What if Firefox crashes?

So what do you do if you have Firefox installed and you have it set up just the way you think you want it with all the best extensions and all the most useful GreaseMonkey Scripts and then it crashes? I had this happen to me for the first time this past week and needless to say, I was a little miffed.

I tried to use Windows XP’s system restore to fix whatever it was that I had done to crash things. But that did not help. I tried to uninstall Firefox. Then to reinstall it. I even tried to uninstall it, go to the Registry and take out all mention of Mozilla or Firefox and then reinstall just version 1.5 and try to work my way back up to the 2.0.3 version that I had been using just prior and liked so much.

Nothing seemed to work. Each time that I did one of the prior mentioned failed fixes I would get Firefox to work for the first time after install but then as soon as I closed it and tried to re-start it I would get the following error message.

I was not sure what was going on but I knew that I could not have been the only person to hose a Firefox installation so I went to Google to see if I could find an answer to my problem. I did not have any real good luck at first in finding any way to fix whatever it was that had gone wrong with it till I happened on a posting on the Mozilla website itself for primarily for developers of Firefox extensions and add-on’s as Firefox 2.0 now calls them. At this SITE I discovered the answer to my problem.

I had previously uninstalled the program but I had not gotten rid of any of the personal information as far as settings and extensions that had been installed on my computer for my login. Once I read the above site and looked at the information on where to go to get to your Profile Folder I it all started to make sense. Here is a snapshot of the info from the Mozilla site. Or at least what I found most important in correcting my problem.

Knowing where your profile folder is stored can be useful if, for example, you want to make a backup of your personal data.

On Windows Vista/XP/2000, the path is usually %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\, where xxxxxxxx is a random string of 8 characters.

Just browse to C:\Documents and Settings[User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ on Windows XP/2000 or C:\users[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ on Windows Vista, and the rest should be obvious.

On Windows 95/98/Me, the path is usually C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\

On Linux, the path is usually ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/

On Mac OS X, the path is usually ~/Library/Application


%AppData% is a shorthand for the Application Data path on Windows 2000/XP/Vista. To use it, click Start > Run… (use the search box on Vista), enter %AppData% and press Enter.

You will be taken to the “real” folder, which is normally C:\Documents and Settings[User Name]\Application Data on Windows XP/2000, C:\users[User Name]\AppData\Roaming on Windows Vista.

What I found out is that there is a profile folder with all of your Firefox information stored in it. And most importantly for my problem, there is a folder there that has the installed extensions in it. Once I found this folder I was able to delete the last extension that I had installed which I came to find did not play nice with another extension that I had installed previously and my Firefox was back up to speed and working great.

As this Mozilla site says you can also set up more than one profile so that if you are testing something with Firefox you can see how it performs to varying degrees and not have it completely crash. To create a separate profile follow these steps.

In order to create a new profile, you use the Profile Manager. To start the Profile Manager in Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Close Firefox completely (select File > Exit from the main menu of Firefox).
  2. Select Start > Run… from the Windows Start menu (use the search box on Vista).
  3. Enter firefox.exe -ProfileManager and press OK.

On Linux or Mac, start Firefox with the -ProfileManager switch, e.g. ./firefox -ProfileManager (this assumes that you’re in the firefox directory).

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