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Sometimes, when you go to open firefox, nothing happens. But if you pull up the task manager, you'll see that it is running and it's got an insanely high file size. If you manually end that task of firefox and go to open firefox again, it comes right up. What gives?
I've found that problem occurred when Firefox is hung up in the process of shutting down for any reason. Trying to start it again, nothing happens until you terminate the old process. However, that scenario usually gives an error message.
It's been an annoyance in FF for a long time. When it happens, just kill the process in task manager as you did. Other than that, you will just have to live with it, there is nothing you can do to fix it.