Options ‘delete files’ in Profile Manager deletes entire thunderbird profile folder (not just mail and profile files).

VERIFIED DUPLICATE of bug 270705

Status

Core Graveyard
Profile: BackEnd
--
critical
VERIFIED DUPLICATE of bug 270705
12 years ago
2 years ago

People

(Reporter: Dimitri, Unassigned)

Tracking

({dataloss})

1.8 Branch
x86
Windows XP
dataloss

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

12 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.5) Gecko/20060719 Firefox/1.5.0.5
Build Identifier: Thunderbird 1.5.0.4

Profile manager deletes entire thunderbird profile folder (not just mail and profile files) together with your stuff put in later or before.



Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1.	Profile ‘create new account’
2.	‘Choose folder’
3.	Chose ‘My Documents’ 
4.	Delete profile with option ‘delete files’
Actual Results:  
Result: entire contents of My Documents deleted with not a trace in Recycle Bin!
The only objects left are system marked such as My Documents, My Music etc. 
All contents of these folders will be deleted, though.


Expected Results:  
As the option says ‘Delete Files’, only folders and files created by Thunderbird should be deleted – extensions, mail, mail account names folders etc.
Applies to Firefox and SeaMonkey as well. Because of extensions and user-generated content we can't know which files are ours, we assume the entire folder is since our default is to create a special-purpose directory.

Perhaps we should give an error if someone chooses a folder which already exists? That would make it impossible to recover a profile if you've removed the profile without deleting files and then try to get it back, or more likely, copy the data over from another machine. Maybe a confirmation dialog instead?
Assignee: mscott → nobody
Group: security
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Component: Account Manager → Profile: BackEnd
Ever confirmed: true
Keywords: dataloss
Product: Thunderbird → Core
QA Contact: account-manager → profile-manager-backend
Version: unspecified → 1.8 Branch

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 270705 ***
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
(Reporter)

Comment 3

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #1)
> Applies to Firefox and SeaMonkey as well. Because of extensions and
> user-generated content we can't know which files are ours, we assume the entire
> folder is since our default is to create a special-purpose directory.
> 
> Perhaps we should give an error if someone chooses a folder which already
> exists? That would make it impossible to recover a profile if you've removed
> the profile without deleting files and then try to get it back, or more likely,
> copy the data over from another machine. Maybe a confirmation dialog instead?
> 

Let’s recall that a computer file system invented by analogy to a file cabinet. Most of normal people (not programmers) still have the same logic.
Assumed you are the boss in a company. Your new employer named ‘Thunderbird’ asks you where you like to put his reports. You pointing to your personal file cabinet. He puts his papers unfolded (!) right on a top of your stack. You naturally asked him to remove his mess… next day your file cabinet disappears with no trace…. What would you suggest to this employer? … Especially when he replies: Well I did not know which ones mine which ones not, should I refuse/ ask for other cabinet or give you warning at least? ….

So. Creating new profile in default  %AppData%/Thunderbird/Profiles location automatically makes unique named folder. Using profile manager to delete profiles does not delete other profile folders in Thunderbird/Profiles directory does it? So why it should delete customer’s folder he pointed? 
‘Crate new profile folder’ within a customer’s folder is enough to put it anywhere and deleted it safe.
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED

Comment 4

12 years ago
In Windows 98, the standard place for profiles is: C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles   Subdirectories of this include Default and a profile with my initials. If that deletion were applied to this standard location, it would take out the Mozilla registration files and the Sunbird calendar data as well as one requested profile.

Comment 5

12 years ago
As bug #340100 indicates (800 Mb of data lost), this flaw or lack of clarity in the Thunderbird and Firefox dialogs for creating and deleting profiles exposes various unsuspecting users to unacceptable data loss. 

Creating a profile named "Joe" means creating a folder named "Joe" in the requested location with a path down to the actual data for that profile. There may be a folder named Profiles above it containing not only "Joe" but maybe "default" and other profile folders. 

Deleting the profile "Joe" with the option selected to delete the Joe data should ask the user, "Do you want to delete all the data and folders in the <name-of> folder that holds all the Joe data?"

This can be vital to know. You wouldn't want it to happen to you. There are plenty of prompts on relatively trivial matters in Mozilla software. There ought to be an adequate warning about an action that could, for example, wipe out the text and notes of an author's book, someone's health records, or other irreplaceable data.
(Assignee)

Updated

2 years ago
Product: Core → Core Graveyard
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