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Here's the situation:


  • Just installed a fresh copy of Win7 Pro 32-bit to NTFS partition on 750GB SATA drive
  • Hardware:
    • E8400 3GHz
    • ASUS P5QL Pro
    • 4GB DDR2 1066 RAM
    • EVGA 9800 GTX+
    • Plenty of cooling, no problems with hardware before
  • Data is stored on a separate partition, including My Documents
  • No security software is yet installed
  • No extensions installed yet


While using Firefox, sometimes the entire computer will freeze/hang. I get no mouse or keyboard input, can't CTRL+ALT+DEL, no "not responding" indication, just a static image on my display. My drivers are all up to date as far as I'm aware (I just installed this copy of Windows last week). I first noticed this when trying to install Xmarks. I went to the Xmarks site and tried to install and it would freeze. I managed to get it installed (Safe mode and the Mozilla addon site worked), but when I go to configure it (log in, etc), the computer freezes.

I don't think it's a matter of usage time or memory issues, because while testing, I browsed wallpaper galleries for about 30 minutes, sometimes as many as 12-15 tabs open at a time, without issue. Sometimes I won't even try to install Xmarks at it will hang. I can install (some) other extensions, the only one I've tried is download status bar (which works).

What I've done to try to fix:

  • Restarted (duh)
  • Windows safe mode
  • Completely remove Firefox and install it to a new directory, according to Mozilla's KB (I haven't tried the profile manager, though I assume this does the same thing, except perhaps more thoroughly)
  • Some BIOS changes, including Power options, disabling oveclocking (it was a modest overclock on the CPU, which has run Win7 beta and RC for almost a year now)
  • Memtest
  • Used another Windows user profile, same tragic results

I'm STUCK now, with no idea what to do. I'm using Chrome as my main browser at the moment, but that's not something I want to be stuck with. I like Firefox and want to use it. I'm going to try creating a new profile first.

One thing I did notice: I started leaving task manager and performance monitor open when anticipating (but dreading) a freeze. firefox.exe had low CPU and low memory, but it looked like overall disk usage was seeing some spikes on the small graph Performance Monitor gives you. I saw on one blog post a fellow using XP moved his Local Settings directory from a separate drive to his main drive, and that solved it, but I don't think my AppData directory is on my D: drive, and that's on the same physical device anyways. Still, something that might be worth trying.

I'd extremely appreciate any help. Thanks very much. I really don't want to reinstall Windows from scratch again :(

Anthony Aziz

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migrated from Jan 5 '10 at 3:09

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

I've typically seen behavior like this when some application is using the network stack and freezes; it causes all applications (including the OS) to freeze. I've seen this for years under XP; I tried many times to figure out what was causing the issue, and the best I came up with was a vague notion that it was DNS-related. This may or may not be related to what you're seeing on Windows 7. Just thought I'd mention it.... – Joe Casadonte Jan 5 '10 at 16:53
It's completely frustrating. I guess I'll just have to stay away from that site? Or try to reinstall windows, again, perhaps :/ – Anthony Aziz Jan 6 '10 at 20:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I suppose I should have updated this some time ago...

A coworker of mine helped me out. I did a major chkdsk and some disk diagnostics, which seemed to help quite a bit. I'm not sure if it actually solved the problem, but I've managed to get Xmarks installed and haven't ahd the problem since.

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A couple of things to try:

  1. download the latest version of fx (3.6.3)
  2. Create a shortcut to the .exe and append -p to the target
  3. Launch the shortcut and create a new profile in a different location, preferably a different disk
  4. Run fx with out making any changes or adding any extensions/plugins

... If you don't wish to reinstall fx you can download the latest 3.6.5 zip build from 2010-05-20-04-mozilla-1.9.2-l10n/ I use this nightly as my daily browser. it's quite stable. Just unzip somewhere and apply number 2 above.

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