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Windows 7: Firefox issues- sudden total PC freezing

20 May 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Firefox issues- sudden total PC freezing

I've been using Firefox for years without any problems- however, the past few days I've started having issues. My PC locked up totally a couple days ago, unresponsive, requiring I pull the power cord to shut down. CTRL+ALT+DEL did nothing, couldn't click anything, power button did not respond. After a reboot I went in and deactivated a few useless pluging(Windows activation which I no longer need, Silverlight which I think Windows Update installed, couple others). I'd also previously decreased the browser cache to 75 MB, and decided to increase it back up to 512. Shortly after that, restarting th browser, things got a bit sluggish with my PC but it cleared up so I assume Firefox was busy doing stuff.

Tonight it did this again upon starting Firefox, the only other open program was Notepad. Same thing, had to unplug just to reboot.

I want to use Firefox. I dislike IE and while I just installed Opera, it's not got as many features- NoScript is FF exclusive and the Opera equivalent isn't as nice. I found Java issues- namely, the MapleStory website doesn't properly work in Opera. However, I can't use it if it's going to lock up the computer.

I've all but ruled out malware. 99% certain I'm clean. Beyond running Adblock Plus and NoScript I've run scans with Malwarebytes, Microsoft Security Essentials, Spybot, SUPERAntiSpyware and tonight I checked with Ad Aware. Nothing. So unless I have some super malware that is dodging every detection attempt then I'm clean, and I've not seen any major funny signs or obvious symptoms(no Google redirects, no popups, no programs in task manager that shouldn't be there).

And the only recent change was a batch of "important" Windows 7 updates on the 15th, and my first lockup was on the 16th. Could these updates have done anything to compromise Firefox's stability?

I haven't updated Firefox in a while, since I saw no need. Could that somehow be causing this, or conflicting with Windows updates? I left a couple plugins going, but the fact it locked up on a fresh browser start makes me suspect it's not that. Likewise, I've seen suggested to use FF's browser reset, but I'm curious if that'll solve this.

Hardware issue... could I have a hard drive or CPU going bad? Doesn't seem like it since this seems like a Firefox issue but never know...

Could Spybot's immunizations of Firefox be at fault somehow? While I generally doubt it, I'll mention it regardless. I did update them recently, though before Windows Update ran on the 15th.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600

it could be an outdated add on, check for updates for your addons
if it is still playing up, try starting firefox with the addons disabled ,
you can do this by clicking the help tab and selecting "restart with addons disabled"

if everything is fine then its probably an addon, to eliminate which one, restart each addon one at a time so when it starts to freeze then you know which the last add on was that crashed the pc.

failing that try comodo ice dragon, you can use your firefox profile with it.

Comodo IceDragon Internet Browser, Secure Internet Browser
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Funny, I just had a similar freeze when I wasn't even running a browser. I only had Notepad open. It didn't totally freeze the PC to the point of requiring a manual restart, it did freeze it for a bit but then returned to normal. Was an almost total lock up- first Notepad froze, then the screen went black, and came back. But while I could move the mouse and click folders, the start menu wouldn't open, nor open task manager and CTR+ALT+DEL didn't react. After about 10 seconds my commands did work, and things returned to normal.

I dug into Event Viewer and found some things-

right at this recent freeze
Display driver igfx stopped responding and has successfully recovered.
seen this one a few times in the past few days which has me concerned
The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.
seen two like this, issue writing to browser cache
taskhost (1912) WebCacheLocal: A request to write to the file "C:\Users\Diosoth\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache\WebCacheV01.dat" at offset 3342336 (0x0000000000330000) for 32768 (0x00008000) bytes succeeded, but took an abnormally long time (263 seconds) to be serviced by the OS. In addition, 0 other I/O requests to this file have also taken an abnormally long time to be serviced since the last message regarding this problem was posted 137 seconds ago. This problem is likely due to faulty hardware. Please contact your hardware vendor for further assistance diagnosing the problem.
Strangely, nothing right before either manual shutdown, so either it didn't get to log it or... so what's the deal? Now I have this with no browser open. Software issue? Hard drive going bad?

Though I checked again and on both the 16th and 19th, when I had to manually power down both times, it was almost at the same time at night in each case... around 10:40 PM the 16th, 10:50 PM the 19th. Could a running program set to run then be the cause? I know MSE does nightly updates. Doesn't explain the almost freeze a bit ago though.

But could this also be an issue with a SATA cable that could have been jittered just a bit loose? My washing machine's been getting shaky recently, enough to jitter the house some and the PC isn't too far away from that location. I forgot to mention, I did laundry this morning, and took a short nap while I let some downloads run. When I got up and turned the monitor on, I saw a notice that I'd plugged a device into the audio jack. I run a 10' headphone extension cord from the audio jack to my keyboard shelf for my headphones, and assuming the washing machine shook enough, I guess it could've wriggled that connection just a bit to break it momentarily.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 May 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Well, great. Little after 6:30 this morning, the PC hang like it did an hour before, then BSOD crashed and restarted, it would not start and sat on a black screen with the access light going like mad. I shut down, restarted, it hung on the Windows loading screen. I shut down again, opened the case, switched SATA cables, and restarted. This time the startup repair option came up, I ran it, windows booted to a last known good configuration. That means Opera's install is wiped. I have no idea what's going on now. Maybe something is conflicting with my video drivers but I seem to have the latest drivers for this onboard integrated chip. Maybe that last major windows update broke something. If all else fails I have a second hard drive stored away, I could swap it and install fresh. I really want to know what's going on here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I used to have the same problem. Ever used another LiveCD or OS to boot up to see the problem? If you are hit by a super malware then it's ZeroAcess.It's super allright got hit by it. Not responding all the time in my system.

ZeroAccess botnet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

or search under Zeroaccess trojan rootkit virus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #6

Win 7 Pro x64, Win 10 Pro x64, Linux Light x86

Hi Diosoth

If you suspect malware google R-Kill (not sure if I can post the link as its at another forum) R-Kill will just stop any malware running then you need to run something like Malwarebytes to remove the malware - thats if it is malware, good luck :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I'm 99% certain it was old video drivers conflicting with Windows Update. I've updated to current drivers, updated Java, updated Firefox and all plugins and haven't had any issues so far today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I had the same problem after an update. I now use Palemoon and end of problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2013   #9

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Diosoth View Post
.....Now I have this with no browser open. Software issue?.......
Set the computer not to sleep and not to turn off the monitor or hard drive. Basically, set it to act as if you are sitting in front of it (even when you are not). You can turn off the monitor itself as that should not impact testing.

Leave it running as long as you wish (a day or two). You could even have Notepad open to simulate what happened when you got the video driver error.

Check the event logs and see if the same...
Display driver igfx stopped responding and has successfully recovered
...error happens during the time that you let it sit.

You can use the computer (as best you can) to do whatever you normally do; but the goal of leaving it on and driving those video buffers is to see if you can replicate the error above with any regularity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I don't have any of those features activated. If I'm away from the PC(I let downloads run when I sleep, but shut off if I'm out of the house) I shut the monitor off manually with the power button. I don't even run a screen saver because A) it was interfering with some games and video playback, and B) it's easier to shut the monitor off.

I haven't had any issues in 24 hours now. I previously said my graphics drivers had been up to date, but that was according to the built-in update checker in Windows. Intel's download center tool told me there was a new version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Firefox issues- sudden total PC freezing

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