Talk:Profile backup

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Why in step 3 are we mentioning your home directory first then as an after thought mentioning windows?

"Home directory" is a generic term that applies to all OSes. "My Documents" is the home directory on Windows. We're basically just doing what we do everywhere else: give generic instructions that apply to everyone and then give specific instructions for the less savvy users.--Np 08:23, 26 September 2005 (PDT)


Restoring or migrating your backed-up profile

Please correct/amend this suggested addition(*):

Use this procedure to restore your backed-up profile or move it to another computer.

1. Completely close all Mozilla programs, including the Mozilla Suite, Firefox, and Thunderbird. Don't forget to exit the Mozilla Suite's Quick Launch if it's open (as indicated in the Windows system tray). Make sure no Mozilla Suite/Firefox/Thunderbird processes are still running. 2. Copy the folder you backed up to the exact same location that it was in when you made the backup or to an identical location on the other computer. If you are moving from one OS to another (e.g., Windows 98 to Windows XP), or if your Windows boot drive letter has changed (e.g., from "C:\" to "D:\") or your Windows login/user name is different, see Moving your profile folder. (*)

(*) If you are moving to a new computer and only interested in quickly moving your mail to a new computer without hassle, it's enough to simply copy the Mail folder inside the old profile folder into the new one, in other words, the locations (paths) of the profiles on the two computers do not have to be identical. If you want, you can then also copy other files and settings as described on Migrating_settings_to_a_new_profile. Unfortunately, you'll have to manually re-enter the email account and server settings because Thunderbird's import function can so far import settings (and mail) only from other programs, not from Thunderbird. 27 August 2006 American Finn

Third-party backup software and services


Why are we pushing solutions that require the user to find their profile and denigrating utilities such as Mozbackup by hiding it in a list at the end, and then warning the reader that its not evaluated by Mozilla? I'm all for telling a user how to copy and paste a profile directory but it shouldn't be the first choice. It requires a non-technical user to learn and understand a lot.

We're also hiding the fact that the easiest way to migrate a profile (for most users) to another PC is to back it up using Mozbackup and then restore it on the other PC. Instead we gloss over the fact that the same windows user account might not even exist on the other PC and tell them to find the profile and then copy each folder individually..... Tanstaafl 00:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

If you've used any of those utilities and think they're good, then go ahead and promote it a bit better. It's the way it is because no one has taken the time to evaluate any of them.--Np 02:13, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay. I'll do that tomorrow. Tanstaafl 08:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Mozy etc.

I ran across yet another thread today were somebody wanted to know if they could use Mozy to back up their mail. Its a automated online backup service, which has a free version that provides 2GB of backup space. Idrive seems to offer similar capabilities while Xdrive , Microsoft Skydrive and supposedly the upcoming Google My Stuff just provide remote storage. Any objections to my adding a section on automated backup?

I'm mainly interested in mentioning that these types of online services are available, and discussing some issues you should consider when using either them or a automated backup to a local or network drive such as telling it not to backup your *.msf files and that Thunderbird always changes the time/date stamp on a few files (prefs.js for example) when it exits even when nothing changes. Tanstaafl 01:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't object to adding links but if you need to add additional information such as known issues or instructions (delete.msf files, etc.) then it might be time to consider splitting off the section on third-party software to a new article on "Third party profile backup software and services" and leave this article for manual backup. Alice 20:07, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

When should we stop recommending Mozbackup?

Several KB articles (including this one) recommend using Mozbackup . Part of the reason it gained popularity was that were no good alternatives for a non-technical user who didn't want to have to deal with figuring out where their profile was stored. However, its now unreliable (which is why we recommend using the May 6th, 2012 beta to try to work around problems in it not always saving everything that its supposed to) and no longer maintained. The author's web site even has a prominent banner that states:

"MozBackup is not being developed anymore. There are known issues and there is no time on my side to fix all issues and develop new features. Use MozBackup only on your risk."

on their personal web site. Tanstaafl 23:18, 29 August 2016 (UTC)