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[Fixed] Firefox Portable 92 "is already running, but is not responding." AllowMultipleInstances + Passing Files In

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gaveitatry
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[Fixed] Firefox Portable 92 "is already running, but is not responding." AllowMultipleInstances + Passing Files In

[Mod JTH: Test fix below: https://portableapps.com/comment/247766#comment-247766 ]

I updated to 92.0 today, using the Portable Apps application. When the Firefox Portable browser is running, if I click on the Howard E-mail Notifier from my system tray it is supposed to open up Yahoo! Mail in a new tab. But instead I get the "Firefox is already running" popup window which wants me to close Firefox Portable before it opens up a new instance with the Yahoo Mail tab. I re-registered Firefox Portable and I recreated the Pin to Taskbar shortcut. I also checked to see if AllowMultipleInstances was set to true, just in case. What is there left to try? This version of Firefox Portable is not behaving as it should. The only thing that I haven't tried yet is restarting my computer. I will try that later.

gaveitatry
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I saw that you deleted my

I saw that you deleted my post earlier from like 15 hours ago.

I was wondering if...

1.) You deny that there is any such problem with Mozilla Firefox.
2.) You are aware of the problem and are working on a fix.
3.) You are too busy right now to even investigate whether you can reproduce the problem or not, but you will look into it eventually.
4.) It is out of your hands. You know the problem exists, but you are simply incapable of fixing it.

I know it can be really hard to type five words sometimes, but if you can please try. Thanks.

John T. Haller
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Uh... Bumps

I deleted the random comment as it was just an at symbol and my name. You can't at people within Drupal (the CMS this website uses), so it appeared to just be a bump, which is not allowed here.

The quick test for passing files/urls is to do a fresh install of Firefox Portable to a folder on your desktop with no other Firefox instances running. Start it up. Then drag the help.html onto the FirefoxPortable.exe. If the help.html opens up in the third tab (Firefox starts with two on first run), then it's working as expected in a test I just did on Windows 10 64-bit latest build. If it's not working on your other install, it's an issue with either the configuration or with the way it is registered with the OS. Ensure it is passing directly to FirefoxPortable.exe. If it passes to firefox.exe, it will fail due to changes Mozilla made in default profile handling a while back.

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

gaveitatry
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This is so exhausting. I'm

This is so exhausting. I'm always having to do fresh installs even though I am not doing or changing anything on my end. I just use the Portable Apps application to update the browser. Most updates work just fine. The previous updates worked just fine. This one didn't. I don't even have the non-Portable, full version of Mozilla FIrefox. I just have the portable version. But okay. I'll reinstall it tomorrow. Another thing is that this problem occurred on both of my laptops.

John T. Haller
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Test Yours

Test your install using the same method I showed. Run it then pass help.html while it's running. It'll help you figure out if it's your ffp setup or however you associated it.

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

gaveitatry
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Well, I did a fresh install

Well, I did a fresh install on one of my laptops. It took a while, because not only did I have to copy my old profile over but I had to copy my settings file and reinstall Companion App for VideoDownloadHelper (and that Companion App installer doesn't let you choose where to install the app). The fresh install works. But every five or so updates, I will have to do a fresh install again. Because for certain updates, maybe the most important biggest milestone ones (like this one was 92.0 instead of 91.x), I will run into this problem again. And it's no fun having to reinstall the portable browser over and over again.

John T. Haller
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Test

I hadn't asked you to reinstall yours. I said to try a fresh install to your Desktop directory to see that passing while running works on the current version on your machine. Then I asked you to test your existing install using the start Firefox Portable then drop help.html onto FirefoxPortable.exe method. This helps to troubleshoot if the issue is with your configuration of Firefox Portable, with Firefox itself, with Windows itself, or with your association of Firefox Portable to Windows.

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

gaveitatry
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Well, it WAS working. The

Well, it WAS working. The fresh install, I mean. And now it's not. Maybe something went wrong. Like maybe from opening the old installation or something. So now I have to troubleshoot. Wasting more hours of my day. Because this program doesn't like the user.

gaveitatry
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I hadn't asked you to

Well, I was doing things my way. Because you were acting like you already tested the newest Firefox Portable on your computer and had no problems on your end. So I figured just reinstalling the application to my desired location and restoring my settings would do the trick. But it didn't. I reinstalled it three times, and each time it would not work. So I'm attempting your badly written, confusing instructions. I think that the first thing you want me to do is do a fresh install of Firefox Portable to my Desktop. Okie dokie, let me try that. Guess that means I need an additional PortableApps application on my desktop too. Oh joy. I'm just going to copy my existing PortableApps folder (that does not contain Firefox Portable because I cut that from the folder and placed it on another drive as a backup) from "C:\Programs\Portable Apps" and then install the new Firefox Portable into that folder. Because I can't be bothered to redownload PortableApps when I don't even have a working browser at the moment. Okay, a fresh installation has been installed at "C:\Users\Brian\Desktop\Portable Apps\PortableApps\FirefoxPortable". I am starting Firefox Portable using the exe from inside the folder. Two tabs opened. I will now drag the help.html onto the FirefoxPortable.exe. It opened a new tab. Great. Now let's see what other confusing instruction you have. "Test your existing install using the start Firefox Portable then drop help.html onto FirefoxPortable.exe method." Well, I don't have an existing install at the moment. Let me do a fresh install to my desired location, but let me delete this Desktop install first. Okay, Desktop install deleted. Installing fresh version to desired location. Okay, fresh installation at my desired location of "C:\Programs\Portable Apps\PortableApps\FirefoxPortable". I will not restore my profile or settings yet. I opened up FirefoxPortable.exe and it opened two tabs. Now I will drag help.html onto FirefoxPortable.exe. It opened up a third tab. Cool. Closing the browser now. I am going to copy my profile from the Data folder of my backup into the Data folder of this newest installation. Normally I copy the settings folder from Data too, but I'll skip that step. I am copying and replacing only the profile folder in Data. Okay, opening FirefoxPortable.exe. It has my home page and my pinned tab, like before. Now I'm dragging help.html onto FirefoxPortable.exe. It worked. Cool. Okay, this is where I am stuck. I need to do install the Companion App to VideoDownloadHelper, but the installer won't let me choose a location to install it. It kept trying to install it to my USB drive (G:), but I unplugged the the USB Drive (G:). And after unplugging it, it won't install because that drive is no longer available and it won't prompt me to install it anywhere else. So I will attempt to do it by copying net.downloadhelper.coapp from the backup copy into my new install. That's the Companion App that I want. Okay, I double clicked on FirefoxPortable.exe. It opened up my homepage and pinned tab, like before. Dragging help.html onto FirefoxPortable.exe. It opened up a new tab, good. Going to see if Video DownloadHelper detects Companion App. It does not detect it. I am going to download the Companion App installer directly into the new installation of FirefoxPortable folder. Double clicking VdhCoAppSetup-1.6.3 from the FirefoxPortable folder. Once again "The drive or UNC share you selected dows not exit or is not accessible. Please select another." I looked in the RegEdit and saw some Companion App files I could delete, so I deleted them. That didn't work. So I have no choice but to plug in my USB Drive (G:) and let the Companion App be installed to it, although I don't want it to be installed there. I double clicked the FirefoxPortable.exe. I double clicked VdhCoAppSetup-1.6.3.exe. It installed to my USB Drive (G:) even though I didn't want it to. The VideoDownloadHelper is showing that the Companion App is installed now. Restarting Firefox Portable. Dragging help.html to FirefoxPortable.exe. It worked. It opened up a new tab. I am going to see what happens if I import Companion App settings from a vdh-settings.json file. Restarting Firefox Portable. Dragging help.html onto exe. Still works. Let's see what happens if I copy the FirefoxPortable.ini from my old install to the new install. Restarting Firefox Portable. Dragging help.html onto exe. That broke it. Closing Firefox Portable. Deleting the ini file. Restarting FirefoxPortable. Dragging help.html onto FirefoxPortable.exe. Works again. For some reason, the old FirefoxPortable.ini broke the installation. Now I have to figure out how to remove the splash screen and make multipleinstances=True. I can't find any FirefoxPortable.ini in the new install. I searched for a ReadMe, and found a couple. One of which discussed FirefoxPortable.ini. It said to copy some information and put it into an ini file in the same directory as FirefoxPortable.exe. I'm going to do that right now. Okay, ini file created. I'm going to change two things - DisabledSplashScreen and AllowMultipleInstances to True.

This is my ini file that I created in same directory as FirefoxPortable.exe

[FirefoxPortable]
FirefoxDirectory=App\firefox
ProfileDirectory=Data\profile
SettingsDirectory=Data\settings
PluginsDirectory=Data\plugins
FirefoxExecutable=firefox.exe
AdditionalParameters=
LocalHomepage=
WaitForFirefox=false
DisableSplashScreen=true
AllowMultipleInstances=true
DisableIntelligentStart=false
SkipCompregFix=false
RunLocally=false
AlwaysUse32Bit=false

Restarting Firefox Portable. Dragging help.html onto exe. Broken. Deleting ini. Restarting Firefox Portable. Dragging help.html on exe. Works again. Conclusion. You broke something and now the ini file is causing the application to not work. So I can only use this program without the ini file. But I would like to disable the splash screen and allow multiple instances. So hopefully you can apply a fix soon. Thanks.

John T. Haller
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Desktop, Didn't See AllowMultiple, Test Build To Fix

Temporarily installing to your desktop means running the installer, selecting your Desktop directory, and then having FirefoxPortable on your desktop and testing that. That's all. And it works without issue.

It looks like Mozilla changed Firefox's profile again. I have to use a hacky way to see if the correct profile is being used since parent.lock is not longer used as documented and was using webappsstore.sqlite-wal. In the new Firefox, it looks like this file is no longer created while running. Allow multiple instances with being able to pass in files is weird and has to be handled in an oddball way that's changed twice in the last year. It's barely used by anyone, so the effort to support it isn't really worth it. Try this test launcher that will use places.sqlite-wal instead: https://portableapps.com/downloads/temp/FirefoxPortableFix-2021-09-09.zip

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

gaveitatry
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Hey sorry for always being

Hey sorry for always being rude and annoyed and taking out my frustrations on you.

"Allow multiple instances with being able to pass in files is weird and has to be handled in an oddball way that's changed twice in the last year. It's barely used by anyone, so the effort to support it isn't really worth it."

I think what you are saying is that you don't really want to support multiple instances anymore because it's so hard to implement with the many changes and hacks and because you feel like people don't really use it? The me from six months ago might have been disappointed because I was using the portable Firefox and the non-portable version of Firefox at the same time on one of my laptops. But not anymore. I found an app version of a website that I liked and now I just use the Firefox Portable for everything.

So when you say you want me to test places.sqlite-wal, I am thinking you want me to test it IF I want the multiple instances thing. But since I might not need multiple instances, maybe we can put a pause or hold on that for a second.

Is there a way to disable the splash screen without using the test places.sqlite-wal? If so, please let me know how as that might be all that I need right now. I'm kinda preoccupied with a four day thing, so I'm trying to save me some time.

John T. Haller
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Swap the launcher in

The download I gave you is an updated and recompiled launcher to handle the newer profile that Firefox is using in (I think) 92+. You open the zip file and copy the FirefoxPortable.exe out and copy it over your existing one in your FirefoxPortable directory. I tested it out with both AllowMultipleInstances and DisableSplashScreen set to true and it was working as expected. You should be able to drop it in and go about your business until I release an update. If it works for you as it does for me, this'll be the launcher used in the next releases.

If you use the PA.c Platform, open Options and head to the Advanced tab. There's an option to disable all splash screens in all our apps. Some apps don't support it (GIMP, LibreOffice, and Scribus, for instance, have a splash screen built into the app itself).

I included the mention of the sqlite wal files as that's the hacky way I have to detect if the Firefox.exe that's running is using a given profile. That way I know to also pass in -new-instance on the command line in addition to the profile and URL. Otherwise you get the error you see. You're supposed to be able to just look for the parent.lock file in the profile directory and know it's in use, but that broke maybe a year ago, so I had to come up with another way to do it. As a user, you can safely ignore all of this and just use and enjoy.

And apology accepted. Being frustrated is rough, especially when it interrupts your workflow. And if you have ADHD like I do, it compounds it.

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

gaveitatry
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"If it works for you as it

"If it works for you as it does for me, this'll be the launcher used in the next releases."

Oh okay. I was worried that you were trying to give me a test version that only I would use and everyone else would be using a different launcher. It makes me feel better knowing that this test version is a version you want everyone to have and use. I did as you said. I replaced the FirefoxPortable.exe. I didn't copy over the FirefoxPortableU.nsi though. I left that alone. But it seems to be working.

"If you use the PA.c Platform, open Options and head to the Advanced tab. There's an option to disable all splash screens in all our apps."

Oh, yeah. I am using PortableApps. So I'll look for that setting. That will come in handy. Thank you.

John T. Haller
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Ongoing Use, Welcome

It'll be for ongoing use. I've updated my build/test protocols for Firefox Portable to check for profile changes that may impact the file passing setup when multiple instances is enabled. This should hopefully allow me to catch changes and adjust before new releases.

You're welcome on the platform tip.

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

Scaenicus
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Tested the test build

Thank you two for working on a new version of the Launcher.

I want to confirm that...
https://portableapps.com/downloads/temp/FirefoxPortableFix-2021-09-09.zip
...works for opening files / links when Firefox is already running:
+ [x] Dragging files onto FirefoxPortable.exe
+ [x] Using FirefoxPortable.exe as default browser(*) and clicking on a link.

I have not reinstalled anything, just replaced the recently updated FirefoxPortable.exe with the file from the archive.

(* Yes I know, let's not discuss it here Biggrin )

falcon.mk2
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Thank you! This fix is

Thank you! This fix is working as expected

John T. Haller
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Fixed in Firefox Portable 92.0.1

This is fixed in Firefox Portable 92.0.1 using the same launcher referenced above. It will be rolled out to other channels as they update. If you need it on Beta, etc, you can grab the launcher from Stable and use that.

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

dwaynek
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THANK YOU JOHN!!!

I personally use multiple instances A LOT so i'm thankful this was fixed.

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