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Firefox crashes all the time

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clue-less
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Firefox crashes all the time

Ok, maybe it should work this way, but I thought otherwise, especially since last release with improvements in stability.

I'm running Portable Firefox from USB-drive and it works alright. At the end of the day I would unplug USB-drive (app is still running) and go home. Next day, the app is still there, I plug drive back in and continue working.

Some time during that (next) day Firefox app crashes, even though drive is plugged in and everything is working fine. This happens pretty much every day and I'm not sure whether it's a problem or feature by design.

John T. Haller
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NEVER do that

NEVER unplug a device while an app is running off of it. It corrupts the profile.

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Bruce Pascoe
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...

You should never do this with any program, let alone Portable Firefox. The operating system keeps the executable file open (in Windows' case, a .exe file) as long as it's running, and you should never unplug a drive while files are open. You run the risk of not only corrupting PFF's profile, but the USB drive's file system as well. And if you corrupt the file system... well, be prepared to reformat the drive.

Edit: Bah. I'll never get used to these forums. I'm so used to BBcode with other message board software that I forget I have to use HTML here.

clue-less
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Thanks John and Bruce for

Thanks John and Bruce for your comments.
Will have to change how I do things then.

clue-less
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Doing it the right way, still crashes

Ok, I've changed how I'm doing things now. I do close the Firefox application and "safely remove hardware" before unplugging flash-drive.
However, Firefox just crashed on me few minutes ago.

Anyone knows what could be the issue? Are new patches/updates coming out?

wsm23
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Have you tried a clean copy?

Have you tried a clean copy of PFF?

May be corrupted because you pulled out the drive before it shut down?

Question for USB experts. Is it possible that the drive is damaged after repeatedly pulling it out?

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Bruce Pascoe
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Highly unlikely that the drive is physically damaged; however, the file system might have been corrupted, in which case it may be wise to reformat the drive (My Computer->right-click drive->Format) and start fresh.

clue-less
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Related question - what's

Related question - what's possible with USB flash-drives?
Besides physical damage to the media, what else can happen to them?
There are no moving parts or magnetic media, so range of damages should be rather limited. Is it also virus-immune in some way?

Bruce Pascoe
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Besides physical damage (i.e. dropping the drive, though they're pretty resilient since they're so light), the only other thing that can really happen to them is, well, normal wear and tear. After writing over the same area of the drive enough times--they're usually rated from 100,000 to 1,000,000 writes: quite a number--you won't be able to write to the drive anymore and it'll need to be replaced. That's one of the main reasons cache and history is disabled by default in Portable Firefox.

John T. Haller
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Logically, yeah

As Bruce said, not physically, but the logical file system on a USB flash drive can be corrupted pretty easily, especially if you pull it without safe ejecting under Windows 2000. USB flash drives use FAT, so there's no redudancy in the file system (unlike NTFS) so a little error can go a long way in seriously messing things up.

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Bruce Pascoe
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I usually...

I usually format my USB keys with NTFS for this reason (unfortunately I can't do it with my iPod shuffle since then it'll be useless as an mp3 player). Windows XP--and maybe 2000; never tried--won't let you format a removable drive as NTFS by default, but if you enable write-caching on the drive, it'll let you.

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