*Solved/Great support* Desperately need tips on how to restore bookmarks, notes, sessions

  • Hi all,

    please, before you say that there are threads already covering this, yes I will have read most of them, most of which say "create a copy of the 'default' folder and move it back in place" or point out the according Bookmarks(.bak), Notes(.bak) etc. files and I will have tried one or the other thing already.

    Here is what happened in chronological order as good as I remember it.

    1. Latest Vivaldi snapshot crashed (Win7/64) due to some other program that was intercepted by my security suite which resulted in Vivaldi crashing too. FYI, a shty piece of software called "nProtect GameGuard)
    2. Relaunched Vivaldi
      -> session with 110+ tabs gone.
    3. Went into ...\Appdata\Local\ and used the Windows feature "Previous versions" to restore the Vivaldi folder to an earlier date (10 days old) as it helped me before with such a crash
    4. Relaunched Vivaldi -> Issue with profile -> Vivaldi was shut down -> restarted with a en empty seesion
    5. I thought "10 days old user data - hmm, maybe incompatability issue."
      -> downloaded Vivaldi snapshot that should match the date of the "Previous versions" folder state
      -> for that I had to uninstall the most recent snapshot as it wouldn't let me install over/on top of it. Kind of made sense to me
    6. Used "Previous versions" feature to save a copy of the whole ...\Appdata\Local\Vivaldi folder as a backup to I could try some more and still have the data.
    7. Downgraded Vivaldi to a snapshot version that should correspond to the "Previous version" backup folder date, which launched after installation
      -> closed it ->
      -> deleted "Default" folder and copied the backup version (10 days old) in place
      -> relaunch -> no bookmarks, notes, speeddial, 110+ tab session (saved sessions are present) - no surprise
      -> closed it
      -> deleted "User Data" folder and copied the backup version (10 days old) in place
      -> relaunch
      -> no bookmarks, notes, speeddial, 100+ tab session (saved sessions are present)
    8. Tried to import using Vivaldi's feature for that, pointing it to the backup folder I made
      -> it reports successful import of
      -->Bookmarks - no, I don't see them in Vivaldi
      --> no Notes
      --> Passwords, yes they work
      --> History, I couldn't say as I delete it quite regularly, but see below

    (file sizes of the bookmark file in my backup folder is 8.4 MB, notes are approx 1.8 MB, Current Session 2.6 MB, Current Tabs 440 KB, Favcons 16.6 MB, History 19.3 MB, Last Session 2.9 MB, Top Sites 37.3 MB)

    I retried all of the above steps with the lastest snapshot again and the backed up data from Windows ' "Previous Version" feature (10 days old from ...\Appdata\Local\Vivaldi but unfortunately I am not successful at getting back my

    • last Session
    • Bookmarks (a killer for me)
    • Notes (a killer for me)
    • Speeddial

    What could I try to succeed?

    Thank you, thank you a lot for having invested the time reading this and an even greater bunch of thanks for tips!


  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco Do you still have an unaltered copy, anywhere, of the User Data/Default folder as it existed right after the crash, or have you deleted all such, leaving only these "rollback" versions (I wish you had never done that) you made?

  • Unfortunately 'no'.
    I addressed it too hastily as the "Previous version" feature saved me in the past - once.
    What I did differently back then? I only replaced the session related files.

    The data that I have, this 10 days old backup I was referring to (what you refer to as rollback data), would be better than what I have now. So that damage I can hardly complain about - self inflicted.

    I totally forgot to say the most important thing: thanks for your time. Highly appreciated.

    Here is a screenie of the rollback "User Data" folder at the moment
    The "Notes" and "Notes.bak" files in here do not contain the Notes I am looking for as far as I can tell, opened them in NotePad++. The ones in the "Default" folder seem to match both size and content wise.

    and this is the "Default" folder nested within the aforementioned

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco That's a sh*tload of files in the User Data Folder that don't belong there. In the Windows version of User data there are 14 folders and 7 files. I see that one of my versions has also accumulated a mess of those crashpad files, but they are not needed. But outside of the crashpad files, you also have 19 other files, of which only 7 are normal, and the rest either belong in the Default folder or don't belong at all, as near as I can see.

    But I see you've been messing around there and have copied or moved some files from Default to the parent User Data folder, so for now do not delete those files. They might be the ones you need.

    First thing is, quit dealing with the User Data folder as a whole. You only need concern yourself with the Default folder. Ever. But rule 1, for the time being, don't delete anything. Only rename. So if you rename that User Data folder to get a clean one (Vivaldi will self-generate it), you can then copy the most-current versions you have of Bookmarks, Login Data, favicons, history, etc. from Default in the old folder to Default in the new folder, and if that doesn't restore your bookmarks, look at the ones you put in the User Data folder and see if those are the ones with the data.

    Again, don't delete anything. Just rename stuff and copy stuff - so that you don't lose anything you have. Let me know what you learn trying these things.

  • @ayespy said in Desperately need tips on how to restore bookmarks, notes, sessions:

    rename that User Data folder to get a clean one (Vivaldi will self-generate it), you

    OK, here is what'll do:

    • boot back into Windows, screenshots were taken from Linux (it's a dual boot machine) accessing the backup folder on the Windows partition for that purpose
    • create a 2nd copy of the rollback folder - just in case....

    And if I understood you correctly:

    • delete all CrashpadMetrics.pma*.TMP files in "User Data" folder
      (- leave hands off the "User Data" folder from now on - only "Default" folder "matters" to me)
    • rename "User Data" folder to something else so that Vivaldi won't touch this one
    • restart Vivaldi to have a plain new "User Data" folder be created
    • close Vivaldi
    • copy Bookmarks, Login Data, favicons, history files into "Default" folder, overwriting the newly created ones
      ==> should I also copy the *.bak versions of the respective files?
      ==> does your "etc." include "Notes, Login Data" as well? Copy the *.bak versions of them as well to "Default" folder?

    I only purged those CrashpadMetrics files so far in the working folder out of which I'll copy things into the to be created "Default folder".

    Below is a current view into the folders with more file attributes:

    "User Data" folder after CrashPad file removal, sorted by size:

    "Profile" folder, sorted by size
    1/3 https://ibb.co/dt62en
    2/3 https://ibb.co/fc28Kn
    3/3 https://ibb.co/emVCen

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco My recommendation was to rename the entire User Data folder and proceed from there. I don't know what might be busted in it aside from the extra files. You can safely ignore the crashpad files for now, as a rename will give you a clean folder without them. Then proceed from the Default folder, retrieving your data from the old Default in the renamed User Data folder, unless the one in the parent folder is newer and better.

  • ==> should I also copy the *.bak versions of the respective files?
    ==> does your "etc." include "Notes, Login Data" as well? Copy the *.bak versions of them as well to "Default" folder?

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco Yes, Login Data and Notes as well. Ignore the .bak files.

    • Renamed "User Data" folder to "OLDUser DataOLD"

    • Restarted Vivaldi -> User Data folder was created anew

    • Closed Vivaldi

    • Copied the following files from an interims folder, that I created so that you can actually see items side-by-side, to
      C:\Users\ <USERNAME>\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\User Data\Default
      This reflects the smallest subset of files that matter to me. The rest is configurations, extensions et al and not really user data.

    • Restarted Vivaldi

    ==> Bookmarks are empty, not even the default Vivaldi sponsored links
    ==> Notes are empty

    And this despite the files' sizes. To me that means they are kind of skipped as Notes are Bookmarks are empty in Vivaldi browser (Please see screenshot on this post)
    The e.g. Bookmarks and Notes files kept their sizes in the target directory after the launch and exiting of Vivaldi.

    Notes: if I open the Notes.BAK file from the rollback folder with e.g. Notepad++ I kind of see plaintext in there that seems to be the notes that I am looking for, only that they are not in Vivaldi. The Notes file from the rollback directory only shows kind of special characters - didn't check the ASCII/UTF-8 code for those but there didn't seem to be much diversity.

    Anything else I could try?

    Taking a bow - "Thank you for your assistance."

  • Have You tried any file recovery software? If Your HDD had a lot of empty space there is a little chance to find something.
    I usually do it from another OS booted from USB.

    Horrible problem of Vivaldi is that it can overwrite good backup files with empty ones.
    I submited a feature request about this because I had similar problem like You with ~150 tabs session...

    Sometimes You can restore last session via trash icon but there is probably a retention policy.

  • Unlikely to work on the drive that hosts the OS and Vivaldi as it's an SSD. I assume the activated trim as well as an SSD's memory cell management undermines this. And as I can't tell which file(s) are the most important ones/the ones preventing Vivaldi from accessing the provided Notes and Bookmarks file I wouldn't know which to restore if I spotted some. I'll have a quick look with O&O booting off a USB stick.
    If it were a regular HDD it would actually be a good idea worth trying. Hope dies last.
    Thanks ROTFL.

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco If the Bookmarks file, for instance, is intact an uncorrupted, no other files are necessary to access it. It simply needs to be in the Default folder and Vivaldi will find it and use it. Period. When you say you have no bookmarks (just so I'm making no assumptions) where are you looking to find them?

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco The Bookmarks and Notes file sizes you quoted are quite large and so obviously there is data there, so I'm baffled that the data is not passed to the interface.

  • @ayespy
    The following screenshot shows the content of the ...AppData...Default folder

    • after I renamed User Data folder to have a new one created
    • started and closed Vivaldi once to do just that
    • copied those four extensionless files (Bookmarks, History, Login Data, Notes) to ...AppData...Default folder
    • ran Vivaldi again and found Notes and Bookmarks empty.

    => my copied Notes file was renamed to Notes.bak and a new Notes file, which is smaller in size, was created
    => the other three files kept their names and sizes but e.g. Bookmarks seems to be ignored.

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco That's insane. It's like your Bookmarks file is somehow corrupted.

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco You are doing this with Vivaldi CLOSED, yes?

  • @ayespy Is the inner file structure of "Bookmarks" and "Bookmarks.bak" identical, as in *.bak just being an older backup copy. As I could try move a slightly even older into the Default folder to see if that makes a difference.

  • Yes, while it's closed and task manager not showing it as a running process any more.

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco Basically, yes.

  • Moderator

    @rogerwilco You can remove the primary file, delete the .Bak file extension, and the backup file is supposed to replace the original

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