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Old 16th March 2007   #1
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Firefox refuses to start


Switched from cable to BellSouth DSL and one hour after finally getting modem, Linksys router and Outlook Express all sorted out, my Firefox refuses to open. I've uninstalled, removed all files and reinstalled -- twice; I've even tried installing the 1.5.0.10 instead of the 2. All is no go; i get "firefox.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close." I don't see a fix for this particular problem anywhere; any ideas? BellSouth (very helpful overall) has no clue. I loved my Firefox and don't want to go back to Explorer!

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Old 16th March 2007   #2
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Hi hschwab,

Welcome to the BBS!

A couple of things to try. First, if you have extensions installed, try starting FF in safe mode (if no shortcut, Start > Run > type firefox.exe -safe-mode). If FF starts normally, the problem is with one of your extensions.

If that doesn't work, you may have a Registry problem. Save your profile to a safe location, then uninstall FF in Control Panel > Add/Remove and delete all FF related folders/files in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox (believe me, they're still there). Then, use a Registry cleaner such as RegSeeker to remove all Registry entries about firefox.

Reboot.

After rebooting, reinstall FF and copy your old profile to the original location. If it works properly, you're home free. If not, the problem probably lies in your old profile, which you will have to delete and rebuild.

Please let us know how you make out.

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Old 16th March 2007   #3
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hschwab,

There are bug reports on this error, but unconfirmed as yet:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=338031
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=340344
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=359380

This error was supposedly fixed in earlier Versions, however.....

You might also want to take a look at these KB Articles which suggest workarounds when Firefox encounters problems, or won't start. They include some of Jim's suggestions:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Standard_diagnostic_-_Firefox
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser_will_not_start_up

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Old 16th March 2007   #4
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firefox won't start...


Wow! Thanks for so quickly responding.
I have been through the MozillaZine recommendations, but nothing works -- including starting Firefox in Safe Mode, which it won't permit me to do (just gives me same dialog box of "firefox.exe has encountered problem.")
I can't open it at all.
So I can't clear private data, or disable extensions (if i have any, which i couldn't tell you), or check plugins.
I am truly a beginner, so forgive me, but -- i don't mind losing bookmarks, etc.; is that all that deleting my profile would do? (bearing in mind i'm probably not sophisticated enough to be using it for anything difficult?)
I've tried finding the %APPDATA% for Firefox from the Run prompt, but when I go to the Mozilla folder, then the Firefox folder, it's always been empty. (I've tried installing and reinstalling 3 times.) So perhaps this is a moot point.
Sorry to be so painfully basic!

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Old 17th March 2007   #5
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hschwab,

No need to apologize for having basic knowledge! We all started that way, and that is why we have these Forums.

The Firefox Profile is located here:
C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

NOTE: These files are hidden by default.
To see hidden files:
1. On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options
2. Click the View tab
3. Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders
4. Disable "Hide File Extensions for Known Files."
5. Click OK.

Once you find the Profiles folder, then right click and select: Copy
Then create a folder on your C:\ drive, and name it Backup
Now right click the Backup folder and select: Paste

All your Profile data is now saved.

Next: Click on Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add/Remove
Select Firefox from the Program List and remove the program

Now delete the Firefox Program folder located here:
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

Delete the Firefox folder located here:
C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox

Run your Registry Cleaner, and remove all instances of Firefox

REBOOT YOUR PC

Download another Firefox install file from here:
Firefox 2.0.0.2

Install Firefox, and create a new Profile
Once you have created the Profile, open Firefox, and set up your Preferences

Close Firefox, and open Windows Explorer
Open the C:\Backup\Profiles\Firefox\xxxxxxxx.yourprofilename folder

Copy these files to the NEW Firefox xxxxxxxx.yourprofilename folder:

bookmarks.html
cookies.txt
key3.db
persdict.dat
signons.txt or it may be named signons2.txt

When you copy the above files, you will be prompted as to whether you want to overwrite the existing files. When prompted, answer YES.

That should get you back up and running. There is no doubt something in your current Profile that is corrupt, and that is keeping Firefox from starting.

Post back with your results.

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Old 17th March 2007   #6
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Firefox back, HSchwab grateful!


All is go, at least so far. RegSeeker was a mite scary for someone like me; I wish such things were a little more user-friendly (just a few basic instructions, beyond the ReadMe aka we're-not-responsible-if-you-totally-crash-your-computer paragraph, would be nice). And I ended up figuring that I must have deleted my Profile in a previous uninstall/kill-all-Firefox-files, since I never could locate it, even searching hidden folders, etc.

But I've got Firefox back, and I can't thank you enough! Great help, simply put, generously given (and in a timely fashion!). Cheers all around...

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Old 17th March 2007   #7
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Hi hschwab,

Your first mistake was switching from cable to DSL.

Glad you got your problem solved, and thanks for reporting back.

FWIW, RegSeeker isn't nearly as scary as it might seem, especially if you're searching the Registry for only one thing (Firefox, in this case), rather than trying to clean it (if you do, delete only the green-flagged entries).

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Old 17th March 2007   #8
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Firefox/dsl?


did i really make a mistake in going DSL? my neighborhood's cable access was wildly variable in speed, which drove me CRAZY. this seems more consistent, and as fast. will i regret it?

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Old 17th March 2007   #9
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I was kidding, but, truthfully, I've heard of far more problems with DSL than with cable.

I'm a bit surprised that the cable speeds are so widely variable, as mine are pretty consistent. Your neighbor must have far more users on his cable node than I do on mine.

If DSL is working for you, and you're happy with it, that's all that matters.

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Old 17th March 2007   #10
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Way to go hschwab! Soon you will have to change your experience status to "Advanced"...

As long as you back up your Registry before doing any cleaning you're fine.

Same with Firefox. Now that you have a working Firefox, and you have all your preferences reset, make a backup copy of your Firefox Profiles folder. Do this on a frequent (at least 1x/week) basis.

You might want to take a look at my Preventive Maintenance Solutions page: Preventive Browser Maintenance. Although it was originally created for Netscape/Mozilla, it also pertains to Firefox and Thunderbird, also SeaMonkey.

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Old 18th March 2007   #11
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Originally Posted by hschwab
did i really make a mistake in going DSL? my neighborhood's cable access was wildly variable in speed, which drove me CRAZY. this seems more consistent, and as fast. will i regret it?
Whatever works for you. I would never go to DSL, from Cable. If for no other reason that my local DSL provider is sold on MSN.

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