This HAS to be an issue Mozilla folks know by now, but yet I still cannot find a solution. Before detailing the problem, here's what I've done COUNTLESS times to resolve it: A.) created new profiles; B.) run in safe mode; C.) disabled all plug-ins, add-ons in various ways and times; D.) tried using FF portable; E.) removed and reinstalled Flash and Java many times; F.) removed any firefox reference whatsoever from the registry and G.) Removed all firefox files and folders from my hard drive. I am not running any kind of anti-virus software of any kind. In other words, I've tried it all. Any boilerplate option someone can suggest, I've tried it. This is a much deeper issue. The issue itself:
I can run anything from Firefox 3.6 and older with no issues whatsoever. Anything newer, and FF freezes when I try to download a file of any kind, and when I attempt to access Tools/Options/General or Tools/Options/Applications.
If I want to single click an mp3 link to download it. Firefox freezes and I have to end the process. This applies to ANY single-click download.
If I want to access Tools/Options/General or Applications, Firefox freezes and I have to end the process. I've tried Firefox 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 all the way to the most recent. For some reason, my computer simply will not allow these things to happen in anything beyond 3.6.
HOWEVER, I did see a brief ray of hope recently when someone suggested I update my video card drivers. When I did, FF 18 actually DID allow me into Tools/Options/General briefly, and seemed to work well. But only for a few minutes. I believe the next time I opened it I had the same issues.
There has to be some kind of answer for this, but I have no idea what it could be. It does however have to be a setting outside of firefox on my computer that for whatever reason permits everything older than FF4 to run, but that's it.
Alright, all I can give is a few pointers. Try uninstalling Firefox completely, every last thing. Run Ccleaner which removes all files at all associated with Firefox and all registries. I know you may have done this but you can only hope. Try uninstalling your graphics drivers completely which means intel/ati AND nvidia/amd drivers, restart your computer install the latest of one of them, restart. Reinstall Firefox even to a different disk drive, restart.
If all else fails you can also try running without hardware acceleration (about:config - Layers.acceleration.disabled to true) which causes some problems with odd machines.
Much obliged for the effort. Actually, after SEVERAL months of pulling my hair out trying to resolve this, I found out what the problem was not long ago sort of on a lark.
This problem has to do with shell extensions. By going to the following link and downloading the (free) program ShellExView, anyone with the same issue can narrow down which of the extensions is causing the problem. For me it was an icon overlay handler from "Microsott." Not sure where I picked THAT up from, but I disabled it, and voila ... now running Firefox 18.01 and happy as a clam. So if you're someone who spends time providing answers on this board, that might be another suggestion to provide in a similar situation.