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older graphics card (2008) can't be updated, FF RAM overload, best way to fix?

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my laptop (vista 32) is running mobile intel 4 series express chipset family graphics, with custom pre-installed driver 7.15.10.1502, from june 2008. can't be updated unless i install new graphics.

after FF is shut down, it re-opens with about 275k RAM, even with 2 windows open and 8 tabs between them. after about a half day of work i'm over 950k of RAM being sucked up by FF (18.0.2) and i've already run through all the plugin updates and flash and everything else for optimization. but at this level of memory usage, it freezes and hangs and my whole PC becomes useless and needs a manual reboot.

since i can't update my driver, i don't know if the problem has something to do with WebGL and/or having firefox set to the default "hardware acceleration" mode, and whether these things should be disabled because my system physically can't handle it.

help please? thanks!

Additional System Details

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0; rv:18.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/18.0

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philipp
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Helpful Reply

hello, please try to reset firefox (this will keep your bookmarks & passwords): Reset Firefox – easily fix most problems

Question owner

is that really necessary? when i went in to check the info, i noticed all of this re: my graphics, and i don't know if resetting firefox is going to fix anything if i can't alter my graphics info. see image attached.

philipp
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what you've described before sounds more like a memory leak & not something that might be caused by a non-functioning hardware acceleration (which might only be responsible for a slight general increase of ram usage but no steady increase until the system is no longer responding). memory leaks are usually caused by addons or by addons together with certain incompatible settings - a general reset of the browser is the simplest way to address that.

Question owner

okay i reset. won't know if it works for a bit though.

philipp
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ok, please report back when you have any results the one way or the other :-)

Question owner

it keeps climbing back up. hasn't hit the overload mark yet at nearly 24 hours from my reset, but i'm up to about 700k RAM already. i'm getting lags and occasional freezes. still unsure if this was something the reset could have fixed or if this is something that has to do with an incompatibility between my graphics hardware and the newer versions of FF, and if so, what the next steps would be to double check that without making a huge mess of things.

philipp
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2051 solutions 8919 answers

Helpful Reply

to make sure it's not your graphics hardware (which i'd doubt anyway though) you can disable hardware acceleration in firefox > options > advanced > general.

Question owner

i'll check back in to let you know if this works.

Question owner

and that seems to have done the trick i believe! haven't gone above 450k in 24 hours, which makes me happy.

question though - does that mean (or at least imply) it IS a problem regarding incompatibilities between my graphics card and newer versions of firefox and i'll have to keep doing this for every update?

philipp
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2051 solutions 8919 answers

the option will stay disabled - you can also try updating the outdated driver, this should be the current version for your system: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=22165&lang=eng

Question owner

i had to downgrade to the originals actually from when i had installed those as they seemed to make my system go all wonky, so until this baby craps out on me and i need to replace her with a new laptop, i'm not yanking out her hardware either, considering her age. and seeing as how she's still a workhorse with miles left on her, better to mess with the browser than the computer.

but thank you very much for your help.