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Firefox stuck in a search loop!

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jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2020, 3:40 pm

OK - I'll give it a try soon. Got a couple of doctor appointments this week so it might be a few days before I can complete the testing. I'll re-post if I get confused and of course after test completion! The confusion sometimes happens at my age (92). Someone said, "There comes a time in life when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it!" LOL. Thanks!
Jack

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2020, 6:46 pm

So I got the new profile set up (I think) but now nothing works! I got the new profile and it doesn't seem to operate, but now I can't get back to my original profile. I'm really screwed up now as Firefox doesn't recognize anything I had on it including my passwords, book,marks, etc. So how do I get back to normal operation> HELP!
Jack

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2020, 6:55 pm

OK - I got it back by going to the about:profiles and changing the default back to my original. I still have the test profile there so I guess I can switch it as necessary. Can't do much more tonight but maybe tomorrow sometime after 1500 PST. At least I can access all my stuff. Let's see what happens when I boot the system tomorrow, OK? I'll probably be open and available all day Thursday PST. At least I learned a little more today. I can still use the workaround of a couple of restarts to keep my on line. Thanks!
Jack

jacks91
 
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Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 11th, 2020, 10:01 pm

One more question. So I set the test profile as default then started Firefox. Got interrupted so I closed Firefox, then reopened it, went to about:profiles and set my original as default. Went back and closed Firefox, then reopened and everything was apparently back to my normal passwords, bookmarks, etc. So - did Firefox create a "duplicate" of my original profile or just reload the old one? If it rewrote the original maybe it fixed the problem? Guess I'll know in the morning when I start the computer again.
Jack

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 7:03 am

jacks91 wrote:So - did Firefox create a "duplicate" of my original profile or just reload the old one?

No, your original profile was still as it was at the last time you used it -- Firefox did not create a duplicate of it, it just didn't use the original profile because you had set the default profile to be your (new) test profile. (When you later, set your original profile back to being the default profile then the next time Firefox is launched it just reverts back to loading your original profile again)

Your bookmarks, passwords and other settings information that you have are all stored in a Firefox profile. So your original profile contains all the settings etc. you made to it over time. For more information on what is contained in a profile see this article: Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data

However, when you created the test profile Firefox just creates a completely new profile with all the settings at their Firefox default levels. As you haven't added bookmarks, passwords, addons/extensions etc. to the test profile they just don't exist inside it. Do you see, effectively your test profile is a 'clean' profile.

To try and be clear when "therube" suggests that you test to see if the problem you are experiencing occurs when you use a 'clean' test profile his thinking is that, if while using the test profile, the problem does not occur then that tends to indicate that there is something about your original profile that might be causing the problem.

What I'm not clear on myself is why "therube" seems to think that if you use the test profile for a while, and the problem doesn't occur, why that might fix the problem with original profile (though I could be interpreting his comment incorrectly, I don't have that kind of expertise, "therube" does).
OS: Windows 7 Pro. SP1 x64

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 9:48 am

Well, when I turned the computer on this morning Firefox came up as normal! At this time it seems to be working as advertised. This also happened yesterday but a little later in the day FF went to it's "searching for updates" mode and just stayed in that mode. A reboot solved it and it worked all day and evening. We'll see what happens today. Back in my early aerospace days we had a thing called "CWT" (Cleared while troubleshooting). Usually that meant that the problem mysteriously disappeared. The only thing I did differently last night was to manually shut down FF, wait about 30 seconds, then hit the "shutdown" button for my W10 Pro. That should say that the profile is OK? Totally weird! Any other ideas from the group?
Jack

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 10:11 am

Well, it just happened again! Soon as I started to use FF to get on line and check various sites, FF started the "searching for updates" thing again. This time I just left things in place (in FF) - no manual shutdown - and simply hit the RESTART button on the lower left of W10 Pro. After a restart it now appears that everything is normal. ???????
Jack

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 11:08 am

Hi Jack,

If you're not even going to try and follow the advice you are getting on this forum to try and find out a possible solution to the problem you are facing then there is no point in anyone here trying to help -- it seems you just ignore what they say anyway.

I would say to two things:

1. When you shutdown FF do it manually as advised.

2. You need to test out what is happening with your test profile. As the problem you are experiencing seems to be intermittent then you might need to try using the test profile for a day or two (pain though that might be, but at your age you should know that a day or two is a very short time indeed) to see if the problem occurs while using the test profile. If the problem does occur while using the test profile within one minute, twenty minutes, one day, two days, whatever, then you don't need to test it any further as you have a result. Once you have done this report back here on what happened when you tested the test profile; state exactly what you did, for how long you did it, and what the result was. If you are not willing to do this no one here can even try to help.
OS: Windows 7 Pro. SP1 x64

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 11:33 am

I have done most of the things suggested here. If I knew how to add all my passwords, bookmarks, etc. to the test profile I would be happy to try it and even make it the default. Can I just use the import function to load my personal info? I don't remember how to export passwords or bookmarks. I'll try anything as long as it doesn't cause me to lose any data or FF settings. This week is a really bad one as I don't have a lot of time to work on the computer troubleshooting with several doctor appointments, etc. Looks like next week will be a much better time to work on it. As long as I still have the workaround, I can try more stuff as I have time. I'm just worried that I might screw things up and this desktop computer is the only way I have to get on line. I do have "CASPER" disk cloning software so maybe I should do a clone daily before starting any experiments. It's not that I'm ignoring the assistance, just that I need more info to get all this together in my own mind. I'll be out most of the rest of today - should be back by 1600 PST.
Jack

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 12:08 pm

To do what you want to do, copy your important data files into the test profile, follow the instructions on this page: Recovering important data from an old profile

To open the profile folder for both profiles, original and test, go about:profiles and click on the button titled Root Directory for both profiles this will open each of the profiles in a separate Explorer window and you can work on them in Explorer from there. Once you have done that shutdown FF.

Next, in the article I point to above, read the section titled Your important data and their files very carefully. What you need to do is copy each of the files mentioned there from your original profile into your test profile. When you do this Windows might give you a warning that you are about overwrite files in the test profile with files from your original profile -- this is okay so you can agree the overwrite.

Be aware that this means that your test profile will no longer be clean. That said, I would think it unlikely that any of the files you copy over have any bearing on the problem you are experiencing.

If you decide to backup your original profile before doing the copy operation then it should be okay to open the original profile in Explorer and copy the entire folder to another location on your hard-drive. However, you must do this backup with FF shutdown and given time to write any data it needs to write into the original profile folder as part of its shutdown routine -- only after FF has done this should you make a copy of the entire folder to elsewhere. Obviously you would do this backup before you start doing any copying work. For more detail on doing this backup see the page: Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles

If it was me, personally, that had the issue your describe I would just bite the bullet and experiment with the test profile without making any modifications to it at all. However, the issue is really your call.
OS: Windows 7 Pro. SP1 x64

kerft
 
Posts: 585
Joined: January 30th, 2019, 9:38 am

Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 12:17 pm

With your profile that has your data running in Firefox, click the star floating over a tray, then show all bookmarks. Or press ctrl-shift-B. From there, click import and backup, and click "export bookmarks to html". Save the file in my documents. Then, close firefox and use one of these two utilities to view your passwords or save them to a CSV (spreadsheet) file that can be printed on paper.
https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/passwordfox.html
https://github.com/kspearrin/ff-password-exporter
The html file you saved can be opened in any browser and viewed as a web page, and links can be clicked from it. Most can also import it, but don't worry about that yet.
Once you print your passwords you can type them into any browser.
This should let you function in the meantime with any other browser so you can not worry about Firefox until a more convenient time.

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 12:37 pm

I have already exported all my passwords and bookmarks to Chrome (although I hate the thing!) so maybe that will keep me on-line available. I'll print out all your instructions so will have them available for the test file. I do think you're right about leaving the test profile alone. Please tell me if the following sequence is correct: [color=#FF4000]I shut down the computer after setting the FF test profile to default. Then boot the computer and see if FF comes up as "up to date". Then I access some web site from this profile and see if it starts the "Searching for updates" again. If it stays OK, I can then import my passwords and bookmarks to the test profile. Otherwise I can still use my workaround if necessary.
Jack

BuddhaNature

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Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 2:18 pm

If it was me I would do the following:

1. Set the test profile as the default.

2. Manually shutdown FF. Give it time to write its data to disk.

3. Reboot the computer.

4. Launch FF and just use it for the next two days (or until such times as the problem resurfaces, if it does so at all) running the test profile at all times. (Completely forget about importing anything into the test profile -- that's an unnecessary complication that is best avoided). As "kerft" notes only do this experiment when you have the time to spend on it.

Why am I saying run this experiment for two days? Well in one of your earlier posts you said:
jacks91 wrote:We'll see what happens in the morning. It only seems to happen when the computer is turned off for several hours.

So you want your experiment to include that kind of eventuality in the experiment.

If you do this for two days using the test profile and the problem does not appear then you have a reasonable indication that the problem is in some way linked to your original profile, that there is some problem with that that is implicated in producing the problem.
OS: Windows 7 Pro. SP1 x64

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 12th, 2020, 3:21 pm

OK - it will take a few days to do this but I think I can start maybe tomorrow. Thanks again to the forum guys for all the help
Jack

jacks91
 
Posts: 201
Joined: October 4th, 2005, 3:50 pm
Location: Southern CA

Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 12:02 pm

OK - so in the midst of a normal operation of FF, showing "FF is up to date" it suddenly went into the "searching for updates mode. The keyboard and mouse had not been touched for a couple of hours. I shut FF down manually after restarting it with the TEST profile. Shut down the computer. Next morning it came up perfectly normal with FF working perfectly in the TEST profile. Shut FF down again manually and switched to my old default profile. Turned off the computer per my normal "shut down" operation. Now I have my default profile installed. Started the computer from "off" - cold start again and it came up perfectly normal - so far today it's still working as advertised. Normally I shut the computer off and also the UPS at night. I'll let it run this way for a couple of days then see what happens. You guys are right! It appears to be some sort of intermittent problem. I'm far from a software expert. All my career was in hardware.
Jack

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