I'm growing increasingly weary of having to crash out of my computing sessions due to the entire PC locking up in the wake of Firefox browser failure. The problem doesn't happen every day, but two or three times a week. But that's more than enough for me.
I'm running a several-years-old Windows 7 Home Premium x64 desktop with 8GB RAM and AMD FX-4100 cpu. Motherboard is Asustek and graphics, Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 with 1279MB. The computer has two separate drives, a 238GB Crucial SSD on which the OS installed and a 931GB Western Digital HDD. The computer is protected by a combination of Avira AV Premium, Malwarebytes Premium, and WinPatrol Premium (when I comes to security, I only use paid-for software, not freeware.) The computer is virus and malware free and performs flawlessly . . .
. . . Until the moment arrives when suddenly, during an online session, Mozilla Firefox simply stops working. This can happen regardless of whether one tab or several are open. Regardless of website. Regardless of whether I'm inter-acting with a website or merely looking at it.
I have attempted to follow Mozilla's not entirely coherent guidance on browser repairs and re-sets. It's possible I may simply have misunderstood or not know what I'm doing, but either way, the Firefox browser problem continues not-so merrily on. What happens, sequentially, is this:
1) Am online using Firefox. (I don't want Google's Chrome and I don't like Microsoft's IE.) I can be online anything from 15 minutes to several hours, there's no particular period of elapsed time before Firefox suddenly fails;
2) Failure is signaled by a message at the top of the browser: 'Firefox has become unresponsive". Er, yeah. Right. If I wait -- as I have done, by abandoning the computer, going off for a coffee, and returning 10 minutes later -- then Firefox is once again working normally. However:
3) I cannot live my life with persistent disruptions of routine tasks, and so instead of waiting, I close Firefox down. Except: it won't. Moving the mouse and clicking on close simply sends the cursor into a spin. Clicking again, to see if it might work this time, and the browser display greys out.
4) Stuck, now, with a shimmering greyed-out Firefox screen and a mouse cursor in permanent spin, I move the mouse off of the browser window and onto my Windows desktop (I never have a browser fully opened; my monitor screen is wide enough to accommodate Firefox at two-thirds of the visual estate, the other third for my Windows desktop.) The mouse cursor returns to normal. It seems I can now get on with any work in progress that happens to be on the desktop (files that are closed and awaiting re-opening) or can access any of the taskbar icons. Easy peasy. Except:
5) What I actually attempt to do is simply right click the bar to open Task Manager, at which point the cursor turns into a spinning wheel again . . . and within a few seconds of that, a message appears on screen saying: 'Windows is no longer responding. Do you wish to close or continue?' (Words to that effect.)
6) If I. . . waaaaaaaait. . . all that happens is that I have a frozen computer with an OS which is "not responding" and a greyed-out Firefox browser that is "no longer responsive". If I decide not to wait for Windows, then obviously, all that happens is that everything closes and I'm left with desktop wallpaper and absolutely nothing else. It's just a pretty screen that's also pretty bleepin' useless. And, equally obviously, I have no means of shutting down. All I can do is crash out.
So-oo. The sudden inexplicable freezing of Firefox in some way, somehow, inevitably results in the sudden inexplicable freezing of Windows 7 itself. . . Or does it? I'm always wary of glibly assigning cause-and-effect diagnoses, and this scenario is no different, because I'm wondering if it's not Firefox which is the actual cause but merely the effect -- that is: that something has suddenly gone awry with the Windows 7 OS, resulting in the Firefox freeze-up and thereafter, the entire computer lock-up.
I don't know. Hence why I'm here, intruding upon the expertise, experience, and goodwill of others. Help would be appreciated: thanks.
PS: just to make absolutely clear. I only encounter this problem when online. The computer works fine in all other circumstances. My Firefox version is the latest build: 53.0.3. This problem first occurred several weeks ago, so it's not as if the latest version update has prompted it.