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How do I avoid crash/burn/lock ups when install FF3?

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Hi, I've tried to install FF3 three times since it came out. Each time was a disaster, favorite bookmarks were erased and any attempt to do an internet search locked up the computer, it took weeks to solve each time. I've learned to hate and fear FF3, but now theres no choice. Help, please? Now I have to install it, what can I do to make this go smoothly?

I've copied all my files and bookmakers to disk, just in case. BTW I have a Del 3000, 5 years old, XP, with all its standard software, other than kodaks easyshare there are no difficult or demanding software added. thanks Roger

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Try creating a new profile. See Recovering important data from an old profile

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Make sure that your security software (Firewall and Anti-virus) isn't blocking Firefox. A possible cause is security software (firewall) that blocks or restricts Firefox without informing you about that, maybe after detecting changes (update) to the Firefox program. Remove all rules for Firefox from the permissions list in the firewall and let your firewall ask again for permission to get full unrestricted access to internet for Firefox. See Configure firewalls so that Firefox can access the Internet and http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firewalls --- If you keep having problems then do a clean reinstall.

Do a clean reinstall and download a fresh Firefox copy from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/all.html and save the file to the desktop. Uninstall your current Firefox version and remove the Firefox program folder before installing that copy of the Firefox installer. It is important to delete the Firefox program folder to remove all the files and make sure that there are no problems with files that were leftover after uninstalling. ..... See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Standard_diagnostic_-_Firefox#Clean_reinstall