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Disappearing extensions

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Sicknero
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Disappearing extensions

Firefox 23 Portable, currently beta 7.

Hi, I've discovered a curious issue that occurs if I delete the contents of my FF portable directory and then replace with a spare copy which I previously copied out.

This is something that I do so I can check out various extensions and if I don't like them or they don't work or whatever, then I have a backed up copy of FF portable to restore, rather than uninstalling extensions which I'd rather not do.

So, what happens is that when I restore my earlier copy of FF, when I run it some of the extensions are missing. I've noticed this especially with LastPass, and today with Collusion. Possibly others too, I can't be sure though as I've been trying out a lot of extensions this weekend.

When I re-install the extension, e.g. LastPass, it obviously finds its previous location no problem, as it loads up with all the preferences I gave to it previously, including the position of the toolbar button.

My question is, is this a bug? Or is it something to be expected from the way that I'm using portable FF? Is there anything I can do to prevent it happening, and is there anything I can do to restore the extension without having to actually re-install it from the website?

Thanks.

*EDIT; I discovered that this also happens if I set up portable FF on my IDE drive on my laptop, then transfer it via flash drive to an IDE drive on my desktop PC.

Sicknero
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Update

The missing extensions, I discovered yesterday, set themselves for some reason to "incompatible" and thus had moved to the bottom of the list ... strange, as none of them report incompatibilty when installed, only when the portable folder is moved to a new drive.

ottosykora
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known

this is known with some extensions. Some extensions are not well done, so they break when all is just copied to other place.

If all is on a stick and the path except for the drive letter is maintained, then all goes fine.

It is just the changed path what breaks some extensions.
You have to simply reinstall them.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Sicknero
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Thanks for your reply, it's

Thanks for your reply, it's good to hear that this is a known issue rather than some problem with my own set up.

I don't use FF from a stick, I run the portable version from my HDD on two different PCs and the path is actually identical in both cases. Anyway it bothers me less now since I discovered that it's usually a case of the extensions (LastPass mostly) setting themselves to disabled rather than disappearing completely.

Thanks.

John T. Haller
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Data

If you only backup your profile directory (instead of the whole Data directory), this behavior will occur. The launcher needs the whole Data directory to portablize extensions which are outdated according to their manifest (if LastPass lists itself only as compatible through FF 22.0 but you're running it on 23.0) but that addons.mozilla.org list as compatible with a specific version (in the same example, if a.m.o tells Firefox that LastPass works fine on 23.0 and to ignore the manifest).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Sicknero
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Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your comment. I do copy the entire directory... my usual practise is to set up FF on one PC (usually on my laptop at home) and then copy the whole thing to my flash drive and then move it onto my HDD on my desktop PC.

Both PCs are running the same version of W7, except that one is x86 and the other x64, I don't know if that would be a factor...

Concerning version compatibility, I have had this issue with LastPass in v22 as well but that was with IceDragon which although clearly a similar issue doesn't belong in this thread of course.

The only other thing that occured to me is that I think I copied the entire content of the directory rather than the parent directory itself if you see what I mean. And although I moved it into a second directory with the same name, perhaps that had an effect too. I shall experiment later and see what happens.

It isn't a huge problem of course anyway, it only happens with a few add-ons and it's less of a concern knowing that it's generally the same add-ons as well, rather than something random.

Thank you.

Sicknero
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Solution...

I've no idea if anyone else has been following this topic or even having this same issue, but I discovered today that if I disable add-on compatibility checking, the problem appears to be sorted. I hadn't tried this before as it's ages since I had any need to disable that.

I don't know why an add-on should suddenly become incompatible just because I copy the FF directory to a new location, but it seems to have fixed it... I thought I'd post just in case it's useful to anyone else.

ottosykora
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what I do

when I do move a copy of FF to somewhere, I usually run an 'update' of the extensions. Even they are already uptodate, this will make them active again when they deactivated themselves during the copy procedure.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

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