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ratcatcher
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Google Chrome - deleted profile

I have Google Chrome portable 37.0.2062.120 which I alternate between two machines.

As of yesterday, each time I move my PA stick between machines and start Google Chrome, it deletes my profile. If I look in settings I see a message to the effect that another programme corrupted my profile and it has been reset to default.

Copying my profile from backup restores normal operation. Closing and re-opening Chrome on the same machine causes no problem - only swapping between machines.

I've also noticed that a new Google extension is being installed (without even asking me). It's something to do with search but I didn't pay much attention before deleting it. This is probably not related to the problem but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

Regards

Nick

ratcatcher
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More details

The exact error message when I go to settings is:

"Chrome detected that some of your browser settings were corrupted by another programme and reset them to their original defaults. Learn more"

The extra extension that's being installed automatically is "Google Voice Search Hotword (beta) 0.1.1.5023.

Are others experiencing this same problem? If so I hope it can be resolved as otherwise it pretty much wraps things up for Google Chrome portable.

John T. Haller
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Passwords?

It doesn't happen when you move paths or drives on the same machine, so I'd wager this is to do with Google's hook into Windows to handle encryption (one of many OS ties). I'm traveling at the moment so won't have a chance to test moving to multiple machines until later today. Are you using the portable passwords feature? Have you tried it without that?

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ratcatcher
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Answers and more research

Hi, John,

I haven't tried changing paths on the same machine but I will when I get a chance.

FWIW one of the machines is running XP the other 8.1.

I don't use the portable passwords feature - in fact I don't save passwords at all within Google Chrome, I use LastPass instead.

I back up my settings to Google so as an experiment, after Google Chrome had reset my profile yet again, I signed in and let it re-create the profile from scratch using the backup settings. All of my extensions were re-downloaded and settings restored. All worked OK on that machine.

On moving it back to the other machine the profile was once more deleted/reset so clearly it isn't to do with corruption of my profile (not in the usual sense, anyway).

Regards

Nick

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Two Factor?

Any chance you have two factor authentication enabled?

Does it happen on the same machine if you move the install between paths?

I'll be able to try it between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 tonight or tomorrow. And possibly Vista/XP/modern as well. If it's just an XP issue, which is possible, we'll need to come up with a way to mitigate this new behavior.

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ratcatcher
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Max Factor?

Hi, John,

Not sure what you mean by two factor authentication (I mean I know what it is in general but I'm not sure how it would apply in this particular context). So I suspect that the answer is, no.

I closed down my portable apps and the platform itself, changed the drive letter from P: to Z:, started the platform and then Google Chrome again. All worked as normal - no reset of the profile.

John T. Haller
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Google Account

I mean do you have two factor authentication enabled on your Google account? I think I remember hearing a report that enabling said authentication locks Chrome's profile to a single PC, but I'm not sure.

One other note... does the profile get deleted if you do not tie it to your Google Account and switch PCs?

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ratcatcher
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Factor 30

No, I don't have two factor authentication on my Google account (in fact I wasn't even aware that it was available).

The tie-in to the Google account thing is slightly complicated:

Let's say I'm using Google Chrome portable on this machine (it's the XP one, though of course you can't see that). Chrome is signed into Google so is synchronizing my settings, etc.

I now close everything down and move the stick to my other machine.

Now, when I start Google Chrome, the little Venetian blind at the top right goes orange and when I click on it I'm told to sign in again (about halfway down the pulldown menu where it normally says "Signed in as"). When I click on that message it tells me that my sign-in credentials are out of date (or something to that effect) and to sign in again. This has been happening for a very long time (probably a year or more).

I can sign in again but when I then move back to the first machine, the same thing happens.

So generally I only bother to sign in on this machine. When I'm on the other machine I just ignore the fact that the sign-in isn't working. I figure it will get synched again when I next use it on this machine.

I can't remember at which version that started to happen but although it's a nuisance I've kind of gotten used to it.

So the practical upshot is that at the stage when the profile gets reset on this machine, I'm signed-in. But at the point where it gets reset on the other machine, I'm not.

Hope that all makes some sort of sense.

ratcatcher
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http://portableapps.com/node/

https://portableapps.com/node/33765 has some more background on the sign-in thing, though a good while back it stopped prompting me for a passphrase, just my normal login details.

ratcatcher
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The tie-in thing

OK, as a double check for the tie-in question I tried the following:

1. With Google Chrome running normally (and the profile intact), I went to Settings and chose "Disconnect your Google Account". I did NOT tick the box which said "Also clear your history, bookmarks, settings and other Chrome data stored on this device."

2. I checked that the settings, etc, were still intact, closed Chrome, closed PA and transferred the stick to another machine.

3. On restarting Chrome, the profile was still reset to default.

So having Chrome linked to Google or not makes no difference.

ratcatcher
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Reproducible?

Did you manage to reproduce this, John?

John T. Haller
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Not Yet, Switching Worked Here

With a fresh install of Google Chrome Portable, I added a bookmark while running it on my Windows 7 desktop. I then closed and ejected. On my Windows 8 laptop, I fired it up and it worked without issue with the bookmark still there. I'm going to try going to a Windows XP VM next.

UPDATE: It worked on Windows XP and Vista as well without issue.

UPDATE: Scratch the above. I didn't realize it 'hid' the error message within the Settings screen itself, which is pretty lame. Something as big as resetting all your settings, it should likely have a big huge warning as soon as you run it.

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ctd
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Same Issue

I'm experiencing the same issue; just started in the last few weeks.
I'm also a LastPass user, and I do have 2-Step Verification set up on my Google account (but I do not "sign in" to Chrome).
Can I do anything to help with troubleshooting?
Regards,
Chris

XiL
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Just to add to this I never

Just to add to this I never logged into Google Chrome ever so nothing syncs with Google meaning everything (extensions, bookmarks, etc) is stored locally within the portable apps folder.

This always worked great I could use Google Chrome with all my stuff on any computer however after upgrading to a new portable version it erases everything every time and when you go to settings it states:

"Chrome detected that some of your browser settings were corrupted by another program and reset them to their original defaults."

I'm not sure but I believe this started happening after upgrading to
v37.0.2062.120 or v37.0.2062.103 I did not have this issue in August it just started happening in September.

This is rather annoying because no matter what I do in Google Chrome after it's closed then opened again everything is gone.

I have tried reinstalling the portable version but have had no success so I'm thinking about reverting to an old version or Mozilla Firefox until this is resolved.

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Which Version Fails? Steps to Reproduce since it works for me?

Does anybody know with which version the failing began to occur? I'm thinking Google Chrome changed something within the profile itself that ties it to an individual PC, but I'll need to dig in a bit to figure out what. If it does, perhaps the same way we portablize passwords may get around this new wrinkle. It's a bit more involved since I didn't write the custom code for the Chrome launcher, a former dev did. I don't use Chrome normally, so I'm not sure when this behavior began.

For anyone that would like to try and determine when this began, older Google Chrome releases are here:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/portableapps/files/Google%20Chrome%20Po...

Also, I have been unable to reproduce this issue between XP, Vista, 7, and 8. So, the folks who are affected, can you give me the minimum steps to reproduce installing a fresh version of Google Chrome Portable, adding some bits to the profile, moving it to another machine, and having it fail?

Lastly, some folks are reporting this with local Chrome as well due to malware or adware modifying profile settings, so please investigate that on the affected machines as well. If this is a larger issue, perhaps backing up a last working profile might be an option... though determining when it was last working could be an issue.

UPDATE: It might be possible that modifying preferences to update paths from old to new location could be triggering this as well. But a clean Chrome install has no paths in the preferences files. Is anyone adding anything that could add a path to preferences like perhaps a local homepage?

UPDATE2: The above could be it. A manual change to the Preferences file - I modified a pinned URL - will cause Google to reset settings and display the error.

UPDATE3: Scratch what I said above. I didn't realize the reset message was hidden within the settings window. It's always resetting.

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ratcatcher
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Latest version

I switch my USB stick between two machines on a daily basis so I would expect to notice this a day or so after upgrading the Chrome version. I posted the root message here on 20 September so I think I noticed it on the 18 or 19 September.

That puzzles me a bit because the latest version was released on 9 September and I generally allow PA to update versions straight away - or at most a day later. I don't understand why the problem didn't manifest immediately.

I made no configuration changes to Google Chrome in the meantime.

So I'm pretty darned sure it only started with 37.0.2062.120 but I don't know why it apparently took a few days for the issue to appear.

uninformeduser
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Which version fails?

I'm using Iron portable on the same PC and started upgrading from version 27. All the way from version 27 to 34, everything worked fine with no reset warning. Upgrading from version 34 to 35 causes the reset warning to appear and extensions to disappear. A restore from my backup to version 34 works totally fine. So version 35 is the version that causes this issue.

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Settings Locked To a PC

On further investigation, it seems that Google Chrome treats settings as both disposable and locked to a given PC. In April 2014, Google Chrome reset everyone's settings - both portable and local - and implemented a new 'settings protection' scheme to prevent 3rd parties from altering pinned sites, default search engines, extensions, etc. This reset was done with zero warning from Google, so your settings are essentially disposable. Details on this new policy are here:
https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/4409913

The settings are now locked to a given Windows install and user. You will be unable to backup and restore a given Google Chrome profile's settings file unless it is done under the same version of Windows with the same username. Note that this does not affect bookmarks, saved passwords, etc, it only affects settings. As using Google Chrome portably is essentially like moving a profile from PC to PC, your settings will be reset on every single launch. This is by design by the Google Chrome team and designed so it can not be worked around.

In theory, signing in to Chrome will allow your settings to be preserved/restored, but I am unsure as of yet. I don't use Chrome myself due to bugs and privacy issues.

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ratcatcher
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That about wraps it up for Google Chrome portable, then

> In theory, signing in to Chrome will allow your
> settings to be preserved/restored

Yes, this does work, but it means that each time you fire Chrome up on a new machine it re-creates the profile from scratch, re-downloading all of your extensions, etc. Not really practical for day-to-day use.

Do other (non-branded) Chrome versions - such as Iron and Chromium - have the same issue?

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Not Necessarily

I'm looking to see whether the code is specific to Google Chrome or not. If not, it would be open source and we can calculate and generate signatures for the settings files ourselves the way we decrypt/encrypt passwords for each PC. It's still messy and kludgey as heck, but then Chrome is an incomplete browser that relies on all sorts of OS bits to properly function.

UPDATE: Chromium Portable and Iron do not appear to be affected by this but lose quite a bit of functionality compared to Chrome. Illegal packages of Google Chrome made portable from other sites are all affected.

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ratcatcher
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Iron Man

Iron Portable seems OK, too. Just swapped it between machines without loss of profile. In fact I'm using it now.

Guess I'll swap back to that for the time being.

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Verified for chromium as well

Verified that both chromium and iron are not affected by this. Will be using them for the time being too.

Personally, I think this issue defeats my only purpose of using portable chrome. Which is to continue working on all my tabs and have a portable browser wherever I go.

ratcatcher
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Iron?

In what way(s) is Iron affected, John?

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Defaults

The defaults were being reset on first run. I've since updated them and this will be alleviated with the next release.

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ratcatcher
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Ah, OK

Mine wasn't a new installation, but an existing one that I copied back to the stick. Presumably that's why I didn't encounter the problem.

ratcatcher
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Whilst you're at it ...

It might be worth seeing if the "kludges" you're investigating could address the long-standing problem where you get a sign-in error when you move Chrome between machines.

There's some background here https://portableapps.com/node/27498 - it relates mainly to Iron but the behaviour with Google Chrome is exactly the same.

ctd
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More Info

I can confirm this happens to me only in one direction. It happens when moving my USB stick from computer A to computer B, but not when moving from computer B to A. Weird.

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OSes?

Which OS are you running on each PC? And do they have the same login info (username)?

I know Google Chrome, unlike Firefox, is very OS-tied and uses the OS encryption libraries. I also noticed that XP doesn't seem to place certain bits in the Preferences file.

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

ctd
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Both are running Windows 7

Both are running Windows 7 Pro, SP1. Usernames are totally different.

ratcatcher
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Happens every time for me

I've experimented with moving the stick between three machines - running XP, 7 and 8.1. I may not have tried every permutation but certainly XP to 7 and XP to 8.1 (and vice versa) cause the profile reset for me. Windows user name on each machine is different.

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Same Here

I see the same here.

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marcelo-ar
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Profile reset moving from XP to XP

Verified moving chrome portable between two Win XP sp3 systems (both on same machine but different Hard Disks)

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Bug Thread

I've created a bug thread that summarizes this issue based on my investigation here: https://portableapps.com/node/42637

There's no need for additional confirmations of this happening or asking for this bug to be fixed for now.

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XiL
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Thanks for the update. If

Thanks for the update.

If anyone is curious for now my work around is to sync everything with Google so when I sign in it restores everything but my session then use Session Buddy to restore my previous session of open tabs.

testplayer
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Can anybody try to change the

Can anybody try to change the setting here: chrome://flags/#enable-new-profile-management

Maybe that's the reason why the profile is "locked" to a specific PC.

veyselcelik
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Extensions

Extensions can't be modified too. If you make changes on source code of any extension. It doesn't work. And needs to reinstall from webstore. They are being protected with _metadata's.

Molson01
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Can't sign into Chrome

I am having a problem where I don't get the option to sign into chrome. Is this related? Does anyone have any knowledge of this? I tried Iron, and it has the option, but my Chrome portable doesn't even allow me to sign in to it. I even created a fresh copy and I see the same thing, no linked Google account option.

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Works Here

It's working here on a fresh install of current portable stable under Windows 7 (with Chrome installed locally as well) and Windows XP (with no Chrome installed at all). It appears between Downloads and Settings in the hamburger menu.

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Molson01
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Works on 2 out of 3 of my machines

Thanks for the reply, it appears there is more going on here than I thought.

It looks like it is working on most of my machines, but not my primary. I have one Windows 8 and a Windows 7 on which it works, though I had to go to the settings on the Windows 7 machine. I have another Windows 7 machine that does not have the option to sign in, in the hamburger menu, or in the settings menu.

This is a machine that is somewhat locked down, though I have local admin privileges, but not registry privileges. There is a locally installed version of Chrome that also does not allow sign in, maybe there is a managed version of Chrome? Perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree (PortableApps), maybe this is a by design thing. Though, Iron works, so I wonder if maybe Chrome is taking a cue from the installed version and limiting sign in options.

Molson01
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Registry policy

I found this support post: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!searchin/chrome/no$20sync$20option/chrome/Pc2J9jHP4m0/LGmo8XURKVkJ

Looks like it is a policy set in the registry, of which I have no control.

chrome://policy/

SignInAllowed = false

Dang. I just wish there was a notification, "Google Sync has been disabled by your administrator". Instead it was just a mystery for months.

Thanks for the help :), sorry to waste your time.

testplayer
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According to this:

According to this: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/4409913?p=ui_automatic_settings...
Chrome will reset settings, including extensions, whenever it detects something unusual, including running on a new PC. That is REALLY painful if you have more than 30 extensions and hate the sign-in with an Google account because of the privacy problem with Google.

Unfortunately Iron also has this same problem. Extensions will be reset to "default", which is losing all extensions. That's really stupid.

Quite IRONically, Iron works hard to avoid the branding and even the word of "Chrome" everywhere, but if I move to another PC, on the setting page of Iron, the warning reads "Chrome detected that some of your settings were corrupted...". Looks like the developer of Iron doesn't really base their work on Chromium, but instead on Chrome.

Does Chromium portable also have this annoying problem? The new Blink based Opera portable shouldn't have though.

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Opera Sign In

We'll be releasing the new Opera as stable shortly. You will be required to sign in to Opera's sign in service to ensure full functionality.

If you want a stand-alone browser that works stand-alone without randomly resetting your preferences whenever it feels like it, Firefox is your best bet.

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testplayer
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Well, I am actually using

Well, I am actually using firefox portable, but perhaps the only reason why I use it is Zotero. For other general purpose web browsing, I still prefer a Blink or Chromium based portable browser, which is really portable, i.e., I don't need to sign in using an account and my settings and preferences will not be affected when I change PC or OS.

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Can't By Design

You can't by design due to the 'protections' built into Chrome, Iron, and Opera. Even your locally installed copy of Chrome or Iron can be reset at any time losing all extensions, extension settings, homepage settings, search settings, etc. Bookmarks will be preserved, though.

Personally, I use Firefox as it's is faster these days on most metrics and has much better privacy protections.

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testplayer
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What about Chromium portable?

What about Chromium portable? Looks like it doesn't have this ugly built-in "protections" mechanism. By the way, will you make Chromium portable official? It has been on sourceforge for quite a long time.

It's very disappointing that Opera has this mechanism. By the way, Opera's founder recently launched a full featured version of Opera called "Vivaldi". Looks promising though.

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Yes and No

Opera locks passwords to a specific PC Chrome-style. I don't know if it has the same profile protections or not.

Sadly Vivaldi's standalone installer is nowhere close to portable and looks to be as incredibly a messy task to make Vivaldi semi-portable as it is Chrome and Iron. Remember, Blink/Chrome/etc is purposely heavily tied to the OS, so passwords are locked per-PC, proxy settings are for Windows itself, installed certificates are just installed into Windows not the browser, etc. As such, it's the worst platform to build a portable browser on and basically the complete opposite of self-contained and neat Firefox.

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testplayer
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Well, I never store password

Well, I never store password in any browser, never use certificates, and I always use extension to handle proxy, so it's not a problem to me. What I mostly care is the extensions and their settings (especially for proxy). A major pain in the ass of Firefox is that most of the extensions require restart whenever they are installed or uninstalled or even disabled. That's why I prefer a Blink/Chromium based portable browser.

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More Advanced Extensions

That's mainly because Firefox has a much more advanced extensions system that gives addons access to much deeper functionality in the browser. Setting up extensions isn't something you do everyday and restarting the browser takes less than a second or two on modern systems. If you preserve sessions, you barely notice it. And your extensions won't be reset. It's a solid system that's worked well for longer than chrome has existed.

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testplayer
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OK, I am persuaded. I'll

OK, I am persuaded. I'll migrate to Firefox, probably to the developer edition from my current chrome profile, manually and painfully. But then, how can I transfer browser history from chrome portable to firefox portable? The major transfer method only applies to installed version.

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Local

I'd say temporarily install both locally and do the transfer, but I can't recall if browser history is one of the things that Chrome now randomly wipes or not.

The easiest thing for you to do is log into Google in either Chrome or Iron Portable. Of course, then Google keeps all your settings and I'm unsure whether they're encrypted or not as they are in Firefox.

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marcelo-ar
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Chromium not affected

I'm writing this with Chromium Portable 42.0.2278.0 and can confirm it's not affected; extensions and settings are preserved when moving to another system, only passwords stops working.
Actually there are lot of portable chromium versions available.
Unfortunately there are no stable chromium builds for Windows.
Also tested a portable Vivaldi, and it's also chromium based.

xbliss
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Why was my reply deleted? I

Why was my reply deleted? I am facing a similar User Profile data issue.

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Random Spam

It looked like random spam. Two separate posts to two separate threads with the exact same content and a link to another site.

Plus, this topic is long-since solved. You must login to Google and sync your profile and passwords with Google Chrome Portable as outlined on the app homepage and the large warning in the EULA you agree to as you install. Chrome profiles are locked to a PC and will be deleted as you move due to Chrome itself (all extensions, extension settings, homepage, default search engine, and similar... bookmarks will not be lost). This is by design by the Chrome team and they won't change it. Your profile data is disposable. Chrome is the only browser that behaves in this fashion.

If you need assistance with something besides this very specific situation as outlined in the rest of this post and the replies, please create a new topic.

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xbliss
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I was facing a similar issue

I was facing a similar issue and I had posted about that to SuperUser on SE {Thats the link I posted} and am realizing this Chrome Profile problem - which was easy to move before with simple copy etc. Now, it doesn't work.

Exact same situation and looks like Chrome is a gonna be a pain.

So, is this only Chrome and not Chromium? And/ or other Chromium based browsers?

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Correct

This only affects Chrome portable and Chrome local installs. You must sync with Google or you will lose your data at some point on both.

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

xbliss
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Chrome messed up User Profile data just on a Sysprep

Thanks for the reply John. Chrome messed up my profile just on a Sysprep of the same machine. Wondering if I should just import the data into Chromium or another Chromium based browser.

I read above in the thread that Opera has similar issues? I like Opera. Can I/ should I just go that way?

John T. Haller
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Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Just Sync

Just sync with Google and it'll work fine in both instances. If you're worried about privacy, you shouldn't use Chrome or Chromium due to the combined url and search bar.

If you have specific questions about switching to another browser and the pros and cons of each, please start a new thread to ask. This is getting into off topic territory for this old solved thread.

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

xbliss
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I have been syncing with

I have been syncing with Google but unfortunately it does not sync "all of the User Profile" data. I am going try a recovery of the Profile Data from Chrome to Chromium and report back/ if I need anything. Thanks.

I appreciate your help so far Smile

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