Subscriber Tom wrote to ask about problems after he upgraded his Firefox web browser:
Since upgrading to Firefox 3.5.7 (or it appears to have happened then because I cannot remember anything else I did ) I have been experiencing a problem. After using it for a while and usually with 3 or more tabs open Firefox appears to stall. I may click on a link and then wait and wait and wait…… If I am patient enough my link will connect. While in this state any other links I click on other tabs seem to also be stalled. Suddenly all the links will go through.
We are not talking seconds of delay, sometimes over 5 minutes.
If I run Microsoft Sysinternals Process Explorer during one of these events, Firefox appears to be running normally, except it isn’t drawing much resources. None of the resources like memory or I/O appear to be taxed above normal. It appears to be just “idling along” like I have not made any requests to find new pages. Suddenly it will burst into activity. That is when all the stalled pages are suddenly updated.
I am scratching my head as to what is causing this frustrating condition. I thought it might be just the web but I have run I.E.8 in parallel and it updates normally. My conclusion is the problem is with Firefox. If I shutdown/restart Firefox I am good to go for awhile.
One site that I avoid right now is igoogle as it appeared to initiate the problem. But, that may not be true since I still have the problem (though not as much) since I stopped having my igoogle page up constantly.
I am not a fan of I.E. I would really like to resolve this Firefox issue. My search of the web has not turned up anything that seems to match my experience.
Waiting for the new Firefox 3.6,
OS: Vista SP3 64
System: Acer Aspire 6930
I wrote back to Tom to tell him that that I’m not having this problem and had not seen it. But, I had some suggestions for things to try:
- it may be "garbage cleanup" — either Firefox’s or Windows’ routines. Basically, this is where a program or the operating system defragments the memory to get all the unused memory together. Memory fragmentation is just like disk fragmentation, and results from temporary memory assignments and that was memory assigned to programs that you have subsequently closed. It gets cleaned up when you reboot, but sometimes Windows just stops doing anything else until it cleans up the memory space.
- reboot occasionally. That solves a world of Windows problems.
- reboot. But, don’t start doing anything. Wait. Then, when windows completes startup — as in the hard drive light goes out and stays out — reboot again. This gives Windows a chance to remember the "clean" system.
If the problem is memory fragmentation, one relatively easy fix is to add additional memory, if your computer can handle more. You can check the memory specifications and available memory using the online Crucial Memory Advisor™ or downloadable Crucial System Scanner tools from Crucial Technology