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Firefox constantly hangs and freezes; uses 100% CPU during the freeze.

Posted

Almost spontaneously, Firefox would freeze and become unresponsive. During this time, every Firefox window is whited-out and do not respond to any input, and the Firefox process uses up 100% CPU. All active content running at the time of the freeze, if any, continue to function as normal (Videos continue to play, web applications providing audio notifications send them as normal, although any visuals are now not visible as the browser windows are frozen. The sound continues uninterrupted, however.)

Freezing may occur at any point. Even when the user does not interact with Firefox, it may still freeze. Freezing persists with all addons and plugins disabled.

The freeze would last between a few seconds to a minute, and subsequent to the freeze, Firefox always resumes responding as if nothing had happened. While it does not result in significant losses, the freezing is extremely inconvenient and may occur as frequently as once every ten minutes.

The freezing symptom is universal across all versions of firefox between 5 and 8.0a2.

Chosen solution

I've had this problem since I upgraded from FF5 to 6.02. I had the Aurora dev version installed, so I too can confirm the problem occurs in various versions. Exactly as OP mentioned: max CPU load, application freezes, even without any websites open - It once even froze immediately after startup while clearing the browser cache.

My profile has been very old. I too disabled all Addons and Plugins, and the problem persisted. After that I uninstalled Firefox but kept my profile - no luck.

Nevertheless, a complete reinstall plus removal of all profile data (C:\users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla and C:\users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla - export your bookmarks first of course) solved the problem. Downside is, you need to reinstall all AddOns, and your settings and cookies are gone. But these freezes were even more annoying, so my advice would be to create a new profile.

Read this answer in context 11

Additional System Details

This happened

Every time Firefox opened

This started when...

Roughly when Firefox 5 became available to the public.

Installed Plug-ins

  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.1
  • Shockwave Flash 10.3 r183
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 1.6.0_26 for Mozilla browsers
  • 4.0.60531.0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:8.0a2) Gecko/20110920 Firefox/8.0a2

More Information

Application Basics
Name
Firefox
Version
8.0a2
User Agent
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:8.0a2) Gecko/20110920 Firefox/8.0a2
Profile Directory
Open Containing Folder
Enabled Plugins
about:plugins
Build Configuration
about:buildconfig
Crash Reports
about:crashes
Extensions
Name
Version
Enabled
ID
Greasemonkey
0.9.10
true
{e4a8a97b-f2ed-450b-b12d-ee082ba24781}
HTTPS-Everywhere
1.0.1
true
https-everywhere@eff.org
Lazarus: Form Recovery
2.3
true
lazarus@interclue.com
NoScript
2.1.2.7
true
{73a6fe31-595d-460b-a920-fcc0f8843232}
RefControl
0.8.15
true
{455D905A-D37C-4643-A9E2-F6FEFAA0424A}
RequestPolicy
0.5.22
true
requestpolicy@requestpolicy.com
Check4Change
1.9
false
check4change-owner@mozdev.org
DAEMON Tools Toolbar
1.1.7.0190
false
DTToolbar@toolbarnet.com
Feedback
1.1.2
false
testpilot@labs.mozilla.com
UploadScreenshot.com Capture
1.9.1
false
uss-button@uploadscreenshot.com
Modified Preferences
Name
Value
accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar
0
browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion
2
browser.startup.homepage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID
20110920042010
browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone
rv:8.0a2
browser.tabs.warnOnClose
false
extensions.lastAppVersion
8.0a2
network.cookie.prefsMigrated
true
network.dns.disablePrefetch
true
network.prefetch-next
false
places.database.lastMaintenance
1316563041
places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages
257087
privacy.cpd.sessions
false
privacy.donottrackheader.enabled
true
privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs
true
privacy.sanitize.timeSpan
0
security.disable_button.openCertManager
false
security.warn_viewing_mixed
false
Graphics
Adapter Description
AMD Radeon HD 6570M/5700 Series
Vendor ID
1002
Device ID
68c0
Adapter RAM
1024
Adapter Drivers
aticfx64 aticfx64 aticfx64 aticfx32 aticfx32 aticfx32 atiumd64 atidxx64 atidxx64 atiumdag atidxx32 atidxx32 atiumdva atiumd6a atitmm64
Driver Version
8.861.0.0
Driver Date
5-24-2011
Adapter RAM (GPU #2)
Unknown
Adapter Drivers (GPU #2)
Unknown
Direct2D Enabled
true
DirectWrite Enabled
true (6.1.7601.17563)
ClearType Parameters
ClearType parameters not found
WebGL Renderer
Google Inc. -- ANGLE -- OpenGL ES 2.0 (ANGLE 0.0.0.686)
GPU Accelerated Windows
2/2 Direct3D 10

captmcneil 1 solutions 1 answers

Chosen Solution

I've had this problem since I upgraded from FF5 to 6.02. I had the Aurora dev version installed, so I too can confirm the problem occurs in various versions. Exactly as OP mentioned: max CPU load, application freezes, even without any websites open - It once even froze immediately after startup while clearing the browser cache.

My profile has been very old. I too disabled all Addons and Plugins, and the problem persisted. After that I uninstalled Firefox but kept my profile - no luck.

Nevertheless, a complete reinstall plus removal of all profile data (C:\users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla and C:\users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla - export your bookmarks first of course) solved the problem. Downside is, you need to reinstall all AddOns, and your settings and cookies are gone. But these freezes were even more annoying, so my advice would be to create a new profile.

Modified by captmcneil

Question owner

Thank you! I had not assumed that the user profile would be the root cause of this issue. This fix seems to be working thus far; I'll report back again if it does not recur within a few days.

(I did not think this would actually work, so I didn't back up my old profiles; oops. Now I have nothing to compare with when I try to hunt down the problem. Has anyone here managed to narrow down the problem to a specific part of your user profile? It's great to have found a working solution to the issue, but it would be even better if the source of the problem and why it occurs can be tracked down.)

Modified by Aristocrat

Question owner

captmcneil's response definitely helps. I don't know why someone marked it as "unhelpful", but if you followed his exact instructions, then it should completely resolve your problem.

eobet 0 solutions 2 answers

Helpful Reply

There are at least four similar topics here about this problem and I have clicked the button that I too have the problem on each and every one of them.

This is the first time in years that Firefox has given me a serious enough problem to render it unusable.

marius 0 solutions 1 answers

Nope, sorry that wasn't it.

Modified by marius

kloog1 0 solutions 2 answers

I found the solution about an hour ago - since then NO MORE FREEZING for the first time in weeks! Install this add on - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/places-maintenance/ Open the dialog with Options. Select Expire on the list, and click on Execute. After spending weeks trying so many possibilities, this took about three minutes. I have run Task Manager resource monitors on CPU, Disk, and Memory since then - clean!

Modified by kloog1

cmdrys1 0 solutions 1 answers

That did not help whatsoever