Dataloss Bug in Latest Windows Installer Builds Can Delete Contents of Program Files Folder
Thursday February 5th, 2004
A serious bug in the latest Windows installer builds of the Mozilla Application Suite can lead to users having the entire contents of their Program Files folder deleted. The problem is present in the 2004-02-03-18 and later trunk Windows installer and net installer builds. The affected binaries have had the suffix -dangerous added to their filenames and been removed from the latest-trunk and latest directories on the mozilla.org FTP site. Testers are strongly advised not to download these dangerous builds. The issue is being tracked in bug 233014 (please do not add unnecessary comments to this bug). Thanks to Zbigniew Braniecki for alerting us to this problem.
Update: The bug is now fixed and latest Windows installer and net installer builds do not exhibit the problem.
The problem is with extensions, which are sometimes incompatible with newer versions. If you simply do a surgical removal of official Mozilla files (which the uninstaller does), the extensions are left behind. If you then install a new Mozilla version, it may well crash because of the old extensions.
There's no way of surgically removing old extensions - they're all built differently and the installer has no way of knowing which files are which. The only way to be sure of getting rid of them is to nuke the whole folder.