An installation of Ubuntu 12 and 14 are possible on one computer with no problems for Firefox or Thunderbird. On a similar computer , also with a dual setup with Windows and Ubuntu, the installation seems to go well but at the first click to load Firefox or Thunderbird either one will crash within 5 seconds of opening. (That is too quick to allow any searching of the software menus.) A point which might be significant is that when the option of "Try Ubuntu" is tried on the "problem PC" , before the main installation, all of the software works normally, including Firefox and Thunderbird. As soon as the full installation take place the trouble with crashes starts. I find it puzzling that can happen on the same PC as the trial was done. I have tried various suggestions with no success. The only other fact which might be relevant is that the same "problem PC" is fine with a dual system of Windows and Lubuntu where both Firefox and an email program (Sylfeed) work perfectly well without crashing. I have tried the same combinations with several different hard drives of the same PC and the result is always the same. A solution would be great to save even more hours of investigations! I am writing this on the "problem PC" but using a hard drive set up with Lubuntu as the problem setup will not allow me any access to the internet or email. I therefore have not tried the automatic troubleshooter with this combination.
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Thank you for you for your comprehensive question. I think that the cause may be one of several things.
First off, I strongly recommend using a more recent version of Firefox so that you have a number of security and stability fixes that have been made. You can read more about how to update here.
Further to this, did you turn off UEFI in the BIOS when you were installed Ubuntu? I know from my own experience that this can cause issues when you think you have installed Ubuntu okay, and then start getting random error messages and stability problems.
Aside from that, I recommend that you follow the guidance in this article and paste the report ID as a reply to this thread so that we can look into this in more detail.