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Why does Firefox portable load web pages properly and desktop installation doesn't?


I have Firefox 16.0.1 installed on the hard drive of my desktop. When I run it, some of my bookmarked web pages take a long time to display the first time. To solve this, I have to reload the page once or more to get it to display. In some cases, the displayed page is distorted, and so I have reload it again until it displays right. I've tried doing a number of suggestions on this topic, but nothing solved the problem.

Anyway, I noticed when I run Firefox Portable 16.0.1 from my USB flash drive plugged into my desktop, my bookmarked web sites load quickly the first time and display fine, as well as all other web sites. I like to know the difference between the portable and desktop programs?

Information: Windows XP 32-bit home, SP3 (+ all Windows updates to 10-11-2012)

Additional System Details

Sites Affected


Installed Plug-ins

  • Google Update
  • Shockwave Flash 11.4 r402
  • GEPlugin
  • Picasa plugin
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.7.2 for Mozilla browsers
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) plug-in for Mozilla browsers
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.4
  • Npdsplay dll
  • DRM Store Netscape Plugin
  • DRM Netscape Network Object


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:5.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/5.0.1

More Information

  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10762 solutions 96861 answers

This can be a problem with the disk cache that isn't used by the portable version.

Are you running any cleanup software that might corrupt the disk cache?

Reload web page(s) and bypass the cache to refresh possibly outdated or corrupted files.

  • Press and hold Shift and left-click the Reload button.
  • Press "Ctrl + F5" or press "Ctrl + Shift + R" (Windows,Linux)
  • Press "Command + Shift + R" (MAC)

Clear the cache and the cookies from sites that cause problems.

"Clear the Cache":

  • Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Cached Web Content: "Clear Now"

"Remove Cookies" from sites causing problems:

  • Tools > Options > Privacy > Cookies: "Show Cookies"

Question owner

Thanks. I'm not running any cleanup software.

I cleared the cache and cookies like you suggested, but some of my bookmarked web pages still take too long to load or load completely.

Here's what I'm experiencing with actual bookmarks running Firefox installed on the hard drive of my desktop computer:

1) Open Firefox, click on my webcam site bookmark " http://atomicinternet.homeip.net/webcam/ ". The web page loads quickly, and everything displays except the webcam picture. It takes about 20 seconds later for the picture to show.

2) Open Firefox, click on my news information bookmark " http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/ " from my home page. Now only a caption in the lower left corner indicates that data is being transfered from the news site. About 20 seconds later, the web page displays with all information on the page shown correctly.

3) Open Firefox, click on my traffic cam bookmark " http://mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive/ " from my home page. The web page loads quickly, and displays most of the page except for web cam map. After 10 minutes of waiting, it's still trying to load the map. If I reload the page by doing Ctrl-Shift-R, then it displays the map.

When repeating these steps running the portable version of Firefox from my flash drive, all pages load fast with everything displayed. This works repeatedly.

Is there any way to adjust the options(or about:config settings) in the desktop version, to make it function like the portable version?

Thanks for your help.


  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10762 solutions 96861 answers

You can try check the response and load times of the various items via the Web Console (Web Developer > Web Console;Ctrl+Shift+K).
You can disable all other messages and only leave the Net items checked.

You can check for problems caused by your security software (firewall,anti-virus) and make sure that Firefox and the plugin-container process have full permission to access internet.

Remove all rules for Firefox and the plugin-container from the permissions list in the firewall and let your firewall ask again for permission to get full unrestricted access to internet for Firefox and the plugin-container process and the updater process.


Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions (Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance).

  • Do not click the Reset button on the Safe mode start window or otherwise make changes.

Question owner

Thanks co-rel for the suggestions.

I opened Firefox in safe mode with the firewall disabled, but the problems still exist for my same bookmarked web sites. It's always the first time loading whatever web page when the problem occurs. Sites like Goggle.com, Majorgeeks.com always load fast the first time and display successful. Like before, the Firefox portable version running from the USB stick always works perfect no matter what web page I load.

Also, I ran the Firefox Web console-Net for different web sites I'm having trouble with, but couldn't intepret what the errors/log lines meant. I can reply with the results for one particular site which forever tries to load map data unsuccessfully, however it might be too many lines of results to post here.

Anyway, I really want to get this fixed if possible. If you have other suggestions please reply.

Thanks for the quick responses.


Question owner

Hi, my problem is solved with the loading of certain web pages .

I uninstalled Firefox 16.0.1 with "Geek" uninstaller, and deleted all traces of registry entries including personal settings. Also, I deleted all Firefox directories and files under hard drive "Program files", and my user "Application", "Local Settings".

Next, I re-installed the Firefox 16.0.1 on my hard drive, adjusted options for me, imported bookmarks.html from Firefox 16.0.1 portable, and installed my add-ons.

When I opened Firefox, all my bookmarked web pages which wouldn't load the first time in the past, now load fast and completely the first time -repeatedly. I guess my previous installation had to have been corrupted.

Anyway, I'm happy that everything is running perfect. I really like Firefox the best.

Thanks for all your help.