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Disk writing making firefox unusable

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ciaron
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Disk writing making firefox unusable

While Firefox is loaded, every so often it will write to the USB drive for a few seconds, this happens if I'm actively using firefox or its an inactive window. While it is writing to the drive, firefox is completed unresponsive and unsuable. Cache is disabled, there are no extensions or plugins installed.

Any ideas?

cheers,
Ciaron.

wsm23
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Flash Drive?

What kind of flash drive do you have?

Is it USB 2.0?

I just upgraded to a 1GB SanDisk CruzerMicro U3 and it is lightning fast. Faster than the 512MB GeekSquad U3 I bought in Jan. 10 times faster than the 128MB Lexar JumpDrive I bought last summer.

Seems to make a lot of difference what kind of drive you have.

Life is about the journey not the destination!

The Kazoo Spartan

Bruce Pascoe
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...

This used to happen to me on my iPod shuffle. The solution is to enable write caching on the drive.

1. open My Computer
2. right-click drive -> Properties
3. activate Hardware tab
4. find device name (e.g. "Apple iPod USB device"); double-click it
5. activate Policies tab
6. choose "Optimize for performance"

Now click OK to close the dialogs, and if Windows asks you to restart, ignore it: just pull the drive (use safe removal, please) and put it back in and you're good to go.

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fatcerberus@yahoo.com  [aim: fatcerberus]
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VinDSL
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...

I used to have the same problem[s]! My USB drive was getting so slow, running the current crop of apps (Portable Firefox) and services (such as Gmail), that it was almost unusable. The only reason I didn't give up on thumb drives in general, and PFF specifically, was because of shear stubbornness and tenacity...

The fix for me -- and I discovered this by accident -- was to install TrueCrypt on my thumb drive, and run it in "travel" mode. The difference was quite startling -- day n' night, if you'll pardon the tired cliche.

You see, when your thumb drive is encrypted with TrueCrypt, and you 'mount' it on a machine, you'll actually be running on a RAM drive (in memory), not on a physical drive. The net effect of all this is, suddenly you'll find your 'virtual thumb drive' is blazingly fast!

Really, I know this sounds unlikely, but give it a try! Made me a believer (again)!

Oh, BTW, if you do this, you can turn your cache back on, in Portable Firefox -- history, saved forms, passwords, and all the rest. With TrueCrypt installed, it won't negatively affect performance, e.g. speed, when you have all this stuff enabled! As a matter of fact, this will make PFF run faster than ever... Smile

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Bahamut
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Which works if you have

Which works if you have admin rights. No admin rights, no virtual drive mount.

Vintage!

VinDSL
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Re: Which works if you have

"Which works if you have admin rights. No admin rights, no virtual drive mount."

Have you had this problem -- where TrueCrypt failed to mount? I haven't...

As a fallback, in case I ever run across a computer where I don't have admin rights, I've only partitioned half the thumbdrive with TrueCrypt, The other half is a mirror image of the file system, encrypted with Remora Disk Guard, which doesn't require mounting.

It's the best of all possible worlds! Wink

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Bruce Pascoe
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Well gee, that's redundant. If you're going to encrypt everything with Remora as a fallback anyway, why not just use Remora exclusively? With your current solution, you have to maintain two separate copies of the same files, and if one pair of files is out of date, the older copy of that file becomes useless.

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fatcerberus@yahoo.com  [aim: fatcerberus]
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VinDSL
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***

"Well gee, that's redundant. If you're going to encrypt everything with Remora as a fallback anyway, why not just use Remora exclusively?"

Yes, redundant -- exactly!

The biggest complaint about TrueCrypt -- mostly from those that have never used it -- is it requires the mounting of a RAM drive on the machine you're using, which requires admin rights, so called. My experience has been, every machine gives you admin rights, but I'm sure there are machines out there, like public terminals in libraries, or whatever, that have been hardened.

So, that's the reason for the redundancy -- just in case...

TrueCrypt runs on a RAM drive, e.g. requires admin rights -- Remora doesn't!

Really, TrueCrypt makes PFF fly like the wind, but don't take my word for it. Try it! You'll like it!

"With your current solution, you have to maintain two separate copies of the same files, and if one pair of files is out of date, the older copy of that file becomes useless."

Heh! Batch files are wonderful things, arent they?

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VinDSL
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I just started thinking...

TrueCrypt really isn't designed for the non-technical person. I know PFF users are a cut above, but a little hand-holding is still in order, especially if you've never installed TC on a thumbdrive.

Here's a good tutorial: http://juand.ca/?page_id=3

'Step 4' is where you decide how much of your thumbdrive to devote to TrueCrypt. I use half the available space.

Anyway, this guide might save you some time, if you've never done it before... Wink

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Bruce Pascoe
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Personally, I have no need of encryption (nothing sensitive enough to be worth the trouble), so it doesn't bother me either way. Less to go wrong this way.

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fatcerberus@yahoo.com  [aim: fatcerberus]
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VinDSL
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Re: Personally, I have no need

Personally, I have no need of encryption (nothing sensitive enough to be worth the trouble), so it doesn't bother me either way. Less to go wrong this way.

I see... That's fine, and I understand!

The only reason I brought up encryption, in the context of this discussion, is because the OPER was complaining about slow writes making PFF unusable. I had the same problem[s] and TrueCrypt was the cure.

Put another way, in this particular application, the primary benefit of encrypting PFF with TC is an incredible increase in speed, even with all the browser options enabled. Encryption becomes an irrelevant side benefit. Murphy's Law, a tertiary concern... Smile

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Bruce Pascoe
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Murphy's Law

O'toole's commentary on Murphy's Law: Murphy was an optimist. :lol:

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fatcerberus@yahoo.com  [aim: fatcerberus]
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VinDSL
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Murphy was an optimist...

LoL! True, in many cases! Smile

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Bahamut
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If you use PFx on a drive

If you use PFx on a drive connected to a USB 1.1 or worse, things can be quite slow with certain events.
Events that cause slowdown:
new windows (not usually felt with small options windows, big slowdown with popups or opening a page in a new browser window, mild slowdown with large extension windows)
extension/theme installation/uninstallation (at startup afterwards)
chrome/compreg fixes (at startup)
downloads in firefox (firefox must handle the download and other requests at the same time, solution: use a download manager such as Portable Wackget)

With cache: make sure that you either have a large cache or a zero cache. A cache of say, 5MB, will result in constant rewrites (slowing Fx down). With zero cache, there are no writes (everything is in RAM); with a large cache, there are writes, but not many rewrites (unless you visit many different sites on a regualr basis).

Vintage!

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