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Firefox 2.0.* Portable error on college computers

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koryo
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Firefox 2.0.* Portable error on college computers

Greeting Portableapps.com

I'm having a major problem with my Portable firefox, this has only started to happen recently and i am unsure of the exact nature of the problem

http://img238.imageshack.us/my.php?image=firefoxportableerrorny6.jpg

Any advice / ideas?

please note, i have not changed any files in the Firefox portable directory, and this error only seems to occur on the college computer system.

ZachHudock
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Can you provide a

Can you provide a description of the error? This forum doesn't support embedded images, and for those of us that still visit this site while we are at work, many of our employers block sites like imageshack.

The more info you provide in words, the easier it will be for us to assist you.

Welcome to PortableApps.com Smile

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

Tim Clark
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[ Alert ]

[ Alert ]

Could not initialize the browser's security component.
The most likely cause is problems with files in your
browser's profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk in not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the browser and fix the problem. If you continue to use this browser session, you might see incorrect browser behavior when accessing security features.

[ OK ]

FROM HIS IMAGE FILE

Tim
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Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

koryo
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Thats it

Sorry i haven't been able to post it myself, have just gotten back home.

Yes, that is the message i get whenever i attempt to start up my Firefox portable. The ICT Technician did at one point say about a newly installed keylogger on the system. Could this be affecting my Portable Firefox this badly?

Koryo

Bruce Pascoe
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...

"Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions..." says it all. You said you're running from a non-admin account and it's a college computer, so it's probably pretty locked down. Your account may not have write privileges for removable drives. There's not much you can do, if that's the case.

koryo
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Did i mention that this has

Did i mention that this has only just started happening recently?

and yes, according to the security settings on the drive letter i am the owner (along with the administrators) and i DO have read and write permissions!

like i wouldn't have checked that Blum

thanks for the idea tho ^_^

any more ideas?

Tim Clark
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Come now

"like i wouldn't have checked that Blum "

you've been here long enough to know that people often don't check the obvious things,

"Oh, I've never tested on a limited users account, should that matter???"
Wink

Tim
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Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

rab040ma
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Well, we have to ask.

Well, we have to ask.

Like -- is this a USB drive, or is this FFP installed on a fixed drive? Or maybe a network drive?

Is it formatted with NTFS?

Are you ever running on Windows Vista?

If the drive is removable (or a network drive) is one machine you run on Vista and another something else? Does it work on some machines (whether Vista or not)?

Are the files in the "profile" directory set with the same ACLs as the root -- that is, are you the owner and have full control? (only a really interesting question if it is NTFS -- it's possible the security permissions are not inherited exactly) You know where the profile is stored, right?

When you say "I am the owner" are you talking about your college network login i.d.? There aren't situations where you are logged on as, say, a local user or your roommate's login or something else like that?

It's weird that it only complains about the security component. Read/write access to those files shouldn't be that hard. Maybe there is something else going on, like FF trying to lock the memory to keep it from being paged off to disk? But lets stick to the file permissions for now.

If you can pinpoint the exact date when it happened, your campus IT support folks might happen to know of a change that took place around that time...

I suppose someone might suggest that you upgrade to the latest (2.0.0.14) to see if that helps, or go back to a previous version if you are already there.

If the problem persists, there is a way to have FFP run as if it were on read-only media (like a CDrom). That might provide a workaround.

MC

KickButts
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"Please check that this

"Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk in not full or close to full."

Still on the obvious questions department ;)...

Did you check your thumb drive free space? I'm not sure, but I believe FFP needs 10MB or so of free space to run.

Alive and kicking!
"If you were a robot, and I knew but you didn't, would you want me to tell you?"

koryo
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Ok

Right then

1) i am using this software on a 160GB Western Digital External Passport drive, USB 2.00 - i have more than enough room on it.

2) I will have to check the privileges at college, but can someone give me a "general" overview of what they should look like, just so i can compare them.

Thanks for taking the time to help

rab040ma
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NTFS

If your drive is formatted with NTFS (as opposed to FAT32) that could explain the errors you are seeing. In fact it is the primary thing you should be looking at (just not the only thing). Hence our asking you whether or not it is formatted with NTFS. Is it?

If the drive is formatted with NTFS, its primary security is tied to the machine on which it was formatted. The only way another machine would have access is if you are logged in on the other machine as a member of the Administrators group, or if the drive's security gave "Everyone" read/write access to the directory path in question.

Of course if the drive is FAT32, or the NTFS security is set to allow anyone on any machine to access it, we'd have to look to other potential causes. But until you let us know otherwise, my guess is that NTFS security is set to restrict access to that directory path on another machine.

The /NoSecurity parameter for Convert.exe leaves directories with the following security: Administrators, full control; Everyone, full control; System, full control. From a machine on which you have Administrator rights, you can right click on the root of the drive, choose properties, then Security, and make sure Everyone is listed (if not, add it); check off the "Full Control" box, then go to Advanced and check "replace permission on all child objects" before clicking on "Apply" or "Ok".

MC

koryo
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Yes

Yes the drive is Formatted with NTFS, i don't have it with my right at this second so am unable to check it, however i am getting it tonight so will check it when i get it back.

The only reason im using NTFS is because FAT32 can't store files larger than 4GB. Anyone know why that is?

cheers

Tim Clark
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When FAT32 was created the

When FAT32 was created the likelihood of 4gb file was zilch.
It was not created to deal with it.
That is one of the reason NTFS was created.

FAT32 does things FAT(16) can not do.
NTFS does things FAT32 can't do.
Someday NTFS will be replaced by something that NTFS can't do.
etc, etc, etc.

see:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/russel_october01.mspx
or
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q100108

Tim
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Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

koryo
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Strange

Ok, im at college now, il list down the permissions. The items listed are tickes, items not listed are not ticked!

Everyone - Read and Execture, List Folder Contents, Read, Write, Special Permissions

S-1-5-21-1085031214-842925246-682003330-1003 - Full Control, Modify, Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, Read, Write

SYSTEM - Full Control, Modify, Read and Execute, List folder Contents, Read, Write.

Bruce Pascoe
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...

Give Everyone Full Control and see what happens.

Jimbo
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make sure that you copy it

down to all the subfolders, too Smile

koryo
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Nope, im not able to change

Nope, im not able to change the list whilst im at college. Shall i change the list on my laptop when i get home? and if im not able to see "Everyone" should i add it and mark everything?

ZachHudock
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If you use it on your own

If you use it on your own laptop, it should work properly to begin with. The changes they are asking you to make are system-specific, not changes made in firefox

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

koryo
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but isn't the "Access

Ah... anything else i can do?

rab040ma
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I think I covered that in my

I think I covered that in my note above.

"Everyone" must have full control.

To make the change, you must be on a computer where you have Administrator rights, presumably a computer at your home or dorm. (It could be a friend's laptop or computer, as long as the friend has Admin rights and runs a recent version of Windows.) Or maybe your college IT support folks could do it for you.

That "S-1-5-21-1085031214-842925246-682003330-1003" is your identifier on the computer where you created the drive. The computer at college doesn't know anything about that identifier, so it ignores it. The only group you are in when you are at college is "Everyone", or at least that's the only group you are in with any permissions on the drive; but those don't allow write/delete (or changing the access control on the drive). Until you get somewhere where an Admin can give "Everyone" full access to everything on the drive (starting at the root), the college computer will not let you write to the drive.

You should be able to see the "Everyone" group from your laptop at home, but yes, if it is not there, add it and make sure "Full control" is checked. Just make sure the access control starts at the "root" of the drive (right-click on the drive letter in My Computer), and check the "Replace permission entries on all child objects" setting. (It's under "Advanced".)

I seem to recall there is a "simplified" security tab on some machines. If you can't find the real one (with the settings I describe), let us know and we'll figure that out. Or maybe the "simplified" tab will make it easier to turn off security (which is the same as giving the Everyone group full control). You can probably test it from your laptop by creating a normal (not Administrator) user (maybe called "test") and see if you can write to the drive with it.

MC

koryo
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Ok

Right this was strange...

as my normal user account on my laptop i can not see the Security tab (yes this account is an administrator), i had to boot into safe mode and log in as the actual administrator to change the permissions. I have now changed the permission entries on the root of the drive and made sure to check the "Replace permission entries on all child objects" box. I will test this tomorrow at college to see if this has had the desired effect.

Thank you all for your help, and i'm sorry if i insulted anyone with my "like i wouldn't check that" statement, it was meant in jest, and it seems it has been taken the wrong way. I apologies if i have made anyone upset with it Sad

Starcom
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Just copy then past your

Just copy then past another instance of your "Firefox Portable" folder to your USB drive.

koryo
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hmmm....

Ok, this was wierd. Yes it (giving everyone full control) did solve the problem but i suddenly couldn't access certain sub folders on by drive (INCLUDING COURSEWORK!)

so, i have now gone into Knoppix live, and copied the while drive over to a seperate FAT32 drive. This should have stripped all the security information away, and i have once again placed it onto the NTFS drive. Hopefully this should now solve both problems at once, as the security information should have been reset.

rab040ma
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Keep us posted

Let us know how it goes.

The question would be what access control settings prevented you from getting at your course work. To determine that, you probably need to analyze it on the laptop where you first formatted the drive. Of course the copying back and forth may have lost that information. Nevertheless, it is quite likely that it will happen again unless you figure out how to tame it.

The access control you set (including "replace permission entries on all child objects") should have taken care of the whole drive. So questions would be: did it somehow leave some old access control settings around, instead of removing them? Did you use the drive after that in such a way that your software changed the access control settings? Or what?

Using Knoppix Live does give you access to everything on the NTFS drive (it just ignores all the access control).

Did you copy it back with an Admin account or your personal (limited) account? Did you check the security (access control) settings at the root before you started copying, to make sure the files and folders you copied would inherit the right settings? Did you spot check things to make sure the settings were as expected?

MC

Jimbo
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if you're moving everything off and back on anyway

then the best (from a remove the security point of view) way to format the ntfs drive would be to format it as fat32, and then run convert with the /nosecurity flag.

That will set up the root folder ownership and permissions in the most permissive way possible, so as long as nothing ever messes with the ACLs, it should stay accessible from anywhere.

Let us know how it goes

consul
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what I'm wondering is ...

what are some common tasks that would have changed those permissions w/o his/her direct manual action?
Was it some university system change that say locked up certain usb ports on all the computers? A security software blackflagging the user and locking the files? What else?

Don't be an uberPr∅. They are stinky.

rab040ma
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First off, setting the ACL

First off, setting the ACL at the root and telling it to propagate to child objects might not work consistently. That would be one thing to check.

There are certain configurations of OS and software that, if you run them with Admin rights (e.g. on his home computer) change the ACLs on files. Then if he goes to a computer where he has limited (normal) access, the different ACLs might prevent him from accessing. It's not terribly intuitive, but also not uncommon. If that is what is going on, there's a tweak that can make his home computer (with the admin account) behave in a more civilized fashion.

There are other ways the ACLs on the files could change.

I suppose it is also possible something else is going on, like an Antivirus software that is preventing the files from being accessed. Sometimes that just appears as "access denied".

But that's all speculation, and it is not likely that we can come up with a solution without investigating. Since he changed things around since then, all the evidence is gone, so an investigation is moot. So all we are left with is speculation, and his report that certain files were not accessible.

Better just leave it as "a mystery" for now, unless it happens again and he wants to figure it out instead of erasing everything.

MC

koryo
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Ok, the process i used to

Ok, the process i used to fix the problem is below

Hardware Involved :

My Laptop
a 160GB USB 2.0 Western Digital Passport Drive - NTFS
a 320GB USB 2.0 Western Digital Passport Drive - FAT32

Software Involved :

Knoppix Live CD
QParted Parition Manager

Basically, i booted into Knoppix live, moved everything from the 160GB HDD to the 320GB HDD with the general knoppix file copy/cut/paste method, formatted the 160GB HDD with QParted to NTFS, then copied all the information back from the 320GB HDD, and because the information was being moved from a FAT32 partition, there was no security information being sent across.

What i can't understand is why my ACL fucked up in the first place. Even after giving Everyone full control and replacing all child entries from the root of the drive, it did not work. I guese it could be because i was making most of the changes on a limited computer account at college, but even when i tried doing it at home on the local administrator account, it didn't work.

Now i have just one other thing id like to know. I can't bring up the security tab on my device. When i select the root of the drive and click properties, i can not see the security tab there. Its not a major because its working where it needs to, but i would like to figure out why this is.

Bruce Pascoe
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XP?

If you're on XP Home, it won't show the Security tab. XP Pro, you need to disable simple file sharing in Folder Options. If you're on Vista and there's no security tab... well then that's really odd.

koryo
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Ok, that did it, but

XP Media Centre SP2

Ok, following Pro instructions did it, but EVERYONE does NOT have full control, it only has "Special Permissions" selected. For now il leave it with simple file sharing enabled, because i don't know what will happen if i disable it with the current ACL settings. shall i list them for you?

rab040ma
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If you can't bring up the

If you can't bring up the security tab, how did you change the access rights (you said that you gave "Everyone" full control and replaced it on all child objects -- but that's on the security tab, which you said you couldn't access ...)

If you get an error message on some files where you have an admin account (on an XP Pro machine, not home, home is purposely crippled to make it hard to do those things), it would be good to first do a CHKDSK /f on the drive, to make sure it isn't some sort of inconsistency in the file system. Then go to the folder or file where you have the problem, bring up the Security tab, and see what the permissions are. You can also get a utility (like xcalcs perhaps) that can report the permissions on certain files and folders, even if you can't get to the security tab (in some cases).

About the only way to confirm what is happening is to set up the access control on the whole drive on an XP pro machine where you have admin rights, after running chkdsk. Then take it to the other machines and use it until you run into a problem. Then take it back to the XP Pro machine where you have an admin account and see how things have changed. Are the Access Contols still the way you set them, or have they changed?

If you can access some files (e.g. the Firefox profile) but not others (e.g. your college coursework) then there has to be some difference between the access control between the two locations on the disk, or a difference in how you are accessing the files, or something else going on (like errors in the storage system, antivirus interfering with access, some other program running with admin rights changing the access when you were on a different machine, etc).

If what you are doing is permitted at your college, you might be able to get someone on their tech staff to assist you.

MC

koryo
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[QUOTE]If you can't bring up

[QUOTE]If you can't bring up the security tab, how did you change the access rights (you said that you gave "Everyone" full control and replaced it on all child objects -- but that's on the security tab, which you said you couldn't access ...) [/QUOTE]

This was before i used knoppix to recover my files after having a major problem. If you read back a bit you will see i had to get my files back and reformat my drive.

[QUOTE] If you get an error message on some files where you have an admin account (on an XP Pro machine, not home, home is purposely crippled to make it hard to do those things), it would be good to first do a CHKDSK /f on the drive, to make sure it isn't some sort of inconsistency in the file system. Then go to the folder or file where you have the problem, bring up the Security tab, and see what the permissions are. You can also get a utility (like xcalcs perhaps) that can report the permissions on certain files and folders, even if you can't get to the security tab (in some cases). [/QUOTE]

right, il do the CHKDSK /f when i get home tonight and report back the results for you.

[QUOTE] About the only way to confirm what is happening is to set up the access control on the whole drive on an XP pro machine where you have admin rights, after running chkdsk. Then take it to the other machines and use it until you run into a problem. Then take it back to the XP Pro machine where you have an admin account and see how things have changed. Are the Access Contols still the way you set them, or have they changed? [/QUOTE]

if you read back you will see that i have moved all the files to a FAT32 drive and back, which (i believe has) stripped the ACL data from the files, as there is no security permissions on FAT32 drives.

[QUOTE] If you can access some files (e.g. the Firefox profile) but not others (e.g. your college coursework) then there has to be some difference between the access control between the two locations on the disk, or a difference in how you are accessing the files, or something else going on (like errors in the storage system, antivirus interfering with access, some other program running with admin rights changing the access when you were on a different machine, etc). [/QUOTE]

Because i have stripped the ACL information from the files and folders, i can use the drive as normal now aside from one problem. I can access and use any files i want on the drive, but i can not save to the root of the drive, more than likely because the ACL has not changed when formatted (which is strange as i thought they would reset, but it appears not to have done so.), i can not access the security tab so am unable to check this.

[QUOTE] If what you are doing is permitted at your college, you might be able to get someone on their tech staff to assist you. [/QUOTE]

If i am unable to resolve it myself here, then i will ask them for help, however at the moment because it is exam time they are very busy, and i would rather not disrupt them. The drive is at the moment usable, but not being able to save to the root is a tad problematic. I can't access the security tab so i am unable to check if my theory on the ACL not being reset is correct or not, but under the current situation it seems logical. I will (after doing the CHKDSK /F) login as the local administrator account and try accessing the security tab that way.

sorry for the long delay, i have been a bit busy with exams myself, and for now its not a serious problem as i can use the drive. Thanks for all the support, i will report back later with the results.

============================
RESULTS OF CHECK DISK BELOW!
============================

C:\Documents and Settings\Koryo>chkdsk h: /F
The type of the file system is NTFS.

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
process. Chkdsk may run if this volume is dismounted first.
ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.
Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N) y
Volume dismounted. All opened handles to this volume are now invalid.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
Index verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
Security descriptor verification completed.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
Windows has made corrections to the file system.

156288320 KB total disk space.
47203416 KB in 112878 files.
21724 KB in 5365 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
214372 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
108848808 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
39072080 total allocation units on disk.
27212202 allocation units available on disk.

rab040ma
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Thanks

Thanks for clarifying.

When copying to FAT32 and back to NTFS, a file does get ACL properties, since that is how NTFS works (the ACL's are the "defaults" associated with the "child objects" settings in the parent folder, or the parent of the parent, etc). If the ACL's that are present now allow you to work, that's great. But don't think that there aren't any. They are there, they just work the way you want.

You should have been able to accomplish the same thing with Explorer, using Administrative privileges, but, as you learned, it is not necessarily as easy to do it as to say it.

I thought I understood you to say that you had trouble accessing coursework on the drive after the above procedure. Sorry for misunderstanding.

The "root" of a drive is where the default ACL's for a drive can be set, so giving someone access to the root in some cases makes it easier for them to change the ACL's on the rest of the drive in ways that aren't helpful to you as the owner of the drive (and also to make changes that you don't necessarily want made to any autorun.inf or other files in the root). That is one reason that root access is starting to become harder on more and more machines. I would not worry about access to the root of the drive, but rather (on your Admin machine) get the root set up in the most flexible way possible and then let it stay inaccessible. If you can store/change/delete files in subdirectories, and make child subdirectories in those subdirectories, that should be enough. If you normally make lots of directories in the root of your drive, or make and change lots of files there, you might want to organize your drive somewhat differently so as to leave the root as static as possible.

MC

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