After I open a few different pages or tabs within the pages, the plugin-container.exe max's my cpu usage and the system hangs horribly. It comes back and then hangs again. The plugin-container is reasonable new, because I don't recall seeing it in the Task Manager. Is there a way to fix this?? I know it's related to some apple piece of garbage software that I could totally do without if that helps.
Plugin-container was introduced in Firefox 3.6.4 to run certain plugins in isolation from the browser, so that when an offending plugin crashes, it does not crash the entire browser, just the tab with the offending plugin. There is information about plugin-container and a method to disable plugin-container in the following article: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Plugin-container_and_out
If you disable plugin-container, your entire browser will crash if a plugin crashes. If you choose to disable plugin-container, restart Firefox to be sure that plugin-container closes; once started, plugin-container remains open until you restart Firefox.
Issues of this sort are, unfortunately, more common and the we'd like them to be. However, they tend not to be cause by Firefox itself, but rather by software that is running either inside or alongside it, such as add-ons or firewalls. Since these issues have a broad span of possible causes, you need to diagnose your problems before fixing them. Follow these instructions to the line, as they'll probably help you diagnose and fix the problems you're having.
Ok, now... If disabling all extensions and plugins through safe-mode didn't work to fix your problems (or, in other words, if you've just read number 1 on the list above and come straight here), then you have different issue. The most likely scenario is that you have a third party software running on your computer that is messing with Firefox. Detecting which program it is may be tricky, but the following list should help you. Make sure you follow it carefully. Don't forget to answer the question on the last point, if nothing else helps.
Firstly, Of course it's Firefox's problem What an apologist!
Secondly rather wade through that ridiculous check list, you tech dweebs must real have too much time on your hands, simply switch to another browser such as Chrome, Opera or even the new IE9 - that going to be vastly superior to Firefox anyway.
If you have a problem with Google Chrome, you need to contact Google, since they are the ones that develop it. Be mindful that the big amounts of RAM it uses up when browsing multiple tabs is not a bug, but rather a "feature" of Chrome. Also, be mindful that the impossibility of having many tabs in the same window is not a bug, but rather a "feature" of Chrome. Bear in mind, in addition, that the relatively poverty of add-ons for Google Chrome is not as much due to its age as it is to the impossibility of developing add-ons for it that are as rich as those for Firefox. Don't forget either that the fact that Chrome will send, by default, potentially private information to Google is not a bug, but rather a "feature" of Chrome. You may also end up finding the very same problems you found in Firefox, if those were due to careless usage of add-ons or an infected system. For any usability problems, you will need to contact Google directly, too.
Also, if you are using another browser out of spite or because you can't fix your problem with Firefox, I will remind you that Mozilla is a non-profit, public service organization, and, as such, doesn't have the same financial interests Google (or any other company developing a major web browser) does. Mozilla's objective is that you, the user, use the browser you want, be if Firefox or any other browser. If you want to use Firefox but can't, due to a problem, I'm glad to work with you the best I know and can to fix it. If you actually want to use another browser, then I'm happy that you finally found your "home", and my job is successfully done.
Firefox went in a good direction, but should have found a way to segregate the plugins each in a separate process, so we know what is running. Maybe name the executables after the window and tabe they are running from. We cannot tell why it is running 100%, maybe a rogue plugin doing hacker-bot service. Thus, it smells really bad!