Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mac Envy

I want a Mac. (link contains U.S.S. Enterprise vs. Borg vignette)

Yesterday I was having some problems with Firefox, so I Googled around trying to find a fix. At one point, I was so frustrated that I thought about just uninstalling the dang thing and starting over.

The instructions for uninstalling Firefox if you have a MAC are:

On Mac OS X

Drag the Firefox application to the Trash.


The instructions for uninstalling Firefox if you have WINDOWS are:

On Windows

Exit Firefox completely, then:

  • Open the Windows Control Panel and double-click "Add/Remove Programs". Select "Mozilla Firefox " in the list of installed programs and click "Remove" to run the uninstaller. Even if this fails, as it may in some cases, continue on with the rest of the uninstall instructions.'
  • Delete the Firefox Installation directory, located here, by default: C:\Program files\Mozilla Firefox.
  • Enable viewing or searching hidden files and folders (details here) then delete these additional files or folders:
    • The Firefox folder that contains temporary data ( *.mfl files, Cache and Updates), located here: Important: Make sure you delete the Firefox folder under Local Settings or Local. Deleting the wrong folder will remove your user profile data!
      • Windows 2000/XP: C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
      • Windows Vista: C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox
    • Windows Vista: The C:\Users\\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox folder [2] (if it exists)
    • Windows XP/Vista: Delete all C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\FIREFOX* files
    • If you installed the Quality Feedback Agent component (aka Talkback), open the %APPDATA%\Talkback\MozillaOrg\ folder and delete all "Firefox" folders found, for example, "Firefox10" "Firefox15" and "Firefox2".
  • If necessary, remove the "Mozilla Firefox" shortcuts in the Windows Start -> Programs menu by right-clicking and deleting the entries. (This step should not be needed unless the Add/Remove Programs uninstaller in the first step failed.)

The Firefox uninstall will leave behind some Windows registry entries, which can be cleaned up using Windows regedit or a 3rd party registry cleaner. Note: registry editing is a potentially hazardous undertaking!.

You may also need to manually change some file associations or icons in your Windows "Folder Options -> File Types" even after setting a new default browser, as reported here.

Removing user profile data

This step is recommended if you had problems with Firefox and are now preparing for a "clean reinstall" or if you want to completely remove Firefox from your system. This will remove the Firefox user profile data, which includes bookmarks, passwords, cookies, preference settings and added extensions:

Back up your profile data so that you can restore it later, if you wish, then delete (or rename) the Firefox folder in the default profile path. This folder includes the "Profiles" subfolder and the files "profiles.ini" and "pluginreg.dat". In Windows XP, for example, go to "Start -> Run -> (type in) %APPDATA% -> click OK" to open the hidden Application Data folder, then open the "Mozilla" folder and delete (or rename) the "Firefox" folder.

Caution: Do not simply delete the profile folder that contains your user data, as doing so can result in a "profile in use" or "already running" message when you next attempt to run Firefox (bug 278860).

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