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sometimes on startup, Foxfire starts as a process rather than an application such that I have to end it as a process then restart it as an application
When I click on the foxfire icon, the sound of the disk is heard. This soon stops. The hourglass appears for a short time and then disappears. There are no other signs that the program is running as a process other than using Windows TaskManager and looking in the process list. When this happen, I delete foxfire as a process and then restart it as I normally do. This usually works in getting it started.
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Although possibly not related to your problem, I have to remind you that the version of Firefox you are using at the moment has been discontinued and is no longer supported. On top of this, it has known unpatched bugs and security problems. I urge you to update to the latest version of Firefox, for maximum security, stability, performance and usability. You can get it for free, as always, at getfirefox.com.
As for your problem, it's possible that you are having a problem with some Firefox add-on that is hindering your Firefox's normal behavior. Have you tried disabling all add-ons (just to check), to see if Firefox goes back to normal?
Whenever you have a problem with Firefox, whatever it is, you should make sure it's not caused by one (or more than one) of your installed add-ons, be it an extension, a theme or a plugin. To do that easily and cleanly, run Firefox in safe mode (don't forget to select Disable all add-ons when you start safe mode). If the problem disappears, you know it's from an add-on. Disable them all in normal mode, and enable them one at a time until you find the source of the problem. See this article for information about troubleshooting extensions and themes and this one for plugins.
If you need support for one of your add-ons, you'll have to contact its author.
If the problem does not disappear when all add-ons are disabled, please tell me, so we can work from there. Please have no fear of following my instructions to the line, as all can be easily undone.