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Recently experiencing slowness, and crashes

Posted

Just recently---about a week,I'm experiencing extreme slowness, and crashes. Also, it seems the computer---an old one, just keeps running or looking for something, even though it seems I'm at the website and it doesn't need to do this? This used to not be a problem, but now it is. From a novices point of view, It just seems the computer wants to keep computing when it probably doesn't need to? I keep getting the two messages: Firefox not responding---associated with the little hour glass, and unresponsive script. These are the message's I get when things get slow and "unresponsive". Hope someone can help. I do try to keep up with the computer maintenance; hard disk, and defragging. But, that makes no difference. I have noticed though recently, that when I do clear space on my hard disk, I keep showing a lot of space can be cleared compared to normal? Thank you.

Chosen solution

Well, for starters, the version of Firefox that you are running is extremely old, which means it is a very slow version. I would do the following to try to speed it up:

  1. Download the newest version of Firefox from www.getfirefox.com. Install it.
  2. After Firefox is started up, Install all Windows updates
  3. Update all your plugins (Flash, Java, etc.): http://www.mozilla.org/plugincheck/.
  4. Scan for any Malware. You can use tools like MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware, TDSSKiller - AntiRootkit Utility and Microsoft Security Essentials (A good permanent anti-virus if you don't already have one)
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Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.4
  • Default Plug-in
  • Shockwave Flash 11.3 r300
  • GEPlugin
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.5.0 for Mozilla browsers
  • 5.1.10411.0
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) plug-in for Mozilla browsers
  • Google Update
  • Classic Java Plug-in 10.5.0 for Netscape and Mozilla
  • Npdsplay dll
  • DRM Store Netscape Plugin
  • DRM Netscape Network Object

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.18) Gecko/20110614 Firefox/3.6.18 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)

More Information

Tyler Downer
  • Administrator
  • Moderator
1165 solutions 6642 answers

Chosen Solution

Well, for starters, the version of Firefox that you are running is extremely old, which means it is a very slow version. I would do the following to try to speed it up:

  1. Download the newest version of Firefox from www.getfirefox.com. Install it.
  2. After Firefox is started up, Install all Windows updates
  3. Update all your plugins (Flash, Java, etc.): http://www.mozilla.org/plugincheck/.
  4. Scan for any Malware. You can use tools like MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware, TDSSKiller - AntiRootkit Utility and Microsoft Security Essentials (A good permanent anti-virus if you don't already have one)
AliceWyman
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
191 solutions 1967 answers

For the issues you are reporting, see:

However, you are using Firefox 3.6.18 which is badly outdated and insecure. Updating Firefox may resolve your issues.

Your best bet would be to download and install the current version of Firefox for Desktop from www.mozilla.org (Firefox 14.0.1 right now) ... assuming your Windows XP has the latest Service Pack. See Firefox no longer works with some versions of Windows XP and How to download and install Firefox on Windows.

P.S. I didn't see the reply from Tylerdowner before I posted. I agree you should also get the latest Windows updates, update your plugins, check for malware, and get an up-to-date antivirus - read Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware. I can also recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, which I use myself on Windows 7.

Modified by AliceWyman

Question owner

Tylerdowner,

 Thank you for your reply. Yes, I'm aware I'm using the older version of Firefox. But, I've tried numerous times using the latest version, and frankly it doesn't work as well as this older version. It certainly isn't any faster, and when I try to scroll down my bookmarks list---and I have many bookmarks, it takes for ever to do that; at least the older version is very quick at doing that.
 So, I just gave up on the new version, Tylerdowner. I do have anti spy ware through my provider(Charter). 
 So, I guess we're back to square one? Actually, I believe I was told with this old computer I have, that an older version may be better? Again, thank you, and I hope you may have some other solutions.
Tyler Downer
  • Administrator
  • Moderator
1165 solutions 6642 answers

First, running an old version is not better, as you are vulnerable to many security risks publicly exploited in the wild.

Second, as I was going to tell you if you upgraded and still had problems ;) is you should update to Firefox 14, and then try the brand new Firefox Reset Reset Firefox – easily fix most problems. This will fix issues like your bookmark scrolling issue, etc.

So, I'd suggest following my before steps, and if you still have problems, reset Firefox :) I'm pretty sure it will make your life a bit more bearable.

Now of course, with such an old pc, you aren't going to get the best performance, but running 3.6 is not sustainable, and Versions 14 with a reset is going to be as good or better, with added security.

Question owner

Hi Alice,

Thank you for the reply, I guess my reply is essentially the same as the one I gave Tylerdowner. And that is, I already tried the newer version and it is actually worse than the older version on my older system. Yes, sounds strange, but believe me Alice, I've tried the newer version numerous times, to no avail. 
 Wish that would have been the answer! That being the case Alice, what do you suggest I do now? Again thank you, and I hope something can be hopefully resolved.

Question owner

Tylerdowner,

 I will definitely try your suggestion; what do I have to lose. Once I install the latest version, I will first of all try it with no reset and see how that goes. Frankly, based on past times trying it---like yesterday, I believe I'll have to give reset a whirl. 
 This must be ironic, but while replying to your message Tylerdowner, I got the proverbial hour glass, and associated message. Firefox not responding. 
 While this happens, it seems my computer is just walling away, trying to do something, or look for something. 
 Once again, thank you.

Question owner

Tylerdowner,

 I installed version 14, and so far all's well. I've only been using it for about 15 minutes, but so far no problems.  The bookmarks drop down's menu speed, while not as fast as before, seems OK for now. So, I'll for go using reset for now.
 I do recall another problem I had with the new version though. When viewing and listening to music on Youtube, the audio and video were not as good with the older version. The audio would skip, where as with the older version that wouldn't happen. Any suggestions as to how to improve the audio quality when listening and viewing Youtube Tylerdowner?
As I recall now, it might have been something about either Adobe, or Flashplayer? Something to the effect using an older version, or a different plugin? Actually not too sure any longer, and being rather limited in my computer skills, but you probably know what I'm talking about? Again, any suggestions with Youtube music, for better quality? I do appreciate your  willingness to help Tylerdowner.
 Again, so far so good. I will let you know how things develop.
AliceWyman
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
191 solutions 1967 answers

Hi, sciencemagic

Your reply was to Tylerdowner but hopefully the two of you won't mind if I jump in to maybe help with your Flash issues.

Did you ever upgrade to Flash 11.4? I would try that first. See Flash Plugin - Keep it up to date and troubleshoot problems (under Updating Flash).

There are some other suggestions here:

If that doesn't help, some Windows XP users report that Flash Player 10.3 works better on their older systems than Flash Player 11.x so you might consider uninstalling Flash 11.3 (or Flash 11.4) and downgrading to Flash 10.3.... See Adobe Flash plugin has crashed - Prevent it from happening again and Adobe's How do I revert to a previous version of Flash Player? page for details. Note that the latest Flash Player 10.3 plugin includes all known security patches.

Modified by AliceWyman

Question owner

Hi Alice,

  I already have downgraded to Flash 10.3, and that actually helped. Strange how an older system would be better? I'm beginning to realize my older computer just has some limitations working in concert with new programs? But, I did realize the newer Firefox didn't work as well as the older version 3.5 when using Youtube music. The audio would skip at times, where as with version 3.5, it wouldn't. 
 I do appreciate your jumping in Alice. I'm not afraid to try things that may ultimately help my system. 
 Yes, a new computer is on my radar. Just worried how to transfer all my date from this old computer, to a new one. Again, thank you.

Question owner

Hi either Alice or Tylerdowner,

  Since I've loaded the newer version of Firefox, every time when I start up the browser I now get babylon search as my home page, instead of msn. I went to tools and could see that address (babylon)was now my home page. I then proceeded to change it to msn. But, even though I have done that, I still keep getting babylon was my home page, not msn, even though when I go to the page that displays what my home page is in tools under the general tap, it shows msn, not babylon. What gives with that? How do get the browser to show msn as my home page---like it used to, instead of babylon? Thank you.

Question owner

Thank you cor-el and Alice. I was able to finally remove babylon from the tool bar. Interesting though. Through all the fiddling around I did trying to solve the problem, I ended up on "aboutconfig". When I viewed the preferences, with in that option of about:config, I saw a lot of babylon extensions being displayed in the items on the list.

 Being there were so many of them being displayed, I'm not really sure how do go about trying to remove all of them. And, is it now really necessary to remove them from that list now? Again, thank you.
AliceWyman
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
191 solutions 1967 answers

sciencemagic, on removing Babylon settings:

Many uninstalled extensions leave behind preference settings, which will remain until you remove them from about:config by resetting them.

In some cases, Babylon settings may have been added with a user.js file, which would be located in your your Firefox profile folder. If you reset Babylon preferences but they keep coming back, you'll need to either delete the user.js file or else remove the Babylon entries from it. This was mentioned on MozillaZine's forum in this thread:

For more information on resetting preferences, including those that keep coming back because they were added with a user.js file, see:

Modified by AliceWyman

Question owner

Hi Alice,

Thank you for your help. I deleted the babylon folder, and there after babylon is not shown in the preferrences section of about:config.
AliceWyman
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
191 solutions 1967 answers

Hi, sciencemagic,

I'm glad you got rid of Babylon. So, which Babylon folder(s) did you delete? I'm asking because I just added Spybot's Manual Removal Guide for Babylon.Toolbar as a reference to http://kb.mozillazine.org/Uninstalling_toolbars#Babylon_Toolbar and it shows a number of possible Babylon locations under "Folders", including the directory at <$APPDATA>\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\anibwtkr.default\extensions\ffxtlbr@babylon.com\defaults\preferences

Question owner

Alice,

 I wasn't able to do like the instructions said, because I didn't get the screen I was told I would get with my system, and therefore couldn't do the specific fix. So, I just started fiddling. Not being experienced in fixing computer problems, I just kept trying different things. Eventually I got to an area where folder's where displayed, and I could see one of those folders was labeled babylon. I also could see I could delete it, so I did. 
 After doing so, I went to about:config and preferences to see if babylon was no longer there. It wasn't! 
 Frankly, not sure how I got to the screen displaying folder access. But I was sort of frustrated I wasn't able to do the instructions that were laid out originally in the fix to get ride of babylon--just couldn't get the screen I was told I should see. So again, I just started fiddling around to get access to a certain file--perf js and user js I think, which seem to mean something. I  wasn't able to do so. But, I was able to access folders, and saw the babylon folder and got ride of it, and that seemed to finally end the problem Alice. Thank you for your concern and help, it was appreciated.

Question owner

Hi Alice,

 I've got another question if you don't mind. For that matter anyone else can chime in. I realize some of my problems can be solved by getting a new computer. 
  But, the reason I have put off doing so is I don't have a clue as to how to transfer all the data from my old computer, to a new one. As I mentioned before, I'm not an experienced operator, so I have to take baby steps in accomplishing things on the computer.
  Briefly looking over some of the various articles about the subject it seemed to make things more confusing actually. I guess many think that most people have fairly decent computer skills to begin with, when actually a lot don't, like myself. 
 That being said, can you offer a simplistic way to transfer data from my old computer, to a new one, in such away I can understand it, taking baby steps? Is using a memory stick/flash drive the best way to do it, as I have been told?

If so, how do use it?

 My old system has 18.5 GB of data space, and it has used 11.5 GB currently. I have a gazillion bookmarks/favorites I definitely would like to save. 
 Can you be of help Alice? If not, can you point me in the right direction? Thank you.
duckwilliamson 0 solutions 4 answers

sciencemagic, transferring your firefox is super easy: just open bookmarks and click the export button ... you can then import on your new computer with ease from the file it saves.

And remember when you upgrade you don't have to "throw away" the old computer, just keep it there to reference/transfer things as you need.

As for your file transfer, a cheap memory stick will get the job done (typically $8 for an 8GB key and you can transfer in multiple steps). That being said, your 11GB of stuff is probably including Windows meaning its actually only like 7GB of stuff which might even fit on a single key. Don't be afraid! Just boot up both computers at the same time and bring files over as you need them/find them.

P.S. If you're still running a 20GB harddrive on your old computer, that probably means it's extremely old (8 years?) meaning that hard drive can fail at any minute and I'd highly recommend upgrading to a new computer before it does!

Tyler Downer
  • Administrator
  • Moderator
1165 solutions 6642 answers

sciencemagic, I think the best place for help on setting up your new PC would be a windows specific forum. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum167.html is a good one.

To back up your Firefox information, you can read our article Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer or Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles to see how to transfer your information.