Melting Greasemonkey Gums Up the Works

I’ve been using greasemonkey scripts almost as long as I’ve been using Firefox, and I’ve had little to no trouble with them – up until now.  Last night, my darling wife suggested that I might like a script for Flickr.  It looked pretty nice so I installed it.  The next thing I know, I can’t actually CLOSE greasemonkey.  Hmm, peculiar but not necessarily that big a deal.  I use the big X button to close the window, and then restart Firefox to let the new scripts (there were two related ones, actually) do their things.

What they did wasn’t quite what I had expected.  In fact, I can’t say that having ALL of my greasemonkey scripts erased was anywhere in the planning at all.  But lo and behold, when I went back into Flickr, no expected behavior and upon opening greasemonkey, I found that NONE of the scripts were there.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Everything gone – well, not quite (as I would find out) but apparently so.

Well, it sucked but at least I remembered most of the scripts I had.  So, I went about going back to add them.  And proceeded to get an error that would become that bane of my existance before the night was over:

[Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520008 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ALREADY_EXISTS)
[nsILocalFile.copyTo]" nsresult:"0x80520008 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ALREADY_EXISTS) location:
"JS frame :: chrome://greasemonkey/content/config.js :: anonymous :: line 148" data:no]

That was odd, and over the next two hours, I searched the web, the greasemonkey forums, the Mozilla forums and just about everywhere else to find out what was going on.  I could add new scripts (ones I didn’t want, but that I hadn’t added before) uninstall and reinstall them with no problems.  But the ones that I wanted – that I had added previously – were stuck.

From the various sources came numerous ideas, which I coupled with some of my own to try to make this work, all of which had about the same effect – nil:

  1. uninstalling and reinstalling the greasemonkey script
  2. tried installing an earlier version of the script
  3. going into about:config to reset my text editor (not sure why that was supposed to work, but hey)
  4. going into my profile and looking to manually update the config.js file
  5. going into my backed-up profile and copying that config.js file over the current one
  6. going into about:config and trying to remove the settings for all of the scripts (strangely, you can’t remove, only reset)
  7. going into my profile and removing all of the other scripts in the gs-scripts folder
  8. deleting ALL scripts in the gs-scripts folder
  9. deleting the gs-scripts folder
  10. multiple “HELP ME” messages on a number of forums

After hours of this, I walked away hoping to hear from one or more of my queries about this.  But being impatient, I never got answers before I started going drastic.  I found a couple more solutions online, but the only thing that came of them was that eventually, the “install” button in Greasemonkey stopped working at all.  Couldn’t install anything.  So, I found a couple fixes for THAT problem, which didn’t work.  Then it was time to go even more drastic – I reinstalled Firefox.

I thought maybe reinstalling the overall program would somehow reset the scripts, but to no avail – it picked up with my old profile and still had the problems – I couldn’t even install new scripts let alone old ones that were not showing up in the gs-scripts folder OR the config.js file.  So, being frustrated, I did the last thing I could.

I uninstalled Firefox and deleted my profle.  THEN I reinstalled Firefox, clean.  No profile.  No nothing (including no saved passwords, which I forgot to back up – whoops!).  Then I installed Greasemonkey and tried to install a script – and it worked.  Finally.  Somehow, somewhere, something really screwed the pooch and was nary unfixable, even with all of the suggestions in all of the forums I checked.  I’m sure that there was a better answer, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it was.

For what it’s worth, those same two scripts DO work now.  I’m not sure what happened with them; if it was a conflict, just an install glitch or something within Greasemonkey or Firefox that decided to die, rot and infect the rest of the program and profile.  I’ll probably never know now.  But at least I have Firefox (and my scripts back).  I still have a bunch of extensions to re-add, settings to tweak, etc. but I did get the added benefit that the browser is suddenly running 2-3x faster than it was… guess I’ll consider that the (greasy) silver lining.

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