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View Full Version : Bloated and lazy Firefox



Veeger
2009-Jul-30, 08:41 PM
It seems if I leave Mozilla Firefox open and idle overnight, it suffers a memory leak and sucks up huge amounts of system resources. The next day if I try to "wake" it up or if I switch from another user to my account, the hard disk spins for a long time, the CPU peaks at 100% and I often have to forcefully close FF to regain control of the system. Now, by "wake up" I don't mean the system hibernates or sleeps. I mean arouse FF from idleness. Task Manager will show FF owning hundreds of mega bytes with nothing more open than a google screen.
I run two add-ons, NoScript and Adblock Plus. Its possible one them is the culprit. Is any one seeing similar FF bloat or random crashes?

Fazor
2009-Jul-30, 08:51 PM
Is any one seeing similar FF bloat (yes) or random crashes? (yes)

The bloat is pretty much as you describe it; this is my work machine and I don't leave it open over-night (not on purpose anyway), but I'll have it open from the time I get in to the time I leave, more or less. The longer it's open, the more apt it is to suck itself into a memory black-hole, killing system performance until I can kill it.

As for the crashes, my FF at work crashes all the time. I had it crash on me 10 times in about 5 minutes yesterday, to the point of me almost screaming at the monitor. It seems it will crash randomly when or after I visit pages that use Flash. I did a search and found a page on Mozilla's site that said "Flash is known to cause random crashes in Firefox, due to the nature of the Flash programming language. Fortunately there's other alternatives to Flash! (tell that to web developers)"

The odd thing is, at home I have no such problems with FF, under the same OS.

Argos
2009-Jul-30, 09:25 PM
Well, Im running FF 3.5.1 and Im having a great experience. There are some minor annoyances, like improper CSS rendering for some sites [especially Joomla ones] and new tabs not opening on the home page [opening blank].

As for crashes, Ive never had one. And its very fast. My overall evaluation is positive.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-30, 09:29 PM
Really, do you ever use Seamonkey (which includes a sort of integrated and simplified FF version)? It crashes every once in a while, but generally I don't have problems.

Veeger
2009-Jul-30, 09:33 PM
Well, Im running FF 3.5.1 and Im having a great experience. There are some minor annoyances, like improper CSS rendering for some sites [especially Joomla ones] and new tabs not opening on the home page [opening blank].

As for crashes, Ive never had one. And its very fast. My overall evaluation is positive.

Version 3.5.1? I have 3.0.12 with updates turned on. (well.. tell me when updates are available...not automatic install)

ETA: You're right! I'm downloading the new version now to see if it helps.

Argos
2009-Jul-30, 09:58 PM
The 3.5 version was launched about a month ago. The first vulnerability was found in the TraceMonkey javascript engine [on July, 14th], which debuted with the new version. Mozilla acted promptly and two days later it was OK, as 3.5.1.

Van Rijn
2009-Jul-30, 10:30 PM
I upgraded to 3.5 on my (fairly old, slow) home laptop. It came with a bug - the drop down arrow to the right of the address bar stopped functioning. I googled around and found I wasn't the only one having the problem, but initially it wasn't clear how to best resolve it. I finally ended up creating a new profile and importing my bookmarks. It appears it was some type of profile corruption.

3.5 might have been a little faster, but it wasn't all that obvious, at least on that laptop. I seem to have more crashes on 3.5 (now 3.51) than I used to, though they're not that common. Firefox seems to be reasonably fast for me, unless I have just a huge number of windows and tabs.

Oh, just FYI, I do use NoScript.

If I had it to do over, I would have waited a while longer for the 3.5x version to mature. For me at least, it didn't seem to have a huge performance edge, and does seem a bit buggier.

Argos
2009-Jul-30, 10:43 PM
Im a little surprised with you guys reporting so many crashes. I mean it when I say I never had one [not even with FF 3.0]. With IE crashes are [used to be] a given thing for me [dont use it anymore]. But then my hardware is pretty good.

Van Rijn
2009-Jul-30, 11:08 PM
Im a little surprised with you guys reporting so many crashes. I mean it when I say I never had one [not even with FF 3.0]. With IE crashes are [used to be] a given thing for me [dont use it anymore]. But then my hardware is pretty good.

Well, I've also had crashes on my year old 3 ghz/4 GB RAM Intel system, which I'd call "pretty good." I didn't move that one up to FF 3.5, but performance wasn't a significant issue there either.

I don't have many crashes, but I do have crashes occasionally.

Veeger
2009-Jul-31, 01:15 AM
As noted in post #5, I installed the new version, went out for few hours and when I got back, had to switch from another user to my login. My open FF window took about 5 minutes to come alive. Task amanger said it was not responding. Heavy disk use, high CPU, 30 megs of memory, and finally it settled down and my window appeared; a single tab pointing to google.

I may have to start closing FF everytime I leave it unattended for a while.

Van Rijn
2009-Jul-31, 01:36 AM
Locking up from only one window/tab? Are you getting similar behavior from IE, or is it Firefox specific?

If it is just Firefox, I'd suggest trying an alternate profile - there might be something weird in your defaut profile.

Veeger
2009-Jul-31, 01:54 AM
IE is normal. I just disabled Adblock Plus. Before I create a new profile I want to see if my add-ons are a problem. (I really hate to turn off NoScript - its a nice add-on.)

Tucson_Tim
2009-Jul-31, 01:59 AM
Come on, you guys are scaring me. I switched to FF from IE mainly because of the advice and comments on this forum. I have 3.0.12 on Windows XP and it is very stable and no memory problems (that I am aware of).

Van Rijn
2009-Jul-31, 02:57 AM
IE is normal. I just disabled Adblock Plus. Before I create a new profile I want to see if my add-ons are a problem. (I really hate to turn off NoScript - its a nice add-on.)

I haven't had a problem with them. Actually, I think FireFox is more stable with NoScript running (not as much junk called that can cause problems).

You can create another profile, and it won't have the add-ons (since it is a new profile). You can still go back to your default profile (or import parts of your default profile to the new one). Here's how to set up a new profile:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Creating_a_new_Firefox_profile_on_Windows

Van Rijn
2009-Jul-31, 03:01 AM
As for the crashes, my FF at work crashes all the time. I had it crash on me 10 times in about 5 minutes yesterday, to the point of me almost screaming at the monitor. It seems it will crash randomly when or after I visit pages that use Flash. I did a search and found a page on Mozilla's site that said "Flash is known to cause random crashes in Firefox, due to the nature of the Flash programming language. Fortunately there's other alternatives to Flash! (tell that to web developers)"


That makes me wonder if it is something other than Firefox. This is Firefox 3+, right?

Things I'd suggest: Try FF safe mode or create another profile and see if the problems continue. Install NoScript (blocks a lot of stuff, including Flash). Check the computer for other problems - virus, perhaps even a RAM check.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Jul-31, 03:07 AM
Come on, you guys are scaring me. I switched to FF from IE mainly because of the advice and comments on this forum. I have 3.0.12 on Windows XP and it is very stable and no memory problems (that I am aware of).

If it makes you feel better, I've had nary a problem with FF 3. On my system, version 3.5 uses a little less memory than 3.0, but takes longer to start. Neither has been unstable.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Jul-31, 10:49 AM
I think the answer is "it depends", I have one machine where I had to give up on using FF for Facebook as it was leaking memory so badly that FF grabbed about 1G/hour so I had to kill it often just to get it out of bogging the machine down with swapping, on that one I switched to Chrome and had no problems at all.

On the machine I'm typing this, FF is what I use for Facebook, with Chrome for BAUT. That split is done due to their different behaviors in opening links in new tabs, which suits my use of the two sites.

Fazor
2009-Jul-31, 11:44 AM
That makes me wonder if it is something other than Firefox. This is Firefox 3+, right?

Things I'd suggest: Try FF safe mode or create another profile and see if the problems continue. Install NoScript (blocks a lot of stuff, including Flash). Check the computer for other problems - virus, perhaps even a RAM check.

We have active virus check at work that scans quite often, but I think it's more a combination of some weird code-to-machine problem. I want to say it's version 3.0.12, but I'm not going to be at my office today to check. I know it's a version 3+

But at home I have no such problems, and I'm fairly certain this is the same version (I know I'm using 3.0.12 here at home).

Veeger
2009-Jul-31, 11:37 PM
This evening, I had a better result. I switched to my login from my daughter's, had an open FF window and I did not have the huge delay before I could resuming browsing. Maybe Ad Blocker is problematic for me. And yet without Ad Blocker, many ads are slow loading and prone to crash the browser. They don't seem to follow good programming practices when designing ads.

cjl
2009-Jul-31, 11:44 PM
As noted in post #5, I installed the new version, went out for few hours and when I got back, had to switch from another user to my login. My open FF window took about 5 minutes to come alive. Task amanger said it was not responding. Heavy disk use, high CPU, 30 megs of memory, and finally it settled down and my window appeared; a single tab pointing to google.

I may have to start closing FF everytime I leave it unattended for a while.
30 megs of memory is fine - that's not substantially more than normal (right now, FF is using 275MB for me, though that's with a LOT of tabs open). The high disk and CPU activity is odd though. I've never had a problem with FF, even on a pretty low spec machine.

Rhaedas
2009-Jul-31, 11:46 PM
I've got a lot of the standard recommended addons on 3.5, and as of late I tend to leave it open overnight with a few tabs, so FF never gets completely closed, and I haven't had any noticeable issues. But I do think it depends on the system it's on.

crosscountry
2009-Aug-01, 12:19 AM
I only visit a few sites, and none use flash, except the weather. But I close FF when I'm done with it every time. It rarely crashes but does HOG up a lot of RAM. At least my new computer can handle it.

Veeger
2009-Aug-01, 01:57 AM
30 megs of memory is fine - that's not substantially more than normal
True, but I have seen it much higher - like 600MB. I wonder if the memory count reported by Task Manager includes the page cache or whatever the FF equivalent of IE's "temporary internet files" happens to be.

NosePicker
2009-Aug-01, 05:24 AM
It's always a good idea to clean out your stashed cookies, web pages, and images that your browser stores away for off line work. Windows is notorious for keeping loads of backwash. Check out your history, there is gobs of memory sucking junk stuffed in there. There is also the addage that too many add-ons spoil the Firefox. Keep them to the bare minimum, especially if your computer isn't as powerful as a DeLorean. Other than that, the Windows operating system needs a re-install about once every one to two years. That is just because you need to scrub out the dust bunnies from all the updates and hidden junk, not badware, malware, even viruses, just junk.