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I had a problem recently where the my OS could no longer write to its own partition (due to a filesystem mounting problem after mucking around with hibernation). This didn't actually cause the kind of immediate, severe problems I would've expected, but I did need to reboot (and fsck), losing some unsaved work. Most things have recovered fine (less the actual unsaved work), but Firefox is doing something a little odd.

After restarting, and starting up Firefox again, it didn't detect any problems / bring up any recovery options. So, I didn't get my open tabs back - annoying, but not a big deal (and pretty much understandable). More problematically, Firefox messed up my profile settings, and gave me no warning.

I use four different profiles (two 'main' ones, and a 'clone' of each (made by copying a while ago, not updated/synced)). The two that were open before the problem/reset (the 'main' ones) seem, at a glance, to have bookmarks in place and the right add-ons installed, but with all settings (Firefox settings and plugin settings) reset. The 'clone'/alternate profiles (which were not open while the fs was read-only) seem fine.

So, the main question .. How can I determine exactly what happened (what settings/config-files got messed up)?

An explanation of why/how this happened would be nice too, if possible. (Why would FFox mess up my settings, but not the rest of the profile?)

And, of course - How can I keep this from happening again? (Preferably a better solution than manually copying the profile folder - where better could mean a FFox setting, backup/restore from within FFox, or by setting some files RO (so they don't get overwritten, which I guess happened.))

Using (K)Ubuntu 12.04, Firefox 16

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