Subscriber Valerie wrote to ask about a problem she was having while web browsing:
Hi Terry: Could you give me any tips on how to speed up Firefox 3.0.4. When I’m on Facebook or ordering my groceries online, it constantly stalls and I have to either "reload" the page, or switch it IE (which I can’t stand). Thanx
I wrote back to Valerie to suggest a couple possible sources for her problems.
It sounds like there is something on the web page that is trying to run a script or, perhaps, something else that you’re blocking with a firewall or other program.
Another source of these kinds of problems is usually available on the Internet as a list of "host file" additions that are designed to block malware sites. The host file is usually found in the C:\windows\system32\etc\drivers folder.
Unfortunately, some of the people who contribute to these lists seem to think that advertising belongs in the list too. The host file entries tell Windows to look on your computer for the response (they point to 127.0.0.1, also known as localhost). The web browser will wait until the TCP connection times out. This same effect might come from a Firefox add-on designed to block advertising.
The same issue happens is your browser is blocking a script on the web site from running — maybe via an add-on like NoScript — the web site could be is waiting for a script to run, but you might be blocking it from running.
One of the best ways to really determine what is causing the problem is to turn off or take out the add-ons.
If you’ve got a bad hardware problem — take out the add-ons: unplug the printer, unplug the scanner, unplug the 87-button mouse, take out any extra PCI cards that you’ve added to the computer. Strip it down to the motherboard, video card (if you’re not usinng the video built into the motherboard), a wired mouse, and a wired keyboard. Now, try the computer. If the problem has gone away, start adding cards and external connections again, again checking the computer after each addition.
If you’ve got a software problem, you can take a similar approach.
In Valerie’s case, she take the same approach to her Firefox installation and the add-on’s she has installed. I think, as a first step, I’d uninstall all the add-on’s, and then try Firefox to see if the problem was related to the add-on’s. If it was, use the same technique to figure out which caused the problem.
f that didn’t solve the problem, I’d do a clean reinstall of Firefox (check the instructions in my article at http://www.terryscomputertips.com/computers/how-to-do-a-clean-install-of-firefox.php). In a clean reinstall, the first step is not to uninstall Firefox — it is to back up your bookmarks (favorites).
Note that, as of Firefox 3, the bookmarks are stored in a different manner. Back up your Firefox 3 bookmarks by using File > Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks > Import and Backup > Backup… I suggest that you ALSO back them up by using the "Export HTML…" option located one the same menu as "Backup…"
Then, you uninstall Firefox. After that, you delete the configuration and program files that Firefox has left on your computer. Finally, you download and install Firefox again.