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Major Problem: "Firefox... not responding" Message

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
mastavic
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 7:36 am

Hello, Everyone,
I hope you are doing well. Ever since I upgraded to Firefox 3.0 RC1 from Firefox 2.x, I have been having the following message at least several times daily:
"Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system."

I updated my Firefox to 3.0 RC2 and am still having the same problem, which I have never once had with Firefox 2. The message sometimes comes up when I have closed Firefox and am reopening the application. I did not think much of it, as it was simple enough to fix: I go to Windows Task Manager, click on the Processes tab, then end Firefox.exe. However, I installed RC1 on a friend's computer when it first came out, and he told me several days ago that he no longer uses Firefox and has gone back to Internet Explorer. I was surprised, as he's been using Firefox 2.x exclusively since I installed it for him over a year ago. I asked him why he had switched, and he told me about this problem. I taught him how to fix it via Windows Task Manager, and now he's using Firefox again.

My concern is that if this is a widespread problem, people who do not know how to fix it will not continue with Firefox. The message states that the user should "close the existing Firefox process," something that people who are not computer-savvy will not understand. They will, however, understand the "restart your system" part of the message and will most likely restart their computers. The problem is that restarting computers half a dozen times or so a day isn't very fun, and I'm afraid they will go back to their previous Internet browser.

Is there why this problem occurs? I tested it on seven computers (six using RC1 and one using both RCs), and they all had problems at least four times a day. These computers were all running Windows XP SP2 or SP3. Please get this problem fixed before the final release of Firefox 3.0.

Thanks,
Victor Ly

SK.
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 7:40 am

Does the information in this knowledge base article help?
John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13

mastavic
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 7:42 am

Thanks for replying, SKopischke. I know how to fix it personally, but if people who aren't very experienced with computers encounter this problem often after they install Firefox 3.0, chances are that they won't continue using the browser. I'm not talking people who I can help, but people who may have heard about Firefox and are using it for the first time when 3.0 comes out.

Thanks,
Victor Ly

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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 8:01 am

This is not a Firefox 3 problem. This has happened with every version and only, as the article indicates, when Firefox is not cleanly closed. However, it does not always happen under those circumstances. Consequently, it is like any other "oops, we had a system crash" problem. That is, it will happen irregularly and only under very specific circumstances. Many products go through something similar when a system crash takes place. If open files are not closed or removed by the orderly application shutdown process, problems can occur. It is not an application problem to fix, but an artifact of a system crash or other disorderly application shutdown. For example, I used to just closed Windows via Start | Shut down. I got tired of applications misbehaving afterward, though inconsistently so. I have since changed my behavior and close all applications before performing an OS shutdown.
John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13

mastavic
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 8:21 am

Ah, thanks for the information, SKopischke. I am just confused about why it has only occurred for me since I've run Firefox 3.0 RC1. Even when I safely close Firefox via the "X" button on the top right corner of my screen, I run into the problem most of the time. I have been using Firefox since pre-1.0 and do not recall Firefox.exe ever being in Windows Task Manager's Processes after a regular/clean close of the application.

Thanks again for the help.

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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 8:27 am

It is possible that Firefox may not be closing cleanly, in spite of your actions. Are you running any extensions with 3.0 RC1?
John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13

mastavic
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 8:58 am

SKopischke wrote:It is possible that Firefox may not be closing cleanly, in spite of your actions. Are you running any extensions with 3.0 RC1?

Yes, I am, but they're all Firefox 3.0 RC1 compatible and I used all of them in Firefox 2.x. I don't use a lot of extensions; the following is a complete list:
Autofill Forms
BBCodeXtra
DownloadHelper
FoxClocks
Menu Editor
PicLens
Stylish

Three of the computers that I used to test did not have any extensions installed and still had the same problem I've reported, however.

Thanks again.

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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 9:15 am

I'm not seeing anything that strikes me as troublesome in the least. Perhaps one of the others with more FF3 experience can weigh in here.
John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13

Oropher
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 10:13 am

How long does Firefox stay running after you close the last window? Does it continue to use CPU?

mastavic
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 10:15 am

Thank you for replying, Oropher. I am not sure exactly how long it stays running, but when the problem occurs under regular usage (not when I'm testing for it), I may try to start Firefox over 15 minutes later and then realize there's a problem. Typically, Firefox.exe will use between 100MB to about 110MB when this problem occurs.

Oropher
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 10:37 am

Well, I've seen Firefox stick around for up to 15 minutes, cleaning up its' sqlite databases. But it always uses CPU - sometimes quite a lot - while it's doing this. If yours is just sitting there indefinitely using zero CPU, it must be something else. That's why I asked about CPU rather than memory.

wader2k
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 11:19 am

I have noticed this twice ....shut down ff rc2 normally and the process didn't exit properly leaving ff.exe going in task manager..........so it's not isolated...

LoudNoise
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 11:26 am

Disable PicLens and see if that solves the problem.
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schapel
 
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Post Posted June 5th, 2008, 1:24 pm

Have you tried the suggestions at http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_hangs

anne_blythe
 
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Post Posted June 20th, 2008, 5:44 am

I have a similar problem. Just downloaded ff3 yesterday on Windows XP. This is what happens. If I close firefox and try to run it again without restarting the pc, I get "Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system."

If I ignore that message and click on my ff icon again it DOES open ff but with NO bookmarks...none.
If after getting that message, I do a ctrl+alt+del and stop the firefox.exe and then start firefox..no problem..it loads with all bookmarks.
If I restart the computer...no problem again.

Omg, I just took this piece of advice...and it worked!!!! Piclens is the culprit. Hurrah!!!!!!!!!!
LoudNoise wrote:Disable PicLens and see if that solves the problem.

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