System freezing when launching Firefox

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Not entirely sure where to post this one so please excuse the cross-post...

I built a new PC a few months ago, and have WinXP SP2 installed on it and
fully patched. I'm using Firefox as my web browser (currently v1.0.7).

Fairly soon after building the PC, I started to get intermittent freezes.
The PC completely locks up, the mouse pointer stops moving, the keyboard
doesn't respond at all (even to commands such as Alt+Tab, Ctrl+Shift+Esc or
Ctrl+Alt+Delete). The only way out is to hit the reset button, which as you
can imagine I don't much like to do.

I've spent some time trying to figure out what's causing this. There are no
obvious hardware problems, no heat issues, no power supply problems. Nothing
is written to the Windows event log when this occurs either.

Over time however I have noticed a common pattern: when the system freezes
up, it always does it shortly after I launch (or try to launch) Firefox. I
can usually tell when it's about to happen as my apps stop responding a few
seconds before the mouse pointer freezes up. And every single time it does
it either after I've pressed the "Web/Home" button on my keyboard and am
waiting for Firefox to start, or just shortly after the browser has opened.

It does this far from every time -- crashing perhaps once or twice a week
(and I launch Firefox a LOT). It also does it more frequently when I have
Outlook Express already open. Once I've launched Firefox for the first time,
it doesn't seem to crash after that until I reboot.

Can anyone think of any possible explanation for why this may be happening?
I'm completely at a loss as to what could be causing it. I can't quite
believe that it could be a bug in Firefox, but don't know where else to
look. Could it be a problem with my (Microsoft Internet) keyboard..? [shrug]

My thanks in advance for any help,



Re: System freezing when launching Firefox

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1) Get a copy of memtest86+ from /
   Test your memory. Run the test for at least a couple of
   passes. No errors are acceptable. If there are errors,
   find out why.
2) Get a copy of Prime95 from . Prime95 has a
   "torture test" menu option, and that test does a calculation
   with a known answer. The program can detect whether the
   CPU, Northbridge, and memory are working properly. No
   errors are acceptable here. If you see errors while running
   this program, the same errors will crop up when using other

If you do get errors in either test, post back a detailed hardware
configuration in a separate posting, and then someone can advise
as to the best way to adjust or work around the problem. Also
post which test failed, and whether the results of the test
are random, or the error happens in the same place each time.


Re: System freezing when launching Firefox

Oenone wrote:

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I take it you like to keep your system up to date?  It could be an
incompatible plugin that hasnt been disabled trying to launch with
firefox (and failing).  Try starting Firefox in safe mode (firefox not

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Open system process viewer and then open firefox and see if something
else (virus scanner for example) is stealing cpu cycles during the
startup process.

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