Question Can't Find Chrome Bookmark file in crashed drive

Mar 14, 2021
17
0
10
0
I MOVED THIS TOPIC TO A MUCH SIMPLER THREAD HERE
(1) Question - Are these crashed drive Recuva-recovered Chrome bookmarks usable? | Tom's Hardware Forum

I had a windows 8.1 PC crash, it wasn't getting internet no matter any basic fixes I tried, so I just did a 'Refresh Without Affecting Your Files' but then it froze at "Setting up a few more things".

I made some posts and was told it did something like ran out of space and just could not complete the refresh/install, it was only a 2450GB drive, would have been nice if it warned me or something like that, just some stupid 8.1 error I guess.

I then bought a new 1TB SSD and Windows 10 and was able to get most of my stuff back but I can't find the Chrome bookmark file(s) in
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Bookmarks)

There's not even a Google folder before there.

In Windows 10 I didn't install Chrome yet so it doesn't maybe conflict with the old copy of Chrome. In my bottom left Search bar I searched 'bookmark', then search by Document, but it finds nothing either.

Is it safe to say the old bookmarks are gone?

Along the lines I may have deleted a chrome icon in the old drive, I'm not really sure. I did have Chrome installed on the new Windows 10 drive and maybe it was conflicting or something but I'm not sure I even deleted a chrome icon or anything Chrome or Google related in the crashed drive.

Any tricks I can try one last time to try and get my bookmarks?
thanks
 
Last edited:
Mar 14, 2021
17
0
10
0
It looks like you did a whole lot more than just delete the Chrome icon.
I don't think so, I know I wouldn't delete any folder called Google or Chrome and I don't know if I even deleted the icon. Some things were overlapping with the new and old drive, like in the old drive, there was a desktop folder that would bring me to my current desktop. I don't think I deleted that. I deleted a bunch of old stuff like fruity loops I don't even have installed on the new PC and don't need to old files from. "Fix windows 8.1 auto arrange problem" add-on file I don't need and deleted. Stuff like that.
I do have Show hidden files shown on both drives but maybe the bookmarks and chrome folder is still there somehow even though I don't see them?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
139,839
7,565
173,940
21,480
I don't think so, I know I wouldn't delete any folder called Google or Chrome and I don't know if I even deleted the icon. Some things were overlapping with the new and old drive, like in the old drive, there was a desktop folder that would bring me to my current desktop. I don't think I deleted that. I deleted a bunch of old stuff like fruity loops I don't even have installed on the new PC and don't need to old files from. "Fix windows 8.1 auto arrange problem" add-on file I don't need and deleted. Stuff like that.
I do have Show hidden files shown on both drives but maybe the bookmarks and chrome folder is still there somehow even though I don't see them?
"and was told it did something like ran out of space and just could not complete the refresh/install "

"I then bought a new 1TB SSD and Windows 10 and was able to get most of my stuff back "

'most'

Did you do a whole OS install with this new 1TB?
Am completely unsure of what you've actually done.

If you did a new install, that "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google ..." is not the same 'user'.
 

Adam0ne

Great
Feb 9, 2021
108
20
95
2
On how you lost the files would seem moot now, since it froze when you did a "refresh and save files". Nothing good comes out of a halted setup. Likely affected saving/copy process. If ever the file is still there, the version could be corrupted or unreadable. You won't find it or let alone be able to use it.
 
Mar 14, 2021
17
0
10
0
forgot to mention, obviously I didn't use sync or a google account to back these up.

Also, the drive I'm trying to get bookmarks from is not
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Bookmarks)

It's D: drive, The new windows 10 is C drive.

Someone suggested this, I might give a try. Thought? Other suggestions. Thanks again
If System Restore was enabled on the crashed drive you might be able to get your bookmarks using Shadow Explorer. Download the portable version.

Read the documentation. Click the dropdown box to select your drive letter of the crashed drive. If it finds any Restore Point it should let you browse to your Chrome Folder

https://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html

https://www.shadowexplorer.com/documentation/manual.html

FYI: If you synced your bookmarks using a Google account you should be able to retrieve them.


https://www.lifewire.com/sync-chrome-bookmarks-4584462
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
139,839
7,565
173,940
21,480
Also, the drive I'm trying to get bookmarks from is not
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Bookmarks)

It's D: drive, The new windows 10 is C drive.
Right.
And you'll have to navigate down through the D drive. Encountering permissions issues at every level.
If, at the end of that, you still can't find those bookmarks...they are gone.
 
Mar 14, 2021
17
0
10
0
I read various other forum threads which say your chrome bookmarks DO get removed from -Refresh Your PC without Affecting You Files-, but they should be moved to a newly created folder C:\Windows.old (or maybe in my case D:\), either way, I don't see the chrome or bookmarks files.

I was suggested Everything.exe and search for bookmarks and if not found assume it's gone. Remember this is a failed Refresh that keeps freezing at %3 'Setting Up a Few More Things", suposidly from the drive itseld running out of space, so maybe it never finished the :\Windows.old Chrome copying.

I do have Show Hidden Files and Folders enabled.
Someone said it could be in "Default" or "Profile 1" or "Profile 2".


Also was suggested:
If System Restore was enabled on the crashed drive you might be able to get your bookmarks using Shadow Explorer. Download the portable version.
Read the documentation. Click the dropdown box to select your drive letter of the crashed drive. If it finds any Restore Point it should let you browse to your Chrome Folder
https://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html


If neither works, I'll wait a few more days and maybe someone will come along with another solution, if not, then the drive is getting broken up into pieces and I'll definitely be sure to synch or back up bookmarks regularly for now on.

--------
UPDATE
In the crashed drive, I clicked on windows.old or Windows.old(1) and got a permission error. tried again and pressed Continue as admininstrator and it shows the files (but no google folder or bookmarks where it would be).


Everything.exe doesn't find anything for 'bookmark' except for my current Edge C drive. Everything.exe does search both C and E (crashed) drive confirmed by searching for things only found on the E drive. BTW D:/ is the crashed drive too but is System Reserved and only a few Temp and Recovery files (a blank Recovery.text file) files.


With Windows 10 now installed, when I boot with both drives connected, W10 flashes a press any key to skip disc checking, for once I let that go through and it actually did complete and said it was doing it for the crashed E:/ drive, but seems like nothing changed and still can't find files. I then tried booting with only the E drive connected hoping it was somehow fixed but it did the same freeze at %3 "setting up a few more things" then red error box Restart the installation to proceed (or something like that, which would likely wipe everything though).

I then Tried ShadowExplorer but it shows nothing at all in the right window for D and E crashed 8.1 drive. C:/ (current Windows 10) shows it correclty like the instructions say "This is what ShadowExplorer looks like if everything works correctly."
So I guess there's not even a system restore point saved on the crashed drive, correct? I did have system restore enabled on that drive. I think I even tried that before 'Refresh your PC without affecting your files' caused this whole problem.

BTW, I uninstalled Everything.exe though control panel but I don't see ShadowExplorer to now uninstall it. Is it not shown because it's just the portable zip version I downloaded to desktop and is not actually an installed program, and I could just delete those files?

Someone asked if I installed Chrome on the new windows 10 drive, didn't say why but I'll do that now and do these checks again and can delete Chrome right after. I do plan on switching back to Chrome once this is all over (either solved or not).

also will try now: "A good option would be to try Recuva, a hard drive recovery program, and see if it can find the deleted copy of the Bookmarks file."

Last thing I'll try after any more suggestions if any, is boot with the 8.1 CD and only the 8.1 drive and Do whatever install option it shows least likely to wipe everything and hope that fixes it at least to make a Windows.old folder or something. I think the only option it has now though is to fully format and reinstall windows deleting anything on there now.

UPDATE
I installed Chrome to my new non-problem drive, searched the old drive for files, tried Everything.exe again but it found nothing. There's no new Google or Chrome folder in the crashed drive in E:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Bookmarks
I also made sure to save a new bookmark in chrome because I read the boobkmark files won't even be created until you save one.


I then tried Recuva and set it to search the E:/
Recuva found 1.9 million E:/ files.
Then Searched 'bookmark' in Everything.exe didn't find anything on the E:/ but maybe it doesn't search Recuva results


Searched Recuva results, I specified 'bookmark' in E:/ didn't find anything. It takes a while like 30 mins to do a full 1.9 million file scan but I ended up doing that twice since unsure exactly how to search for a specific file name, then I clicked FILE NAME row top bar to show results in alphabetical order and scroll to b, and I do see several 'excellent' condition 'bookmark' files. Some are unrecoverable, or very poor but there's 5 Excellent.

There's 3 excellent named bookmarks, bookmarks_1, and bookmarks_3
And 2 excellent bookmarks.bak and bookmarks_1.bak

But I exported them to desktop, and when I copy paste them to my current chrome folder and overwite the existing, neither combination of any of these brings back any old bookmarks.
Is there a special way to do this? convert it to html or something and Import option Chrome has?
 
Last edited:

Adam0ne

Great
Feb 9, 2021
108
20
95
2
Glad you found those. Open Google chrome and import bookmarks from there. I hope this works.

Also, please take caution in installing third party software. It could cause or create new problems from you. Just sharing my past experience.
 
Mar 14, 2021
17
0
10
0
I get Error! The file is invalid. Try again! when I try to convert these bookmark and bookmark.bak files which Recuva recovered when using this tool that's supposed to convert them to usable .html
https://rongjiecomputer.github.io/chrome/bookmark-recovery/#windows

The only information I found on that are these two non-english translated posts, basically saying the files might be unusable?
https://support.google.com/chrome/thread/93223653?hl=pt-BR

BTW, I know I ended up with bookmark, bookmarks_1 and bookmarks_2 because they would have otherwise overwrite each other. So I remove the _1 and _2 before trying to just copy paste them into the chrome folder. But I think I need to convert them first anyway. Recuva says they're Excellent condition and does have other bookmark files in Poor or Unusable condition which I didn't extract from the results.

I right click these files>properties, it says it's either a 'file' for the bookmarks and the .bak ones says it's a .bak file.
When I try to open these files, I get a bunch of weird symbols like this á¥Wïø.
I don't want to copy paste too much in case there's a password or something in there.
I don't know what format this is, maybe there's something that can just convert it to English and then I can at least have text of what the bookmarks were?


Maybe extracting directly to desktop makes it a shortcut and I should have instead extracted to a folder. I'll try another Recuva scan in the meantime but doubtful that I only extracted Shortcuts to the decktop from Recuva.
 

Adam0ne

Great
Feb 9, 2021
108
20
95
2
Maybe those are not Google bookmarks.

To my knowledge the backup file (.bak) will open correctly to a specific program that created it.

Ex.

A Firefox bookmark (.bak) will be read correctly by a Firefox browser. It will not work on a google browser. (vice-versa).
 
Mar 14, 2021
17
0
10
0
Welp this is my last shot:

I'll try these recovery tools besides Recuva. I heard them may give different results.
sqlitebrowser.org
www.easeus.com
I'll also recovered random txt files with these and recuva and see if they're readable.
If I don't post back, assume this didn't work for the bookmarks files.
In the end, I'm much more happy that I was able to get my other more important stuff back than loosing my bookmarks.

I really don't see why it was a problem that I asked this question on multiple forums. Yes I asked on like 9 forums, this may be a tricky problem, but at least someone mentioned a recovery program which DID find 5 bookmarks files in "excellent condition' but ended up not being usable. And I don't get why the second thread was deleted, it could have helped others searching with similar problem.
Anyway, thanks for any suggestions, take care.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
If you upgraded over the years instead of a fresh install I would at least check :

C:\Documents and Settings\<YOUR_USERNAME>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

for the bookmarks file (not folder). That's the old location I think.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS