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Firefox 3.0 (#2): crashes, missing bookmarks, iWeb issues, network user problems, more

A roster of significant issues with this major update.


Wednesday, June 18

Crashes Several users have reported crashes in Firefox 3.0, either at launch, when loading any URL, or when loading specific URLs. Sample reports include:

  • "Firefox 3 crashes whenever I attempt to go to any URL" -- Doug
  • "I have been using Firefox successfully for for 3 years, updating regularly. However, I have now deleted and re-installed Version 3.0 four times in an effort to upgrade to the latest version and it crashes each time before opening."
  • "Every attempt to load MSNBC web site results in FireFox 3 crashing."

Potential fixes for this issue include:

  • Delete the Firefox plist file: ~/Library/org.mozilla.firefox.plist
  • Delete the Firefox application from the /Applications directory and re-downloading it can eliminate the problem.
  • Backup your bookmarks then delete the Firefox folder from ~/Library/Application Support

Missing bookmarks As noted by Mozilla, if you previously tried a Firefox 3 pre-release version such as Firefox 3 Beta, went back to Firefox 2, and have now upgraded to Firefox 3, any bookmarks you added since you went back to Firefox 2 will be missing if you used the same profile for both versions. This happens because Firefox 3 uses the places.sqlite file to store bookmarks while Firefox 2 uses bookmarks.html.

A workaround is available here.

Add-on incompatibility Note that some add-ons are incompatible with Firefox 3.0 and will need to be updated for compliance.

MacFixIt reader Ron Denardo writes:

"I installed Firefox 3.0 and it will not allow me to re-install AdBlocker saying  that it is incompatible with 3.0.  I am running Mac OS 10.5.3.  I am very frustrated because AdBlocker is one of my favorite ad-ons.  My son can run it on Linux."

Network user problems Firefox 3.0 may not properly operate under network user accounts. Several readers have reported this issue::

  • "I have been unable to make it work on two seperate machines when logged in as a network user (i.e. Home folder on a Mac 10.5.3 server).  Both clients were 10.4.11. In both cases the URL address bar didn't work and neither did bookmarks.  When running on the same machine as a local user it worked fine, and old bookmarks were updated. I dumped the the Mozilla plist an"
  • "I downloaded Firefox 3.0 here at work and had difficulty getting it to work when using it from my network account.  I would type a URL in the address bar and hit return and nothing would happen.  However, if I was logged in as Administrator or logged in on local account it worked great.  I posted on several forums but have not gotten any responses.  I haven't seen anything at all regarding network accounts." -- Marcus Guerrero
  • "Firefox 3 appears to have issues with user accounts not located on the main drive.  At the very least it cannot deal with a network user account being located on a remote OS X Server. When I updated to Firefox 3, I immediately noticed that Bookmarks were not visible under bookmarks menu.  The Search engine field had a generic icon and when I selected 'Manage Search Engines', the dialog box was frozen and I couldn't get out of it without quitting Firefox.  When I tried to enter a URL into the URL field and press 'enter', nothing happens.  However, when double-click on a URL in an e-mail message, that appears to work.

The obvious, albeit less-than-ideal, workaround is to switch to a local account. Downgrading to Firefox 2 also resolves the issue.

Problems with iWeb photo galleries, sites Firefox 3.0 exhibits issues when rendering sites created by iWeb, including photo galleries.

MacFixIt reader Sky Tribell writes:

"I upgraded my iMac 10.5.3 to Firefox 3 and my PC with XP to Firefox 3. Neither can see the pictures I posted through iWeb at Safari, IE 6 & 7 & Firefox 2 sees the pictures just fine."

Another reader adds: "Firefox 3 does not display iWeb photo galleries. This worked fine with Firefox 2."

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know.

CPU usage spikes Some users are reporting spikes in processor usage generated by Firefox 3.0. One reader writes:

"Firefox 3.0 a CPU hog on my 1.33ghz G4.  After a few minutes i hit 100%, it's Firefox 3.0 every time. Not experiencing the same issues with Safari or Camino.

Add-ons won't install If add-ons will not properly install after the update to Firefox 3.0, try backing up your bookmarks then deleting the Firefox folder from ~/Library/Application Support

MacFixIt reader Chris Boughton writes:

"I have had an issue where the add-on update to NoScript and others downloads but won't install. I have deleted the Preferences and caches and am reinstalling my add-ons from scratch."

Form buttons not appearing correctly MacFixIt reader Joe Ward reports that form buttons were not appearing correctly after the update -- a problem solved by erasing a problematic hidden file in his /~Library/Preferences directory as such:

"I was having a problem with the full submit buttons appearing. Found it was a preference problem, Fixed problem by renaming my User Preference folder to and then copying all visible files into a new Preference folder. It was a hidden file that was causing a display problem. Working okay now."

Proxy problems It appears that Firefox 3.0 does not function properly behind a Microsoft Proxy Server.


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