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I've been having a lot of trouble with Firefox 4 and 5 hanging on my Windows XP machine. I've often found a temporary solution of uninstalling and reinstalling. Recently I deleted my Firefox profile to get a clean start. But nothing seems a reliable solution.

The only plugin that I have is Firebug. My machine is a bit low on RAM, with only 2 GB.

Am I missing something? Any troubleshooting steps that you would recommend? I've come to expect Firefox to be very stable, and that has not at all been my experience lately.

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Check to see if you have the latest video drivers. I understand that Firefox 4 and Firefox 5 are making heavier use of the video card than what Firefox 3 and prior did. –  HK1 Jun 28 '11 at 0:12

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It'd be a good start to discover why they're hanging. I'd expect due to memory use. You can use Task Manager to monitor their memory consumption as they run (look in the processes tab). Are you using websites that are particularly intensive (I've actually noticed gmail, for example, adds considerable load to my gf's old laptop)?

You said you need to reinstall them after a time - does this mean they're eatting up lots of storage space over time? This is the part of your question I find particularly weird..

My understanding is also that Firebug eats a lot of resources, like, a lot. Perhaps you could try disabling it when your machine's acting up. 2GB is kind of lean, but not insanely so, I don't think you NEED more memory.

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I don't know that I need to re-install them, just that it seems to help when attempted out of desperation. –  Eric Wilson Jun 28 '11 at 1:35

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