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At some point in the last half hour, my Firefox window disappeared. I didn't notice, as I was working in another program at the time. No Firefox icon shows up with Alt-Tab, and no Firefox listing shows up under the Applications tab in the Task Manager. There is a Firefox entry under the Processes tab. Normally, I probably wouldn't have noticed, and would just open Firefox up again, but I'm listening to an Internet radio station and the stream never stopped.

When I did open a new Firefox window, it showed up in the Task Manager's applications tab. I'm running Windows XP, and my Firefox has the add-ons Adblock Plus, BetterPrivacy, Cert Viewer Plus, DOM Inspector, Firebug, Greasemonkey, Java Quick Starter, Live HTTP headers, Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant, NoScript, WebDeveloper and XPather. The radio station is Slacker; it's never given me any trouble before, and I've been using it for months. I don't think there was anything unusual in my open tabs; just a few static pages at non-sketchy sites like Java APIs, plus GMail and the aforementioned Slacker.

Searching Google brought up a handful of similar-but-not-quite-the-same errors, none of which had useful resolutions. Does anyone know how to bring that window back and/or prevent this from happening again?

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Has this just happened once, or has it happened a few times recently when you've been doing similar things? –  GAThrawn Oct 12 '09 at 15:32
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Just once to me so far. I only asked because it seemed (from Google) like other people were having similar problems. –  Pops Oct 12 '09 at 15:59
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5 Answers

Firefox randomly disappearing or crashing is usually add-on related. Try updating to the latest version of Firefox, then disable all add-ons and selectively re-enable them until you find the culprit. Try reproducing the problem in the same way with the radio stream.

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I've noticed this, too. Once when I tried searching for a solution, I came across this thread from Mozilla's support forum.

Looks like it's been around for a while (note one of the more recent comments indicating that it still happens in 3.5.x).

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Did your windows explorer crash??? If it did, sometimes, the taskbar icons will disappear but the process will still be running in the background. The information you gave points out that the application disappeared from the explorer BUT was running in the background.

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Good thought, but no, my explorer did not crash. –  Pops Oct 12 '09 at 16:20
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I figured out how to reproduce the error. For some reason, opening up the widget that controls my graphics card makes Firefox go poof. Other programs are not affected. The card is an nVidia Quadro. I'll add to this post if I discover any other details, but I think the answer now is just to not muck around with the display settings while Firefox is running.

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I've had similar problems by using tools like VirtuaWin, they're hiding the windows and some times they just disappear. For VirtuaWin exists an AddOn, Window List, which lists every window and can restore it to the actual Desktop.

If you don't use such a tool, then sorry for wasting your time.

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I don't use such a tool, but it's still good information to add to my/everyone's general fund of knowledge. –  Pops Oct 12 '09 at 16:20
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