Author Topic: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice  (Read 7269 times)

Portilious

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #45 on: September 03, 2018, 11:36:04 AM »
Sorry for the big month bump,
but if you people are still interested using XP and you can't find a "modern" browser
(like rendering .MP4 videos, WebM or Google Maps 3D) use this browser called New Moon.
https://msfn.org/board/topic/177125-my-build-of-new-moon-temp-name-aka-pale-moon-for-xp/
It's basically Firefox, but with the latest updates. With that you can watch, for an example, Twitter/Facebook videos, use the 3D version of Google Maps, etc...
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Also you might want to install K-Lite codec pack, for the maximum media playback compatibility.
You can choose to add the codecs to Windows Media Player, so you can watch .mkv or .mp4 with the default media player and internet browser.
https://codecguide.com/download_kl.htm
Install both things and you can surf the internet like on Windows 7 or 10!
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If you are afraid of viruses, just install a modern anti-virus (like Avast! or so) and avoid clicking fishy links or install "weird" programs.
-Daniel


Offline Brinybay

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2018, 01:07:42 PM »
This thread reminds me of this:
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e

Offline compubit

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2018, 11:14:14 PM »
OS/2 Warp - that brings back memories - no, make that nightmares!!!!!

J
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Favorite Phone: Western Electric Trimline - it just feels right holding it up to my face!

Offline TelePlay

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2018, 07:05:25 PM »
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I started this topic years ago and since them upgraded my XP desktop to Win7 using Firefox.

I have an older Dell Latitude laptop, what I am using right now, that is running Win7 with Firefox. It also has IE and now Chrome installed (needed to add Chrome to use the Directv Now app).

For about two weeks now, I have been having difficulty on this laptop with a runaway hard drive. I would start Firefox and after a few pages, the hard disk would run constantly and all pages would freeze, got a "Not Responding" message in any software I was running.

Did a lot of hard disk maintenance which got the computer to boot quicker but as soon as I started Firefox, the disk issue started again, including taking a good 5 minutes for the computer to shut down.

Switched to Chrome tonight as a test and no hard disk issues, no run away. Seems something is wrong with Firefox, something I don't have time to fix, or desire to fix, so will most likely use Chrome from this point on. And my hard disk will last a lot longer.

Anyone else had or seen this problem with Firefox?

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2018, 08:36:23 PM »
Yep, had those issues myself on older hardware, for some reason Firefox just seems to get stuck in a loop of saving things to the HDD as part of a Swap file and then loading them back into RAM, which just thrashes the HDD and locks the browser (and often the whole system) up, only solution I found to get around it was either more RAM (less swap-file use) or a newer spec computer, which isn't exactly the easiest solution...

The last computer I saw the issue on was the mother's Samsung netbook, the thing would sit there churning away for ages before she could do anything, but given the netbook had screen connection issues, it got replaced anyway, the HDD got moved into the newer laptop (saved transferring files and settings about), and with double the RAM (2GB over 1GB) and a faster processor, the HDD thrashing stopped with the pre-existing Firefox installation... :)

Offline FABphones

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2018, 09:07:26 PM »
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......Anyone else had or seen this problem with Firefox?

Yes. For quite some time now. Screen locks up, and 'not responding'. It's got to the point where I seldom go to the Dell. I call it 'Cylon mode' - that constant and seemingly never ending left/right dot movement...

Thanks for posting, I'll give Chrome a try too.
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #51 on: December 29, 2018, 07:48:59 AM »
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MADE A BIG MISTAKE LAST  NIGHT!

Chrome was working so great, no run away hard drive, that I thought it would be helpful to import my bookmarks from Firefox, and did so.

BIG MISTAKE!

Upon importing the Firefox files, the runaway disk began again when using Chrome. Had to do a hard shut down to get it to quit.

Deleted the imported bookmarks from Chrome, uninstalled Chrome, deleted all of my old Firefox data files, defragmented my hard drive from the Control Panel, restarted the computer, installed Chrome and it's back to working without the runaway disk problem.

So, must have something to do with the bookmark and related files imported into Chrome. Looking at the CPU usage, memory usage and other specs showed nothing happening, and no programs or processes running so what twocv said about a read/write loop must be the case.

Not sure if it's worth deleting all of Firefox and installing it again without the bookmarks. Might as well stick with Chrome, even if Google is spying on me . . .

It's working well now with Chrome.

Offline Fushigi Ojisan

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #52 on: December 29, 2018, 08:54:16 PM »
Not sure which Dell laptop model you are running, but have you considered swapping in a solid-state drive?  While it may not help with runaway browsers, it will speed up older laptops considerable (especially when coupled with maxing out memory).

Been using Ubuntu on a couple old laptops with mixed results, its more work to set up and configure than Windows, but once its set to prompt for updates, its pretty decent.

Ultimately, I ended up going with a Samsung tablet running Android; connect it to a BlueTooth keyboard and it does nearly everything a laptop does in a lot smaller package. 

Still have a dumb phone though
Fushigi Ojisan
Otaku with interesting hobbies

Offline TelePlay

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2018, 01:02:46 PM »
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I have an older Dell Latitude laptop, what I am using right now, that is running Win7 with Firefox. It also has IE and now Chrome installed (needed to add Chrome to use the Directv Now app).

It's a Dell Latitude E6510 (laptop specs attached) that is working just fine now using Chrome - no more runaway hard drive issues.

Didn't do anything to the hardware. Defragmented the hard drive twice from the Control Panel (not the System Mechanic software I have installed to keep my system working well, their hard drive defrag option did not do as good of a job repairing or recombining files on the drive as the Control Panel route) and uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome after I found that importing the Firefox bookmarks created the same problem in Chrome.

The laptop is running very good and quite a deal considering it was purchased as used some 7 years ago from a refurber fully loaded with software for $200.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #54 on: December 31, 2018, 01:19:45 PM »
My computer is becoming so slow, at times it is actually quicker to reboot the system. I run Firefox, and I know it's the problem. I just dred the thought of transferring all the data to another system. Firefox won't update, so I guess I'm stuck.,
D/P

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Offline andy1702

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2019, 01:44:01 PM »
My computer is becoming so slow, at times it is actually quicker to reboot the system. I run Firefox, and I know it's the problem. I just dred the thought of transferring all the data to another system. Firefox won't update, so I guess I'm stuck.,
D/P

I doubt firefox is your problem. It's more likely to be the operating system. I'm running Linux Mint 17.1 and always use Firefox without any issues. Firefox is a bit slower since the last major update, but nothing like freezing up with the HDD running.

Windows 7 and windows 10 especially are notorious for bloatware. If you definitely need Windows then the best thing to do is do a complete system re-install and when asked, turn all the options for automatic updates to off. The absolute best thing is not to use Windows at all though. Linux Mint with the Matte desktop is almost identical to win XP in the way it looks and works, but runs way faster, is not as prone to viruses and works on old hardware. I just installed the very latest Linux Mint on a 10+ year old netbook (not the most powerful comuter in the world!) and it works fine.
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2019, 01:18:55 AM »
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I doubt firefox is your problem. It's more likely to be the operating system. . . . Firefox is a bit slower since the last major update, but nothing like freezing up with the HDD running.

Windows 7 and windows 10 especially are notorious for bloatware.


Bloatware responsible for my run away HDD might have been found and disabled; I think I fixed my run away HDD issue, I hope.

After fighting this problem for weeks now, using resmon and task manager to monitor the system and searching the internet for those services that seem to be causing the HDD to go active 100% of the time (while the CPU and memory usage as really low), it appeared that svchost was part of the problem. A good find in a Google search for svchost described problems identical to what I was having. They put the blame on a VISTA era service called "Superfetch" that is still in Win7.

This is the site I found that had as answer, #2, comments that described Superfetch problems and how to stop superfetch.

This is answer #2 from the above link:  "This annoying system pig-out is caused by a Windows Vista mis-feature (piece of crap) called SuperFetch. While the service still exists in Win7 it's been fixed up and doesn't seem to slow me down anymore, although your mileage may vary.

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_I/O_technologies#SuperFetch

After disabling this crap-fest, from the Services window (type Services into the start menu search box, find Superfetch, stop it then disable it from auto-starting), these freezeups go away. On systems with sufficient RAM and disk-throughput, superfetch results in a net increase in system performance. On my laptop enabling SuperFetch results in periodic freezes of the system where it doesn't respond at all to mouse clicks. I thought I was going crazy, but it was part of the stuff that the people who brought you UAC and other great innovations threw into Vista. I think it's been reworked or scrapped in Win7 so it won't do this."


So, from the start menu, I typed in Services, clicked on the "Services" that says "Starts, stops and configures Window Services" in a pop up window when you mouse over the term "Services," scrolled down to Superfetch, did a right click on it and then left clicked on "Properties" in the box that popped up. After that I clicked on "Stop" and changed the setting from "Automatic" start to "Manual" start. Then clicked on Apply and my HDD access dropped from 100% to under 5%. I have to stare at my keyboard disk access light to see it light up for a split second now, rather than being on solid forever.

If you posted above saying you were having similar slow problems, you might want to do the above to see what happens. It is reversible in that you can go back in and start the service and set it back to Automatic.

After getting rid of Superfetch, no matter what software I loaded, the HDD did not go wild. I shut the computer down and it stopped within a minute (unlike 5-10 minutes when Superfetch was running). Restarted the computer and it came up in a couple of minutes, normal load time.

Checked the Superfetch service and it showed it was indeed stopped and was still on "Manual" start.

I opened Chrome and and Foxfire at the same time and opened a few high access sites and the HDD did not go wild. I did notice that my eBay Purchase history did not work well in Firefox with Superfetch disabled but it worked just fine in Chrome. I may not go back to Firefox as my main browser.

Right now I am quite happy in that images on forum pages load almost instantly, new window tabs open right away, previews open instantly, clicked links open quickly and I don't see that spinning wheel anymore. Yes, I am quite happy without Superfetch.

From the Wikipedia page, it describes the function of Superfetch as "SuperFetch attempts to load commonly used libraries and application components into memory before they are required. It does so by continually analyzing application behavior and usage patterns, e.g. what applications are typically used in the morning after logon." Yeah, a computer trying to figure out what is needed and load it before it is requested, I can see where that service would cause a run away HDD and a slow computer - trying to load everything at once, or close to it.

The attached image shows Superfetch in Services, right click on the line to get to Properties to stop the service and change it to manual start.

If I find a problem with my computer because it does not have access to Superfetch, I will post here. If anyone else tries this and it fixed their slow computer problem, please let us know with a reply here.

Offline TelePlay

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Re: The final curtain . . . for XP/Firefox and Alternative Advice
« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2019, 06:45:23 AM »
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It's been 6 days since my post about Superfetch and my laptop is doing well. Other than a period of heavy HDD activity due to Window's TrustedInstaller program checking my entire HDD for out of date Windows system software and then updating whatever it finds, HDD access has been minimal.

I did have to disable one additional program, Windows Defender (I use a commercial available malware and anti-virus program to protect my computer instead of Defender), which would run at first start up each morning and occupy the HDD for about 1 to 2 hours.

Again, if anyone has the same problem, a run away Hard Disk Drive that slows down software ("not responding" and slow loading issues), getting rid of Superfetch and Defender may help. The two programs were changed to "manual" from "automatic" run so they are still there, just not able to start on their own, in case they need to be used.

Send me a PM if you want help, need a how to, in hopefully speeding up your computer. It's quite simple to do.