Fixing Firefox

I noticed yesterday that there was a problem with Alaistair Campbell’s site. No, not that Alaistair Campbell, the accessibility geek one. Well you really should have known, shouldn’t you?

Anyway, I was looking at one of his posts relating his domain woes when I noticed a problem. The comment about “your email will not be published or used” was not being displayed properly. I was a little surprised he’d not noticed this himself to be honest, but I thought maybe he’s using a different browser to me. Silly mistake, easily rectified sort of thing — he’s probably not using the latest version of Firefox. I’ll just pick out the version number and send it to him along with a screenshot.

I didn’t get as far as the screenshot though, because my version was telling me it was, or something like that. Bit of a surprise as I’ve been using the 2.0 stream of Firefox at work for a while and I normally switch over to new things at home first. Okay, not a problem, I’ll upgrade.

Just in time as it happens:

Firefox 1.5.0.x will be maintained with security and stability updates until April 24, 2007. All users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Firefox 2.Mozilla

Shouldn’t have caused me any problems, because my firewalls and virus checkers are always on — all four tons of ‘em — and I keep ‘em all up to date, plus the key point being I don’t download any old shite from the internet. Still, it’s time to upgrade.

I’ve done this before. It’s perfectly simple. Download the latest build (, install it over the top of the previous one, it checks that all your plug ins are compatible and away you go. Fantastic.

Or rather it would have been fantastic, if only it had worked. Instead I get an error message, Visual Studio pops up asking if I want to debug it and the whole thing falls to pieces in a rather untidy heap. Hmm. Maybe I’ll try instead then?

Same thing. And with, but any of the 1.5.0.x series install and work just fine and dandy. What in the name of almighty flip is going on? If it was just one set of binaries I’d be prepared to consider that there could be something wrong with them, but not with three. Is there something wrong with my computer? Is it not powerful enough? Naah, unlikely, Firefox is just a standalone browser.

How to diagnose? Simple. First establish that it’s not lupus, and then carry out your differential diagnostic. Oops. Think I might have been watching too much House again. What you should do is of course to follow the standard diagnostic for Firefox. Which involves running in safe mode and disabling extensions. Well, I couldn’t be bothered to do this, so I just uninstalled them. And upgraded. And it worked. Hurrah!

The only slightly weird bit is that I’ve gone back and downloaded all of the Firefox extensions that I had before and it still works perfectly fine, but I’m not complaining, mind you…

2 Responses to “Fixing Firefox”

  1. AlastairC responds:

    I’ll have to check the form in FF 1.5, which brings me to something quite useful for FF power users - managing your profiles.

    The easiest way to check is to use a blank profile, opening Firefox via the profile manager (in Windows, go to start > run and find Firefox, then add a -p at the end before running it).

    This also helps with running multiple firefox instances, which is a must for different versions.

    My experience has been that upgrading your profile (e.g. 1.5 to 2.0) is fine, but downgrading causes issues. With over 20 extensions installed, I try to keep my main profile backed up regularly!

  2. Mike Cherim responds:

    That’s odd. I had no problem upgrading. I’m currently using

    I didn’t know you watched House. I must say that Cameron is turning into a really horny woman this season.

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