• Firefox Update gone terribly wrong -2 installs?

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    Didn’t think this disaster would be my 1st post

    Was trying to update Ffox to ver. 100 from USER acct where it was initially installed. Went to the offered update link, as only admin account offers ‘updating’ vs user needs ‘download’. (Never understood that as Ffox was orig installed via User account)
    Downloaded firefox 100.exe (vs just firefox.exe!).
    Clicked on firefox Setup 100.0.exe by accident, Admin pswd prompt popped up, realized my error, hit the ‘x’ to cancel out, did not enter pswd nor accept/decline. Yet Ffox installed itself in bground anyway?
    It installed another version & profile, another desktop icon, another Ffox in start menu in User?

    * To note my previous user ark profile still works. I want to keep it as it is my arkenfox one.*

    Remediated steps taken:
    1. Backed up User Ark orig profile folder (was on latest 99 ver).
    2. created restore point
    3. via user my Ark ffox profile, downloaded and ran ‘firefox.exe’, it applied and worked.
    3. via User, Settings>Apps showed 2 Ffox. Uninstalled “new” one, as it easily showed time of the “new” install. Uninstaller ran, showed ‘uninstalled’. That removed the extra Ffox program listed there in Settings, but NOT desktop icon, nor 2nd Ffox icon in Start menu, nor the “new” profile (non-default)
    4. created a post uninstall restore point via Admin. Restarted PC. Disk cleanup.
    5. In USER acct: 2nd new, non-default profile STILL present in ‘Roaming’ folder. Deleted new profile via FFox profile manager. Deleted orphaned FFox desktop icon.

    Result: User Ffox desktop icon goes to correct Ark profile. BUT still 2 Ffox icons in User Start Menu. Windows Settings>Apps & Features shows only 1 Ffox now.
    User Ctrl Panel>programs & features shows 2 Ffox installs, no timestamp beside, same date. One has Ffox icon, one simply windows generic Ffox. (which do I uninstall? Don’t want to lose my current/ongoing secure profile)

    *Note in checking Admin account, there is only one Ffox icon in Start menu. BUT upon opening Ffox, says “looks like you reinstalled Ffox, want to refesh?” Control panel>programs and features here shows only one Ffox install and Mozilla maint service.

    Any way to figure out which to uninstall? Anyway out of this mess and rid system of this crud, maintain User profile vs having to uninstall/reinstall and reconfig? New to Macrium Reflect, have never had to restore, last image was May 1.


    Win 10 Pro 21H2 GP edit ‘2’, TRV win 10 21H2.

    Viewing 15 reply threads
    • #2445344

      Can you see a user profile both in admin and in your user account?

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2445349

        There are different/separate profiles in each. 2 in each actually, default and default-release. (default-release are of course the profiles in operation when opening Ffox).

        Update: clicked again on each Ffox icon in User Start menu to see where it would take me. This time, one stated ‘program is no longer, do you want to delete?’. Seems the 2 installs are now distinct per account (Admin/User). Unless there is something wrong with this unfortunate new setup, I’ll assume it’s ‘fine’.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2445393

      Try each one one, the Uninstall for the correct install one might ask you for Administrator privilege.

    • #2445414

      This may still be helpful for you now and future people who find this topic:

      After testing Mozilla Firefox setup (Firefox Installer.exe) will now install Firefox to “*\Users\(replace this with your User account name)\AppData\Local\Mozilla Firefox” if you decline to install as Administrator.

      (If you have panicked and uninstalled every Firefox instance, install Firefox again.)

      You may be able to simply delete that newer standard user install in AppData\Local. If you have your still have original first installation you can verify if you will need restore that older working profile by opening Firefox by going in to the Help menu (Alt+H) and look in More Troubleshooting Information. If you see the old profile name you may not have to do anything more except verifying the current settings and deleting the extra unused profiles.

      If you backed up the old profile data before deleting everything, restore it to “*\Users\(replace this with your User account name)\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles”.

      Profiles can be managed inside Firefox by typing in the Address Bar “about:profiles”, the profile names containing “default-release” can be deleted if Firefox was/is restored to normal use for your expectation.

      *Change that to the drive letter where the user data is, usually C:

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2445435

      Thank you Anon,

      In User acct, my error was in clicking on the Firefox Setup 100.0.exe d/load which strangely came down the chute from verified linked Moz site vs the normal Firefox Installer.exe. Resulted in the double install, rgdless of ‘x’ out.

      I uninstalled the ‘newest’ listed in user Stgs>apps, but kept earlier one, which thankfully preserved my orig user Profile, but changed Admin profile. It left remnants, I removed as above. Though it had already installed in my Admin account, it left User profile so I could then execute the update after via trying link again, rec’d Firefox installer.exe in my user d/loads.

      Carefully watch what shows up in your d/loads, as Ffox doesn’t let you know until you read it once d/loaded! As well, I found if you delete past months ‘Firefox installer.exe’ from d/loads, you won’t see the prompt “replace Firefox installer.exe?” which indicates you are doing an update.

      In my case, I am left with some odd symbiotic relationship between the “new’ admin Ffox and the user. And ‘default-release’ is and has always has been the default profile in both accounts? ‘Default’ is separate and changes to ‘-release’ after/ongoing 1st update post Dec install. Admin Profile name/ID changed, both default/default-release. Under FFox ‘Help, troubleshooting Info’, Profiles show (10th entry down) that it did indeed change profile ID in the Admin, stayed static in User.

      FWIW, These may lead a clue to you wise ones as to which account is now handling the control/updates, what to uninstall or leave as is.

      Admin Control panel>Programs and features 1st, User Control panel>Programs 2nd screen shot:


      Admin Control panel post debacle
      User control panel post debacle

    • #2445523

      Hi Deo:

      Just note the uninstalling the Firefox program from Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features only removes the Firefox application installed at C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox, but by design this does not remove the Firefox user profile stored at C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\. The Mozilla support article Profiles – Where Firefox Stores Your Bookmarks, Passwords and Other User Data notes that:

      “… Your profile folder is stored in a separate place from the Firefox program so that, if something ever goes wrong with Firefox, your information will still be there. It also means that you can uninstall Firefox without losing your settings and you don’t have to reinstall Firefox to clear your information or troubleshoot a problem…

      I normally type firefox.exe -P into a Run dialog box to start the Firefox Profile Manager as instructed in the Mozilla support article Profile Manager – Create, Remove or Switch Firefox Profiles if I want to delete an old user profile or change which profile is used by default when Firefox is launched.

      If you right-click on the full offline installer (e.g., Firefox Setup 100.0.exe) and choose Run as Administrator (or, I assume, install while logged in as an Administrator) then Firefox can be installed “for all users” (i.e., one installation at C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox), and then individual users can customize their extensions, bookmarks, etc. using their own Firefox profile. If you launch the Firefox Profile Manager after logging in to Windows with your Admin or User account you should then be able to choose which Firefox user profile will be used by default for that particular Windows account (username).
      Dell Inspiron 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H2 build 19044.1645 * Firefox v100.0.0

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2445904

        Thank you Imacri, not able to run firefox.exe -P in User account? Works in Admin account, showing only Admin profile of course. When in User: App data>User>Roaming shows ALL “User” profiles. App data>local shows only current operational user profile, not any other profiles previously saved there. Those only show up when I open User Ffox>help>troubleshooting info>open “profile folder”. Unable to reach them any other way?

    • #2445562

      Just note the uninstalling the Firefox program from Control Panel

      Never use Microsoft’s poor uninstall.
      Use free 3rd party apps like geek uninstaller, revo uninstaller…any will be better than Microsoft.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2445663

        Thx Alex5723, am searching Revo Uninstaller Free portable as I type, may come in handy:)

      • #2445693

        Never use Microsoft’s poor uninstall

        The uninstall is written by the software, not MS. When the software installs, it tells Windows installer to perform certain actions. Uninstall reverses those actions.
        If the software subsequently adds / changes other things then Windows uninstall can’t remove the change.

        3rd party uninstallers have a database of changes and use that to remove software. It’s a choice to manually collect that information in the hope of selling you their product.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2445661

      Thanks all, wasn’t able to dig in until today. Issues persist.

      Imacri, first clue larger problems are indeed afoot: was unable to run command firefox.exe -P from User account. “windows cannot find ‘firefox.exe’. (Works fine from Admin account, even offline, not from User acct.) * User was where I installed orig ffox Dec.

      Took a peek in registry, there are a couple more Mozilla entries than usual.

      Looked in Event Viewer in both Admin & User:  Numerous ongoing ‘errors’ ‘Firefox default browser Agent can’t be found.’ 0x80072EE7 in IsAgentRemoteDisabledInternal:68

      On May 8, date of this install debacle, event viewer shows Application Errors in User:

      Faulting module name ntdll.dll, faulting path:C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe, faulting module path: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll . If pics help, pls advise.

      Both Admin & User Ffox boot & browse. Arkenfox is the User profile as of Jan, is fine.

      Unsure if above is helpful. My orig ffox install on this freshly installed older Dell was through User account in Dec. All was fine. Lightly (non-chrome/no google) used. (Wrongly or rightly told too always exclusively install programs thru User account leaving Admin solely for updates & antivirus install?). I digress.

      Any reco’s on next steps? Am I looking at a USB b/up of my profile User tweaked Ark profile, then uninstall all Ffox, use revo free to clean up registry, then reinstalling Ffox and HOPE my profile imports?

      Or am I overthinking things? Only moderately tech astute. Add Patch Tues, winshowhide is doing odd things,  and grey hair begins! Appreciate the help.

    • #2445698

      3rd party uninstallers have a database of changes and use that to remove software. It’s a choice to manually collect that information in the hope of selling you their product.

      Good 3rd party FREE uninstallers scan for orphan folders, registry entries and remove them, something the Windows uninstaller doesn’t do.
      If 3rd party uninstallers can do that so should Microsoft.

    • #2445913

      As per my orig post, seems I installed the Setup file in user (orig install was here), then perhaps uninstalled the (new) wrong one via User? IDK. Run ‘Firefox.exe -P’ no longer works from User. Only Admin.

      Both Admin & User profiles (FFox>Help>troubleshooting info)  show “update”  history back to orig install. Yet, I presume, after installing Firefox Setup.100.o.exe vs Firefox Installer.exe, then uninstalling the newly downloaded & installed 100 SETUP.exe, that went into Admin (even with ‘x’ out vs “Accept or decline” when presented with UAC pop up in my User account and it double installed), I’m left with this mess. Though they operate, doesn’t feel right?

      I will await comments or save b/up of profile, at least bookmarks, and begin again after uninstall via windows uninstall of all 3 Ffox installs via ctrl panel (?) screen shot above.

      Can’t seem to trust UAC these days it seems, mine set to high, & no accept/decline nor Admin pswd inputted from User pop up for this incident of Ffox update.

      • #2446026

        Backup you good profiles again, and uninstall all instances of Firefox. First from Administrator, and then log in as standard, uninstall that one. (Note: You may be able to uninstall both instances as Administrator.)
        Reboot, and then as Administrator install Firefox. For each account launch Firefox and in the address bar type about:profiles. you can make Firefox use the correct profile in that page.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2446937

      Total removal after backup of profile to thumb drive attempt… Didn’t work.

      Thru Admin account, was able to delete “Mozilla Firefox” via Settings>Add& remove programs. Same with User. When there was true Mozilla Icon vs generic (see below).

      BUT when I tried to delete the ‘generic’ Mozilla icon (see my post & pics 2445435), which only shows up in User control panel, I got this pop up:

      1st-warning-for-ask-woody-generic-icon, and this left in Ctrl Panel: 1st-warning-for-ask-woody-generic-icon2

      I signed out of Admin account and back in User got this:


      Selected “Yes”. All good? Not so fast!

      Prior to/after deletion, I dug in. I perused Ffox profiles, both Admin & User looking for what was linking them.  My clue was anomaly: in each Profile “Update Folder” AND under “Program Data” showing, and remains:


      Hope the above helps others, reason I posted my saga.

      In MY case, am still looking for help, as I believe this stemmed from a collision of an update of my standalone Firefox Portable (in my C:/User/{username}/My Portable Apps folder) ? It has been there since Jan, no problems or profile overlap.  I haven’t used that portable app; it is a backup for emerg, I keep it updated. Yet it should be noted that it shares ‘Program Data’ folders with all other Ffox profiles in Prog Data (who knew), and after the portable app update May 5, this joining occurred. No blame, it states on their website there is a “known issues” as per  https://portableapps.com/support/firefox_portable ?

      Personally, not sure what I am to do now. Though I deleted the portable Firefox app folder that has done nothing for me, the screen shot above shows it is still somehow in play in Program Data.


    • #2446943

      I don’t see the issue.
      The update folder is a re-directed Program Files folder, nothing unusual there.

      Did you delete all profiles manually after the uninstall (before re-install)?

      cheers, Paul

      • #2446945

        I have not yet re-installed. Other than main roaming profiles, there should be nothing there? The old  ‘update folder’ is stuck as shown and unusual, has never been in that location nor named this way prior to debacle.  i.e  Program Data Mozilla-ide4eec..etc. . It didn’t delete.User-post-foced-uninstall-via-ctrl-panel-remnants


    • #2447057

      Make a backup and then delete those folders.
      Reinstall FF and let us know.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2447287

      Thank you, will do. As soon as I have the chance to sit down at the PC for lengthy time; life gets in the way. As do all the colliding updates. (Trying to outrun the next imminent Ffox update, kept the Setup. 100.0 on USB, hope it will work, then config new Ark if profile b/up doesn’t work.)


    • #2448415

      Probs persist:
      I copied/pasted User Roaming profile to a User/Docs folder for safe-keeping.
      I deleted EVERY roaming profile in each Admin and User account, and any ‘Mozilla’ empty folder I could find. No folders/traces left in App Data- Roaming, Local, Program files or ProgramData etc.
      Disk cleanup, restart.

      Downloaded a fresh copy of the latest Ffox Win x64 100.0.2.
      Installed via my Admin account as advised. (Did not reuse any previous profiles b/ups).

      Proceeded to profiles via ‘about:profiles’. In both Admin/User, “default-release” were set as the default profile.

      Started from scratch: in User 1st, created a new profile ‘Privacy”, set to default, redid my Arkenfox from scratch. Works fine. Kept the ‘default-release‘ profile there, as is no longer default.

      Admin account, ‘run’ firefox.exe -P works there, created new profile ‘Privacy’, set to default. TIP: Use this in ‘run’ dialog box from User account to get to ‘profiles’ if not in Admin:  “C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe” -P  (use quotation marks)

      As per above directions to remove profiles that are not needed nor default, I deleted the ‘default-release’ profile in Admin acct, as I had changed the default & worked.

      All ‘profiles’ folders path in both accounts go to respective C:Users{user name}AppdataRoamingMozillaFirefoxProfiles{gobblegook.default} folders. Seen in both ‘run’ profile options and Ffox: Help> ‘More Troubleshooting Information’. ‘about:profiles’ in address bar does NOT work consistently when Ffox is open in both accounts at same time.

      Proceeded to ‘Ark’up my Admin Privacy default profile. ‘updater.bat’ script stuck on ‘resuming‘. Odd. Check of Ffox menu Help> About> resulted in ‘another instance is in use’. Ffox was open in User account. Screenshot was from prior to Ark up.Ffox-running-by-another-instance-Admin-new-Ffox-install


      Closed Ffox in User = access to ‘About’ in Admin finally available.
      Open Ffox in Admin, head over to User account = same error in About “another instance is in use”.

      Seems like there is something very wrong to not be able to have Ffox open in each separate account at the same time. Has never been a prob.

      [In my User account, Ffox desktop shortcut properties show as an .lnk file, with a location of C:Users\Public\Desktop, folder path C:Users\Public\Public Desktop? Security tab doesn’t show User, only System, Admin, & ‘INTERACTIVE’?] No User? Never had this issue before on any PC. I do not think it has to do with Ffox versions, nor Arkenfox, as the issue occurred prior to my orig post, and now with normal ‘vanilla’ profiles too.] Importing the few bookmarks from the b/up profile post the above from old profile, bookmarkbackups .jsonlz4 file was fine.

      * FWIW the oddly named folder (see screen shot in my post above 2446945) of ‘ProgramData’ re-emerged again after deleting and re-downloading Librewolf portable zip as per PkCano’s instructions in post 2444680 today to rule out . Yet since pre/post Ffox reinstall, all Ffox ‘update’ folders and profile counts go there, as well as Librewolf. Could this be a Librewolf Portable issue? Though Librewolf portable is not running during above FFox issues.Too bad, it is a mighty fine portable – slow on a thumb drive, but brilliant when using from C:/My Portables/~Librewolf.exe.

      Would doing May’s updates help? Stymied. No other browser other than Chredge. Anything else I could do/check for corruption? Lightly used, but my only PC, need to update other programs i.e. b/up iphone to itunes etc. TY

      • #2448544

        Sorry for the poorly written post, was tired after the 6 hour process, days of pulling hair out. (Didn’t realize can’t edit a post after submitting & logging out.).

        Can confirm: if Ffox is open in both Admin & User, both show “Firefox is being updated by another instance”.

        I truly don’t know what I am dealing with here, nor what next steps to take. Have I completely destroyed my system by my initial errors? Is a costly trip to a repair shop my only option?

    • #2448418

      Is Arkenfox the issue?

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2448421

        Thank you Paul T, I ran across that too in my research. However the above occurs with non-Ark, fresh vanilla profiles, hours prior to my Arkenfox diddling, with the new install/profiles?

    • #2448900

      Seems this post has been abandoned. If beyond help, PLEASE advise. I merely finally signed up to AW as I believe in the site and each of you. Ironically, this happened days later.

      As I am left in the Ffox above state, I ask merely 3 questions:

      1. Is this normal?: from my above post 2448415  “In my User account, Ffox desktop shortcut properties show as an .lnk file, with a location of C:Users\Public\Desktop, folder path C:Users\Public\Public Desktop? Security tab doesn’t show User, only System, Admin, & ‘INTERACTIVE’?”

      2. Is this normal?: “Firefox is being updated by another instance” even after taking Ark out of the equation, post-reinstall?

      3. Is my system (&/or registry) now corrupt?: Do I need to do what I have seen mentioned as an ominous task for a newb “in place repair” to fix? Or is my PC completely hooped by this?

      Give it to me straight. Input appreciated.

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