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Where is the folder for browser history?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by JR, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. JR

    JR Flightless Bird

    Using Windows XP, Firefox

    Does anyone know where can I find the folder that has the history of
    web pages I visited during the past several days?

  2. Russ SBITS.Biz [SBS-MVP]

    Russ SBITS.Biz [SBS-MVP] Flightless Bird


    Russell Grover - SBITS.Biz [SBS-MVP]
    Remote Small Business Server/Computer Support - www.SBITS.Biz
    BPOS - Microsoft Online Services - www.Microsoft-Online-Services.com

    "JR" <jackryaninla@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Using Windows XP, Firefox
    > Does anyone know where can I find the folder that has the history of
    > web pages I visited during the past several days?
    > Thanks,
  3. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    JR wrote:
    > Using Windows XP, Firefox
    > Does anyone know where can I find the folder that has the history of
    > web pages I visited during the past several days?
    > Thanks,

    You could search your C: drive for "firefox" and see what pops up. I see
    two folders of interest on mine.

    (1) C:/Documents and Settings\RealName\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\5cw2lxwq.default\

    (2) C:/Documents and Settings\RealName\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\5cw2lxwq.default

    The "5cw2lxwq" is a random sequence selected at installation time.
    So yours should be a different value than mine.

    The main folder has database files in it.

    C:/Documents and Settings\RealName\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\5cw2lxwq.default

    The database files end in ".sqlite". Now, try and figure out
    what each one does :) ("Places" *could* be a list of places you
    visited, as well as downloads.)

    Quit Firefox, then make copies of any of the SQLite files you want
    to play with.

    Firefox has an add-on for viewing database files of that type.
    I haven't tried this. Work with copies of the SQLite files for safety.


    Item (2) above, has a couple things in it. It has "Cache", which may contain
    the actual browsed files. It also has "urlclassifier3.sqlite", another
    database. As far as I know, the browser contacts Google? and gets
    "bad site info" (I didn't take note of the download source used).
    That info is used to block your browser from visiting "attack sites".
    If a site is known to be distributing malware, it might make that list.
    After a new install, it should take "urlclassifier3.sqlite" time to
    grow to its full size. It doesn't try to download the attack site
    info in one shot. That would absolutely kill a person on dialup.
    Right now, mine is 35,147,776 bytes.


    In terms of things you shouldn't try to do, there are articles
    like this. The problem with vacuuming any of the databases,
    to shrink the file size, is the database may be damaged by
    doing that. When I experimented with this, I shut down Firefox
    and made copies of some files to play with first.


    I think the copy of the standalone sqlite3 executable I tried was here.
    The revision number has to bear some resemblance to the version used
    in your copy of Firefox, for this to work. This is another tool,
    where you'll have fun figuring out how to use it. It is command
    line based, and interactive (if you can figure out what
    the commands are).


    sqlite3 --help

    By comparison, the add-on for viewing standalone files, would
    seem a safer bet. I just haven't had the motivation to try it.

    I was impressed that the vacuum procedure did make the files
    smaller, but not impressed enough to put the shrunk database
    files back in my Firefox profile folder :) I'd prefer it to
    keep working.

    I do have a couple interesting files in my sqlite3 "play folder".
    Unfortunately, I didn't keep any notes as to how I generated them.
    These two files were generated from places.sqlite and urlclassifier3.sqlite .
    This is copied from the output dump files I made. Only a few select
    lines have been copied from each (the files total about 41MB so I
    can't copy the whole thing). The "favicon" line has a couple thousand
    digits and I truncated that "..." for brevity.

    PRAGMA foreign_keys=OFF;
    INSERT INTO "moz_bookmarks" VALUES(86,1,121,2,11,'CDRLabs.com - Kprobe',NULL,NULL,1159262262000000,1147648877000000);
    INSERT INTO "moz_favicons" VALUES(1852,'http://www.javatester.org/favicon.ico',X'0000010018006803000016...00000','image/x-icon',1242007056031250);
    INSERT INTO "moz_places" VALUES(122,'http://www.cdrinfo.com/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=6513','Specific.aspx','moc.ofnirdc.www.',0,0,0,27,0);
    INSERT INTO "moz_historyvisits" VALUES(5161,5159,184965,1259564294812500,6,13861543172021881);

    The second file

    PRAGMA foreign_keys=OFF;
    INSERT INTO "moz_classifier" VALUES(2911429,X'E9F9852B',NULL,NULL,14727,3);
    INSERT INTO "moz_subs" VALUES(293456,X'B0D6439F',NULL,NULL,15430,3,12602);
    INSERT INTO "moz_tables" VALUES(1,'test-malware-simple','1','');
    INSERT INTO "moz_tables" VALUES(2,'test-phish-simple','1','');
    INSERT INTO "moz_tables" VALUES(3,'goog-malware-shavar','14727-16963','15282-26918');
    INSERT INTO "moz_tables" VALUES(4,'goog-phish-shavar','71991-79566','49352-52770');
    CREATE INDEX moz_classifier_domain_index ON moz_classifier(domain);
    CREATE INDEX moz_classifier_chunk_index ON moz_classifier(chunk_id);
    CREATE INDEX moz_subs_domain_index ON moz_subs(domain);
    CREATE INDEX moz_subs_chunk_index ON moz_subs(chunk_id);

    You can probably guess which chunk is associated with which source file.

    I probably generated those files using the sqlite3 program, but
    exactly how isn't clear. The answer is probably on this page, as
    I had this bookmarked.


    "Use the ".dump" command to convert the entire contents of a database
    into a single ASCII text file. This file can be converted back into
    a database by piping it back into sqlite3."

    So that should give you some ideas.

    Have fun,

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