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Hangs, severe slowness and lock-ups running Firefox 27.0 / 28.0 on Windows XP / Is it possible to block plug-in container?

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Been experiencing severe slowness and lock-ups with Firefox of late, which ends with a sudden drop in memory usage and me having to repeatedly shut it down through Task Manager. I have created a new profile and disabled hardware acceleration. I have tried disabling all plug-ins and extensions, yet I noticed that at times (not always) plug-in container was still an active process, which I don't understand. Why would it be active when there are no enabled plug-ins? I also noticed that when plug-in container is not active (showing under Processes in Task Manager) I do not have this problem and Firefox runs normally? I need to block plug-in container. Please help.

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

Vybrané riešenie

If plugins are disabled then plugin-container would not be expected to be running. That is one reason I suggested the malware scans.

The Windows XP Task Manager will list processes running. It will list the plugin-container.exe but I do not think it goes any deeper. IIRC a Sysinternals utility was required to get details of the processes associated with the plugincontainer.

Microsoft themselves now offer free downloads and documentation for what was the Sysinternals software.

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I would normally advise against doing that.

For users of Windows above XP the commonest problems tend to be those relating to FlashPlayer and FlashPlayer is now only tested and designed to be used within plugincontainer. Often a solution for Visa etc users is to disable the adobe flash protected mode.

Back to your actual problem. You seem to have done most of the expected troubleshoooting other than ruling out malware.

Initially I would suggest you run a malware check on your computer. I will also check how to disable the plugincontainer in XP and post that later.

XP is very close to being unsupported. It is probably a good time to be thinking about somehow upgrading the OS and probably the hardware.


Sometimes a problem with Firefox may be a result of malware installed on your computer, that you may not be aware of.

You can try these free programs to scan for malware, which work with your existing antivirus software:

Microsoft Security Essentials is a good permanent antivirus for Windows 7/Vista/XP if you don't already have one.

Further information can be found in the Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

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Thank you for your help John99.

I have already run MalwareBytes, TDSSKiller, Hitman Pro and McAfee Stinger- no threats found.

My computer does react to FlashPlayer sometimes, I have already disabled adobe flash protected mode.

"I will also check how to disable the plugincontainer in XP and post that later." - Thank you

Right now no plug-in container in processes, Firefox is running fast.

I appreciate what you're saying about XP, but for several reasons I can't upgrade right now unfortunately.

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The protected mode does not have any effect on xp .

Thhis article has instructions on disabling the plugincontainer

One problem is the plugin container is there to protect Firefox and disabling it could cause Firefox to crash instead of just the plugincontainer hanging.

The other problem is what is running in the plugincontainer. Probably you should investigate that if the problem reoccurs.

If you are not able to upgrade or replace your hardware an alternative that may be worth considering is installing some lighweight Linux version

When I had XP I made some PCs dual boot to Linux.

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Thank you for that useful information.

"One problem is the plugin container is there to protect Firefox and disabling it could cause Firefox to crash instead of just the plugincontainer hanging."

Ok I understand.

"The other problem is what is running in the plugincontainer. Probably you should investigate that if the problem reoccurs. "

This is what is puzzling me. Why is plug-in container sometimes running when ALL plug-ins and extensions are disabled. How can I find out what is running in it?

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

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Vybrané riešenie

If plugins are disabled then plugin-container would not be expected to be running. That is one reason I suggested the malware scans.

The Windows XP Task Manager will list processes running. It will list the plugin-container.exe but I do not think it goes any deeper. IIRC a Sysinternals utility was required to get details of the processes associated with the plugincontainer.

Microsoft themselves now offer free downloads and documentation for what was the Sysinternals software.

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Really appreciate your help John99, I will look into that.

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I downloaded Process Explorer, by plug-in container the description is blank, as opposed to the other process descriptions?

I will mark this as you having answered my question....

Is it possible to block plug-in container?

because you have. :)

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I have just tried on Windows 7 and used process explorer on that. I would expect the results to be displayed in a similar manner on Windows XP.

Plugin-container is shown as being run from Firefox, and in turn if I mouse over or left click the line for plugin-container .exe then under command line it tells me what is running, in my case at this instance it is Flashplayer and so it displays

.... \Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32_12_0_0_77.dll .... plugin ....

It is identifying it is FlashPlayer

The worry with your apparently unknown operation is that within the plugin-container it may be safe but if plugin-container is disabled maybe it could be malware and cause a problem.

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I've tried again, I've moused over plug-in container when Shockwave Flash is enabled - it says: Path: (The handle is invalid.) Doesn't name it as being run from Firefox although it is directly underneath it, description and company name is blank, nothing there unlike all the others.

However, when I go to properties by left clicking it:

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin-container.exe" --channel=3456.11b7c470.2066825002 "C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32_12_0_0_77.dll" -greomni "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\omni.ja" -appomni "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\browser\omni.ja" -appdir "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\browser" - 3456 "\\.\pipe\gecko-crash-server-pipe.3456" plugin

C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\

I will try again when plug-in container.exe shows despite all plug-ins being disabled.

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

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Here are the details of plug-in container from Process Explorer when all plug-ins are disabled:

[The handle is invalid.]

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugin-container.exe" --channel=2768.c8fbf20.918404995 -greomni "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\omni.ja" -appomni "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\browser\omni.ja" -appdir "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\browser" - 2768 "\\.\pipe\gecko-crash-server-pipe.2768" tab

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\

?

Being used by: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

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Hi janice.lynne, I do not entirely undestand that.

Try making sure Firefox is closed down entirely. Then wait a while and if you have any plugincontiner process kill that with Task Manger or process explorer before restarting Firefox.

I do not have knowledge of all the terms used in your quote but wonder if Firefox crash handling and plugin hangs may utilise plugincontainer. The reference to omni.ja shows it relates to some thing in a Firefox internal compressed file storage.

If you are still having problems with slowness and lockups I suggest you test with Flash player disabled and then post a new question about that after deciding whether or not the problem is related to use of FlashPlayer.

If you do post a new question please mention it in this thread because I would be interested in following what happens.

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You've been a great help john99 - thank you.

I make sure Firefox is closed down entirely and that both it and plug-in container no longer show in Task Manager/Processes, if either do I click EndProcess....and then I try opening Firefox again, but plug-in container keeps re-appearing despite all plug-ins being disabled.

Whenever plug-in container is active and regardless of whether plug-ins are disabled or not, I can hardly use my computer.....had real difficulty getting that information for you due to it locking up. That was without Flash Player or any other plug-in being enabled?

When plug-in container is not running Firefox runs fast and normally.

What I don't understand is why plug-in container isn't active at all sometimes for as long as a day and then at other times it keeps kicking in again and again?

If I do post another thread I will mention it in this one. :)

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

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I will escalate this by posting a comment for other contributors see if anyone else can help. I do know plugin container has been known to be problematic. Like you I am not sure why it should startup if no plugin are enabled.

You did try a new profile and presumably tried that with all plugins disabled and in safe mode. I am just trying to confirm you tried that all at once. If you did it would be worth trying a clean reinstall of Firefox. That involves deleting the program files not the profile.

Looking for explanations I wonder Possibly the hangs and slowness are related more to memory issues but if that was the case it would not go away merely by disabling plugincontainer, but maybe you do not compare like for like and the memory issues are with high numbers of tabs open, and possibly with Flashplayer content in those tabs.

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Are you using "Clear history when Firefox closes" to clear the cookies or other data?

If Firefox had failed to do clear specified data when you close Firefox then Firefox will try to do this on the next start (privacy.sanitize.didShutdownSanitize) and clearing cookies can cause plugin-container processes to get started.

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Thank you to all for helping.

cor-el - Didn't know that. Yes, I do clear history and cookies without fail on a daily basis, usually once.

John99 - Great, I appreciate that. I confirm I did create a new profile and tried that with all plugins disabled and in safe mode. I have also done a clean reinstall of Firefox. I carried out all three again today - problem remained.

I currently have all plug-ins disabled and only enable them when I need to, usually Shockwave Flash for videos.

Right now, there is no plug-in container showing in Processes, all is running quietly and smoothly.

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This would only have this effect when you use "Clear history when Firefox closes" and not with clearing personal data otherwise.

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cor-el Thanks for that


janice.lynne
On the subject of Firefox being slow Alice posted to remind me of a bug with how Firefox on XP handles animations.

As a test to see if it affects you try loading this animation

At present there does not seem to be any workaround for that or a fix. However that bug is not present in Firefox 24 ESR. You could consider installing as an additional browser the third party Firefox portable ESR to use if you need a site with problem animations.


P.S.
Carm's method will only be needed on Vista and above.

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John99 - Earth rotating perfectly, loads instantly.

cor-el - Sorry, I usually use CCleaner not "Clear history when Firefox closes".

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

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I should state again this problem started after upgrade to Firefox 27.0 and is the same with 28.0 (like another XP user mentioned).

Someone else mentioned: "Firefox CPU usage hit 99% and stayed there. The browser was totally unusable." - I experience this too when the computer is locking up.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/985969?page=3#answer-546599

Shall I close this thread now john99 and move to the new one?

Upravil(a) janice.lynne dňa

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