).

Concerning the bookmarks, apparently the export/import saved the standard profile bookmarks toolbar into a subdirectory of bookmarks menu.

I would be glad to go through an export/import procedure if one would exist for all the items I need. In principle these would be:
  • the bookmarks (which can be handled)
  • the extensions (I have no idea how to "export and import" them other than reinstalling ... this could be not so important as in the home laptop I can use only two, and the original profile at work is still intact
  • the extensions parameters (which for me means essentially the passwords of Saved Password (I'll investigate)
  • all the Preferences (fonts, history and cache handling, the library proxy ... (there is no export/import preferences)
  • the "look" (I mean the fact I use text buttons and no icons, or the customization of the toolbars ... these also seems not to have a way to be exported/imported
In general when I go through a new version install (rarely, usually after a new OS install) on the same machine (i.e. the one at work) I go through manually-visually all items of the preference and look, note it down what they look, and either ... try to reset them manually one by one, ...or dare try to run the new version on the existing profile and verify all works.

When I had to use this home laptop (which was essentially a glorified offline typewriter) to work from home, a few months ago, as I said, I saved the work profile in a tar file, untarred it on the home machine, and registered it in profiles.ini (with StartWithLastProfile=0, so I am always asked which profile to start). I haven't recorded other details, so I suspect it went very smoothly.
I am inclined to repeat such procedure (if no better advices): thisw way all the look and preferences will be recovered, I'll have to "align" only some newer bookmarks (almost all anyhow separated in a dedicated folder "new stuff" ... in view of "back to work") and a few passwords.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (G.B. Shaw)

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Re: suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by Moonchild » 2020-08-31, 09:37

Bookmark import creating a standard folder for bookmark toolbar items is by design. it's an import from an external format, not restoring a backup.
If you want to fully restore a backup, then you should do so from the "bookmarkbackups" folder which holds a series of complete bookmark backups -- when placed in your new profile you can restore such backups from the Organize Bookmarks window (restoring a full backup will completely replace what you have).
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Re: suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by ron_1 » 2020-08-31, 09:57

Off-topic:
Lucio Chiappetti wrote:
2020-08-31, 08:20
I actually never used safe mode before, I thought it was equivalent to using a fresh profile.
That's a common assumption, but it is not the same.

Lucio Chiappetti
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Re: suddenly corrupted profile ... cannot connect anywhere

Post by Lucio Chiappetti » 2020-08-31, 11:57

Well ... apparently all is solved even if I do not understand why !!??

I restored (via tar and untar and edit of profiles.ini) the profile from my work machine of March, and disabled all extensions but the two of interest.
Then I went a bit to-and-fro through the restored profile and the "standard supposedly corrupt" one to assess the differences. Doing this I noticed a few things:
  • the passwords changed since March are just 4, i took a note ... as I will anyhow need to update them on the work machine when I'll go back to office
  • apparently Saved Password Editor 2.7.3.1-signed (tagged orange) is not working anyhow for what concerns password editing, and is not adding anything to standard palemon password handling for what concerns display
  • concerning the bookmarks something strange had occurred on the "standard supposedly corrupt" profile, in the sense that two subdirectories of the menu toolbar were already moved to the end of the bookmark menu (finger slipped ?)
At this moment while going to-and-fro I noticed that the "standard supposedly corrupt" profile started working again ! Now it connects (I am typing from it), so I am suspending any bookmark recovery action (but moving the two subdirectories where they should be), and I will go on working from here (finger crossed, because I do not like things happening "spontaneously")
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (G.B. Shaw)

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