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[RESOLVED]What is Mozilla Maintenance Service?

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IMB4U

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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 1:24 pm

I installed Firefox 12 via update service (which I had not fully understood from seeing it in Firefox 11), and I was watching out for the UAC prompt, but it never showed up. I do NOT want anything ever to silently update software on my computer without my advance approval...OR when I'm using my UAC, I do NOT want software to be allowed to bypass the UAC. However, I eventually figured out the problem evidently stemmed from Firefox automatically checking the box for me that says to "use a background service to install updates" and therefore I have unchecked that box.

In the meantime, "after" Firefox 12 had finished downloading, a warning box appeared from my WinPatrol application alerting me that Mozilla wanted to install some sort of "maintenance" feature. Since I had never seen that before, nor did I know what it was, I REFUSED to allow it to download. However...when I looked at my list of programs, it showed that some Mozilla "maintenance" feature was downloaded anyway (with today's date)! :shock:

QUESTIONS:
(1) What is that "maintenance" feature...what type of "maintenance" does it do?
(2) How was it able to override my instructions to WinPatrol for not allowing it access to my computer?
This is the first time this has happened; for 6 years, WinPatrol has always kept "stuff" out when I tell it to.

I'm looking forward to whatever assistance you can provide me.
Last edited by IMB4U on April 27th, 2012, 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Win7 64-bit Windows Professional 4Gb RAM/Firefox 20.0.1 (Adblock Plus, Better Privacy, NoScript)/Avast Free 7/MBAM on demand/SpywareBlaster/SAS on demand/WinPatrol

trolly
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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 1:30 pm

1) It is checking for updates, downloading them and executing the update on next start.
2) No idea. Best guess because it is a system service not a normal executable.
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VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 1:46 pm

There's a simple reason for it. Nonadministrative users do not have privilege to update. Therefore, this small executable runs with System privilege so Firefox can be updated without bothering users. According to some of the discussions, it does not run all the time, but only during an update. If so, it's perfect from my point of view.

IMB4U

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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 1:47 pm

@trolly...thank you.

QUESTION:
This is the first time I've seen the "maintenance" installation and also the first time WinPatrol has shown it to me for my approval or denial. If it is required in order to do updates, then I'll need to keep it. However, I do NOT want to use that "background service" for updating my Firefox, so in that case, if I do NOT need to keep it, I would rather uninstall it. Can I delete it or not?
Win7 64-bit Windows Professional 4Gb RAM/Firefox 20.0.1 (Adblock Plus, Better Privacy, NoScript)/Avast Free 7/MBAM on demand/SpywareBlaster/SAS on demand/WinPatrol

IMB4U

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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 1:55 pm

@VanillaMozilla

I'm the only person using this computer and I go the route of "administrative privilege" with my apps...BUT...I "do" want to be bothered with seeing my UAC pop-up when anything is being downloaded to my computer. I find it ironic that the reason for bypassing the UAC was not to "bother" users so often...BUT...when Firefox only updates 2-3 times a year, how much of a bother can that really be?

QUESTION:
Do I really need that "maintenance" feature installed?
Is it just for updating Firefox?
OR...is it also being used somehow for updating my Firefox extensions, too?

EDIT & ADDENDUM:
For what it's worth, I upgraded from 3.6.28 to 11, and then to 12. So if that "maintenance" feature was there a long time, the reason I never saw it was due to my jumping from 3.6 to 11, I guess.
Win7 64-bit Windows Professional 4Gb RAM/Firefox 20.0.1 (Adblock Plus, Better Privacy, NoScript)/Avast Free 7/MBAM on demand/SpywareBlaster/SAS on demand/WinPatrol

VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 2:08 pm

The problem for users is that they should not run with administrative privilege, since this makes the whole computer vulnerable to exploitation. I don't know how UAC works, so I suppose the situation may have changed in more recent versions of Windows. Previously, if people ran from a nonadministrative account, Firefox would attempt to update several times a year, and users needed to notify an administrator or possibly log on themselves as admin. And it's not just 2-3 times per year. The normal release cycle is 6 weeks, and there may be additional security releases as well. So considering that Windows does not have an update service for all applications, Mozilla chose this method as the best they could do for users (and probably the only solution).

However, you do not have to use the new update service. You have the option of using one of the old methods. That's what I plan to do if it turns out that the program is memory-resident. You do not have to have it installed. The service is new with version 12.
Last edited by VanillaMozilla on April 27th, 2012, 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gailsen
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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 2:10 pm

Maintenance service is a new feature in Firefox 12. It is optional and almost certainly will remain so. If you uncheck that box in the update options, updates (even automatic ones) can still be done without the service. Since you run as administrator, you will not have any problems.
I do not believe it is used for Firefox extensions. Other than seeing the UAC prompt, a delay upon restart when applying a Firefox update, and the next thing I am about to mention, Firefox is designed to work without it.

However, one of the eventual benefits of the maintenanance service is that without it, a limited user cannot ever get Firefox updates. If you ever decide to improve security by running as a limited user, without the service you will be up a creek without a paddle.

Anonymosity
 
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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 2:13 pm

More info on that maintenance service here:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/wh ... ce-service

KWierso
 
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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 2:26 pm

There's plans to eventually use the maintenance service for more than just installing without admin privileges. Cleaning up the Firefox profile and properly defragmenting the various databases that Firefox uses are a couple of possible uses.

IMB4U

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Post Posted April 27th, 2012, 2:32 pm

First of all, please allow me to apologize for not making myself very clear. I'd like to blame it all on me simply being tired, but I won't! :P

Okay, I am the administrator and I also am a user; 2 accounts on this computer. Therefore, I can allow myself to use the administrative account for the times I run into problems when simply being a user and need administrative privileges.

@gailsen and @VanillaMozilla...thank you very much for your assistance. I will keep the Mozilla Maintenance installed, but I will disable it.

@Anonymosity...thank you for the link.

@KWierso...very good; nice to know.

Again, I thank all of you; you've been extremely helpful! :D
Win7 64-bit Windows Professional 4Gb RAM/Firefox 20.0.1 (Adblock Plus, Better Privacy, NoScript)/Avast Free 7/MBAM on demand/SpywareBlaster/SAS on demand/WinPatrol

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