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Problems with 58 on a network drive.

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rizole
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Problems with 58 on a network drive.

Hi All,

As I hotdesk a lot I've been running firefox portable from a network drive for years.
Since upgrading to version 58 I've been having problems I've not had previously.
Here's the problem behaviour:

  • It takes about 20 seconds to start up
  • Every time it starts I get an error with Restore Session. Firefox offers to restore my previous pages and tabs but doesn't do it automatically.
  • Even though I've signed into sync on the previous session, I'm no longer signed in on restart.
  • Most of the addons I have installed popup a tab thanking me for installing them - as if it's thier first run. (ublock edge doesn't).
  • It takes around a further 10 seconds for these to appear after firefox has started.
  • The window state is forgotten between runs. So if the bookmarks toolbar is set to be visible on one run, it disappears on the next.
  • When I exit, any running firefox processes take around 10 to 20s to stop executing.

It's like it's having problems reading and writing to a directory (profile?).
As I say, I don't have these problems with 57.0.4. I also don't get these problems running version 58 on a local PC/USB drive, only a network drive.

Any ideas greatfully recieved. Thanks.

rizole
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Just to follow up

No reply here and on the firefox support forum they say it's a portablefirefox issue. Personally I imaginge the difference between portable firefox 57 and portable firefox 58 is purely firefox. What could have changed in the portablization process to have caused this?

For reference, I upgraded to 59 today, no change in the problem behaviour. 57 still working fine.

I'm on the whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.

John T. Haller
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Unmodified Firefox

Firefox Portable contains two copies of Firefox that are completely unmodified, the 32-bit package and the 64-bit package. While running, it's the same as a locally installed Firefox, it's just run with the -profile command line switch and pointed to the location of your portable profile. I'd wager that Firefox 58 and up has issues with either running from a network drive, accessing a profile on a network drive, or both, which is what is causing your issue. You can determine which by copying Firefox Portable locally (just to your desktop directory is fine) and then doing both of these:

1. Run firefox.exe within FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox (or Firefox64 if you're on 64-bit Windows) on your network drive with the command line: -profile "C:\Users\YourUserName\Desktop\FirefoxPortable\Data\profile"

2. Run firefox.exe within FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox (or Firefox64 if you're on 64-bit Windows) on your Desktop with the command line: -profile "NetworkPathTo\FirefoxPortable\Data\profile"

Figure out which one is running slowly or if both are. You can also run the FirefoxPortable.exe you copied to your Desktop to confirm it is a network drive issue and not a PC issue.

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

rizole
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Profile

Thanks for that, very useful.

As well as your suggestions I also tried running a network copy with both a networked and local profile. The problem looks to be with a profile on a network drive.

Both local and network Firefox run fine with a local profile but demonstrate the problem behavior with a network profile. Firefox on a network drive but with local profile does run slower but no slower than Firefox 57 does.

I'll report this back to the Firefox Support Forum. Unfortunately our corporate environment doesn't allow using the command line, run, batch files, etc ( I had to spin up a VM to do the testing) so I'm not sure I can find a workaround for this at this point. Looks like I'm stuck at 57 for now.

Thanks again for the help.

I'm on the whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.

John T. Haller
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Map Drive Letter

Can you map a drive letter? It's often an issue with a given app not supporting UNC paths rather than an issue with an actual network drives. It could be worth asking IT about.

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

rizole
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No chance

That might work but I'm not asking for permission any time soon.
Running portable software on a network drive doesn't contravene the letter of the IT policy here but I don't want to draw attension to it in case someone decides it breaks the spirit of the policy, rewrites the policy and I lose the software that makes me productive.

Thanks for helping. You taught me something I didn't know.

I'm on the whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.

John T. Haller
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Copy Back and Forth

You could write a batch or ps script to copy your FirefoxPortable directory locally and then copy it back afterwards if your local profile is wiped on a regular basis. Or just copy local to network if you're doing it for backup purposes.

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

Gremlin
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I can confirm, that all

I can confirm, that all Firefox Portable versions up to 59.0.2 I am running right now have worked and in case of 59.0.2 still work flawlessly on a mapped network drive (Samba Server here). Four users here running Windows 10 and using Firefox Portable, Thunderbird Portable, LibreOffice Portable etc. In the past I have been running FirefoxPortable on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 , 8.1 and never had any problems.

Must be something else on your network. Maybe some new owner policy. Could you by chance check if all folders and files are owned by your user account or a part of them by some different account?

Maybe you could use an USB Stick if it is allowed and you can not solve the problem without an administrator

Cheers

Gremlin

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