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Windows exe to avoid crashed dialog in Chrome
version: 1.0 date: 2021-04-16 author: repository: GitHub


Hashtags: #rustlang #windows

It is annoying that Chrome shows the "Restore" dialog after it crashes for any reason.
Chrome on start reads the file preferences and search for "exit_type":"Crashed","exited_cleanly":false,
The file is in the profile directory that Chrome uses.
The profile directory can be changed when starting chrome like this:
c:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --profile-directory="profile name"
Usually it is in the Users folder like this:
c:\Users\Luciano\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Preferences

I will change this file prior to open Chrome to contain this:
So it will avoid to show the dreadful "Restore" dialog.

run from win10 command prompt

The first and only argument is the path to the Preferences file.
The program is compiled in WSL2 and it is a Linux program.
It will work only on computers that have WSL2 enabled with a Linux OS.
It is simple to run this little program from Win10 command prompt:
wsl ~/rustprojects/chrome_preferences_replace/target/release/chrome_preferences_replace "/mnt/c/Users/Luciano/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data/Default/Preferences"


Cargo-make is a utility to write simple "scripts" to use in development.
I use it to store in one place all the commands that I frequently use in development.

for my Thinkpad computer

I use my Thinkpad laptop for my living room big TV screen. After automatic logon I open a few chrome windows with clock, calendar, radio. I want this chrome instances to open without the dreadful Restore dialog.
I enabled wsl2 and installed Debian.
After copying the chrome_preferences_replace file, make it executable in Linux sudo chmod +x chrome_preferences_replace

put this action in the win10 scheduler on logon:

wsl ~/chrome_preferences_replace/chrome_preferences_replace "/mnt/c/Users/happy guest/Documents/ChromeProfiles/Profile1/Default/Preferences"

And after the first trial I crashed the wsl2 somehow. Now in cmd when I write wsl I get the error The system cannot find the path specified.
I didn't do anything special, just started the wsl on logon from the Scheduler. It looks like there is no way to recover. I must unregister and install Debian again. What a disappointment.
And so Microsoft gently pushes people to write a Win exe instead of a linux exe. Pretty standard for MS.

building a Win exe

On my development machine Win10 I installed rustup from That installation was painless. A little slow on the rust-docs part (interestingly in Linux this part is super quick), but all in all not bad.
But I need also the MSVC C++ Build tools from MS. That was a pain. It is downloading 1.6Gb of something. What is so big? It installed over 4GB of something? The installation lasted forever.
First I downloaded Build Tools for Visual Studio 2019 from under Tools for Visual Studio 2019. It is something like vs_buildtools__1867578767.1618229149.exe.
Run it and select C++ Tools. While in the C++ Tools you have to select "Windows 10 SDK" as well. There will be multiple options, go with the highest version number.
C++ build tools

I then used PowerShell to work with Rust, because it can work with UNC paths. The command prompt cannot use the \\wsl$\Debian path as active directory.
cd \\wsl$\Debian\home\luciano\rustprojects\chrome_preferences_replace\
and then cargo build --release.
Now I have the windows exe in the target/release folder.
All from the same rust source code. Nice.

On my Thinkpad laptop I can now create 2 Scheduler tasks for my 2 chrome profiles:
c:\BestiaAutomation\chrome_preferences_replace\chrome_preferences_replace.exe "c:\Users\happy guest\Documents\ChromeProfiles\Profile1\Default\Preferences"

c:\BestiaAutomation\chrome_preferences_replace\chrome_preferences_replace.exe "c:\Users\happy guest\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Preferences"

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My open-source projects are free as a beer (MIT license).
I just love programming.
But I need also to drink. If you find my projects and tutorials helpful, please buy me a beer by donating to my PayPal.
You know the price of a beer in your local bar ;-)
So I can drink a free beer for your health :-)
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