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Firefox Freezing ... And Blocking Internet

by tonyny77 / March 21, 2009 3:56 PM PDT

On my Vista Home Premium (SP1) system, I'm having what seems to be the same Firefox problem that others are complaining about, but with a twist. There are two different scenarios.

Scenario One: Firefox freezes, and when I close it, a Firefox process remains active. Therefore, trying to restart Firefox results in the message complaining that Firefox is already running. In this situation, I can open another browser program, or I can even open another Firefox instance providing I use another profile (by using the "-p -no-remote" option). Rebooting the system always resolves the problem, but only until the next "freeze up" occurs.

Scenario Two: Firefox freezes and when I close it, the Firefox process terminates. Here's the "twist" that I mentioned: In this situation, this causes my Internet connection to cease functioning, it seems. Other browsers and my e-mail program won't connect to the Internet any longer. I can't even use my browser to log-in to my router. Just as with the first scenario, rebooting the system always resolves the problem until the next freeze-up occurs.

Have other users observed this second behavior? Does this give someone a clue as to what might be happening?

One caveat ... When I close a frozen Firefox instance and the process won't terminate, this situation always interferes with my attempt to shutdown or restart the computer. The system just gets hung during the shutdown/restart process and I used to resort to doing a hard/ungraceful power switch shutdown. Naturally, I hate doing that, but I found an unconventional alternative that seems to be safer. When I know I won't be able to do a normal restart, I kill the Local Security Authority Process (lsass.exe). Windows doesn't like that and a message is displayed indicating a restart will occur after a one minute delay. This is the only graceful way I have found to restart my system in those cases when a hung Firefox process (or something) seems to be preventing a normal restart.

One more thing: I've already tried the complete de-install/removal process including complete removal of the "\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox" directory as well as removing the profile(s) in "C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles".

Any ideas? Thanks, everyone!

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Yes but.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2009 11:47 PM PDT

There were other issues with the machine. On its own, on a good machine I've never seen this.

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Me too
by dpm976 / April 8, 2009 10:23 AM PDT

to tonyny77:

I'm victim of two exactly scenarios as you describe. My OS is the same, Vista Home Premium. I do the uninstall/reinstall routine, I delete and create new profiles, disable addons, check my system, etc. My next move is search and install a previous Firefox version, maybe the last version is the problem. I'm experiencing this situation for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Hope someone can help us. TIA

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If your using Zone Alarm free...
by bklynrickel / April 8, 2009 11:01 AM PDT

that would be the problem.

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Using ZoneAlarm Free here and none of these issues,however
by EZRIDER714 / April 15, 2009 5:21 AM PDT

since updating to 3.0.8 certain websites take forever to load and most others load normally. Have not yet been able to determine any commonality to problem websites.

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Accessing and blocking are two different unrelated terms
by white-bread / April 10, 2009 8:54 PM PDT

ifconfig or ipconfig is the program used by the OS to enable NIC and other networking interfaces. ppp, wconfig, etc are similar programs.

If Firefox really and truly could block access to the internet, then mozilla would be the dominant force on the web.

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Same problem - maybe spyware?!
by slowhand_86 / April 14, 2009 10:30 PM PDT

Hi everyone!

I'm experiencing pretty much the same problems you are describing. Although I have not gotten to scenario #2 yet...
Whenever Firefox "freezes", what I do is:
- open the task-manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete and so on... you know the tune...)
- simply terminate the firefox.exe-process
- then start Firefox again

Of course, this does not at all solve the problem but it saves time compared to restarting the system altogether...

One take I have in mind on the possible source of this problem would be spyware in any form...
For me, the problem started to occur a short time after I installed programs like "TVU Player", "Live Player" and "TV Ants" to watch internet television... Did anybody by any chance do the same thing?!

Anyway... If I cannot find a solution to this and it continues to happen - I will probably format my hdd again :-(...

Any suggestions?!

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Reformatting is an extreme measure...
by John.Wilkinson / April 15, 2009 9:34 AM PDT

It is mostly likely a problem with a faulty extension. If uninstalling recently-added extensions does not resolve the problem, see the forum sticky (READ ME) on reinstalling Firefox from scratch.


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A Special Thanks to John
by tonyny77 / April 16, 2009 8:24 AM PDT

John ... I just have to write you to say thanks for trying so hard to help everyone with their Firefox-related problems. I especially appreciate your forum sticky with the extremely extensive instructions for dealing with nearly every possible situation/configuration.

As formal testing goes, I'm sorry I didn't have the know-how or the patience to definitively identify the AVG Safe Search add-on as the culprit for my particular problem. I'm certainly not trying to insult AVG; they make some very nice products, of course. But as I explained in my other post, I tried just about everything except re-installing my OS. In the end, I sincerely believe it may be the AVG Safe Search add-on.

I'm way behind with many other things I need to do. If time permitted, I'd re-install the suspected add-on to see if I could reproduce the problem. Instead, I offered my low-risk, easy-to-try advice. If others also succeed, then maybe we've truly found the culprit.

Thanks again, sir, and a great day to you.


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Firefox Seems to Be Fixed, Now
by tonyny77 / April 15, 2009 2:44 PM PDT

I wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied to my message.

I just wanted to mention that my Firefox problem seems to be fixed. While I previously had to reboot my system about a half-dozen or more times each day, now Firefox dies on me just once or twice per week. Translation: Firefox is not completely trouble-free, but at least I can use it again.

I had tried nearly everything. First, I disabled suspected add-ons and when that didn't fix it, I tried removing them all. That did nothing. The Firefox lockups didn't diminish a bit.

Second, thinking I might have a corrupted profile, I performed the complete Firefox de-install procedure that also includes removing your profile(s). I re-installed Firefox and started fresh, but that didn't do it either.

I also tried to shutdown ZoneAlarm, then AVG Anti-virus, and then both of them at the same time, but this was not helpful at all.

Later, though, I realized that when you think you've shutdown AVG-Anti-virus, the program may think malicious software is trying to take control of your system. Even though the System Tray icon for AVG did not appear, I noticed that several AVG-related processes were still running. Trying to kill them didn't work for me; they'd disappear for a few seconds, but soon came right back.

And that leads me to how I accidentally fixed the problem. I completely de-installed AVG Anti-virus and then re-installed it. One thing I did not re-install is the Firefox add-on for AVG that I previously used. The AVG Safe Search add-on flags Yahoo and Google search results to indicate which Web sites are believed to be okay, unknown, or malicious.

So, in summary, here's what I feel might work: Remove the AVG Safe Search add-on for Firefox, perhaps also de-install AVG Anti-virus from your system, re-install AVG Anti-virus (but not the Firefox add-on), and see what happens. Also note that I?ve seen others report the same problem and have traced this Firefox issue to their AVG Safe Search add-on, supposedly.

I cannot positively identify the AVG add-on as the culprit. I tried so many things, it almost made me want to re-install Windows from scratch. However, if you?ve been troubled a great deal by this Firefox problem, then these simple steps represent a very small and low-risk investment that could provide tremendous benefits. It?s worth a try.

Good luck and please let us know how things turn out.


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AVG Link Scanner
by mrbinky3000 / December 20, 2009 2:30 AM PST

I followed your advice, uninstalled AVG-free, custom installed AVG-free without the link checker, and everything works again. The computer is faster too. I had a similar problem like this before with Skype's FireFox plugin. It mucked up the whole works. But that is another story.


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Firefox stopped
by smlandau1 / May 18, 2009 2:23 AM PDT

I have been having this same problem for quite a while now. Creating a new Firefox profile, reinstalling Firefox, running in Firefox safe mode, turning off my Firewall, all did not help. I have found that the parent.lock file in the profile being used causes Firefox not to re-launch. By deleting or unlocking the file, I ccan gedt Firfefox to re-launch, but it does not run correctly. I beleive I have isolated the problem to a Port 80 (HTTP) problem. I find that I can still download files while I cannot connect to any other websites. I am assuming that the file download uis using FTP (port 21) and that is why it works. I also have not tried HTTPS, which is a different port number to see what happens.

My VISTA PC shows I have a good network connection and I can access my XP PC so I know that the router is working and VISTA sees that. I can also access web pages via the XP PC, so I feel the problem is with VISTA, since this happens when I use IE7 and Chrome.

Sorry I don't have an answer yet, but maybe this will help you somewhat......

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Yes, HTTP Seems to Be the First Protocol Affected
by tonyny77 / May 18, 2009 1:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Firefox stopped

I appreciate your message. In another forum, I more or less reported the same information that you mentioned. On one occasion when Firefox locked up, at the time I was also listening to a radio station's stream over the Internet. Although Firefox appeared to be totally incapable of accessing the Internet, I noticed the radio stream was still working. I was curious about that and wondered what would happen if I stopped the stream and tried to re-start it; it worked.

Hmmm ... That made me wonder and that's when I got the idea to try another protocol; in my case, I tried to access a bank account that uses HTTPS. That worked too, and that was my first clue as to what the problem might be, but I'm not computer savvy enough to figure out what the exact cause is, nor knowledgeable enough to discover the cure.

Thanks, though.

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