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Firefox browser severe slowdown; CPU Usage 100%   Free Clinic

Started Nov-22 by sbutk1; 182 views.
sbutk1

From: sbutk1

Nov-22

I’m having a severe slowdown problem with my computer that I want to say started last Tuesday (11/14/17) - when my Firefox browser automatically updated to Quantam (v. 57) – however I felt similar symptoms coming on much longer ago, albeit much more gradually.  Before, I was always able to grit my teeth and grumble, and simply deal with them; now, however, I’m practically pulling my hair out, as this “new and improved” browser version seems to have dragged my computer virtually to a halt.  According to Task Manager, having the new Firefox browser open – even for a few seconds – sends CPU Usage rocketing to 100%, and there it stays. 

The only way I’ve been able to get around the problem and have a semi-workable computer again is to restart Firefox in “Safe Mode” (i.e. without any extensions or Add-ons).  And unfortunately this is only a “somewhat”-improvement; CPU Usage eventually creeps back up and my machine gets bogged down again.

Now, it may not be entirely fair for me to pin this entirely on Firefox.  Symptoms have been similar (although not *quite* as bad) when I’ve tried using Internet Explorer instead.  Since similar symptoms were occurring across both browsers, I began to think I might have a computer virus.  Both Malwarebytes and my Webroot antivirus software seem to say my computer is clean, though.  (And, as a footnote, this same behavior is manifesting itself on another family member’s [same house] computer, also with the same antivirus software that has turned up nothing.)  I run CCleaner regularly as well; and the system claims that C (my only internal drive) is 0% fragmented.

Is it possible that some other underlying problem (e.g. registry) is to blame?  Should I seriously consider formatting and then reinstalling my Operating System?  I’d like to save that as a last resort, although I’m really aching to have my computer restored to normal working order.

Thanks, in advance, for any and all advice that anyone has to offer!

Windows 7 Professional (SP1) 64-bit

Dell Inspiron 660

Intel Pentium CPU G2020 2.90 GHz

4.00 GB RAM

In reply toRe: msg 1
xSomeguyx

From: xSomeguyx

Nov-27

Well, you don't have the latest'n'greatest hardware, but it should CERTAINLY be fast enough for browsing.  For more background, is it making the processor go to 100% on every website, or is it only on certain ones?  For example, if you go to something very vanilla like Google.com, does it do it? 

It wouldn't be out of the ordinary for some websites to make the processor go bananas.  Some sites like TMZ.com load up a butt-load of rich content, while some other more nefarious websites actually cause it intentionally (though not with the intent of giving you grief).  Other content like games, even browser-based games, will very commonly drive up processor utilization, rendering everything more or less un-usable.

In reply toRe: msg 1
THECOM
Staff

From: THECOM

Nov-27

Prior to my system reload from Win7 to Win10 (Went Enterprise LTSB), and even after it, pre-57 Firefox was a GROTESQUE memory hog and needed to be rebooted.
Basically the second process would always keep low memory usage, but the primary process would leak memory like a dike manned by fingerless dutch boys.  Even on 64-bit systems, you feed most applications more than about 1.5GB of memory and they get squirrelly.

After the upgrade, on Win10 LTSB, Firefox keeps 4-5 processes going and memory usage is right around 600MB TOTAL.

In reply toRe: msg 3
sbutk1

From: sbutk1

Nov-27

Thank you both for responding.  I've been a bit hesitant to write back, since I'm still trying to wrap my head around this problem, including a fair and accurate way to describe my symptoms.  A couple days ago, an article on Firefox slowdowns shown to me by a friend contained one bit of advice that seems to have helped a great deal, although I'm not completely willing to accept that I'm totally out of the woods just yet.  

To answer an earlier question, before this recent "tweak", it didn't matter what type of site I browsed to; simply opening the Firefox browser (even before an page had a chance to load) caused the tremendous slowdown and CPU overload I'd referred to.  The only way I was able to use my browser, albeit nowhere near the speed that I'd been able to before - even emails took forever to view, delete, file away into folders, etc. - was to start Firefox in Safe Mode.

Just last night I followed this article's advice and, in about:config, changed a True/False value with regards to "Multiprocesses".  [The "tech novice" in me has absolutely no idea what that means.]  I'm able to surf somewhat feely again using "normal" Firefox, and just tonight became daring enough to re-install a few Add-ons.  [They'd all been automatically removed when the new Firefox Quantam was auto-installed.  And yet, nonetheless, Firefox would still only work in Safe Mode, regardless.]

Like I said, that was then, and this is now.  Things do tentatively - knock on wood - seem to be working normally again, although I realize saying that is somewhat relative.  Memory Usage seems to steadily creep up over long periods of use (to 3+ GB), but that seemed to be a problem all along and - if I've understood correctly - may just be the unavoidable nature of the Firefox beast.

In reply toRe: msg 4
xSomeguyx

From: xSomeguyx

Nov-27

I'll say what I say at work: if it works it's a win, and I'll take a win any way I can get it!

The "multiprocesses" takes the different tabs, and will let them use different processors.  For PCs that have more than one processor (referred to as multi-core or multi-processor PCs, and are the norm for some time now) it's helpful because the browser can use more of the "oomph" that the processor has to go around!

In reply toRe: msg 4
THECOM
Staff

From: THECOM

Nov-29

Firefox is a strange beast. 

On some machines, it works nice, behaves itself, and things are generally both hunky AND dory.

Then, on IDENTICAL machines (identical hardware, identical system images, identical user logons, identical installer, etc), it's a ravening, memory leaking, forever-and-a-day-taking ill-behaved beast.

Wish I could say WHY (if I could, someone would be paying me BANK for the info).

 

In reply toRe: msg 6
sbutk1

From: sbutk1

Nov-30

Indeed.  Thank you both; makes me feel a bit better that *I’m* not the only one being driven crazy by this kind of thing.  Wondering whether there might be any steps you can recommend I take in order to, say, give my computer a “tune-up” to get things running as efficiently as possible.  [I’ve already considered adding more RAM, but someone I asked didn’t think that would make much difference.]  Or, in lieu of that, since it’s something you’ve already alluded to, are there any particular browsers that you would recommend over Firefox?  (- and still keep my Windows OS; I’m admittedly not *that* savvy/serious of a computer user)  Thanks.

In reply toRe: msg 7
sbutk1

From: sbutk1

Dec-2

Hi again.  Update on my situation…

I’ve once again been able to use my Firefox browser, but invariably my habit of browsing to certain sites and keeping those tabs open tend to gobble up my computer’s resources and slow normal operations to a painful crawl, making it necessary to kill Firefox and start over again.  It seems to me that the biggest culprits are those with what I might call “rich” format, or info that updates automatically (such as Streaming, I guess).  I’ve seen this to happen after I open sites such as Yahoo Finance, Facebook, and YouTube.  Since this appears to be a common element, would it be naïve of me to think there might be some hidden process (like a Plugin, perhaps) that needs updating updating and might remedy things for me. 

…As another side note, very often when I go to shut my computer down at the end of the day, it takes its sweet time and eventually displays the popup error alerting me that “Task Host Window” is taking a[n extra] long time to close.

Do these tidbits happen to provide any clues or provoke any new thoughts?  Thanks.

In reply toRe: msg 8
xSomeguyx

From: xSomeguyx

Dec-2

Hmm.. well, at least there's something to point at.  Generally speaking, how many tabs do you have open?  Also, give Google Chrome a try on the same sites.  This would give us an idea whether your PC just can't handle the content for some reason, or if it's the browser.

sbutk1

From: sbutk1

Dec-2

Right now I've got 16 open, but none of them are any of the "dreaded 3" that I mentioned above.

And the computer is still functioning fairly smoothly, I would say, with no noticeable lags or slowdowns.

Yet even now, a quick check of Task Manager reveals:

Firefox memory usage ~ 2.0 GB

Total Memory usage ~ 3.44 GB

Physical Memory ~ 88%

Some time ago - well before the day this latest Firefox Quantam came out - I used to be in the habit of *successfully* keeping a few hundreds of tabs open at the same time.  (Call me the king of "Easily distracted", haha.)  ...Now, granted, this was with the assistance of a browser add-on that automatically unloaded tabs after a period of unuse and probably lulled me into a sense of complacency.  Either way, that add-on looks like it is no longer supported by Quantam.

Might give Chrome a try later; I'll let you know how I make out with that. 

Thanks!

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