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Unread 30 Apr 2008, 20:02   #1
Androme
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Firefox... argh!

I don't know the problem is but for the last month Firefox has been getting more and more sluggish. Firstly, I've tried all kinds of troubleshooting including disabling anti-virus, clean reinstall of Firefox (including all app data etc.) has been happening from v 2.0.0.9 to the current 2.0.0.13 flavour.

When loading a single page it 'pauses' and I cannot do anything not access anything on the page not even click a menu or a bookmark. It happens during the loading process of a page.

I have a system superiorly capable of running Vista (yes I know Vista is actually worse than XP - at least in my experience) but none-the-less I have the following specs:

Vista Ultimate
2GB (2x 1GB DDR2 6400), 1GB GeForce 7950 GT (2x 512mb gfx cards in one), Intel C2D 2.66GHz, WD Raptor Drive (40GB free).

All drivers are up to date.

Internet explorer runs fine although sometimes it just freezes and I have to just restart it which it does so in no time.

But why is it Firefox is being a pain in the ass? My feelings think it has something to do with cache but even when I set the cache as large as 200MB or set to 0 the same problem starts to happen after loading my first website in the browser.

The problem goes away only on pages I've already visited within a few minutes e.g. after I wait for the sluggishness of page loading and the page is loaded then close the tab and visit a few other sites and wait for the sluggishness problem to happen and then close these tabs and go back to any of these sites, they load up almost instantaenously - around 90% of the time. The other 10% still leads to sluggishness regardless.

I have around 400MB of memory usage right now including photoshop which is open. Considering I have 2GB of RAM this shouldn't be a problem.

All latest windows updates applied.

Thanks for any help.
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Unread 30 Apr 2008, 20:16   #2
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Re: Firefox... argh!

Do you have any similar issues with other programs? If so, a format C:\ is probably the easiest solution.

You mentioned your HDD only had 40GB free, you might consider running a defragment or two, as well as a disk check (Don't bother with the Windows one).

Did you change anything else around the same time you installed v2.0.0.9? If so, revert it and see if the problem goes away.

FF 2.0.0.14 is out. Who knows, maybe your problem is a known bug that's been fixed in this version.

If all this fails, open the task manager and see what your processor is doing when you open a page. Memory usage might also be interesting.
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Unread 30 Apr 2008, 21:04   #3
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Re: Firefox... argh!

Well this is interesting.

Task Manager reports Physical Memory:

Total 2045
Cached 1487
Free 68

But when I calculate the total memory taken up by processes it does not go over 700MB in total? The memory bar in task manager says it's at 684MB used out of 2045MB total. So why am I being reported such a small amount for free physical memory?

Firefox's memory keeps building and building in size the longer I have the browser open and the more pages I keep clicking. It starts off at 15,000K and a while ago was at 330,000K after loading around 10 pages in one go.

I've just closed Firefox and its gone back to around the 15,000K of memory usage at the moment.

Thanks for the help I'm going to try a disk defrag now to see if it helps.
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Unread 30 Apr 2008, 21:22   #4
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Re: Firefox... argh!

You can pretty much ignore the 'memory free' value Vista reports since it uses RAM differently than XP. To improve performance, and as well as it damned should, it uses as much memory as it pleases to go off and pre-load as much gear as it can based on your usage patterns, so that when you ask for things like commonly used applications or files they're already in memory and load quicker. When something else wants memory (everything takes priority over the cache) the cached stuff in memory gets forced out.

Looked at http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_hangs yet? Or try FF3 beta I guess. But check that post first, there's a lot of stuff in there that might apply (proxies, JavaScript). Quick test would be to throw the NoScript add-on into your install and see if it takes the edge off.
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Unread 30 Apr 2008, 22:54   #5
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Re: Firefox... argh!

thanks pab that site was the bomb! It's now in the bookmarks of Opera which I was using for a while but was disappointed with its not so good adblocking feature (blocked content isn't all that).

Didn't even know about FF3! The Beta 5 feels cleaner and faster compared to FF2. To me it looks like the memory problems in FF3 are sorted because after going through the diagnostic and doing everything recommended including running FF2 in safe mode I gave up. For some reason it was still somehow 'eventually' becoming sluggish after a completely clean reinstall.

FF2 out the window, FF3 in.

Thanks again
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Unread 1 May 2008, 00:36   #6
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Re: Firefox... argh!

The FF beta is pretty good and out performs FF2.

A lot quicker and far more responsive I've found.
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Unread 1 May 2008, 01:08   #7
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Re: Firefox... argh!

Androme, I've been having the same problems!
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Unread 1 May 2008, 10:48   #8
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Re: Firefox... argh!

if that's the case furbie, one has to consider that considering we both also support arsenal that perhaps there is a conspiracy - that non-arsenal supporting firefox hating microsoft chums are making firefox run slow on purpose!
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Unread 3 May 2008, 19:17   #9
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Re: Firefox... argh!

Ok now I don't get it. Firefox 3 is starting to have the same problem now?! When I start FF3 in safe mode it's fine. I've gone through all the diagnostics and can't figure it out! Arghhhhhhhhhh! :|
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Unread 3 May 2008, 19:59   #10
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Re: Firefox... argh!

Basically the only change that Safe Mode makes for Firefox is to disable all of your extensions and force you back to the default theme. What extensions have you got installed at the minute?
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Unread 3 May 2008, 21:59   #11
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Re: Firefox... argh!

Oh I see!

Adblock, Better Gmail 2, Customize Google, Flashblock and NoScript.

However pab, I've disabled all of these extensions manually. When I loadup Firefox now the same as before is still happening. When I load FF3 in safe mode, it is fine. So it's not the extensions. Bah guess I'm stuck with safe mode.
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