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TFC Critical Issue


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#1
kimsland

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Hi support,

This thread is about the application TFC.exe by OldTimer
Also note that when visiting your page and then clicking on: Support Topic Click here to visit support topic. I receive: Sorry, the link that brought you to this page seems to be out of date or broken.
Although this is NOT the "Critical Issue"


----

Introduction:
Since quoting to many members to use TFC (Temp File Cleaner) during the course of Malware removal support. I have found that it always removes about 30+ Meg more than CCleaner
This got me thinking, why doesn't the highly respected CCleaner also find and remove this extra 30 Meg?

I then confirmed (through a lot of going back and forward) that the 30 Meg removed was from Firefox cache :)
In particular on my XP machine:
%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profilename>
So back to CCleaner, I confirmed all settings (ie remove Firefox cache) was confirmed. But still it did not remove what TFC did (?)
No issue, I'll just contact CCleaner forums and ask them :)


Contact CCleaner:
I created a thread, and asked support why they didn't remove the 30+ Meg, that TFC did.
I received some general support on checking about:config, and confirming Firefox closed etc :)

Hmm, no help there! Edit Actually CCleaner did help me in looking further into this
I think I better confirm what files are being removed exactly. And if they are safe to remove.


Investigation:
Here are the files:
  • XPC.mfl FastLoad cache file for user interface components data.
  • XUL.mfl FastLoad cache file for user interface extensions data.
  • urlclassifier3.sqlite Phishing protection data.
That doesn't seem right! "Phishing protection data"
Should this file be removed?, I thought :)
Further investigation yielded NO Oh dear!
Only way to (re)confirm, go to Mozilla.org and ask


Contact Mozilla
I created a bug report referring to the 3rd party cleaning tool > TFC.exe
And asked the importance of the file, and if it could even be moved to another folder (through my investigation I found that it had originally resided in: %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profilename> many years ago )

Well, what a shock, it was found that urlclassifier3.sqlite Should Not Be Removed
I better locate where TFC comes from, and let them know to take it down and fix it!


Result
I updated my topic at CCleaner forum and thanked Mozilla for their support.
I then created a new topic at Geekstogo (this one) in the hope that they give this the utmost of attention :)


My related topics (offsite):

Mozilla: urlclassifier3.sqlite automatically removed by 3rd party program

CCleaner: User's FireFox cache not emptied


---------

Can Support here please confirm my findings and look into this?
Presently I am not quoting to use TFC by OldTimer, until this is resolved.

Edited by kimsland, 07 March 2010 - 11:16 PM.

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#2
admin

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I fixed the support topic link. We don't offer specific support topics for our downloads. Tried it, they just became clogged with general support requests.

I also pinged OldTimer to make sure he was aware of this topic. I'm sure he will be along shortly to respond.

Edited by admin, 07 March 2010 - 06:32 PM.

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#3
kimsland

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Thanks :)

I did see you on when I posted yesterday, but I think you logged off when I eventually submitted.

Anyway, glad its being checked or referred to OldTimer.
Oh and for what its worth. Hi OldTimer, I always use your utilities :) , I also visit your "under construction" website (hoping it will be constructed one day :)

Its a sad day when I praise OldTimer but not to Admin here.
I will say I'm thankful that you replied, and await the outcome :)
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#4
OldTimer

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Hi kimsland. Those 3 files are part of FFs cache, hence their location. The XUL file caches information about extensions, the XPC file about components, and the sqlite file about phising sites. There are no issues whatsoever with deleting any or all of these files. They will be rebuilt as needed the next time that FF starts. Since they are simply part of the cache, cleaning it out occasionally allows FF to tidy up a bit where otherwise it could leave old data laying around that is no longer needed. It certainly doesn't hurt to leave them there unless the cache is becoming corrupted but it also does not hurt to remove them either. It allows a sort of refresh and FF will simply create new ones with whatever appropriate data is required in the future.

Cheers.

OT
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#5
kimsland

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There are no issues whatsoever with deleting any or all of these files. They will be rebuilt as needed the next time that FF starts.

That's the point. They won't be rebuilt on next Firefox restart.
Actually for urlclassifier3.sqlite to be fully rebuilt will take some time (possibly hours or even days in some cases)

There may be a misunderstanding here.
Yes they are rebuilt
urlclassifier3.sqlite database then needs to download again.

This is not ideal. Even Mozilla (refer my link above) state TFC is in error.
I believe this file in particular, should be excluded from being cleaned.
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#6
OldTimer

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Actually they do all get rebuilt on the next reboot. The sqlite file is actually coming from google if I'm not mistaken and it downloads in parts in the background. On a slow 486 machine it took about 30 minutes. And the best part was, previously the file was framgmented and bloated and the size went down from 24mb to 10mb. Mozilla had alot of issues with this file growing out of control when they first went to using sqlite databases and the first response from their support staff was always to delete that file and let it rebuild. Sage advice.

Cheers.

OT
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#7
kimsland

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Yes if a Firefox User had gone to Mozilla forum and discussed a fault condition with their browser, then one of the fixes was to clear out this folder.
Also note, that no User would go to Mozilla forum unless they had an issue with Firefox in the first place!

Therefore if a User is not reporting an issue with their installed Firefox; but are just.. say > Getting help on Malware Removal.
Then there would be no reason to use TFC.exe, as it has been discovered that by using it, they will be jeopardizing their security not helping it.

Also, you should have noticed by now (after some hours/days have passed) that the database: urlclassifier3.sqlite is now at the minimum (present secure) size of ~ 31 Meg
An easy way to confirm this is by opening your Profile folder in %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

Would you agree (as I now do) that Malware Removal Specialists (on all forums) should NOT quote to run TFC purely for Malware support? (Not Firefox faults)
Plus also remove it from Malware removal guides? I should make clear that TFC is not a Malware removal tool, but is (presently!) certainly quoted by 99% of all Malware Removal Specialists in the process of cleaning up a User's computer.

I suspect someone should let these support members know, since I have only just realized this critical issue myself.

EDIT:

Here is your (geekstogo.com) Guide: Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide, Please read before starting a new topic
When shall I expect TFC.exe to be removed from it?

Do note: I actually do respect this cleaning tool (and other utilities made by yourself)
And I couldn't care if you quoted to use CCleaner or any other tool, that cleans temp files only.
But if you have decided that TFC.exe will not be updated or fixed (in my view) Then it should be removed from your guide, immediately.

Edited by kimsland, 08 March 2010 - 11:19 PM.

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#8
admin

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kimsland, your concern has been addressed by the developer. Apparently you don't agree with his assessment. You're entitled to your opinion, just don't try and force it on everyone else.

Replacing TFC with CrapCleaner is laughable, and shows how little you understand about what we are doing here. I'm quickly growing weary of your "demands", and suggest you find another stage to inflate your feelings of self-importance.

Just so we're clear. TempFileCleaner (TFC) is far and away the best alternative for our purpose (malware removal). TFC is not being removed. CrapCleaner is not being recommended. Don't like it? Feel free not to use TFC. Feel free not to recommend it. However, if you're going to speak scornfully about it, you better have your facts straight.

I'm closing this topic. If you wish to continue this discussion, feel free to PM me.

Edited by admin, 09 March 2010 - 02:57 AM.

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