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Firefox Crashes all the time

by Krahe / December 1, 2009 9:53 AM PST

I have the latest version 3.5.5 and I usually have several windows and tabs open (something like 10-12 windows with 10-20 tabs each). My machine is running 2.7Ghz and 4GB ram so I don't think that's the problem. I do have Session Manager so I don't lose anything but it crashes are frequent enough to be a real nuisance. Sometimes I get a Run-time Error screen, others, Mozilla crash reporter pops up. Any ideas?

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Try Firefox Safe Mode...
by John.Wilkinson / December 2, 2009 12:06 AM PST

Assuming you're using Windows, press Windows + R and enter firefox.exe -safe-mode to temporarily disable all Firefox extensions. (Check the corresponding check box and continue.) Browse for a while and, if no crash occurs, you'll know it was an installed extension, which then needs tracked down and uninstalled.

Hope this helps,

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Safe Mode still crashes . . . what's next ?
by flingwing / December 3, 2009 3:18 PM PST

Just before I saw this thread I had been working okay for several hours. Then Firefox started crashing. It wouldn't stop. I'd restore the session and it would crash again in a few seconds. So, I went to safe mode like you said, and it quickly crashed again, anyway.

I've checked and I only have one extension: AVG anti-virus. I have eight add-ons. These include Shockwave Flash & Director, Win Media Player, MS DRM, and Mozilla Default plug-in.

What's the deal now? Disable all of them and try bringing them back one at a time? Thanks for any help.

If it weren't for the persistent crashing problems since version 3.0, FireFox still be the best browser around.

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Same here...
by Krahe / December 4, 2009 1:46 PM PST

....and you're right, seems like it has been crashing more often since version 3.

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Two things...
by John.Wilkinson / December 5, 2009 3:53 AM PST

1.) Press Windows + R, enter firefox.exe -profilemanager, and create a new profile. Once created, select it from the list and launch Firefox, seeing if the problem remains.

2.) Uninstall and then install Firefox, launching it using firefox.exe -profilemanager and the new profile. See if the problem remains.

Note: You can return to using your old profile, containing all of your settings, at any time.

If it continues in both cases, the problem is a third-party application/add-on/plugin on your computer that automatically hooks into Firefox.

Let us know how it goes.

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Working on the problem . . .
by flingwing / December 6, 2009 10:21 AM PST

I haven't created a new profile or re-installed Firefox yet, but yesterday I disabled three add-ons: Adobe Acrobat, and Shockwave Flash and Shockwave for Director. Since then, until this morning that is, I operated with up to 5 tabs open, and without any crashes.

However, earlier today, I was going to post my results here. When I arrived at the forum, I started scrolling my mouse down fast, to get to the page bottom. Sure enough, Firefox crashed.

The significance of this is that I am almost certain that this has happened several times in the past. Usually the fast scroll and crash happens so quickly, I could never be sure that the scroll caused the crash. I am almost certain today.

I plan to continue running Firefox with these few add-ons disabled until this evening. Then, I may try bringing them back slowly, one at a time. This is just to see if I can further isolate the problem.

If that doesn't work, I will try the Mod's idea of a new profile and/or a re-install. Thanks.

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Addenda . . .
by flingwing / December 6, 2009 10:31 AM PST

When I just posted my previous message, Firefox crashed. That was with CNET being the 5th open tab. Remember, that's the second time today that Firefox crashed and both times CNET was the one variable involved.

I tried a complete session restore and, after a few seconds, Firefox crashed again. Then I restored again *without* selecting CNET to open. Firefox opened and is running now. So I now have 4 tabs open.

I don't know what this means; is it the number of tabs open that causes some problem with FF or . . . does CNET have a gremlin? Maybe it's time to call an exorcist? <grin>.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 7, 2009 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: Addenda . . .

It may be the number of tabs, perhaps if your system is low on memory, but I favor the exorcism bit! Happy

If this is generally happening with a CNET tab open, test it in CNET with only one tab, and if that still causes the crash it may be a rogue advert. If you haven't already, try installing the AdBlockPlus Firefox add-on to remove all advertising, and whilst you're at it, go get the NoScript add-on. It does what it says on the tin, prevents scripts from running without your permission.


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Add-on update
by flingwing / December 7, 2009 7:36 PM PST
In reply to: Exorcism!

I tried to add "Adblock Plus" from Firefox's website. I mouse over the Adblock "download" link, click on its link, and nothing happens.

I've checked my list of add-ons (Tools, then Add-ons)and nothing has been added.

Also, a question about the NoScript add-on. I already run "Autorun Eater" which I learned about in a CNET forum also. Is Autorun doing the same work as NoScript?

Thanks, again. I'm reporting in because I plan to go after this FF crash problem step by step even if it takes me a week or two. It seems impossible that what is arguably the world's best browser can't be fixed so that it runs right. Cu later.

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NoScript and Autorun Eater
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 8, 2009 4:38 AM PST
In reply to: Add-on update

Hi flingwing.

No, Autorun Eater is nothing to do with browsers. This is a utility that prevents certain malware in removable media, (CD, DVD, etc), from dropping viruses or any other suspicious malware onto a system when the removable media is inserted into a drive or is connected to a system;
Autorun Eater.

NoScript is a Firefox add-on. Many web sites nowadays uses Javascript code to enhance the web page design, layout, and content. But Javacript is also a vulnerability and cleverly crafted Javascript can drop malware onto a system. It may not be picked up by any anti-virus because it is encompassed within the browser;
NoScript Firefox Add-on.

The Firefox AdBlock Plus add on. Are you able to download anything from within the Firefox browser? Its a bit strange that you could not download this. Does your AVG include the LinkScanner component? It may be preventing downloads.

What other security software do you use?


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Plot Thickens <g>
by flingwing / December 8, 2009 12:48 PM PST
In reply to: Add-on update

I finally could install AdBlocker Plus and NoScript. However, that?s where the story begins <grin>. After each time I tried to post my original message to let you know I installed them, my messages were wiped clean by CNET - I lost them.

Note: This happened several times a few years ago to me and others who reported it in other forums. I figured it was the CNET gremlin returning <g>.

Then I moved to the TEST forum and did some troubleshooting. First, I disabled Adblock but I still couldn?t view or post a reply.

Then I disabled NoScript and tried. It worked. I could view and post.

Then I repeated the test with just NoScript enabled again and again I couldn?t post. Then I disabled NoScript again and *could* view and post again.

Now I am about to try posting this to the Browser forum and hope it works. If you read this it means I?m operating with NoScript *disabled* and my machine has a glitch with the add-on.

NOTE: Just as I moved to the Browser forum to post this, CNET/Firefox crashed again. So it appears NoScript may help but won?t allow posting to CNET.

So, whaddya think? <grin>. I knew this wouldn?t be simple <g>.

I will run Firefox without the two add-ons for a while to see if it crashes again. If yes, I will *enable* NoScript and test some more. After all that, I?l report back here. CuL8tr.

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Looks like we are narrowing this down
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 8, 2009 9:01 PM PST
In reply to: Plot Thickens <g>

to CNET.

Another test, how do the CNET forums perform in IE?

Your note about NoScript is strange. Have a look a the image below of my own Firefox open to this post, and see the NoScript options displayed.

When CNET first loads the NoScript icon there is red, meaning something has been blocked. Clicking the button/icon gives me a list, and I select the option to "Temporarily allow all scripts". I may have to do this a two or three times.

Is that what you are doing?

How about yet another test? Happy

Download the free utility CCleaner, from . This cleans all temp and temporary internet files, including hidden temp files, and all cookies. Install this, but watch through the install progress as it may try and install a 3rd party component like the Yahoo toolbar. Reject that option if you don't want it.

Then close down all browsers and run CCleaner, and allow it to analyse and remove all temp files etc, and all cookies. You can 'save' cookies from being deleted, but this test is to remove all CNET cookies.

Be warned though that this means you will have to re-login to CNET so make sure you have know username and password. Also, CNET login is sometimes a little strange. You may have to login a couple of times before the new cookie sticks for all forums.

In addition, any other login cookies for other web sites will be lost, unless you use CCleaners Options to save them.

May be some of CNET's cookies are corrupt.

If that doesn't help, then it looks like Firefox has been corrupted, and so you may want to try some of the suggestions in John Wilkinson's Sticky post below, post #2;;forum-threads

I hope that helps.


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Lighting does strike twice <g>
by flingwing / December 8, 2009 9:21 PM PST

Mark, I've been running Firefox for several hours with zero problems. Earlier today, I had as many as six tabs open for an extended time with no glitches.

I just received an emailed tracking notice that a new post was made to this thread. So I clicked in Gmail to come here to read it.

As if on cue, in the same instant the CNET site appeared with this thread, Firefox crashed!

Now I don't know what that means, but it's the first time since this morning that FF crashed. During the time today I was logged on maybe a total of 4 or more hours.

Again, I am only posting this now as a "filler". I will now go back and read your last post. However, it *does* seem like there is something going on between FF and CNET. Maybe you guys didn't pay your bill to FF? <grin>.

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10 AM News Report <g>
by flingwing / December 10, 2009 11:49 AM PST

Mark, Since yesterday, I have been running Firefox with Adblock on and NoScript off. AVG is the only other enabled add-on. Yesterday I only had about 2-3 crashes late in the day. This is good compared to FF?s usual behavior.

Then, this morning, I had my first crash early. I restored and came to CNET to make this post. Just after CNET appeared, FF crashed again. Then, I took about 20 minutes to type this report (from within CNET) and, just as I went to post it, Firefox crashed again. I lost my post in progress.

Let me work with FF as it is set up now today to see what happens. If I can?t figure out anything new about why it still crashes, I?ll try one of your ?drastic? suggestions <grin>. The thing is, I?ve been busy for the past several days using FF to get some work done, so I haven?t felt like trying a new profile and/or re-install.

However, I will try IE today to see if I can make CNET crash. I bet I can?t, though, because this problem seems to be FF?s alone

Also, CCleaner worries me because some people in these forums have reported disasters when they didn?t stop CC from cleaning critical files. That?s my worry: knowing the files to wipe and those that must stay. However, if I can?t figure out anything else, I?ll probably try your suggestions.

Thanks for your ideas. I?ll be back later.

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P.M. Update
by flingwing / December 11, 2009 12:37 AM PST

Look, I know this thread is becoming like a "Dear Abby" column, but Firefox's reliability as a work tool is in the gutter. Unfortunately, except for its propensity to crash, FF is still the most user-friendly browser around. So I'm determined to see how far I can go in isolating the problem.

And remember, the previous big FF problem of switching into offline mode all the time seems to have been solved with ver. 3.5.5. If Mozilla can fix that problem, it should be able to - and want to - fix its program's constant crashing.

I'm writing this from my Maxthon browser. I arrived in CNET without problems, so far. But I don't think Maxthon will crash. This browser is bulletproof, but it's also "clunky". It's like a 2-ton truck compared to Firefox's sports car feel <grin>.

Firefox crashed only twice today and both times I had 4-5 tabs open on fairly complicated websites. I'll keep on using this until I figure something about about the FF crashes or I try one of your "FireFox Makeovers" <g>. Cu l8tr.

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I remember now
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 11, 2009 3:54 AM PST
In reply to: P.M. Update

Yep I remember the problem with Firefox switching into offline mode. I never understood it then and if I remember correctly, you tried a lot of John's suggestions in his sticky post then to repair or re-install Firefox without success.

So this is a little worrying. I know this is a new version of Firefox and that particular problem seems resolved, but it does make me wonder if Firefox is just not going to work on this machine. I don't understand why that should be the case, it is just a collection of code that is the same on every system, but somehow your system doesn't like it.

Just one thing I noticed in what you said. You have AVG. Is this the new version with the LinkScanner browser add-on? If so, I just wonder if it is picking up something in CNET's code or their advertising, or Javascript, that it doesn't like. It might show up as a conflict with something like NoScript as well.

But whatever, even though Firefox appears to be behaving better, 2 or 3 crashes a day is still 2 or 3 too much. I rarely get crashes on mine.

About CCleaner. CCleaner won't clean critical files like system files. It does have a registry checker, but we don't use that. All it does is empty any temp or temporary files. It might be a good idea to try it. It will 'Analyse' the temp and TIF files and give you a list of what it wants to delete, and how much space you will recover. You may be shocked. But it won't do anything unless you tell it to. If you do, be sure to check the cookies section as well. That might be a surprise as well.


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CCleaner dwnloaded . . .
by flingwing / December 11, 2009 7:20 PM PST
In reply to: I remember now

I downloaded and installed CCleaner and analyzed my computer and its registry. In both cases, I didn't really see anything obvious that needed deleting.

As an example only, I didn't want to delete my "Internet (browsing) History" because I regularly use it to find a site I'd visited but whose name and URL I've forgotten. The same is true with other items CC says I could delete. Except for Firefox crashing, especially when visiting the CNET site, my machine runs well.

And, speaking of CNET, I worked all morning on some pretty complex sites with 4-5 tabs open. No problems. Early this afternoon, I stopped by CNET to read again what you said about CCleaner. Again, as if on clue, as soon as the CNET site came up, FF crashed. It was the first crash of the day.

So this is what I did: I only deleted the CNET cookies using CCleaner. That's it. I'm reluctant to do more until I know more about what needs to go and/or what's safe to delete. If you have any further suggestions for deletion candidates that may be affecting FireFox, please let me know.

Thanks much for the advice. I'll let you know more after I try more visits to CNET to check for crashes and take another look at CCleaner.

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(NT) Maybe use IE or Chrome to visit CNET?
by Kees Bakker / December 11, 2009 7:34 PM PST
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I agree
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 11, 2009 8:16 PM PST

It does seem flingwing's Firefox and CNET do not get on together.


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One for the Home Team (but see PS) <g>
by flingwing / December 13, 2009 12:37 AM PST

Okay, here is today?s update. As I said, so far I have Adblock enabled, CNET cookies were deleted with CCleaner, and this morning I finally enabled NoScript.

For more than 12 hours today, I have had no crashes. I guess our side won one <grin>. However, I?ll tell you for sure, working the internet with NoScript enabled is like trying to run in a sack race <g>. With no scripts allowed, many of the most user-friendly parts of every web page are no longer available.

With NoScript you don?t get drop-down menus and embedded videos (e.g., YouTube). Other elements are probably missing, too, that I don?t even know about yet. And it took me a while to even figure out that you can temporarily enable scripts on a page to get work done. Still, it?s like having to do everything twice.

I wonder if that?s the price some of us have to pay to use FireFox? Even with that, FF is still more enjoyable to work with than other browsers I?ve tried. But I?m telling you, with Firefox partially neutered, it?s not exactly like the ?modern age of digital communication? anymore <g>.

As Mark said, I can?t figure out why Mozilla doesn?t throw everything it has got at these major, wide-spread problems. All the problems I know about only started with Version 3.0 . This crashing problem is clearly evident by just Googling a search for ?Firefox? and ?crash?. I just checked an there were 1,010,000 search returns. Isn?t that enough to make Mozilla want to do something drastic?

Thanks for your continued help with this. I will soon try to disable NoScript to see if that really is the key to not having crashes. I?ll let you know what I find. Meanwhile, if anyone things of something new, please post it. I?ll be paying close attention.

PS - I spoke too soon. Just as I clicked "Preview Post" for this message, I lost my entire message. This is an old problem at CNET and it predates FF versions 3+. I'm going to try again now by just directly posting but I bet I lose this post, too.

PPS - That's two attempts to post and two losses of messages. Remember, this problem was prevalent a few years ago among many people. Right now I'm attempting a post with Maxthon. If this works, Firefox is still junk as it works with CNET.

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Ahh that's not good.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 13, 2009 4:40 AM PST

For a while there I was hoping you had cracked it.

I don't know the answer. I see you are using Maxthon and IE. I've never used Maxthon so I can't say anything about it, but have you tried other browsers, like Safari, Opera, or Chrome? There's also SeaMonkey, and off-shoot of Mozilla's, and looks a lot like the old Netscape.

It would be a proverbial pain in the .... , but may be you could have a different browser open all the time just for CNET. But then of course, if Firefox is your default browser for opening links in emails, like CNET tracking emails, then that becomes another problem.


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After first start A.M. . . .
by flingwing / December 13, 2009 7:37 AM PST

This is another new twist: after my first start in the morning, I opened FF and went to Google. From there to Gmail. Gmail and another regularly used site wouldn't open - "site could not be found". I tried Maxthon and it worked okay.

Then I disabled NoScript in FF and Google/Gmail opened. I have since re-enabled NoScript and Gmail opens now. So it looks like that after a cold start, NoScript is inhibiting Gmail and other sites.

I won't know for sure if this is true again until tomorrow after the first cold start unless I try one later during today. We'll see.

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A note on NoScript...
by John.Wilkinson / December 14, 2009 1:29 AM PST

By default, it blocks all scripts. You can, however, change the default settings to allow certain kinds of scripts by default. You can also right-click the NoScript icon in the status bar and choose to permanently allow scripts from a specific site; by default, NoScript will list all sites that are currently providing scripts to the page you're viewing. It takes a few days, but you'll find few problems once you whitelist the trusted sites that provide scripts for sites you visit regularly.


P.S. Perhaps I missed it, but have you tried creating a new Firefox profile and performing a clean install yet? Unless you have extensive customizations you'd have to reset, it's really a quick solution to such persistent problems.

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Profile Replaced
by flingwing / December 14, 2009 9:46 AM PST

I just copied and replaced my FF profile. However, I used the procedures on the FF page:
(1) CTR+copy existing profile to USB stick w/FF off, and
(2) Replace old one with the saved one).

Note: that procedure differs from John's in an early post in this thread:
1.) Press Windows + R, enter firefox.exe -profilemanager, and create a new profile. Once created, select it from the list and launch Firefox, seeing if the problem remains.

If the difference between the two methods is important, would someone please let me know? I'll do it again.

Currently I am running FF with only AVG add-on enabled. Yesterday evening I ran into some web sites I needed to work on that refused to operate correctly with NoScript running. Even "temporarily allowing" the site(s) didn't make a difference so I disabled NoScript and AdBlock.

I will run FF today with the new profile only to see if that improves things. If not, I will likely go to John's #2 fix: "Uninstall and then install Firefox, launching it using firefox.exe -profilemanager and the new profile".

Back later, CU

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Define the "saved one"...
by John.Wilkinson / December 15, 2009 6:10 AM PST
In reply to: Profile Replaced

The difference is that the procedure I suggest leaves your current profile intact, but creates a second one, with no preferences, extensions, etc. You can then switch between your customized profile and one that is theoretically problem-free. I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to by old one" and "saved one," but I would presume that you backed the profile up at one time and essentially restored from backup. That approach is not as absolute, as the problem may have lingered, undetected, in the backup as well. Thus, creating a 'clean' profile and testing it, without customizations/extensions, is essential in determining the source of the problem.

Once you load into the clean profile, go Tools->Add-ons and make list any add-ons, extensions, and plugins listed. Mozilla has had to blacklist several recently, including one from Microsoft, that caused critical stability issues.

Let us know.

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PM Update Report
by flingwing / December 15, 2009 11:04 PM PST
In reply to: Profile Replaced

As we know, I replaced my FF profile and it has helped - some. I worked many hours all day today, always with 4-6 tabs open, and I had only one crash late this afternoon. It happened just as I opened another tab while doing some work. I reduced the number of open tabs and kept working until now.

But then, it did happen again - the second time - just as I opened the CNET site to make an update tonight. Man, I don't know what kind of bad ju-ju CNET has with Mozilla, but you guys need a shaman <grin>.

I'm posting this through Maxthon now.

Now, if in the morning I want to create a new profile, like John said, can I get a little more talk through? John wrote:

1.) Press Windows + R, enter firefox.exe -profilemanager, and create a new profile. Once created, select it from the list and launch Firefox, seeing if the problem remains.

Question: Once I'm in that "popup" Profile window, how do I make a new profile to stand beside the existing one? If I click "File" and then "New" and then "Folder" that wouldn't seem to make my new profile, would it?

John, can I please just get a few more steps after your #1? If I do that second profile and it doesn't work, I'll go the install/re-install route next.

Once again, thanks very much for everyone's help. Based on Google search returns, I'm sure someone, somewhere is having the same problems. Adios for now.

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Straight talk...
by John.Wilkinson / December 17, 2009 8:09 AM PST
In reply to: PM Update Report

There should be no File->New->Folder option on the Profile Manager window. (That's characteristic of Firefox, the main application. Click here and take a look at the screenshot provided; make sure that is the screen you're being presented with, then consult the instructions to the left of the screenshot for additional information.

Firefox really does play nice with Cnet, and vice versa, so, if the new profile/reinstall process does not resolve the issue, we may really need that shaman. Happy


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Profile Window Blues
by flingwing / December 17, 2009 9:15 AM PST
In reply to: Profile Replaced

First, a report from yesterday: FF crashed once, late in the day, but then continued to crash about 5 times in a row, back-to-back. I restored it each time to see if, by selecting different web pages to restore, I could get FF to stop crashing. I couldn?t. I kept FF open with only two tabs for ?light duty? and switched to Maxthon. While inconvenient, that?s still a better track record for FF than a week or more ago where it was crashing multiple series of times each day.

About the new profile: if I click the ?Win button + R? buttons, as John wrote in an early post, I get the small ?run? window to open. Then, if not already in that window, I can select or type in ?%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\? and have a larger, standard Windows Explorer-type window open on the screen. This new window looks nothing like the ?Profile Window? John posted.

The window I have open has ?Profile? as its title and a folder named ?8fbtjspk.default?showing. At the top of the window are the standard Win selections: File, Edit, View, Favorites, etc. That is what I meant about ?File?.

However, I read the Mozilla help page for ?Accessing the Profile Manager?, and it says to get the Profile Window, ?select . . . "Tools -> Switch Profile..." from the menu?. But that?s not what my FF has: if I select ?Tools? at the top of the FireFox window, I can?t see any ?Switch Profile? selection. Even looking inside several sub-selections under ?Tools? doesn?t show that Switch Profile choice.

I will continue to work with this profile manager problem today, but any ideas or advice to the ?love worn? will be appreciated <grin>. Thanks much.

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Addenda to "Profile Windows . . ."
by flingwing / December 17, 2009 9:20 AM PST
In reply to: Profile Window Blues

I just read some more info in Mozilla's online help. It says the following to get the Profile Window:

"Open the Windows "Start" menu, select "Run" (on Windows Vista, use "Start Search" or enable the Run box, as described here) then type and enter one of the following:
* firefox.exe -profilemanager
* firefox.exe -P"

I tried both those commands and each time only got a new FireFox Window to open. Again, that doesn't look like the Profile Window that John posted. Or am I missing another step?

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Got new profile & got new version . . .
by flingwing / December 17, 2009 2:34 PM PST
In reply to: Profile Window Blues

On my computer, I found what it takes to make a new FF profile:
* If Firefox is open, close it completely by choosing "File -> Exit".
* Go to the Windows Start Menu (bottom left button) and then select 'Run'.
* Enter (without quotation marks) "firefox.exe -P? then click OK.
Note: the steps above are a compilation of two different sources of online Mozilla instructions. Both the Mozilla instructions have some incorrect information. But at least now I can make a new profile.

However, this morning I also downloaded FireFox 3.5.6, the newest version. Before I make a ?spare? profile to use in crashes, I am going to run this new FF 3.5.6 to see if it?s improved. I see that 11 of the 60+ bug fixes for this new FF incarnation concern crash problems. I'll expect the worst and hope for the best <grin>. Back later.

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New Profile at Work
by flingwing / December 18, 2009 7:04 PM PST
In reply to: Profile Window Blues

I've worked with the new Firefox 3.5.6 starting yesterday over 24 hours, half of which was online/connected. Until just now, I had no crashes. But then, I had one and another trying to restore. The crash was brought on by opening a fourth tab with one particular website.

So I ensured FF was closed and immediately created a new profile, as we discussed previously. FF 3.5.6 is now running with the newly created profile. This profile has absolutely no add-ons, including the AVG add-on.

I will work with this new profile and see how it runs. I will go back to that problematic web site I found earlier to see if I can make this new FF profile crash. I?ll report back later.

If it weren?t for FF?s interface and speed, which are better than the other browsers I?ve used, I surely wouldn?t be messing around with such "non-elegant" workarounds. I hope Mozilla realizes the brand loyalty some users have for its product <grin>.

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