Facebook locks up computer after navigating to it - In IE9 and Google Chrome!

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by thekmanrocks, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    Getting tired of Facebook actually.

    Cannot click on anything during this "seizure" of my machine, which may last anywhere from 30sec up to 1minute!

    It used to happen only in Internet Explorer, now it also happens in Chrome. Only when going to FB.
    thekmanrocks, Feb 12, 2014
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  2. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest


    Paul: This is not a joke.
    thekmanrocks, Feb 12, 2014
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  3. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    You would start by reviewing plugins and add-ons.

    And recognize how Evercookies work. Many sites require Javascript
    to be enabled to run, then the Javascript puts cookies in all
    sorts of places (such as web history). While this is not supposed
    to have a noticable computing load, it's a possibility for a few
    seconds worth of activity.


    Your computer could have more than one network connection. Like
    a LAN cable and Wifi. And it's related to networking and selecting
    a path.

    There are all sorts of complicating factors, and I can't see your
    machine from here.

    Your post also assumes that no other activity is compromised,
    there are no signs of instability when working in other,
    non-web applications.

    It could be some form of malware, in which cases scans may
    help point to a cause. Or alternately, it could be your
    AV which has noticed something the browser is doing,
    and is messing with it.

    You can do control-alt-delete (for Task Manager) and
    keep Task Manager open while invoking Facebook. And see if
    there are any other things besides the browsers, which are
    sucking up all the cycles.

    You can also look in there, to see if memory usage is in
    a runaway state (usage climbing quickly).


    It seems this is a common problem. One interesting aspect,
    is this thread has posts over almost a two year period.
    It's not a new problem.


    One suggestion was to enter Facebook via the mobile portal.
    This is just a regular URL.


    When I read the threads, most of the users commenting
    aren't technical, and they aren't presenting any new
    information. Yes, it could be a script (Javascript)
    on the page. One individual started to suggest
    installing Java, which somehow I doubt is needed
    on Facebook. Javascript is a much more common extension
    scheme for content presentation, and that's probably
    what is locking up the computer. If you disable that
    in the browser preferences, you won't be able to
    log into Facebook.

    As for why I'm not analyzing it myself, I have Facebook
    blocked in my hosts files. That's how much I want to
    go to the site... So you're going to have to do the
    "observing" for me.

    In Firefox, you can go to File and do a Save As, and
    Save as "Webpage, complete". That gives you a folder
    and a file, named after the page you're on. You can then
    examine the contents of the folder, and see if things
    like jquery and friends are in there. That's a popular
    Javascript library of some sort. And that would likely
    be just about impossible to debug.

    You can do the "Webpage, complete" save thing, for the
    mobile URL (m.facebook.com) as well, and compare
    how much different files coming from each source are.

    So it's probably a Javascript file, but since I don't
    have a Facebook account, I can't really help you much.

    Paul, Feb 12, 2014
  4. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest


    Interesting you mentioned Java and Javascript. I literally have to use a sledgehammer to get Java updates into this machine!

    All kinds of errors. "check Internet connection", missing DLLs, the works. Updating Java from its control panel icon does not work unless I have a browser(preferably Chrome) open. I was most recently able to update Java from Chrome.

    Same with Flash Player - must have a browser open because it too "cannot find the internet"!! This happens on the laptop as well as on the Pavilion. And this is AFTER my isp replaced the cable drop from the pole to my house.

    Running Pingtest(sub. of Speedtest) from Chrome now gives me full results, including Packet Loss which Internet Explorer cannot because it and Java remain bitter enemies. LOL

    And the Facebook issue persists. I cannot bring up Task Manager(Ctrl-Alt + Del) during the Facebook freezeup - it literally hangs up the entire machine! If a song file is playing, it stops for the minute or so it takes FB to load.

    This does not happen when accessing Facebook via Mobile Safari or the IPhone app.
    thekmanrocks, Feb 13, 2014
  5. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    You should not be using Java on a whim. If you have purchased software
    that requires Java to run, then yes, you use it and maintain it
    with updates when needed.

    It should not be installed for nothing, because it's just something
    to be exploited by malware. The majority of web pages use JavaScript,
    and the interpreter for that is part of the browser.

    Java (JRE or Java Runtime Environment), has an offline installer. This
    means there is less dependence on the Internet, during the file copying


    The installation instructions say the download contains toolbars
    or other undesirable software (chrome installer). Untick those
    before using the final install button.

    Use Wireshark, to watch the incoming packets. Wireshark can be a nuisance
    sometimes, at least on an OS like Windows 8, because you have to "Run as Administrator"
    to get it to work. Older OS didn't need that (if you were already the
    administrator or a member of administrator group etc).

    In this example, I've snipped a bit of Wireshark screen display. It shows
    a wide strip, with two green lines on top, and two black lines on bottom.
    The black lines show "TCP retransmission". These are "normal" networking
    errors. However, if virtually every site you go to, is filling the
    Wireshark display with more black lines, than other colors, that could be
    a problem with either your broadband connection, or with the networking
    equipment at the ISP.


    You can get offline Flash updates here. I always do my Flash updating
    this way. And turn off any other preferences involving automatic updates.


    Once installed, there is a test page here. You can compare the
    upper right "Version Information" dialog, to the listing at the
    bottom of the page, as to what versions are current.


    Both the browser and Flash, have hardware accelerator settings. If
    you thought your video card was unstable, turning off hardware
    acceleration in each, may help.
    You would start Task Manager, before hitting return in the browser
    to start the Facebook session.

    If Task Manager is frozen, then that could mean the kernel of the OS
    is involved. Device drivers run in Ring 0 with the kernel, whereas
    applications run in Ring 3. A Device Driver could be involved.
    It could even be a rootkit, which also works at a low level.
    The modern kernels are mostly non-blocking. Only on older OSes, like Win98,
    did portions of the networking stack block, causing a lot more
    freezes than on modern OSes.

    (Example of a rootkit killer...)


    There are still many possibilities, and it's something
    I can't analyse at a distance for you from here.

    The quickest fix is to reinstall everything. But I think
    you've heard of that one before :)

    I am a great believer in hardware testing, to prove a computer
    doesn't have hardware problems before using it. To eliminate the
    current OS from the picture, I boot from a Linux LiveCD and
    run the Prime95 torture test from here. Versions are available
    for Windows and Linux. When the software says "Join GIMPs",
    you don't have to do that and can use the "Just Testing" option.
    Then run the Stress Test, which checks that the processor
    does math properly (and as a side effect, also proves the memory
    on the computer is robust). Running Prime95 for hours on end,
    without errors, is part of my acceptance testing for new computers.


    Paul, Feb 13, 2014
  6. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    Still, would a rootkit or a hardware issue affect connection only to Facebook? On two different computers at that?
    thekmanrocks, Feb 13, 2014
  7. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    I can't find any information on this problem,
    to narrow it down at all.

    Would a rootkit be used to steal a Facebook username and password ?
    I don't know what they do with botnets these days.

    All I know is, a rootkit operates at a low level (ring 0), by
    infecting atapi.sys and that's a driver used for storage. Things
    at that low a level, can freeze a machine.


    Someone here, removed Unity Web Player plugin.


    The other answer there, has to do with Chrome having a built-in
    copy of Flash, as well as the user being able to install Flash
    separately. Looking at the Plugins list, would show two of them.
    I think in Windows 8, Internet Explorer has its own private
    copy of Flash as well. I don't think that aligns too well with
    your symptoms (accounts for all of it).

    The answer here was "try opening chrome:flags and disabling
    GPU-compositing and Threaded compositing". That is related
    to graphics.


    Hardware assist is used in Internet Explorer as well. Apparently,
    starting in IE9. That uses the GPU on your video card as well.


    And I think those explanations line up nicely with your Task Manager
    symptoms. The Task Manager won't pop up, if the graphics are
    completely frozen. Especially if either of the browsers have
    managed to do something to the GPU. So ordinary graphics can't
    be updated.

    Here's a bit more information on GPU recovery procedures, in Windows.
    The theory being, that the browser screwed things up bad enough,
    that the timer tripped. What I'm looking for here, is a time
    constant, consistent with the time your computer stays

    "Timeout Detection and Recovery of GPUs (TDR)"


    OK, so the time constant in that one is too short. But I have
    seen a problem in Windows 8, where the screen froze on me, and it
    took around two minutes before it became responsive again. And that
    was after a swipe gesture up the left side of the screen.

    Paul, Feb 13, 2014
  8. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    It happens also when my wife logs into FB via IE9 on the laptop.
    thekmanrocks, Feb 14, 2014
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