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A few programs (FF and TB) on my windows laptop keep hanging on me and after some messing around I've figured out that it is when I try and do a "save as" but where the last location I saved to is on a network mount that isn't accessible right now. If I wait long enough, things time out and start working again.

Is there a way to set that timeout to something like 10 seconds?

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Note that there's a tension here; you'd probably (usually) consider data corruption to be a worse problem than an OS hang, so it tends to try really hard to get your data written out. Programs tend not to be written with vanishing storage in mind. – Captain Segfault Nov 18 '09 at 18:47
the captain's right. the better solution is: train yourself to save only to local storage from firefox, then drag-n-drop the file to the network storage. use an "incoming" folder on your desktop as firefox's default save-to location. (if i really need to download straight to network storage, i usually copy the link in firefox and use wget in Cygwin for the actual download. this way firefox never gets the chance to become dependent on my network storage.) – quack quixote Nov 18 '09 at 19:34
It is not just firefox. I have found that on win xp machines, if you have a network share mapped, but it is no longer available it will hang your computer any time you try and do any file tasks. I have tried to open my computer in this state, and waited for 10+ minutes while the entire machine hung. – tvanover Nov 19 '09 at 0:24
@BCS: you were clear. any timeout you could change would be at the OS level, not in Firefox. those changes would affect more than just the case you're concerned with. – quack quixote Nov 19 '09 at 9:13
@~quack: I want a OS level fix, not A FF/TB only fix. In my case if the network doesn't respond in a few seconds (2-3) it never will or something even worse is wrong. – BCS Nov 19 '09 at 22:14

Have a look through these networking registry keys: TCP/IP and NBT configuration parameters for Windows XP though IMO the only option that looks relevant is LmhostsTimeout which has a default value of 6 seconds. Otherwise you can likely stick to the NBT (NetBIOS) settings as these relate to Windows networking and in particular, the open/save dialogs of all programs.

If you do change settings here, change them individually followed by a reboot (or possibly disable/re-enabling your network interface is enough) and test to see if it helps before setting the next one.

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