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Upgrade FF Portable 24.0.0 to FF Portable 32.0.2 Problems

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Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 2013-11-18 15:58
Upgrade FF Portable 24.0.0 to FF Portable 32.0.2 Problems

Has anyone seen these issues in FF Portable 32.0.2 after an upgrade:

Upgrade process
Copy known working FFP 24.0.0 folder to a "\tmp" folder on a completely separate hard disk. Download FFP 32.0.2 via link to the "\tmp" folder. Run FFP 32.0.2 "exe" file. It finds the "copied FFP 24.0.0" folder and no errors were output. Run the "exe" for FFP 32.0.2 and FFP opens up after checking extensions; I only had to upgrade "Download Tweak something or other".

(1) FFP 32.0.2 page loads are "dead slow"

Some pages load so slow that I could walk to he corner for a pint and walk back before they finish. Ok, that's sensational to a degree, but waiting almost 60 seconds for a page to load, really? I can shutdown FFP 32.0.2 and load up FFP 24.0.0 (all in separate directories) and the same pages load very fast.

Another interesting note: I am entering this forum message using FFP 32.0.2. When I hit "preview", the FFP tab "sits & spins" for almost 30 seconds. I seriously doubt that is a forum issue, which means the issue is "local", but what is it?

(2) Opening the "Options" window in FFP 32.0.2 results in "nothingness"

Perhaps this is a new security feature in FF or maybe a return to existentialism, but when I open the "Options" window (Tools->Options) all I get is a blank window with 2 buttons in the usual place: "Ok" and "Cancel". That reminds me of the funny error message I used to read at the back of PC Magazine (print edition) many years ago.

Other Thoughts
I tried comparing contents of FFP folders to look for any differences. There were very few. I dumped all the minidump files; FFP 24.0.0 would crash on some web pages. No difference. I opened up "about:config" in both versions of FFP (not at the same time since FFP prevents that) and looked for the very few things that I change: IPv6 is disabled. "newtab" is disabled with "0" for rows & columns. Other than that, no other changes.

The only "heavy hitter" extension that I use is "adblock"; there are comments across the web about "adblock" being a memory hog.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated short of "defaulting" the FFP 32.0.2 install and starting with all defaults at default, basically wiping out my personalizations, add-ins, etc.

Is the only way to fix this issue to totally start from defaults and reinstall everything I use in FFP 1 add-in at a time and test after each change? The only way I have found to accomplish preservation of settings is to "work on a copy" and copy over the files with obvious differences.

I can even remember updating a "copy" of FFP 24.0.0 to a point release of FFP 24, seeing strange issues like this, and documenting them in a forum post.

Last seen: 6 days 23 hours ago
Joined: 2007-10-11 17:48
check proxy setting

check if you have incidently the proxy setting under extras, network.

In my case this was the culprit.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 2013-11-18 15:58
Thanks But...

it did not help.

The upgrade correctly carried over the proxy setting from my FF24 install which was/is "no proxy"

Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 2013-11-18 15:58
Conclusions - This Matter Is Now Closed...For Me

After spending many many hours messing about with different versions of FF after 24, including the ESR versions, I have come to the conclusion that they are all "dreck".

I have searched the "about:config" for differences. That is a very manual process as far as I can tell. I have not found anything "obvious".

It is downright embarrassing to watch a piece of software (FF post 24.0) spend seconds doing a DNS query for a local server that is 10 feet away using a DNS server that is also 10 feet away...and everything is on the same IP subnet (so no router hops).

By the way, network congestion is not a problem as there is only 1 user "on the wire" during these tests, me, and every other device on the same network can obtain responses to DNS queries "in the blink of an eye". If I use any app other that FF post 24.0 on my personal laptop, DNS resolution is almost instant. So DNS resolution for FF post 24.0 just plain sux.

It is downright embarrassing to watch a piece of software (FF post 24.0) spend seconds trying to render a webpage for a server that is 10 feet away, on the same subnet, and uses nothing more than very simple PERL-based CGI scripts that do not make any external calls to any other server. Any other device on the same network can render these pages quickly, even MSIE is fast. So simple page rendering in FF post 24.0 just plain sux for me.

FF 24.0 gets it all right for me. Everything about FF after 24.0 gets it all wrong. Go figure. And for the programmers out there, that's as close a "bi-sect" as I can provide without diving into code that I don't understand. So what changed in FF code? Would someone please tell me.

This is not a complaint on John Haller. John is a packager and a very good one at that given the wealth/variety of choices on his web site.

No, this complaint goes back to the FF authors themselves. When I have asked for help over there, they point me back over here; I wish I could find the case where they said it almost exactly that way. That is called a "blame game", and that's pretty lame for a piece of rather complex software that used to be stellar compared to it's competitors. What other competitor to FF has such a vibrant community of add-on creators? Most other browsers don't allow the amount of "flexibility" provided by the Mozilla add-ons community.

I would like to "stay current" with FF, but I am now finding that is quite impossible.

My computing setup is not really different from any other home user. A Windows 7 laptop for personal use. A Windows 7 laptop for work, but totally isolated from the house network via it's own layer 3 Internet router port (sharing the same DNS resolver & rules, but unable to access anything else inside the house...don't trust my employer that much). A bunch of Linux servers. I have a multi-port Linux-based Internet firewall/router that works well with anything I have tried. I have a separate Linux server that performs all DNS lookups (DNSMASQ) and provides a local web server. I block "nefarious & dubious" websites using DNSMASQ rules, but there is no way to monitor if any of those rules are "hit" by later versions of FF, and removing DNSMASQ (for me) breaks my DNS setup. DNSMASQ is pretty darn good software itself, so let's not blame it without providing any supporting facts.

All I can say is this. When I use FF 24.0 portable, all is well. When I use any version of FF after 24.0, FF performs badly, slowly, or sometimes not at all. I have tried upgrades on top of FF 24.0. I have tried completely new installs of FF versions after 24.0. It doesn't seem to matter if it's upgrade or new install, the performance of FF post 24.0 just plain sux for me.

Given those facts, ask yourself, what did I change if the only thing I am changing is FF itself?

A further bit of bi-sect. I have not upgraded Thunderbird since 24.0.1 due to similar DNS resolution issues. Sadly, Thunderbird looks "more monolithic" to me when it comes to setting options; there is nothing like FF "about:config" screen. So maybe that bit of info helps someone out there.

A final bit of bi-sect. I have run these tests outside my own network and not seen any differences. From Wi-Fi networks in numerous hotels across the US, to home networks at homes of friends, to the networks at multiple "work locations" (work laptop has Windows 7, but different AV software and different OS security rules than personal laptop), I see the same thing: dead slow DNS resolution and dead slow page rendering on any version of FF post 24.0.

Why others might have better success than I makes me wonder.

Ken Herbert
Ken Herbert's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 2010-05-25 18:19
I haven't read most of your last comment

(at work and don't have the time) so forgive me if you already tried this and I didn't see it, but have you tried a fresh install of a recent FireFox Portable (not an upgrade from an older version)?

There is the rare potential that new profile settings are added but older profiles don't have them, or older settings are no longer used but their presence causes a negative impact on Firefox.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 11 min ago
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Start Fresh

I'd encourage you to start fresh in terms of configuration. Likely, some of the old cruft from years of settings and extensions is sticking around and messing things up. No new installs have any of these sorts of issues. You can use one of the utilities to backup your bookmarks and passwords between installs. Or sync using Firefox Sync.

Same with Thunderbird, really. I did a fresh install of it about a year ago and it's works fine with a dozen mail accounts and 5.4GB of mail archives.

You should not be messing with about:config to try to improve performance unless some extension or previous tweak messed it up. Most of the time, about:config does more harm than good. That said, Thunderbird has the same settings. They're within Options - Advanced tab - click Config Editor.

After you backup your existing version, try this:

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

3D1T0R's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2006-12-29 23:48

Edit: I had to stop for a while and finish some other things while I was typing this, and apparently while I was away everything I was saying got said anyway Smile

For posterity however here's what I hadHave you tried a 'fresh' install (not an upgrade) just to see if Firefox (portable) 32.0.3 (or other v>24) exhibits this behaviour for you, even when all it's settings are at their default values?

Also it may interest you to know that Thunderbird does have an about:config page (almost identical to Firefox's), try this: Options > Advanced > General > Advanced Configuration > Config Editor…
IIRC older versions however did not have any built in access buttons like that. I used to use the extension "ThunderBrowse" to open a new tab and type in about:config manually (like in Firefox).

Edit: Actually I do have something else to add: You could also try starting Firefox in "Safe Mode" by holding Shift while it starts.


Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-07-28 22:05
one other thing to try

one other thing to try (if you haven't already)

I noticed you said that you copied FFP24 to "a completely separate hard disk" to upgrade to FFP32 and I think you are running it from a folder named "tmp"

I'd try moving FFP32 back to your usual hard disk and see if it is still slow.

And, just to be silly, try changing the folder name to something other than "tmp". It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that Windows and/or a security program (antivirus) treat(scan) files or programs running from a folder named Temp (or tmp?) differently and that program runs a lot slower.

ps: Do you have the Firebug addon installed? I just remembered there was a problem with the Firebug extension making Firefox go very slow.

Good luck

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