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Mozilla Firefox running slow

Discussion in 'Software' started by GoofBall, Jan 9, 2009.

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  1. GoofBall

    GoofBall Private E-2

    Apologies if this problem was solved elsewhere in the Forums. I did a search but didn't quite see any (relatively recent) solutions to my problem.

    Running Windows XP Pro SP3 with ZoneAlarm Free, Avira AntiVir Premium, Malwarebytes (real-time), SuperAntiSpyware (not real-time) and Comodo BOClean on an older laptop -- granted, might be a bit overkill. As a whole the machine runs fine, except for Mozilla Firefox 3.0.5 (or whatever the latest version is). Slow to start-up, slow to load pages, just overall SLOW. Firefox also has IE Tab and Tab Mix Plus add-ons installed. I know add-ons require additional memory usage.

    Tried uninstalling Firefox using REVO Uninstaller, cleaning the registry with Glary Utilities Pro, and running CCleaner. Also defragmented the hard-drive (Diskeeper 10), ran CHKDSK with /x /f /r options, and scanned the machine (entire computer) for malware a few days ago. Any errors found were fixed and scans came up clean. Not sure all the cleaning / scanning may have been needed for this issue, but I did it anyway. Re-installed Firefox with the 2 add-ons mentioned above. Also ran Firefox in (what I thought was) Safe-Mode -- the add-ons still appeared in my toolbar.

    Unfortunately the problem of Firefox running slow still persists. It was there before the uninstall / cleaning and is still there after the re-install. I also experienced the problem after re-booting and with nothing else running. As mentioned, overall the machine runs fine. I also have IE7, Opera, and Chrome installed as browsers, but I currently prefer Firefox. As far as I can tell, I do not have any issues on my machine with running any of these other browsers or any other programs.

    Any ideas as to what the Firefox problem might be and how to fix it? I heard somewhere that there is a memory leak in Firefox, but I don't know what the solution is/was.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. ssulaco

    ssulaco Private E-2


    here are 2 different posts from Mozillazine regarding speed issues,I myself seem to have more trouble with cpu consumption and mem usage...FF3 on my older Dell uses 60-70 meg at idle and FF2.0.0.20 would use 30-40 meg.

    Firefox 2 is like Windows XP.....They just work!

    If you get the urge to roll back to FF2......here is the download
  3. usafveteran

    usafveteran MajorGeek

    Well, why don't you experiment a bit, by uninstalling those add-ons to see whether that makes a difference?
  4. opuspenquin

    opuspenquin Private E-2

    Typing about:config
    will get you in the configuration page of firefox.

    To display pages faster, you first need a fast CPU and memory. Setting the following preference to "false" is a brutal performance tweak that tells Firefox to process every byte of Web content as soon as it arrives, rather that buffering it in sensible chunks. This makes Firefox web-page handling work extremely hard but theorectically puts page content on the screen faster:

    content.notify.ontimer /*default = true*/

    You may want to try that to get your web pages up faster, if you feel comfortable with doing some minor hacking.
  5. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    FF3 was always making my hard drive churn and it took me the longest time to figure out what was doing it.
    Go to Tools/Options/Security tab
    uncheck/untick Tell me if the site I'm visiting is a suspected attack site
    and Tell me if the site I'm visiting is a suspected forgery

    It is comparing each site to a list and that is what slows down and caused churning every time I fired up FF3, on my computer.
  6. GoofBall

    GoofBall Private E-2

    I thought I tried running in Safe-Mode (see comment from 01/09/2009), but the add-on icons still appeared in toolbar. Perhaps I was under the wrong impression that Safe-Mode disabled any installed add-ons for that session?

    I'm also beginning to think my machine has a mind of it's own. Ran FF for a small number of different sessions (before making any of the suggested changes). Sometime it worked slowly, other times it worked at a more "normal" speed. Perhaps my FF has always alternated between running slow and "normal speed" and I just didn't really notice until now??? As previously mentioned, the machine seemingly runs fine overall.

    Tried plodr's suggestion for a small number of different session (3 or 4, having re-booted each time -- not sure if re-boots were necessary, but I thought it couldn't hurt) but still no joy. Webpages still loaded slowly. I should also mention that the majority of websites I view are not video/music streaming or graphics intensive.

    Leaving plodr's suggestion in place (ie. not yet reverting back to original configuration), tried usafveteran's suggestion. Uninstalled Tab Mix Plus first. Went to gmail.com. Initial login page was slow to load (only had that 1 tab open). Viewed a few emails and they seemed to load OK (not too slow). Switched to majorgeeks.com using the same tab and that was slow to load. Tried 1 or 2 other (mostly text) webpages with the same results--slow load. Not sure if it makes a difference, but opened Task Manager saw that Firefox was using (fluctuating) up to 47MB (?) of memory. Not sure if that's considered a lot. I have 1GB of RAM installed.

    Next step was to uninstall IE Tab and re-boot computer (again, not sure if this was needed). Tried a few other websites, but essentially received the same results (slow loading).

    Circled back to the MajorGeeks Forum to get the "hacking" info from opuspenquin's comments. Task Manager now says FF is using almost 58MB of memory (with only 1 tab open and the changes from above still in place). Made the mistake of entering the string "content.notify.ontimer /*default = false*/" exactly as it was typed and not setting the value to "false" as mentioned (value is currently empty but the overall string remains). Haven't yet figured out how to remove this erroneous string. Was able to successfully add a new (different) string "content.notify.ontimer" and set the value as "false" though.

    Tried some more websites. Not sure if the erroneously added string is affecting performance or not, but there doesn't seem to be any improvement is FF. Perhaps I also misunderstand how the string should have been added?

    Read through the Firefox Forum pages provided by ssulaco. The only item I found that might be helpful is to create a new profile. I am under the impression though that uninstalling FF, cleaning the registry, etc... would have removed the old profile and created a new one upon re-install?

    At least for my machine, the suggestions provided did not resolve my FF issue. So, I guess I'll try uninstalling again (with REVO Uninstaller), cleaning the registry, searching for and deleting (through windows search or similar) any remaining FF folders/files, and re-installing FF 3.0.5. Maybe I'll have better luck this time? I'll also leave off any add-ons for the time being. I may also consider going back to the latest 2.x version (even though someone somewhere mentioned 2.x in no longer supported) to see if the same issue occurs... but I'm not doing that just yet.

    THANK YOU to all who have provided suggestions to help me with this, or who will provide feedback in the very near future.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  7. kuper

    kuper Private E-2


    I am having this same exact issue. I too, have tried all of the above yet nothing works for me either. GooFBall, have you found a solution to your problem? If so, please, I beg you.. help me! Haha.. this is driving me insane.
  8. GoofBall

    GoofBall Private E-2

    @ MarkTrent
    Thank you for the links.

    I haven't tried reading through the Forum threads suggested by Mark Trent yet.

    I'm still experiencing the (intermittent) slow loading issues I've been having with Firefox. For the moment, I'm suffering through it. To be honest, I haven't devoted much time recently in trying to resolve this issue (trying to get other stuff taken care of first), but I'm sure there is a solution out there just waiting "to be found".

    Please let me (and the rest of the MG community) know if you come across anything before I get a chance to circle-back and revisit this again.

    Good luck.
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