Firefox takes a long time to load.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Mark Adams, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    MS XP Pro on a Dell Dimension XP 2400 (2.2GHz P4, 256 MB, direct
    Internet connection via an 801.11b wireless link to a Linksys BEFW11S4
    router and an Actiontec GT701-WG DSL modem).

    I click on the Firefox icon on the desktop and the browser window opens
    80-90 seconds later. This is a long time compared to IE. I don't hear
    the hard drive thrashing, so I don't think it's a memory or other
    hardware problem. Firefox is configured with the default theme and only
    one extention (Adblock). Disabling the extension does not change the
    situation. Once I get it open, it loads pages just fine.

    How can I troubleshoot this?


    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts.
    -- Plotinus
    Mark Adams, Feb 3, 2005
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  2. Mark Adams

    Shel-hed Guest

    Is it only slow the first time it starts?
    I found this on the net-
    Firefox is slow to load initially on Windows XP. You can speed this up a bit by using
    XP's built in prefetcher. Simply right-click on the Firefox icon you use to start the
    browser. Add the text /Prefetch:1 to the end of the line in the target field.

    The whole line should look something like the following:
    "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" /Prefetch:1
    Shel-hed, Feb 3, 2005
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  3. Mark Adams

    anc Guest

    When was the last time you defragged your hard drive? I would first empty
    the prefetch cache, goto run and type prefetch, select all files and delete
    them. Empty your /windows/temp folder and also the temp folder under your
    username which will be c:\documents and settings\username\local
    Replace C with your drive letter and username with your windows logon name.
    Make sure you are displaying hidden files and folders to find this temp.
    Empty the recycle bin then defrag and reboot. The first reboot will take a
    little longer as the prefetch directory fills, but firefox should start in
    under 5 seconds on that system.
    Make sure that DMA is enabled for your hard drive and try using a prefetch
    option to start it as has already been suggested.
    anc, Feb 3, 2005
  4. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    Shel, thanks for the tip. See my response to "anc" below.

    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    Tussman's Law:
    Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.
    Mark Adams, Feb 3, 2005
  5. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    I've been beating this system (my daughter's machine) for a week or so.
    I've invested a lot of effort into putting off an inevitable
    reformat/reinstall for a system that has been running for about a year
    and a half.

    Over the past week I have scanned repeatedly for viruses and spyware and
    I think I've gotten them all. I'm looking into Webroot's Spy Sweeper as
    a prophylactic against this stuff. If you've got any suggestions lay
    them on me (I've been using Linux for the past couple of years and
    frankly my Windows skills are kind of rusty). I've also scrubbed the
    registry, deleted temp files, etc., deleted restore points, and
    defragged without the page file.

    On Shel-hed's suggestion I purged the C:\Windows\prefetch folder and
    rebooted. I then added the /prefetch:1 switch to the Firefox shortcut
    on the desktop. The first time I started FF it took right at 1 minute,
    50 seconds for the window to open and another 10 seconds to actually
    open the page ( which may or may not have been cached).

    Subsequent starts came in at about 30 seconds total. This is comparable
    to what I'm seeing with IE, though IE opens its window in about 5
    seconds where FF takes about 20. It takes the full 30 seconds before I
    am actually browsing in either window.

    This may just be a case of simple bit rot, but if I can improve the
    situation without the reformat/reinstall I am interested in doing so.
    Can you think of anything else?
    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    Tussman's Law:
    Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.
    Mark Adams, Feb 3, 2005
  6. Mark Adams

    Martik Guest

    Is the problem restricted to firefox only? If so, try reinstalling it.
    Firefox is up in 3-4 secs on my Athlon 1700 256mb ram
    Martik, Feb 3, 2005
  7. Mark Adams

    anc Guest

    XP is a little limited when things go wrong, if this were linux you could
    just launch it from the command line. Having said that start firefox from a
    command prompt and see if it churns out anything useful.
    The only thing I can think of is that its some sort of hard drive problem, I
    assume you've checked for errors especially as you have defragged.
    Try uninstalling and reinstalling as someone else suggested. I would also be
    tempted to download a copy of hal91 and use it
    to test your hard drive. As you're familiar with linux login as root and
    check drive throughput with hdparm -tT /dev/hdx replace x with your drive
    letter. hdparm -I /dev/hdx (capital "i" not one) will reveal your drives
    capabilities. If it does support DMA (most do) remove the floppy and load
    windows XP. Have a look in device manager and make sure that DMA mode is
    enabled for your drive. Also, under drive controller make sure this is also
    set to use DMA mode if available. More details:

    I only use XP for gaming, Gentoo for everything else. For comparison, XP
    loads on my system in about 15 seconds, Mandrake 10.1, 12 seconds and
    Gentoo about 9 seconds,thats with a UDMA 133 160G Maxtor hard drive, Asus
    m/b and Intel P4 2G8.
    anc, Feb 3, 2005
  8. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    Thanks for all the help on this one. I uninstalled and reinstalled FF
    and now everything seems to be just fine.

    I've also ordered another 512 MB of memory. It's pretty affordable and
    you can never have enough, can you? :)

    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    The cost of feathers has risen, even down is up!
    Mark Adams, Feb 3, 2005
  9. The thing you have to remember is that IE is effectively already running
    just as soon as you boot up XP as it is a core component of the OS as
    designed by MS. (Windows Explorer, or explorer.exe, is really part of IE
    which is why you can surf the net directly from within Windows Explorer
    without ever launching a separate IE window.) Firefox on the other hand is
    not running at all until you call for it. The startup on Firefox will always
    be a little slower than IE even on the best maintained system.
    Oxford Systems, Feb 3, 2005
  10. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    Actually, I did know that. I also know there are other "cheats" that MS
    uses when working with MS web servers (authentication shortcuts that
    other browsers don't take).

    I was just comparing the two in a general sense -- if Firefox takes 2
    minutes to load and IE takes something approaching 2 minutes to load,
    that indicates some other problem like a networking/DNS/hardware/etc. issue.

    But thanks for pointing that out. It is relevant.

    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    Fortune's real live weird band names #60:

    Betty Ford
    Mark Adams, Feb 3, 2005
  11. Mark Adams

    Shel-hed Guest

    On my old 800mhz celeron with 98se, FF loads to a blank page in 2 seconds, and loads
    google in less than 2 seconds. Of course this is only when it has been used at least
    once since last boot. The first use is much slower... about 15 (?) seconds.
    If you want it to load fast on first use, that is where the turbo extension comes in.
    After you get your new ram, install the extension. Vavoom!
    The Mozilla suite already has this option built in.
    Shel-hed, Feb 3, 2005
  12. Despite the sloggy IE, too, there must be *something* still to be done.
    I haven't seen anyone post their own times (nor have I read every post
    in the thread), but 2Mhz/ATA100 sys, here, has FF fully on the screen
    and pages (from saved session) downloading in 7 seconds. You might
    want to look toward a Mozilla-specific newsgroup for more ideas.

    netscape.public.mozilla.browser (can't remember if browsers is plural)

    and I'll see you there if you try one. My curiosity is up on this. :)
    Blinky the Shark, Feb 3, 2005
  13. Mark Adams

    Shel-hed Guest

    More tweeks for geeks.-
    Shel-hed, Feb 3, 2005
  14. Mark Adams

    michaelxp Guest


    FireFox is great and with a little coaxing it works even better.

    Here are a couple of noteworthy hacks that convince Firefox to operate

    Open Firefox 1.0 and type about:config in the address bar

    Tweak #1

    1. Find browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs and double click on it
    so it = true

    2. Find network.http.pipelining and double click on it so it = true

    3. Find network.http.pipelining.maxrequests double click on it and
    change it from 4 to 100

    Tweak #2

    1) Open Firefox (If not already).
    2) In the Address Bar, type in: About:config.
    3) Look up for: Network.dns.disableIPv6
    4) Double click on it!

    Now, Double click on it and it should say true. Restart firefox and it
    should be faster!

    Tweak #3

    Setting the initial paint time to 0 is a BIG one.
    You have to add it manually. (Right click>New String)


    Michael Huddleston
    michaelxp, Feb 3, 2005
  15. .... then there is likely some other problem. I agree.

    Just as a point of reference, I use Firefox as my browser of choice on my
    laptop. The laptop is an HP based on the Athlon XP1500 with 512 megs of RAM
    (only 480 available since the shared memory architecture takes up 32 meg for
    video) and a 40 gig 5400 rpm hard drive with a 2 meg cache. After a cold
    boot on this relatively slow (but well maintained and thoroughly tweaked!)
    system running XP Pro, Firefox takes about sixteen or seventeen seconds to
    load when first called. I use the prefetch switch so subsquent launches in
    the same sesssions start in seven or eight seconds. A 2 minute load time
    would have me tearing my hair out looking for answers. :)
    Oxford Systems, Feb 4, 2005
  16. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    Welcome to my world.

    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    TV is chewing gum for the eyes.
    -- Frank Lloyd Wright
    Mark Adams, Feb 4, 2005
  17. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    You probably know this already, but I uninstalled/reinstalled FF and all
    is well.
    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject
    -- the actual enemy is the unknown.
    -- Thomas Mann
    Mark Adams, Feb 4, 2005
  18. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams Guest

    That was already done.
    I hadn't seen that one before. I'll have to try it.

    And that one was done.

    There is so much to like about Firefox over other browsers. The
    configurability (once you get to "about:config") is really powerful.

    Thanks Michael.
    Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me.

    CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . . . . .
    Cubert: "Why do I have to be the hump?"
    Fry: "'Cause you're too ugly to be a wart."
    Mark Adams, Feb 4, 2005
  19. Mark Adams

    dwacon Guest

    I think that is standard behavior.
    dwacon, Feb 4, 2005
  20. Mark Adams

    Plato Guest

    IE already running is not a cheat. It's part of the OS.
    Plato, Feb 4, 2005
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