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Windows 7: Firefox "popunders"


19 May 2013   #1

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 
Firefox "popunders"

Not an advert, just a new page that automatically goes to the background.



You can see the new page show briefly and then all you can see of the new page is the scroll bar off to the right in the video. The post shown in the video is this one, but the problem is not specific to any one post. Any post that has a link designed to open a new tab/page may cause this issue.

This is a fresh Firefox profile using Firefox 21 and no add-ons, but these "popunders" started around version 17.

Name:  Firefox1.png
Views: 8
Size:  23.3 KB

Name:  Firefox2.png
Views: 6
Size:  24.3 KB

If I attempt to see how repeatable the problem is by:
...clicking on the link
...closing the new window (or just leave it in the background)
...clicking on the link again
The new window will most likely stay on top.

If I:
...click on the link
...close the new window (or just leave it in the background)
...wait a minute or two
...click on the link again
The new window will most likely "popunder".

I'm looking in Process Explorer for some event that happens after the wait. Maybe some clearing of some cache files - I don't know. I'm not finding any rhyme or reason to this "popunder" thing.

Does anyone else see it? Maybe it is the Intel video drivers. Don't those drivers manage windows Z order?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 May 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Not so much a popunder as the original window stealing focus so to speak. You say no add-ons, but how about the flash plugin? This has been a problem going back to FF15 from what I can see. Disabling the flash plugin seems to stop it. I have also seen where disabling the flash protected mode seems to work for some

Quote:
To disable Protected Mode, add the following line to your mms.cfg file located in:



Windows 32bit: C:\windows\system32\macromed\flash

Windows 64bit: C:\windows\syswow64\macromed\flash


ProtectedMode=0



If the mms.cfg file does not exist, create one using any standard text editor (e.g.. notepad)



Depending on your operating system, you might need to first save the mms.cfg file to a writable location (such as your documents or desktop folder) and then copy the file into the destination folder using Windows Explorer.

To re-enable Protected Mode, simply remove the line from the mms.cfg file.
Adobe Community: How do I troubleshoot Flash Player's protected mode for Firefox?

Not a fix, but if it works, at least you know the cause. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
NoScript

I run the NoScript add-on, which blocks Flash by default, so I haven't noticed this issue.

Thanks for that info A Guy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


19 May 2013   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

why dont you have new windows open in a new tab checked. that way you wont have this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #5

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boohbah View Post
why dont you have new windows open in a new tab checked. that way you wont have this issue.
Now that would be too easy of a fix :-)

It has to do with the way that I organize my tabs and windows. Generally, one window (and its tabs) are all related. e.g. all the tabs in one window are Seven Forum threads - if I leave the forums, I want a new window. I usually right click links and select what I want to happen - so that setting does not really matter.

It does seem to be Flash related as the new window shown in the video does load the flash plug-in. But I cannot replicate the issue in a VM - with the same version of flash, same version of Firefox, same classic theme.

....now to figure out why....

Thanks A Guy for the flash lead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

ah well, i tried.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #7

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boohbah View Post
ah well, i tried.
And I thank you for doing so.

One work around is to set a home page that causes the flash plug in to load. Once flash has loaded, the issue seems to go away.

I was able to get the VM to do this popunder or steal focus thing too.

I had forgotten about logging in to prevent adverts from Seven Forums. After enough tests, I happened to get a Seven Forums page without flash related adverts and the popunder showed only after clicking to open a new window that did load flash. Now that I've logged into the forum in the VM, the popunder is consistent.

And Firefox has crashed more than once on the host computer and in the VM.

IE10 is looking pretty good right now :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

seems a strsnge issue, ive used firefox for years with no real issues. having said that i always have had new windows open in a new tab, so its not something ive ever experienced.
have you tried comodo ice dragon, its the same as firefox ,in that you can use your firefox profile, add ons etc and so may be worth a try.

Comodo IceDragon Internet Browser, Secure Internet Browser
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Pale Moon

Pale Moon is another alternative.
It is based on Firefox, but it is allegedly optimised for Windows.
The Pale Moon Project homepage

This reminds me of the problem I had with FF (6-16) on my physical XP install.
I'd start FF and it would close almost immediately.
However, if I then started it again, it would run properly.

The problem never occurred with my XP VMs.

You mentioned in our private discussions that you had Java installed.
Maybe Flash, Firefox and Java are refusing to "play nice" together.

Does running FF in:
  • "FF Safe Mode" make a difference?
  • Windows Safe Mode make a difference?
  • Both "Safe Modes" make a difference?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2013   #10

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Testing in the VM now:
Firefox, Icedragon and Palemoon all have this "popunder" problem.
Firefox safe mode has the problem.
Windows safe mode & Firefox normal mode has the problem.
Windows safe mode & Firefox safe mode has the problem.

Java is not installed in the VM.

Firefox "popunders"-firefox-vm1.png

Firefox "popunders"-firefox-vm2.png

Firefox "popunders"-firefox-vm3.png

Firefox "popunders"-firefox-vm4.png



I don't need to solve the problem per se, I'm just curious if others see it and why it happens.

The link that A Guy posted...
Adobe Community: How do I troubleshoot Flash Player's protected mode for Firefox?
...mentioned disabling Flash's protected mode via a mms.cfg file.
That article above also had a link...
Inside Flash Player Protected Mode for Firefox
...that explained the protected mode. It shows Process Explorer with Flash running in the low integrity mode. I see the same thing with or without the protected mode disabled. Perhaps the protected mode cannot be turned off in newer versions of Flash - or I did something wrong.


It does not seem to be tied to the video drivers:

host:
Name:  host.png
Views: 5
Size:  17.6 KB

vm:
Name:  vm.png
Views: 5
Size:  12.7 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Firefox "popunders"




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