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Multiple instances of firefox in task manager but FF doesn't open

  • 13 ردًا
  • 13 have this problem
  • 6815 views
  • آخر ردّ كتبه FredMcD

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- Windows XP SP3 (up to date with all critical updates) - FireFox 25.0.1 (Note: Originally I had version 31 but a few days ago that stopped working) - Norton Security Suite (the comcast version) up to date - I have IE6 and Chrome 37 as backup browsers (Note: when FF stopped working, IE8 had also stopped working - page would open, only one system process, but page would never load)

Ran the following scans: - SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition - Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - Ad-Aware Antivirus - Spybot-S&D Start Center

Found a few non-critical yet potential infections (nothing too crazy) Symptom persists as follows: - fresh boot of computer - open task manager (no instances of FF) - open firefox - process appears in task manager and immediately goes to 50% (nothing opens and nothing listed in Applications) - open a second instance of firefox - 2nd process appears in task manager (still nothing opens and neither instance appears in Applications (the two instances continue to run at a cumulative 50% CPU usage - one might be 15% and the other running at 35% - or both running at 25% each) - open a third instance of firefox (still nothing opens, and all three instances show in task manager processes and cumulatively run at 50% - example:15 +15 + 20 or 10 + 15 + 25)

Troubleshooting: restored a drive image from May 2014 - Note: Dec 2013 I had done a complete FRESH new install of Windows XP in prep for EOL and installed all updates, including SP3, so the image I chose from May was only 5 months old, but I chose that one because of some of the other programs I had installed that month and didn't want to go through that again - Note #2: I have drive image run a monthly PQI backup of my C: drive and my R: drive) I have two hard drives 300G each whereas C: drive is OS only and R: drive is all my downloads, my documents, my photos, etc)

- after the image restored, I tried to open FF and IE8, neither app was problematic. FF auto updated from what version, I don't know, but it was on 31 when I realized the problem was BACK. Also ran some WIN critical updates, and IE8 stopped working too!

uninstalled IE8 (rolled back to IE6 and now IE works - but obviously I can not live with IE6 - I need to update that!) uninstalled FF31 (and deleted all temp and profile account folders) and installed a brand new copy of FF25 - whereas I immediately force stopped autoupdater and deleted the update files so I could remain on FF25.

Now FF25 will open only on the second instance of the process (the first will always go to 50% CPU, the second will open and run between 0 and 10 CPU, and only one application in Applications) - I have learned that I can kill the 50% process using task manager or process explorer and total CPU usage will drop down to 0% - 10%

I can open many many tabs without any problems, and I can right click a link to open a new window and all is good, BUT if I use the desktop ICON, the quick launch ICON or the START > Programs > Icon, then the NEXT process will go to 50% and no second window will open

I have seen dozens of forums that have reported similar memory issues, but none have been resolved.

Can you help me? I don't want to upgrade IE6 to IE8 just yet, but I will not use it for anything but testing until I can upgrade. Note: besides being painfully slow, I have been switching to Chrome, but I have never enjoyed Chrome.... I am using FF right now to ask for help.

Any suggestions?

الحل المُختار

I followed donaldmaloney suggestion and it works now. Here's how I did it: - uninstalled all instances of N360 - rebooted, - deleted all leftover folders from the original installation, - rebooted again - reinstalled N360 - ran Live Update multiple times and rebooted - repeated Live Update until no more updates were available

And now I can open both EI and FF. Save yourself the time, stop working with the support staff at Norton, although KUDOS to them for understanding their product was the root of the issue and they did include a fix for the issue, but uninstall/reinstall was the only way to allow the fix to work. Great work!

Case Closed!

Read this answer in context 👍 0

All Replies (13)

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after spending DAYS on this problem, I can RECREATE the error and I know EXACTLY what causes firefox and internet explorer (at least on my system - feeling bad for others with this problem)

I do NOT know how to FIX IT, but I do know for a FACT what causes it:

I changed the location of "My Documents" FROM "%user profile%/My Documents" TO "R://Backups/My Documents" because I want to always keep my backups on a backup drive.

I have restored multiple images of my OS, and have a clean back up of a working OS (c: drive), if the only change I make after restoring the image is to change the location of My Documents, then both FF26 and IE8 stop functioning immediately.

My only recourse to correct the issue is to restore my operating system back to any one of my images prior to making that change.

I would be HAPPY to restore an image of the faulty OS with the backup location pointing my R: drive if any of you techie's would like to try some repairs for all the other people out there who do not images of their OS like I do.....

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Back to square ONE, FF31 and IE8 are trashed again. The only thing I updated was Norton Security Center by Comcast.... and you know I will get NO support from them! Multiple instances of FF open and processes lock up, and IE will not load any pages....

Looks like I'm stuck using Chrome or getting a new computer with that stupid windows 8 OS.... or maybe I should transition to MAC.... FML.....

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I have the "techie" answer for all of you. According to the tier 2 support at Norton Help Desk, the latest live update from Norton "utilizes Visual Studio 2012 which enables SSE2 instructions" and my processor can not handle that.

He said they are "working on a solution" and offered to reply back on Wednesday / Thursday this week if a solution could be found...

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Start Firefox in Safe Mode {web link} While you are in safe mode; Press the Alt or F10 key to bring up the tool bar. Followed by;

Windows; Tools > Options Linux; Edit > Preferences Mac; application name > Preferences

Then Advanced > General. Look for and turn off Use Hardware Acceleration.

Poke around safe web sites. Are there any problems?

Then restart.

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Thank you Fred for the reply.

I did try your suggestion for the sake of it, but FF still starts the first process at 50% CPU usage, and occasionally will open a second process but sometimes I have launch the browser a couple times more for it to open. At which time, once I have a browser open, I can then go to task manager and kill the firefox.exe processes that are using the computer CPU resources leaving on the one open that actually worked.

In other words, what I am saying, is Hardware Acceleration has no impact on my ability to use FF or IE.

The only way I can successfully use FF or IE is to uninstall Norton 360.

NOTE: Norton support staff has still not been able to rectify the problem, nor have they released a compatible update. They claim to still be working on the issue as they do admit the fault is theirs.

Modified by rtjarvisjr

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Open the add-ons manager and disable ALL added toolbars.

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OK Here's the FIX. Worked on my PC OS windows XP Was running Norton IS worked OK Upgraded top Norton 360 and had all the issues above. Uninstalled Norton 360 and reinstalled Norton Internet Security. Now works

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That was good work. You should contact Symantec.com and tell them what happen so they can fix it.

Please flag your last post as Solved Problem so others will see.

Good Luck.

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الحل المُختار

I followed donaldmaloney suggestion and it works now. Here's how I did it: - uninstalled all instances of N360 - rebooted, - deleted all leftover folders from the original installation, - rebooted again - reinstalled N360 - ran Live Update multiple times and rebooted - repeated Live Update until no more updates were available

And now I can open both EI and FF. Save yourself the time, stop working with the support staff at Norton, although KUDOS to them for understanding their product was the root of the issue and they did include a fix for the issue, but uninstall/reinstall was the only way to allow the fix to work. Great work!

Case Closed!

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Very good, and hard work.

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Try this, it may help Download and run malwarebytes. Run full scan and update before use.

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Thank you ani_247 but you should read through my comments (or play closer attention to the question) and you will notice that I do not have any malware on my computer. It is clean.

The problem was with the Norton Security Center engine.

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Some added toolbar and anti-virus add-ons are known to cause Firefox issues. Disable All of them.