Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
I have an old Windows computer running Windows XP Professional, Version 2002, SP3. I realize this is an old machine but I have old programs (that won't run on the new machines) that I use every day and it does everything that I need of a computer. I am running Firefox V20.0.1 and it's worked just fine until about the last six months when I started to "algorithm" exceptions and other things on different websites I have used for years that apparently have "enhanced security". About five years ago I attempted to update Firefox and this caused many issues and I was lucky to get back to the current old version I'm using now which works fine.
In doing some research I see that Firefox version 52.0 "funnelcake101 for a 32bit windows machine" might be a good stable version. I fully understand the security risks of these older versions that I'm taking but to maintain the old programs that I am using I don't have much choice. So I'm very careful where I go and what I click with this machine. If I need something really new I have an iPad that I use and I consider it expendable if something got a hold of it and corrupted it.
So my question is two fold: 1) What would be a good version to update too that would load easily and run? 2) How do I back up my current Firefox information so it will load into the newer version?
Thank you for your help as I do appreciate it and the third alternative to this would be to not do anything at all but I would like to get back a little of the usefulness of this computer that is going away with each website that updates way beyond my old 20.0.1.
The 32-bit Firefox 52.9.0 ESR was the last version that still ran on the old EOL WinXP (and Vista) and was officially made EOL as of Sept 5th with no more updates for security or allowed stability fixes. Firefox 52.0 Release and later requires Windows 7, 8 (8.1), 10.
If you want to have a more current Firefox then you need Windows 7 or later or say dual boot with one of the fewer light Linux distros that still supports the ancient 32-bit CPU's like Lubuntu or Xubuntu among some others.
The ideal for security is to do all internet activity on a new computer, and on any XP computers to disable the internet and use only non-internet software.
We could discuss those old programs if you like. There may be free alternatives to them or hacks to get them to run on Windows 10.
Thank you James for taking you time to answer my question. So your suggestion is to find FF 52.9.0ESR and install that right over the top of what I have? On installing a "dual boot" or other operating system, well I appreciate that suggestion but that is WAY beyond my pay grade. I've been working with computers since 1985 and back then they were fun and I could sit and work and work making them work. But today I can't take the stress of a simple upgrade it seems. But I'm going to have to get brave, download that 52.9.0ESR and keep my fingers crossed.
I so appreciate your help James. Any suggestion where I can get a safe version of the 52.9.02ESR version?
Again thank you for your help.
In James post, the words "32-bit Firefox 52.9.0 ESR" are an underlined link that goes to the official website where that file is. If you are using US English you could click the subfolder en-US which would bring you here: https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/firefox ... n32/en-US/ which contains the file Firefox Setup 52.9.0esr.exe as an underlined link.
Thanks lasardo, I saw the link on James response and I clicked it but when I saw all the different directories I got confused. So you sent me back there and I clicked the very top one and there it was. So thank you for the help.
I take your advise lasardo and I truly have to look at a new computer. I could get creative with a new laptop or something like that to go to the internet as you suggest. I could put it on top of my desktop and figure out how to move files between them. I will start to look into a more modern solution.
But back to my original question for a moment. I have downloaded that update. Now do I just click on it and run it? Is there anything I should back up before I set that working? Are we pretty confident that this update will install without any difficulties? Remember, years ago I attempted to update Firefox and the install didn't go well or the program didn't work and I was lucky to get it back to that ancient version. But this one is pretty tried, true and tested?
Now I realize this is not the forum for this but a simple question. Can you run an old 32 bit program on a 64 bit machine?
Anyway, thank you gentlemen for your help. I do appreciate it.
Last question first - most old windows software will run on 64-bit windows, but not all. Some work better if you right click them and tell them to run in compatibility mode.
Your description of the file link concerned me a little - if you didn't go to the en-US folder you might have gotten the wrong language version.
It is always nice to have a backup. For the versions you are using, this Mozbackup utility should work well to make backups - http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/ If you are able to figure it out, great.
If not, I'm not exactly sure what to say - Firefox 52 does not delete profiles when you uninstall, so, even if there is trouble, it should be somewhat fixable. Firefox 52 worked well when I used it, but, it does include extension signing requirement - this means that some extensions may not work. If you like you can wait for more experts to respond with other advice.
I used XP Pro SP3 with v.52, and it was fine. Not only that, most of the programs on my Win7 are ones I brought over from my XP computer. I save all my installers in a folder. 3rdly, I copied my Firefox and Thunderbird profiles from the XP computer to this one, so it's 9 years old and running with 52.9esr and Win7. So there's lots of compatibility when you're ready to buy a Win7, if you can still find one. You'll probably have to get a refurb.
Also: If you need help with anything other than Firefox, such as working with the new OS or help with installations, I recommend http://www.virtualdr.com. I've been a member there over 20 years, and it's run by IT folks and retirees from such, much like this forum.
Tell them Foxy (named after a beloved feline) sent you.
Thanks lasardo for taking your time to respond here.
I appreciate the information on "some" old 32 bit software may run on a 64 bit machine. This is encouraging and truly I'm going to have to look into a new machine. But this information you provided here is good.
Second I downloaded the Firefox 52 from your link and not the link I found. I was just mentioning the other link as I had overlooked the first one and that had the versions in it. But I used your link as it took me right to what I needed.
I found the back up utility and I'll download that and get a copy of what I have. I love backups and do that religiously on everything else. So that's good advice too.
I do appreciate your advice. If I get brave and press the install button on the Firefox 52 I'll let you know.
Thank you too Foxy for taking your time to help me here. Back in the day I would just run headlong into this stuff as I had the time and enjoyed doing battle figuring out the fixes for computer things. After many years I've been worn down and I'm no computer professional at all. The older stuff just seemed simpler to work with. Now I have an old computer that truly works well for me but now I'm discovering that some programs like "Google Earth", Gmail and others won't run on the old machine. While they used to work just fine they found it necessary to shut them off to old systems such as my old version of Firefox. Also it seems that many websites have moved to what I guess is a more complicated version of HTTPS and these won't run anymore either. So little buy little I'm being forced out of the daily programs that I used to use.
But alas I don't want to be on your forum complaining about progress. Security is the word everyone is using. I have never had and issue with a but (I guess yet) as I am extremely careful where I go. But that is not good enough in this day and age.
Back to my issues, I appreciate your comments about your XP Pro machine and what you have done with it. This XP machine I'm running now was a refurb and I'm familiar with that process. So I'm sure I could "upgrade" to the 7 with a new machine. Then I could carefully move things over adn follow your advice and get going again. I also appreciate your advice on the other website. I will check that out and bookmark it for future reference. I've always admired you folks that did this for a living and mastered the news systems as they keep coming out. I have older frends that have new computers and it's sad as the systems are truly tough to run. I sit down in front of them and I need advice on how to get to certain things. But thank you Foxy for your advice also. I certainly appreciate it.
P.S. I get your reference to your "beloved feline". I had one of those too for 22 years and she was the very best.
Good luck with your project - Firefox 52.9.0 ESR should work on a lot more websites for you. If you do have problems thankfully you have the iPad so worst case you can still ask questions here.
One warning about buying a Windows 7 computer - Microsoft says that January 14, 2020 will be the end of support or last security updates for Windows 7. Unlike the end for XP which was delayed, I am not hearing of delays this time. If you buy a computer, you might want to leap to Windows 10 instead of doing it in 14 months. It is your choice though, for some the potential cost of buying Windows 10 or another computer at that time would be upsetting. Windows 10 upgrades from 7 are generally not free anymore. For others the benefit of using Windows 7 as a half-way step would be worthwhile. There are lots of complaints about how Windows 10 forces its updates on you and how it spies on you (the euphemism for spying being telemetry). There is truth to those complaints, but you can for the most part turn either off, and a great solution to hiccups with updates is to make routine backups. I would still buy a refurb computer even if I wanted Windows 10.
Well I made a backup of my Firefox Profile folder and have it stashed away. I'll do a system backup on the XP and then click the new version of FF and see what happens. If all goes well it should just update, find my profile in the current version and update it. As you point out I have the iPad to come back here and ask questions if for some reason it doesn't work. But I have to muster the bravery to click the mouse and start the process.................
On a side note I just noticed that at the bottom of our correspondences Firefox puts down the version of FF that we are running and some information about our computer systems we are using to run Firefox. Very interesting stuff.
Thanks for your help and wish me luck.
"No program update ever gets smaller, only bigger and more frustrating." --Me
And: "Take care of thy backups, and thy restores will take care of thee."--Benjamin Franklin
(BTW--I'm not in the IT business. I've been a member of a computer users club since 1996.)
Last edited by LoveMyFoxy on November 3rd, 2018, 9:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
@Lisa, I had (have) the same issues and concerns. My 10-year-old XP SP3 machine has lots of software that won't port to newer O/S's, and some of the software I rely on for my job is no longer produced. I've been running 52.6.0 ESR for the past year or so (I wasn't aware of 52.9.0 ESR), but even though my XP machine is finely tuned and maxed out in terms of hardware of that vintage, browsing definitely sucks. So I built a new machine (the one I'm using now) for browsing and do most everything else on the XP machine. It still kicks ass for everything except browsing. To the extent that I need to exchange files between machines, I can drag and drop via my local network. If I'm working on the XP machine and need to access the web for something quick, I can still use FF52 for that. But I'm quickly reminded why I built a new machine!
BTW, I'm done with Windows, so my new machine runs Linux, something I should have done years ago. I installed extra RAM (32GB) and CPU horsepower (i7700K) so I can (eventually) run my XP partition in a virtual machine under Linux (my XP hardware isn't going to last forever!) and free up some desk space. As it turns out, restoring a live OS image in a VM is NOT for the faint of heart, which is why a year later, I still haven't gotten around to setting it up. In the meantime, I maintain an inventory of spare parts for the XP machine (mobo, CPU, graphics card, RAM, etc), and make frequent image backups of my XP partition (Acronis TrueImage 9).
@Lisa--I'm on Win 7 64, and half of my programs are 32 and half are 64. They all run fine, they just install into 2 separate Program Files folders. Only a few minor, unimportant programs wouldn't run, but I found newer substitutes online.
We hope to see you again in a few days running your 52.9esr on your XP. It's a first step toward upgrading.
Last edited by LoveMyFoxy on November 4th, 2018, 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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