Opera 12 Fatal Crash that Deletes Portion of History *Urgent*

  • System Information:

    Windows XP SP3 Professional (Build 2600)
    DDR2 3.2 GB of available RAM (4 GB total)
    Intel Pentium Duel Core CPU E2220 @ 2.20 Ghz (Conroe)
    Opera Version 12.14 (Build 1738)
    Flash Version 10.3.183.11
    Java Standard Edition Version 7 Update 25 (Build 1.7.0_25-b17)

    I was trying to get into an IRC chat that was web-based on a website when a prompt asked about Java being too old for it and needing to be updated. I haven't done that yet but I couldn't do it right then and clicked "Later" when the browser froze and suddenly closed much faster than normal. It also took longer than usual to get back with the recovery box and when I restarted it, there was an unfamiliar prompt that said that Opera was still closing after which is strange because I checked Windows Task Manager and it was gone completely but sometimes when it crashes it takes longer to release memory. It couldn't recover the session and then I got a sinking feeling about something because of the nature of this crash...something with the global history. I don't delete it because I use it for refrence and much more so there is about 2 years worth stored. Once last summer after one of the crashes I noticed for no reason a chunk of the history I had was seemingly gone and could not figure out why and was very puzzled and irate. It was about 3.5 months worth. Everything before that was intact as usual. Somehow I just got that feeling something happened again now and to my horror almost 96% of the history was completely GONE! What on earth? I was just a day away from backing all that up too! I need to figure out if I can rescue it via File Recovery or Disk reading/data recovery via raw sector data. This is a devasting loss history wise for a broswer so I need to exhust my options here. My last backup of this was May 2013 so 1.1 years of history could be gone which is very bad! I have sessions saved but I can't uselize that well if I need to find something or otherwise.

    Can you please tell me the nature of the global_history DAT file anyone about how it operates and how to possibly recover the missing data since it makes no sense why a Java prompt crash could actually mess Opera's settings files and delete data randomly like that or cause havoc. Any tips or suggestions about what I can look into or what you have experienced with these issues before would be greatly helpful, thank you!

  • Your best bet is to run a file recovery program such as Undelete+ on the drive and see if you can find a recoverable version of global_history.dat from before the crash. You may be lucky.
    You really should back up more often than that!
    :-)

  • Thanks for the reply, I will try that. Hopefully someone here knows a little about how the file operates within Opera to explain what might have happened since I doubt this is the first time. Does anyone know off hand what a new global_history file size is (when there is no history or a fresh install of Opera 12)? I think I have the backup of it from last year so I can compare that too. Unless this file is used at all times by the browser (like if you try and modify the file windows won't let you type). I really have no idea why this occurs. I'm hoping its just some format problem or header type scramble and there is either a whole old global_history to recover (I haven't had luck with this on another browser this once happened on) or I can find a range of a larger one.

    When I was mining around in the sessions folder, I noticed an auto-save WIN file that is made when Opera goes down. I wondered why you need that recovery prompt to come up just to use that? I could even get back the last session that I didn't save with this but its almost like I have to rename it to something and trick the session manager into thinking its a normal save! The option to recover the session didn't pop up this time and doesn't always so I could have used that previously.

  • ... Does anyone know off hand what a new global_history file size is (when there is no history or a fresh install of Opera 12)? I think I have the backup of it from last year so I can compare that too. Unless this file is used at all times by the browser (like if you try and modify the file windows won't let you type). I really have no idea why this occurs. I'm hoping its just some format problem or header type scramble and there is either a whole old global_history to recover (I haven't had luck with this on another browser this once happened on) or I can find a range of a larger one. ...

    The history file size will depend on the setting you make in Ctrl+F12 > Advanced > History > Addresses and also whether you "Clear" it periodically. If "Addresses" are set to 0 (or "Clear" is exercised), the file size will go to zero. Once the file contents hits the setting limit, the file will dump old material as new is added. Something similar exists under the disk cache settings for page content, although the cache data can be scattered across multiple cache files.

  • The history file size will depend on the setting you make in Ctrl+F12 > Advanced > History > Addresses > > and also whether you "Clear" it periodically. If "Addresses" are set to 0 (or "Clear" is exercised), the > file size will go to zero. Once the file contents hits the setting limit, the file will dump old > > > > > material as new is added. Something similar exists under the disk cache settings for page content, > > > > although the cache data can be scattered across multiple cache files.

    I'm trying to use the quote syntax here so if this looks weird that's why. To the above, I just figured that out when I inspected the global_history file using notepad and figured that would be the case. I likely have it set to an extremely high level or infinite (i.e 9999 days).

    I opened the auto-save WIN file that I discovered exists for the session I just lost and with notepad thankfully I can read the text since its in UTF-8 encoding. Its very straight-forward so pretty much everything there can be saved but its just non-organizable history to June 29. Its at least something because every time I have a non-prompt recovery its awful having to re-create the session manually and if there is no history, its even worse.

    Now with the important global_history DAT file, I opened it in notepad also and can read most of it in plain text which is a huge relief as I can easily figure out what's there and what isn't even in raw sector data when I look using recovery software. I can confirm that only what is shown in Opera 12 is in the file itself without any extra damaged or otherwise history. Don't know what this means recovery wise but I'll find out now.

    So no one has encountered this history deleting crash before?

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