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Portable Firefox did not survive upgrade to 42

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Jerome_C
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Portable Firefox did not survive upgrade to 42

Hi

I've been using FF portable for quite a long time : I use it on a PC used at the office where installing any application is blocked (setup requires admin rights).

FF has been upgrading automatically quite fine over the time, ie the integrated upgrade function (from the "about" window) is not blocked.

So did it upgrade to FF 42, but then things went bad.

When I launch FF portable now, I can see the memory usage of firefox.exe becomes crazy, up to 3 GB of memory in 30 seconds, and then it crashes, always. I have the crash report window that opens, I can report to mozilla... cool...

If I run directly firefox.exe (C:\Local\FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\firefox.exe) it runs fine, but with a default profile (C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles) which is almost empty, almost no extension, no favs, etc.

If I run firefox.exe with -profilemanager option, I see only that default profile.

My portable profile is under C:\Local\FirefoxPortable\Data\profile\ and if full of directories (many of them correspond to the names of the many extensions I was using) but I can't use it without the portable app.

I have reinstalled FF42 portable completely by downloading the version from portablapps.com but it doesn't fix it.

Thanks for your help.

John T. Haller
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Extension

In situations like this it's nearly always an incompatible extension. Start in safe mode, disable everything, then enable one at a time to find the culprit. It's more likely to be one not from the official addons site.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Jerome_C
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Problem : when in safe mode,

Problem : when in safe mode, ie running Firefox.exe -safe-mode, I see none of my extension since it's not using portable profile but the default profile I mention above.

Or can I run Firefox portable in safe mode and reading the portable profile? How?

Thanks

Gord Caswell
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FirefoxPortable.exe from commandline

When using Firefox Portable, you should always run FirefoxPortable.exe, never firefox.exe directly.

To run it in safe mode, run "X:\PortableApps\FirefoxPortable\FirefoxPortable.exe -safe-mode" from the commandline

Jerome_C
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Oh OK, I didn't know that

Oh OK, I didn't know that ffportable does accept the same options.

I'll try this at the office tomorrow.

Thanks

Jerome_C
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It didn't work :/

It didn't work :/

I ran "C:\Local\FirefoxPortable\FirefoxPortable.exe -safe-mode" and the same happened : firefoxporable did start the firefox.exe process in memory, which started to use a huge amount of RAM, and then after some time it crashed (crash report window opening), and firefoxporable closed.

John T. Haller
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Plugins

Any misbehaving plugins on the system like one of the poor antivirus apps that attempts to make browsing "safe". Firefox Portable still uses local plugins which can impact usage.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Jerome_C
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Weird thing is that I have

Weird thing is that I have not installed any new extension recently, they were all working fine in previous versions of FF.

And I don't use "poor antivirus app" (you mean extension ?)

I did a dir /s > file.txt so you can have a look of what's in my profile, but all file sharing sites are blocked here at the office, I'll do this from home.

John T. Haller
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Local Antivirus

I mean local antivirus apps that will automatically install an extension or plugin into Firefox that can interfere with operation. The typical situation is that they work fine for a specific version of Firefox but aren't updated regularly and then break even though they tell Firefox they work with the new version.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Jerome_C
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Ok I don't think it is the

Ok I don't think it is the case, but since I can't open FF to see the extension page, hard to tell now.

Here is a link to the file with full directory of the portable profile :

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzm0hJw5avRKYUpnMDBCb3NRb1E/view?usp=sh...

I hope this can give you any idea.

If not I guess this is over then... no more FF !
(or I suppose "delete the portable profile and start again from scratch...")

John T. Haller
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Synced? Backups?

You can always download an older version from our servers here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/portableapps/files/Mozilla%20Firefox%2C...

I don't recommend using them online, of course, due to security vulnerabilities. But it may at least help you sort out what your issue is.

Do you have any backups? There could be corruption issues as well. On that note, be sure to scan the drive its on for errors.

Have you synced to Firefox Sync? If so, your bookmarks, passwords, etc are all in the cloud and can be synced down to a new install. If you haven't done this, you can always restore to an earlier version of Firefox (as mentioned above in this comment) and then sync up with that version.

You can also manually delete extensions if that is the issue and safe mode isn't helping. As well as delete your prefs.js file to reset your settings without affecting your bookmarks, passwords, cookies, etc.

From looking at your dir.txt, this is a years-old Firefox profile so it could have some corruption within it. The issue is not exclusive to the portable version and is more likely if you use a lot of extensions. Particularly non-reviewed ones from third party sites. Working out where the corrupt bits are is always annoying and can be very manual and complicated.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Jerome_C
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What a most excellent idea !!

What a most excellent idea !! I did downgrade to 41.0.2 and it's working fine ! (I'm now writing from there)

That's cool, I can now see that I am already connected with my account to mozilla inside FF (I had forgotten that ! I thought I was only doing this only from home) so maybe I'll try to resynch from v42, but still I'm surprised because I *know* I don't have the same extensions at home / at the office, which s a choice, I'm home I have a Mac and at the office a PC and I only need some of the extension because of specific "environment related" needs. So I'm not sure how it is dealing with both configurations / machines, because I never had an issue with a "Mac extension" suddenly popping up in the PC or the opposite.

I'll try to investigate later, for the moment I'm happy again and can use my beloved FF (which I greatly prefer to Chrome Wink ) and I have deactivated auto update for the moment.

Thanks a lot again !!

edit : I had a quick look to FF sync options and it seems it is "account + machine" related, so it actually stores in the account only for *that* machine... (but I've seen some favs made into my home machine showing up in my office machine, so still I'm not 100% sure on how it works) so trying to import them into FF42 could be worth a try, but not now, yet.

Grantwhy
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use Shift key to start Firefox Portable in safe mode

hi, I'm probably to late with this info but you can launch Firefox & Firefox Portable into safe mode by holding down a Shift key and then starting FF & FFP.

I do believe with Firefox Portable you do need to hold down the Shift key for a few seconds longer than with a local install, but it does work (well, it has worked for me in the past).

Jerome_C
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I had tried this but it didn

I had tried this but it didn't work.

I have not tried anything yet regarding importing (trying to) stuff into v42 through mozilla account.

IT security dept of the (client) company I'm working in has contacted me about "why have you download FF portable app" ? (*)

So I explained, telling them if they want me to stop using it, that they upgrade the old v30 that is already installed on the machine...

(*) first time I ever get such a question, it's not the first time I install a portable app on the machine - since I don't want to use it on a USB key, cause I don't always have it with me, I use it for other purpose + perf is shitty if you run all from USB key

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