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Updated via PortableApps to ver 68 and all of sudden Now have an enterprise policy applied. How-to can I disable the policy for My Personal FireFox ? ?

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I usually use and update my PortableApps version of FireFox, that runs from my Thumb/Flash drive, at the Public Library network's workstation due to my use of their facilities for research. The Library uses this same version of FireFox on each of their workstation, too. About three weeks ago, PortableApps indicated that FireFox had an Update to version 68 ready for my copy of FireFox to use. I accepted to update My Personal copy of FireFox to this version while using the Library's workstation running Windows 7. Now when I startup my personal copy of FFox from my PortableApps Flash drive, I immediately noticed that INSTEAD of showing the Home page that I had chosen many years ago and was still using, it had changed to the Library's selected Starting Webpage, as if I was starting FFox or Chrome from THEIR installed software ON this workstation (please see -- the attachment showing the Grayed-out selection about the Home Page). I have contacted PortableApps via IRC and they confirmed that they do not effect the installation of FFox other than install upon the logically identified drive as the target device. They felt that there was some background process running and this process might have applied an Enterprise Policy file to this installation process. They then suggested contacting Mozilla's support. I would like to properly address this change and also see what other preferences may have been affected. I have posted this Question due to having been hurt by using a Generic solution (in the Past) described for a similar but not the same issue (i.e. How to Disable the Enterprise Roots Preference). Reading a bit further, there seems to be two methods of accomplishing this type of control (MS's - Group Policy -or- a policy.json file). In the meantime, I thought that I would seek Mozilla's Support more specific advise and help. I find this VERY annoying considering, I am using my personal version of software and they Only recently ( after using their network for years ) affected my copy without ANY notice posted on their network of this type of change for my consideration. My benefit to the use of a my personal copy is to be able to save found sites to My - Bookmarks/Favorites. Otherwise I would not have this ability, but with notices, I would have found either other public networks or methods to have this functionality years ago.

I hope that someone may have a better process of figuring out how and what to do to in these types of situations. Also what would be the best way to protect an otherwise operating Browser - Say backing up, What ! ? Prior to making changes ? Thanks ahead of time !

I usually use and update my PortableApps version of FireFox, that runs from my Thumb/Flash drive, at the Public Library network's workstation due to my use of their facilities for research. The Library uses this same version of FireFox on each of their workstation, too. About three weeks ago, PortableApps indicated that FireFox had an Update to version 68 ready for my copy of FireFox to use. I accepted to update My Personal copy of FireFox to this version while using the Library's workstation running Windows 7. Now when I startup my personal copy of FFox from my PortableApps Flash drive, I immediately noticed that INSTEAD of showing the Home page that I had chosen many years ago and was still using, it had changed to the Library's selected Starting Webpage, as if I was starting FFox or Chrome from THEIR installed software ON this workstation (please see -- the attachment showing the Grayed-out selection about the Home Page). I have contacted PortableApps via IRC and they confirmed that they do not effect the installation of FFox other than install upon the logically identified drive as the target device. They felt that there was some background process running and this process might have applied an Enterprise Policy file to this installation process. They then suggested contacting Mozilla's support. I would like to properly address this change and also see what other preferences may have been affected. I have posted this Question due to having been hurt by using a Generic solution (in the Past) described for a similar but not the same issue (i.e. How to Disable the Enterprise Roots Preference). Reading a bit further, there seems to be two methods of accomplishing this type of control (MS's - Group Policy -or- a policy.json file). In the meantime, I thought that I would seek Mozilla's Support more specific advise and help. I find this VERY annoying considering, I am using my personal version of software and they Only recently ( after using their network for years ) affected my copy without ANY notice posted on their network of this type of change for my consideration. My benefit to the use of a my personal copy is to be able to save found sites to My - Bookmarks/Favorites. Otherwise I would not have this ability, but with notices, I would have found either other public networks or methods to have this functionality years ago. I hope that someone may have a better process of figuring out how and what to do to in these types of situations. Also what would be the best way to protect an otherwise operating Browser - Say backing up, What ! ? Prior to making changes ? Thanks ahead of time !
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  • Identifikace prohlížeče: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/68.0

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cor-el
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You can look for a possible policies.json file.

See also;

You can inspect the Mozilla and Firefox keys with the Windows Registry Editor in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and possibly in HKEY_CURRENT_USER with the Windows Registry Editor to see whether GPO policy rules are active.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox\
You can look for a possible policies.json file. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-policiesjson See also; *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-group-policy You can inspect the Mozilla and Firefox keys with the Windows Registry Editor in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and possibly in HKEY_CURRENT_USER with the Windows Registry Editor to see whether GPO policy rules are active. *HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox\
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cor-el said

You can look for a possible policies.json file. See also; You can inspect the Mozilla and Firefox keys with the Windows Registry Editor in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and possibly in HKEY_CURRENT_USER with the Windows Registry Editor to see whether GPO policy rules are active.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox\

It did show me what to look for, BUT I do Not have Admin Rights to the library's workstations. Tried to locate "regedit" via the Win7 - Win Menu Search Box and it does not even show a match as if they had blocked this type of locating.

I have sent a message to their Tech Support via internal messaging (Contact Page), and I'm waiting for a reply to my inquiry as to How do they implement this type of control.

As to your supplied info on Group Policy, this would be helpful, IF I had ADMIN (local or Domain) access, Only. Otherwise it is just helpful info for my next communication with the Library's Tech Support.

Upon doing a File Search in Win Explorer for "*.json" I found a lot of files, but NO Policy Json file (see attached Screen Shot file with 0 matches).

Considering my current results, I would say that they would be using a Group Policy approach. I would also surmise that this will be a harder issue to resolve, now, with this additional info.

''cor-el [[#answer-1244095|said]]'' <blockquote> You can look for a possible policies.json file. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-policiesjson See also; *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/customizing-firefox-using-group-policy You can inspect the Mozilla and Firefox keys with the Windows Registry Editor in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and possibly in HKEY_CURRENT_USER with the Windows Registry Editor to see whether GPO policy rules are active. *HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Mozilla\Firefox\ </blockquote> ----------------------- It did show me what to look for, BUT I do Not have Admin Rights to the library's workstations. Tried to locate "regedit" via the Win7 - Win Menu Search Box and it does not even show a match as if they had blocked this type of locating. I have sent a message to their Tech Support via internal messaging (Contact Page), and I'm waiting for a reply to my inquiry as to How do they implement this type of control. As to your supplied info on Group Policy, this would be helpful, IF I had ADMIN (local or Domain) access, Only. Otherwise it is just helpful info for my next communication with the Library's Tech Support. Upon doing a File Search in Win Explorer for "*.json" I found a lot of files, but NO Policy Json file (see attached Screen Shot file with 0 matches). Considering my current results, I would say that they would be using a Group Policy approach. I would also surmise that this will be a harder issue to resolve, now, with this additional info.
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jscher2000
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For a policies.json file, I think you need to check the folders of your Portable Firefox installation on your flash drive, and not the installation on the library's internal drive. The paths likely will be a bit different, but the general principle is the same.

(I suspect your Portable Firefox installation ignores the system's Windows registry, but I haven't researched that.)

For a policies.json file, I think you need to check the folders of ''your'' Portable Firefox installation on your flash drive, and not the installation on the library's internal drive. The paths likely will be a bit different, but the general principle is the same. (I suspect ''your'' Portable Firefox installation ignores the system's Windows registry, but I haven't researched that.)
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jscher2000 said

For a policies.json file, I think you need to check the folders of your Portable Firefox installation on your flash drive, and not the installation on the library's internal drive. The paths likely will be a bit different, but the general principle is the same. (I suspect your Portable Firefox installation ignores the system's Windows registry, but I haven't researched that.)

Did you notice that the Drive Label was & is 2016HLD and on the left-side of the Capture (the Folders and logical Drive listings), that this device has a Logical Drive Letter assignment as (F:).

So to respond to your reply quoted above, the Search was done on my connected Flash drive and Not the Workstation's C: - drive as you can see in the Screen Capture # 2.

Related to this issue, I'm also receiving Almost every time, when I tell FireFox to do a Normal "Quit". I then receive a " Mozilla Crash Reporter " message indicating that this function - " Couldn't find the crash reporter's settings " (see attached Screen Capture file).

Also when I tell FF to Quit, since I'm also watching what is happening via Sysinternal's Process Explorer, that upon quitting, a process starts that then runs the PDF add-on for more than a minute and then the crash reporter shows up but then I receive this message and I click-on "OK". Then the Pingsender shows up and closes out the FF Session.

I believe that all of this is related to what I have already reported because I did not have these issues previously .... I'm also seeing a lot of *.jsonlz4 type files being shown to be in (what I can read) - FirefoxPortable\Data\profile\datareporting\archived\ ... (display to small to see the rest) ... back to the date of 7/31/19 [today is 8/14/19]...

I hope that this additional information can help in zeroing in upon what the issue(s) are and help to formulate a solution.

I'm guessing that I would not be the Only public user of a Portable version of Mozilla's software usage at a public library having these types of issues.

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244304|said]]'' <blockquote> For a policies.json file, I think you need to check the folders of ''your'' Portable Firefox installation on your flash drive, and not the installation on the library's internal drive. The paths likely will be a bit different, but the general principle is the same. (I suspect ''your'' Portable Firefox installation ignores the system's Windows registry, but I haven't researched that.) </blockquote> ------------------------ Did you notice that the Drive Label was & is 2016HLD and on the left-side of the Capture (the Folders and logical Drive listings), that this device has a Logical Drive Letter assignment as (F:). So to respond to your reply quoted above, the Search was done on my connected Flash drive and Not the Workstation's C: - drive as you can see in the Screen Capture # 2. Related to this issue, I'm also receiving Almost every time, when I tell FireFox to do a Normal "Quit". I then receive a " Mozilla Crash Reporter " message indicating that this function - " Couldn't find the crash reporter's settings " (see attached Screen Capture file). Also when I tell FF to Quit, since I'm also watching what is happening via Sysinternal's Process Explorer, that upon quitting, a process starts that then runs the PDF add-on for more than a minute and then the crash reporter shows up but then I receive this message and I click-on "OK". Then the Pingsender shows up and closes out the FF Session. I believe that all of this is related to what I have already reported because I did not have these issues previously .... I'm also seeing a lot of *.jsonlz4 type files being shown to be in (what I can read) - FirefoxPortable\Data\profile\datareporting\archived\ ... (display to small to see the rest) ... back to the date of 7/31/19 [today is 8/14/19]... I hope that this additional information can help in zeroing in upon what the issue(s) are and help to formulate a solution. I'm guessing that I would not be the Only public user of a Portable version of Mozilla's software usage at a public library having these types of issues.
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jscher2000
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Can you click into the PortableFirefox program folder and check whether there is a distribution directory. While you're there, also investigate the possibility of an Autoconfig file. Here's how:

In these paths, substitute your actual program folder name where I've written FirefoxPortable.

Distribution folders

Do these folders exist? If so, check for policies.json inside:

  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\distribution
  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox64\distribution

Autoconfig folders

Do these folders exist? If so, it's normal to have a file named channel-prefs.js here and any other file could be an Autoconfig file directing Firefox (Portable) to load a configuration file.

  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\defaults\pref
  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox64\defaults\pref

Note: don't double-click .js files as Windows will execute them as a system script. That's more likely to fail than cause harm, but no need to tempt fate. To view the contents of a .js file, you can use right-click > Edit to open it in Notepad.

confused99 said

I'm also receiving Almost every time, when I tell FireFox to do a Normal "Quit". I then receive a " Mozilla Crash Reporter " message indicating that this function - " Couldn't find the crash reporter's settings " (see attached Screen Capture file).

That makes it difficult to figure out why Firefox seems to be crashing at shutdown.

Also when I tell FF to Quit, since I'm also watching what is happening via Sysinternal's Process Explorer, that upon quitting, a process starts that then runs the PDF add-on for more than a minute and then the crash reporter shows up but then I receive this message and I click-on "OK". Then the Pingsender shows up and closes out the FF Session.

What PDF add-on?

Can you click into the PortableFirefox program folder and check whether there is a distribution directory. While you're there, also investigate the possibility of an Autoconfig file. Here's how: ''In these paths, substitute your actual program folder name where I've written'' FirefoxPortable. '''Distribution folders''' Do these folders exist? If so, check for policies.json inside: * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox\distribution * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox64\distribution '''Autoconfig folders''' Do these folders exist? If so, it's normal to have a file named '''channel-prefs.js''' here and any other file could be an Autoconfig file directing Firefox (Portable) to load a configuration file. * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox\defaults\pref * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox64\defaults\pref Note: don't double-click .js files as Windows will execute them as a system script. That's more likely to fail than cause harm, but no need to tempt fate. To view the contents of a .js file, you can use right-click > Edit to open it in Notepad. ''confused99 [[#answer-1244310|said]]'' <blockquote> I'm also receiving Almost every time, when I tell FireFox to do a Normal "Quit". I then receive a " Mozilla Crash Reporter " message indicating that this function - " Couldn't find the crash reporter's settings " (see attached Screen Capture file). </blockquote> That makes it difficult to figure out why Firefox seems to be crashing at shutdown. <blockquote>Also when I tell FF to Quit, since I'm also watching what is happening via Sysinternal's Process Explorer, that upon quitting, a process starts that then runs the PDF add-on for more than a minute and then the crash reporter shows up but then I receive this message and I click-on "OK". Then the Pingsender shows up and closes out the FF Session. </blockquote> What PDF add-on?
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jscher2000 said

Can you click into the PortableFirefox program folder and check whether there is a distribution directory. While you're there, also investigate the possibility of an Autoconfig file. Here's how: In these paths, substitute your actual program folder name where I've written FirefoxPortable. Distribution folders Do these folders exist? If so, check for policies.json inside:
  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\distribution
  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox64\distribution
Autoconfig folders Do these folders exist? If so, it's normal to have a file named channel-prefs.js here and any other file could be an Autoconfig file directing Firefox (Portable) to load a configuration file.
  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\defaults\pref
  • F:\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox64\defaults\pref
Note: don't double-click .js files as Windows will execute them as a system script. That's more likely to fail than cause harm, but no need to tempt fate. To view the contents of a .js file, you can use right-click > Edit to open it in Notepad. confused99 said
I'm also receiving Almost every time, when I tell FireFox to do a Normal "Quit". I then receive a " Mozilla Crash Reporter " message indicating that this function - " Couldn't find the crash reporter's settings " (see attached Screen Capture file).

That makes it difficult to figure out why Firefox seems to be crashing at shutdown.

Also when I tell FF to Quit, since I'm also watching what is happening via Sysinternal's Process Explorer, that upon quitting, a process starts that then runs the PDF add-on for more than a minute and then the crash reporter shows up but then I receive this message and I click-on "OK". Then the Pingsender shows up and closes out the FF Session.

What PDF add-on?


You will notice from the three (3) Screen Captures of the Thumb Drive, that there is NONE of the Files or Directories that you have so kindly presented to look for.

May I remind you that this is the configuration and installation of the version that was design by the PortableApps Group.

I'm sorry to report, that after working with the computer screen for more than six (6) hours, that my vision is becoming Blurry and hard to do any further providing of information on the mentioned Crash Reporter. Besides it is Dinner time here in the EST.

I thank you for all your direction though as of today !

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244312|said]]'' <blockquote> Can you click into the PortableFirefox program folder and check whether there is a distribution directory. While you're there, also investigate the possibility of an Autoconfig file. Here's how: ''In these paths, substitute your actual program folder name where I've written'' FirefoxPortable. '''Distribution folders''' Do these folders exist? If so, check for policies.json inside: * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox\distribution * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox64\distribution '''Autoconfig folders''' Do these folders exist? If so, it's normal to have a file named '''channel-prefs.js''' here and any other file could be an Autoconfig file directing Firefox (Portable) to load a configuration file. * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox\defaults\pref * F:\''FirefoxPortable''\App\Firefox64\defaults\pref Note: don't double-click .js files as Windows will execute them as a system script. That's more likely to fail than cause harm, but no need to tempt fate. To view the contents of a .js file, you can use right-click > Edit to open it in Notepad. ''confused99 [[#answer-1244310|said]]'' <blockquote> I'm also receiving Almost every time, when I tell FireFox to do a Normal "Quit". I then receive a " Mozilla Crash Reporter " message indicating that this function - " Couldn't find the crash reporter's settings " (see attached Screen Capture file). </blockquote> That makes it difficult to figure out why Firefox seems to be crashing at shutdown. <blockquote>Also when I tell FF to Quit, since I'm also watching what is happening via Sysinternal's Process Explorer, that upon quitting, a process starts that then runs the PDF add-on for more than a minute and then the crash reporter shows up but then I receive this message and I click-on "OK". Then the Pingsender shows up and closes out the FF Session. </blockquote> What PDF add-on? </blockquote> ---------------------- You will notice from the three (3) Screen Captures of the Thumb Drive, that there is NONE of the Files or Directories that you have so kindly presented to look for. May I remind you that this is the configuration and installation of the version that was design by the PortableApps Group. I'm sorry to report, that after working with the computer screen for more than six (6) hours, that my vision is becoming Blurry and hard to do any further providing of information on the mentioned Crash Reporter. Besides it is Dinner time here in the EST. I thank you for all your direction though as of today !
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jscher2000
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Thanks for taking a look. I think it's just one level deeper, so after resting your eyes, could you double-click into the Firefox folder and then check there? And same with the Firefox 64 folder.

It's interesting in your search results that there is a third path with the word update in it, as though an update were in progress and not yet completed. I don't know how that works on Portable. If that doesn't clean itself up, you might ask on their forum: https://portableapps.com/forums/support/firefox_portable

Thanks for taking a look. I think it's just one level deeper, so after resting your eyes, could you double-click into the Firefox folder and then check there? And same with the Firefox 64 folder. It's interesting in your search results that there is a third path with the word update in it, as though an update were in progress and not yet completed. I don't know how that works on Portable. If that doesn't clean itself up, you might ask on their forum: https://portableapps.com/forums/support/firefox_portable

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jscher2000 said

Thanks for taking a look. I think it's just one level deeper, so after resting your eyes, could you double-click into the Firefox folder and then check there? And same with the Firefox 64 folder. It's interesting in your search results that there is a third path with the word update in it, as though an update were in progress and not yet completed. I don't know how that works on Portable. If that doesn't clean itself up, you might ask on their forum: https://portableapps.com/forums/support/firefox_portable

I wish to take this time to thank you for taking your time to respond so quickly ! It is appreciated .... (side note, I had just spent most of this afternoon to provide complete requested info and then I click mistakenly on that entry and lost all that work) So here I go again :

As to the existence of Distribution folders - or - Autoconfig folders, I did not find either in the FireFox or Firefox64 directories, but I did find - channel-prefs.js files in three locations ( see the attached Screen capture below ) Here is a listing for your review with content :

Here is were I found the files named – channel-prefs.js :

FirefoxPortable\Firefox\defaults\pref\Channel-prefs FirefoxPortable\Firefox\updated\default\pref\ Channel-prefs FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox64\defaults\pref\ Channel-prefs

Contents of all three were the same = /* This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public

* License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this
* file, You can obtain one at http://mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/. */

pref("app.update.channel", "release");

---------------------------  

I also checked the Library's installed FireFoxPortable on their C:\ - drive and there - channel-prefs file contained the Same contents.

I received a reply from the Library's Tech Support staff as to how they addressed the Enterprise Policy issue and here is what they responded Quote :

Harvey,

Thank you for contacting the Public Library.

The homepage and the default search engine for Firefox is controlled by group policy, which controls the registry on the computer. It doesn’t edit your prefs.js file.

Staff


You also stated, " ... there is a third path with the word update in it, as though an update were in progress and not yet completed. "

I would like to confirm that you are talking about this folder on My Thumb drive = FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\updated  ?


I hope that this information helps to identify how to solve my issues. Now onto the issue with the crash reporter's message (see attached).

I'm attaching three (3) Screen captures that reflect My copy of Portable FireFox version 68 as it is running with a single session running after being used earlier today and in a somewhat quieter state.

First [at start-up] you will see a capture where the program Now requests a Password ( this has showed-up and I have not implemented a password and I do Not know what has caused this to occur ).

Next is the Process Explorer's captures of the single session.

Then I quit the program and you will see the " plug-container.exe with two (2) processes of FlashPlayerPlugin executed ( and I did not view any PDFs during this usage ) and this happens each and every time. Next you will see that the - crashreporter & minidump-analyzer are executed and running.

Then within a relative few seconds (I did not time it) the attached " Mozilla Crash Reporter - Warning/Error Message showed up.

FYI, I found in a minidump directory, twenty-eight [28] (and now one more) minidump files listed and dated since July 19, 2019 to today. This seems to indicate that some preference is being Missed directed and the executing program is actually working for My personal install, BUT the Group Policy for the Library's Enterprise Policy is getting in the way ( proof is in the many minidump files on the Flash Drive ), IMO !

IMHO, what I'm experiencing, seems to be all related since Updating via the PortableApps updating process. Reminder, PortableApps Tech indicated that they only follow the required install Target directory and that this shows that their was something else running in Background to effect this to happen.

Like I have previously indicated, I have been using their platform at this Library system for YEARS and this is the first time that this has happened AFTER having run an update via their platform.

Me Thinks !, that there is a bit of sharing between groups for this issue happening. Unfortunately, I'm in the middle trying to correct this for my betterment and not to point fingers, but to resolve this issue. I know this from many, many, many, many years in Data Process (IT) as a SysAdmin/System Integrator.

I have found a Mozilla Maintence Folder on their C:\ drive and I do not know if this would be helpful to know, at this time (again see attached).

I hope that all this detailed information helps you to help me to understand what is going on, so that I can properly address My issues and figure out a solution - or - a work-around that I can live with (all parties my not be willing to be helpful, hint, hint, but not Mozilla).

Again, thanks So Much ! for all your time and help in this matter.

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244333|said]]'' <blockquote> Thanks for taking a look. I think it's just one level deeper, so after resting your eyes, could you double-click into the Firefox folder and then check there? And same with the Firefox 64 folder. It's interesting in your search results that there is a third path with the word update in it, as though an update were in progress and not yet completed. I don't know how that works on Portable. If that doesn't clean itself up, you might ask on their forum: https://portableapps.com/forums/support/firefox_portable </blockquote> ---------------------------- I wish to take this time to thank you for taking your time to respond so quickly ! It is appreciated .... (side note, I had just spent most of this afternoon to provide complete requested info and then I click mistakenly on that entry and lost all that work) So here I go again : As to the existence of Distribution folders - or - Autoconfig folders, I did not find either in the FireFox or Firefox64 directories, but I did find - channel-prefs.js files in three locations ( see the attached Screen capture below ) Here is a listing for your review with content : Here is were I found the files named – channel-prefs.js : FirefoxPortable\Firefox\defaults\pref\Channel-prefs FirefoxPortable\Firefox\updated\default\pref\ Channel-prefs FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox'''64'''\defaults\pref\ Channel-prefs Contents of all three were the same = /* This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public * License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this * file, You can obtain one at http://mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/. */ pref("app.update.channel", "release"); --------------------------- I also checked the Library's installed FireFoxPortable on their C:\ - drive and there - channel-prefs file contained the Same contents. I received a reply from the Library's Tech Support staff as to how they addressed the Enterprise Policy issue and here is what they responded Quote : Harvey, Thank you for contacting the Public Library. The homepage and the default search engine for Firefox is controlled by group policy, which controls the registry on the computer. It doesn’t edit your prefs.js file. Staff ---------------------- You also stated, " ... there is a third path with the word update in it, as though an update were in progress and not yet completed. " I would like to confirm that you are talking about this folder on My Thumb drive = FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\updated ? -------------------------- I hope that this information helps to identify how to solve my issues. Now onto the issue with the crash reporter's message (see attached). I'm attaching three (3) Screen captures that reflect My copy of Portable FireFox version 68 as it is running with a single session running after being used earlier today and in a somewhat quieter state. First [at start-up] you will see a capture where the program Now requests a Password ( this has showed-up and I have not implemented a password and I do Not know what has caused this to occur ). Next is the Process Explorer's captures of the single session. Then I quit the program and you will see the " plug-container.exe with two (2) processes of FlashPlayerPlugin executed ( and I did not view any PDFs during this usage ) and this happens each and every time. Next you will see that the - crashreporter & minidump-analyzer are executed and running. Then within a relative few seconds (I did not time it) the attached " Mozilla Crash Reporter - Warning/Error Message showed up. FYI, I found in a minidump directory, twenty-eight [28] (and now one more) minidump files listed and dated since July 19, 2019 to today. This seems to indicate that some preference is being Missed directed and the executing program is actually working for My personal install, '''BUT''' the Group Policy for the Library's Enterprise Policy is getting in the way ( proof is in the many minidump files on the Flash Drive ), IMO ! IMHO, what I'm experiencing, seems to be all related since Updating via the PortableApps updating process. Reminder, PortableApps Tech indicated that they only follow the required install Target directory and that this shows that their was something else running in Background to effect this to happen. Like I have previously indicated, I have been using their platform at this Library system for YEARS and this is the first time that this has happened AFTER having run an update via their platform. Me Thinks !, that there is a bit of sharing between groups for this issue happening. Unfortunately, I'm in the middle trying to correct this for my betterment and not to point fingers, but to resolve this issue. I know this from many, many, many, many years in Data Process (IT) as a SysAdmin/System Integrator. I have found a Mozilla Maintence Folder on their C:\ drive and I do not know if this would be helpful to know, at this time (again see attached). I hope that all this detailed information helps you to help me to understand what is going on, so that I can properly address My issues and figure out a solution - or - a work-around that I can live with (all parties my not be willing to be helpful, hint, hint, but not Mozilla). Again, thanks So Much ! for all your time and help in this matter.
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jscher2000
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Thanks. If I understand correctly, with respect to how your home page is getting hijacked:

  • Could it be a policies.json file? No, because no \distribution folder for Firefox Portable
  • Could it be an autoconfig file in \defaults\pref? No, the only file in \defaults\pref is channel-prefs.js, there are no alien .js files there.
  • Could it be group policy in the registry? I would be surprised if this affects Firefox Portable -- why would it check the registry of the host machine? However, I have no idea whether it does.

When I look at this image --

-- I wonder whether you are somehow running BOTH Firefox Portable AND the locally installed Firefox at the same time. Presumably you would recognize a significant difference between the Library's setup of Firefox and your own setup of Portable Firefox, with respect to settings, toolbar layout, bookmarks, add-ons, etc.

Can you confirm that all the instances of Firefox you see in Process Explorer are Firefox Portable? It might help to right-click one of the column headings, click Select Columns..., then check the box for Command Line and use that to distinguish where the EXE's are running from.

Thanks. If I understand correctly, with respect to how your home page is getting hijacked: * Could it be a policies.json file? No, because no \distribution folder for Firefox Portable * Could it be an autoconfig file in \defaults\pref? No, the only file in \defaults\pref is channel-prefs.js, there are no alien .js files there. * Could it be group policy in the registry? I would be surprised if this affects Firefox Portable -- why would it check the registry of the host machine? However, I have no idea whether it does. When I look at this image -- <center><img src="https://user-media-prod-cdn.itsre-sumo.mozilla.net/uploads/images/2019-08-15-14-10-39-54e4ca.png" width="450"></center> -- I wonder whether you are somehow running BOTH Firefox Portable AND the locally installed Firefox at the same time. Presumably you would recognize a significant difference between the Library's setup of Firefox and your own setup of Portable Firefox, with respect to settings, toolbar layout, bookmarks, add-ons, etc. Can you confirm that all the instances of Firefox you see in Process Explorer are Firefox Portable? It might help to right-click one of the column headings, click Select Columns..., then check the box for Command Line and use that to distinguish where the EXE's are running from.
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jscher2000 said

Thanks. If I understand correctly, with respect to how your home page is getting hijacked:
  • Could it be a policies.json file? No, because no \distribution folder for Firefox Portable
  • Could it be an autoconfig file in \defaults\pref? No, the only file in \defaults\pref is channel-prefs.js, there are no alien .js files there.
  • Could it be group policy in the registry? I would be surprised if this affects Firefox Portable -- why would it check the registry of the host machine? However, I have no idea whether it does.
When I look at this image --

-- I wonder whether you are somehow running BOTH Firefox Portable AND the locally installed Firefox at the same time. Presumably you would recognize a significant difference between the Library's setup of Firefox and your own setup of Portable Firefox, with respect to settings, toolbar layout, bookmarks, add-ons, etc.

Can you confirm that all the instances of Firefox you see in Process Explorer are Firefox Portable? It might help to right-click one of the column headings, click Select Columns..., then check the box for Command Line and use that to distinguish where the EXE's are running from.


You said, " If I understand correctly, with respect to how your home page is getting hijacked ... " And you are So Far ....

You also said and I agree, " Could it be group policy in the registry? I would be surprised if this affects Firefox Portable -- why would it check the registry of the host machine? However, I have no idea whether it does. "

I also understand and wonder the same. With the information from the Library's Tech Support confirming the use of Group Policy does this help anything with your understanding on how this is suppose to work ?

Is there any way in the Configuration Editor to bring about a change back to My Control ?

See attached of the Captured Process Explorer with Columns. You will notice that they are all from Logical Drive F:\ on this Workstation. At Least this is what I see. I could have over looked something though. I am Human and able to make even visual mistakes (LOL).

Next ! ? ? ? ....

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244535|said]]'' <blockquote> Thanks. If I understand correctly, with respect to how your home page is getting hijacked: * Could it be a policies.json file? No, because no \distribution folder for Firefox Portable * Could it be an autoconfig file in \defaults\pref? No, the only file in \defaults\pref is channel-prefs.js, there are no alien .js files there. * Could it be group policy in the registry? I would be surprised if this affects Firefox Portable -- why would it check the registry of the host machine? However, I have no idea whether it does. When I look at this image -- <center><img src="https://user-media-prod-cdn.itsre-sumo.mozilla.net/uploads/images/2019-08-15-14-10-39-54e4ca.png" width="450"></center> -- I wonder whether you are somehow running BOTH Firefox Portable AND the locally installed Firefox at the same time. Presumably you would recognize a significant difference between the Library's setup of Firefox and your own setup of Portable Firefox, with respect to settings, toolbar layout, bookmarks, add-ons, etc. Can you confirm that all the instances of Firefox you see in Process Explorer are Firefox Portable? It might help to right-click one of the column headings, click Select Columns..., then check the box for Command Line and use that to distinguish where the EXE's are running from. </blockquote> ------------------------------ You said, " If I understand correctly, with respect to how your home page is getting hijacked ... " And you are So Far .... You also said and I agree, " Could it be group policy in the registry? I would be surprised if this affects Firefox Portable -- why would it check the registry of the host machine? However, I have no idea whether it does. " I also understand and wonder the same. With the information from the Library's Tech Support confirming the use of Group Policy does this help anything with your understanding on how this is suppose to work ? Is there any way in the Configuration Editor to bring about a change back to My Control ? See attached of the Captured Process Explorer with Columns. You will notice that they are all from Logical Drive F:\ on this Workstation. At Least this is what I see. I could have over looked something though. I am Human and able to make even visual mistakes (LOL). Next ! ? ? ? ....
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jscher2000
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Thank you for checking the EXE. The paths look logical. I really have no idea why it would be obeying group policy. I would expect the Portable version to ignore it.

Do you think it's possible that when you were prompted to update, a "regular" version of Firefox somehow got installed onto your F drive instead of a Portable version? I don't know whether it's even a possible scenario.

Thank you for checking the EXE. The paths look logical. I really have no idea why it would be obeying group policy. I would expect the Portable version to ignore it. Do you think it's possible that when you were prompted to update, a "regular" version of Firefox somehow got installed onto your F drive instead of a Portable version? I don't know whether it's even a possible scenario.
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jscher2000 said

Thank you for checking the EXE. The paths look logical. I really have no idea why it would be obeying group policy. I would expect the Portable version to ignore it. Do you think it's possible that when you were prompted to update, a "regular" version of Firefox somehow got installed onto your F drive instead of a Portable version? I don't know whether it's even a possible scenario.

You pose a very interesting and good question. But first let me tell you, that I was running from the PortableApps Thumb Drive while responding to your update.

This time when I quit FFox, it followed the supplied just given information, BUT this time with the extended Columns.

I noticed that the Plug-container - called to run the FlashPlayerPlugin from the C:\ drive location !

So I ask you Why is this happening every time that I run My PortableApps version and where & why would FFox, first-off, run Plug-container and then call the FlashPlayerPlugin from the local C:\ drive location ? ? Where is it obtaining these instructions ! ? ? It did not do this previously.

I then also notice that I finally, this time, had the request to fill-in the information for the Crash Reporter and I click the button to close FFox ! I also supplied my email address on this report for response back from support. So if you can locate this minidump that is Now part of that successful Crash Report. You may be able to obtain additional info ....

This time the Crash Reporter did NOT have a problem finding what it needed. So I ask you Why ?

I wanted to get this information to you as soon as I can to allow you to possibly locate this report.

You asked, " Do you think it's possible that when you were prompted to update, a "regular" version of Firefox somehow got installed onto your F drive instead of a Portable version ? " All I can say it depends upon who I am able to contact at the PortableApps Support group and their level of expertise.

Well, it's almost 8:00 Pm (EU time - 20:00) and I wanted to get this info to you before I call it for Dinner. I hope that this added info is a help ! Otherwise we both will be waiting upon another support group for answers.

Thanks for all your help in this Matter and I hope that you can possibly supply a work-around with this added info. Take Care for Now ! !

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244550|said]]'' <blockquote> Thank you for checking the EXE. The paths look logical. I really have no idea why it would be obeying group policy. I would expect the Portable version to ignore it. Do you think it's possible that when you were prompted to update, a "regular" version of Firefox somehow got installed onto your F drive instead of a Portable version? I don't know whether it's even a possible scenario. </blockquote> ----------------------------------- You pose a very interesting and good question. But first let me tell you, that I was running from the PortableApps Thumb Drive while responding to your update. This time when I quit FFox, it followed the supplied just given information, '''BUT''' this time with the extended Columns. I noticed that the Plug-container - called to run the FlashPlayerPlugin from the C:\ drive location ! So I ask you Why is this happening every time that I run My PortableApps version and where & why would FFox, first-off, run Plug-container and then call the FlashPlayerPlugin from the local C:\ drive location ? ? Where is it obtaining these instructions ! ? ? It did not do this previously. I then also notice that I finally, this time, had the request to fill-in the information for the Crash Reporter and I click the button to close FFox ! I also supplied my email address on this report for response back from support. So if you can locate this minidump that is Now part of that successful Crash Report. You may be able to obtain additional info .... This time the Crash Reporter '''''did NOT have a problem''''' finding what it needed. So I ask you Why ? I wanted to get this information to you as soon as I can to allow you to possibly locate this report. You asked, " Do you think it's possible that when you were prompted to update, a "regular" version of Firefox somehow got installed onto your F drive instead of a Portable version ? " All I can say it depends upon who I am able to contact at the PortableApps Support group and their level of expertise. Well, it's almost 8:00 Pm (EU time - 20:00) and I wanted to get this info to you before I call it for Dinner. I hope that this added info is a help ! Otherwise we both will be waiting upon another support group for answers. Thanks for all your help in this Matter and I hope that you can possibly supply a work-around with this added info. Take Care for Now ! !
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jscher2000
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Hi confused99, it is hard to explain how plugin-container.exe was run from the Library's installation instead of Portable Firefox. The self-containment seems to be broken.

Email addresses in crash reports are not visible to the public (including support forum volunteers). If you want to share a crash report, you can dig out the report ID code using the steps in this article: Firefox crashes - asking for support.

I really do think it's a good question for the Firefox Portable folks how to safely reinstall (without losing your data) in case your installation is mixed up.

Hi confused99, it is hard to explain how plugin-container.exe was run from the Library's installation instead of Portable Firefox. The self-containment seems to be broken. Email addresses in crash reports are not visible to the public (including support forum volunteers). If you want to share a crash report, you can dig out the report ID code using the steps in this article: [[Firefox crashes - asking for support]]. I really do think it's a good question for the Firefox Portable folks how to safely reinstall (without losing your data) in case your installation is mixed up.
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jscher2000 said

Hi confused99, it is hard to explain how plugin-container.exe was run from the Library's installation instead of Portable Firefox. The self-containment seems to be broken. Email addresses in crash reports are not visible to the public (including support forum volunteers). If you want to share a crash report, you can dig out the report ID code using the steps in this article: Firefox crashes - asking for support. I really do think it's a good question for the Firefox Portable folks how to safely reinstall (without losing your data) in case your installation is mixed up.

I believe that either you or I have read it wrong. "Plug-container" was run from the Logical Thumb drive, but it was told to use the FlashPlayerPlugin FROM the workstation's main C:\ drive Location ...

I do not understand what you mean by " the self containment " being broken. My understanding in any OpSys, that if you provide the correct Path to a Program or File. The program or file will be executed or acted upon Because it knows where it is and knows how to retrieve it (respectfully).

Regarding the Crash Report, these workstations, if you Restart them or leave them til the next day. This Library has it configured to delete the browser temp and cookies and other specific directories upon start-up.

I tried the about:crashes and it said " No crash reports have been submitted. " So I thank you for this knowledge, but due to how these systems are configured, this will not be helpful, and using the Environment to locate via a textbox search would not assist either unless it had just happened, this is what I have found, recently.

Q: Since the Minidump is in a "dump" format, is there an independent tool to be able to read this format ? I have provided a Screen capture of the dump files that are still on my Thumb drive.

You provide an interesting question to pose to PortableApps Tech support ! Be sure that it will be done, but this may Not skirt the typical finger pointing considering that they already said that it was nothing that they normally have done. Also since I will indicate that it comes from Mozilla Support, I will be hoping that this will help in Not trying to send it back on FFox.

Again, Jscher, I would like to thank you for all of your assistance and time in this matter, and that I would like to keep this thread open at this time because really it is not resolved, yet....

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244562|said]]'' <blockquote> Hi confused99, it is hard to explain how plugin-container.exe was run from the Library's installation instead of Portable Firefox. The self-containment seems to be broken. Email addresses in crash reports are not visible to the public (including support forum volunteers). If you want to share a crash report, you can dig out the report ID code using the steps in this article: [[Firefox crashes - asking for support]]. I really do think it's a good question for the Firefox Portable folks how to safely reinstall (without losing your data) in case your installation is mixed up. </blockquote> ------------------------- I believe that either you or I have read it wrong. "Plug-container" was run from the Logical Thumb drive, but it was told to use the FlashPlayerPlugin FROM the workstation's main C:\ drive ''Location'' ... I do not understand what you mean by " the self containment " being broken. My understanding in any OpSys, that if you provide the correct Path to a Program or File. The program or file will be executed or acted upon Because it knows where it is and knows how to retrieve it (respectfully). Regarding the Crash Report, these workstations, if you Restart them or leave them til the next day. '''This Library''' has it configured to delete the browser temp and cookies and other specific directories upon start-up. I tried the about:crashes and it said " No crash reports have been submitted. " So I thank you for this knowledge, but due to how these systems are configured, this will not be helpful, and using the Environment to locate via a textbox search would not assist either unless it had just happened, this is what I have found, recently. '''Q:''' Since the Minidump is in a "''dump''" format, is there an '''independent''' tool to be able to read this format '''?''' I have provided a Screen capture of the dump files that are still on my Thumb drive. You ''provide'' an interesting question to pose to PortableApps Tech support ! Be sure that it will be done, but this may Not skirt the typical finger pointing considering that they already said that it was nothing that they normally have done. Also since I will indicate that it comes from Mozilla Support, I will be hoping that this will help in Not trying to send it back on FFox. Again, Jscher, I would like to thank you for '''all''' of your assistance and time in this matter, and that I would like to keep this thread open at this time because really it is not resolved, yet....
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jscher2000
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By self-containment I meant Portable referring only to its own folders and not to anything on the system.

When I look at Microsoft support, it sounds like a lot of work to extract a minidump file: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/315263/how-to-read-the-small-memory-dump-file-that-is-created-by-windows-if-a#method4

It would be better if you could convince Firefox to upload it. Does the about:crashes page show any Unsubmitted reports?

By self-containment I meant Portable referring only to its own folders and not to anything on the system. When I look at Microsoft support, it sounds like a lot of work to extract a minidump file: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/315263/how-to-read-the-small-memory-dump-file-that-is-created-by-windows-if-a#method4 It would be better if you could convince Firefox to upload it. Does the about:crashes page show any ''Unsubmitted'' reports?
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jscher2000 said

By self-containment I meant Portable referring only to its own folders and not to anything on the system. When I look at Microsoft support, it sounds like a lot of work to extract a minidump file: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/315263/how-to-read-the-small-memory-dump-file-that-is-created-by-windows-if-a#method4 It would be better if you could convince Firefox to upload it. Does the about:crashes page show any Unsubmitted reports?

First-Off, I was not aware that this minidump was a Microsoft program due to only seeing it being called by FFox. So thanks for this link and information !

No, the Crash Page Only showed the quoted statement presented. Sorry ! I can close out this FFox program running and hope that I obtain a successful Crash Reporting and Not what has been the norm where it can't find where to go and obtain that warning.

So I will try this while you read this reply.

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1244754|said]]'' <blockquote> By self-containment I meant Portable referring only to its own folders and not to anything on the system. When I look at Microsoft support, it sounds like a lot of work to extract a minidump file: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/315263/how-to-read-the-small-memory-dump-file-that-is-created-by-windows-if-a#method4 It would be better if you could convince Firefox to upload it. Does the about:crashes page show any ''Unsubmitted'' reports? </blockquote> ---------------------- First-Off, I was not aware that this minidump was a Microsoft program due to only seeing it being called by FFox. So thanks for this link and information ! No, the Crash Page Only showed the quoted statement presented. Sorry ! I can close out this FFox program running and hope that I obtain a successful Crash Reporting and Not what has been the norm where it can't find where to go and obtain that warning. So I will try this while you read this reply.
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