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Cannot Open Firefox/Access Internet


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#1 Roketto

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:36 PM

Hello everyone! I'm new here, so please bear with me, & I'll attempt to describe my situation.

For a while now, I've been having sporadic issues with Firefox not opening, or having to click the desktop shortcut icon multiple times in order for it to open. Other times, if I accidentally close Firefox, & try to click the icon to get it up again, it tells me that the program is already running. Needless to say, I have become very familiar with the Task Manager for terminating programs. A few days ago, I couldn't get Firefox to open at all. I went through my usual routine: Open Task Manager, end all the firefox.exe programs, run CCleaner, restart computer. Nothing. So, I ran some defragmenters & registry clean-ups, but still, no dice. I'm typing this from my laptop, because I can't access the Internet from my desktop PC. I'm planning to see if I can get Internet Explorer up, as soon as I post this topic.

EDIT: I'm able to access the Internet through Explorer, so I'll probably be able to download any helpful programs & such. This also leads me to believe that this is indeed a browser issue, not a computer issue.

In addition to my browser troubles, my mouse has been acting up (that's how I accidentally close Firefox, incidentally). Clicking once sometimes results in a double-click, highlighting text in Word & online is a struggle, & in general it's annoying. I've gotten into the habit of using my Wacom pen to highlight things, & close tabs & windows. Oddly enough, the Wacom tablet & pen are NOT affected.

I believe that I have registry errors, but I don't know how to safely fix them. Since I can't access the Internet, I'm not sure I can download any of the tools & programs like DDS. Can that be downloaded on my laptop, transferred to a USB drive, & put on the PC? Anyway, I hope someone can help me out. Thanks in advance!

Here's what I know about my desktop as far as specs:

*Windows XP
*Dell PC
*Firefox browser, up to date w/ latest version
*Norton Antivirus

If there's anything else I need to post, please let me know how to find it on my computer, & I'll post it.


Edited by Roketto, 17 January 2012 - 12:51 PM.


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#2 Broni

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:01 PM

I suggest you uninstall Firefox completely using this manual: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Uninstalling_Firefox
Install fresh copy.

& registry clean-ups

Registry cleaners/optimizers are not recommended for several reasons:

  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".
Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.


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#3 Roketto

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:56 AM

Question: If I uninstall/reinstall Firefox, will I lose all of my Favorites/Bookmarks, & my Add-ons? I use XMarks to back up & have access to my Favorites, but I don't keep a list of my add-ons, so I might have to redo those from memory.

Another point: I was using TweakNow PowerPack & RegCleaner, & I also use CCleaner. First, are those somewhat reputable, & second, should I never use them again/uninstall them? How should I fix what I think are registry errors from now on?

Thanks for answering all my questions; I really appreciate it!

P.S. As an addendum, I'm experiencing some weirdness on Internet Explorer (which I'm using now). When I'm on DeviantArt, every other page or so that I browse will have a pop-up (For some reason it's not doing it right now; I was going to take a screenshot of it since I can't remember what it is), something having to do with Microsoft.

Edit: here's a screenshot: http://tinypic.com/r/117zsz6/5

The other weird thing is that I can't load the bleepingcomputer website directly - I had to access it from the reply-to-your-topic link sent to my Gmail. Any ideas on why this is happening?

Edited by Roketto, 25 January 2012 - 11:15 AM.


#4 Broni

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:56 AM

No to registry cleaners. Period.

I suggest you create new topic in "Am I Infected?" forum to see if your computer is clean.

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#5 Roketto

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:03 PM


Thanks, I'll uninstall all of them as soon as I get home, as I'm on a work computer atm.

As for Firefox, is there a danger I'll lose my Bookmarks if I have them on XMarks? I don't want to uninstall until I know what to expect.


#6 Broni

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:36 PM

XMarks should be fine, but if you want to be double secured use MozBackup: http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/

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#7 Roketto

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

Well, I'm still having issues. My first problem is that when I tried to uninstall firefox, I opened the Control Panel, went to Add/Remove Programs, & the list doesn't populate. Just a blank white space. So, I went into safe mode, & there I could see the program list. I uninstalled Firefox, then reinstalled it, & it still won't open. Now, I tried to follow the directions you linked me to, but I didn't delete the installation registry & all that (I'm afraid to try to follow the complicated directions, & end up screwing it up worse).

Is there a way to simplify the directions to uninstall Firfox, so that I can do it properly? I'm sorry I'm being such a pain, but I really need someone to walk me through everything. :unsure:

Here's how I think I understand it:

:step1: Go into Safe Mode, uninstall Firefox

:step2: Delete the Firefox Installation directory (Need more info on how to do this)

:step3: Delete all C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\FIREFOX* files (Need more info on how to do this)

:step4: Reinstall Firefox

Again, this is me, trying to read through a list of steps for all different computers, & attempting to isolate just the steps for Windows XP, & I have a lot of trouble following the steps when they're in a jumble like that.


#8 Broni

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:06 PM

I still think the best idea would be to do this first:

I suggest you create new topic in "Am I Infected?" forum to see if your computer is clean.


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#9 Roketto

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:10 PM

Already have; now I'm just waiting on a reply. What's the average wait time?

#10 Broni

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:17 PM

In that forum it'll come shortly.

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