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I am using the latest Firefox (17.0.1) on Win XP and during the last couple of weeks I have a problem where as I increase the window's size, the tabs and other window content go blank. If I increase it even more, or maximize it, the window is not redrawn at all.

Starting the browser in Safe-Mode seems to solve this problem. However, all the extensions are disabled (obviously). So, I started gradually disabling my extensions until I got to the point where all add-ons and plugins were disabled, just as is the case in Safe Mode.

This, however, did not solve the problem!

So my question is, what is the difference between Safe Mode and all extensions disabled?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to Mozilla's Support Site, Safe Mode does more than simply disabling all of your extensions:

Clicking the Start in Safe Mode button will temporarily disable your extensions and themes, turn off hardware acceleration and reset toolbar and button customizations. When you leave Safe Mode and start Firefox up normally, your extensions, themes, and settings will return to the state they were in before you entered Safe Mode.

Safe Mode sounds more like a temporary reset, as it disables custom settings, as well as themes and extensions. Hardware acceleration is also disabled.

Thus, you could use this knowledge to continue your troubleshooting process and find out exactly what is causing your browser to go haywire. You've already tried disabling all of your extensions, so next, try disabling any themes as well. Then maybe undo your customizations. Lastly, try disabling hardware acceleration.

Of course, another troubleshooting step might be to just create a new profile and see if the problem occurs with a fresh one. To create a profile, close Firefox completely and run the following command, clicking "Start", then "Run" then typing "cmd" to pull up a Command Prompt:

firefox --profilemanager

Then follow the prompts to create a new one. If the problem is resolved, you can then copy over your extensions and bookmarks to the new profile.

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1  
Thanks. I am using the default theme anyway. I was actually about to play with the profile, but it looks like right now (after a couple of restartings) it behaves fine, so I'll give it a chance, while restoring the addons one by one. –  ysap Dec 10 '12 at 2:42

You may want to take a look at Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode. From there:

Clicking the Continue in Safe Mode button will temporarily
disable your extensions and themes,
turn off hardware acceleration and
reset toolbar and button customizations.
When you leave Safe Mode and start Firefox up normally,
your extensions, themes, and settings will return to the state
they were in before you entered Safe Mode.

So it would seem that disabling add-ons is a subset of safe mode.

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