Firefox and AVG problems.

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  #1  
Old 01-12-17, 09:02 AM
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Firefox and AVG problems.

I'm still running Windows XP pro with service pack 3.

Lately I have been experiencing times when I have multiple tabs open and the computer simply stops responding. I might (not always) get a message at the top of the screen to the effect that Firefox is not responding, usually with the hourglass icon replacing the cursor. During this time I cannot do ANYTHING; I cannot switch tabs, I cannot switch windows and I cannot enter any text. Even doing a control-alt-delete to bring up the task manager usually takes a minute or so. Yet all the time the hard drive is clicking like mad.

Once I get to the task manager I find one of two scenarios, either the Firefox is maxed out at better than 90% usage OR I find several of the AVG lines alternating with relatively high usage. I end up stopping Firefox and closing it out and the hard drive activity stops. Of course I then have to re-activate Firefox and then it seems okay for a while but the problem always returns.

So last night I did a simple Google search for AVG problems and found a site that had lots of complaints listed but no solutions. I kind of doubt the site since the first complaint listed Avast/AVG as if they were the same company or program, something I know is not true. The next few complaints were equally useless.

So I uninstalled AVG with no problems. My computer boots much faster now and I was able to get rid of about a dozen AVG processes in the uninstall. I manually stop a few more and I am down to 24 processes now running including a few that seem to be new within the last week or so. Specifically, SDUpSce,exe SYSTEM and FDSSvc.exe SYSTEM. I can end these processes but they come right back. I haven't yet done the Google search to find out what they do or if they are malware.

I have run Spybot, Search and Destroy within the last week and plan to run Malwarebytes soon.

My questions:
1. Am I at risk contacting my credit union without an anti-virus running? I use this computer for on-line banking.

2. Am I at risk with on-line shopping? I was lead to believe that SSL protected my encrypted financial data.

3. What are these new processes that appeared recently and what do they do?

Finally, I have never knowingly contracted a virus or other sort of malware, at least none that ever showed on any kind of scan other than simple tracking cookies. I have Firefox configured to dump all cookies when I close it, which is sometimes a pain but I believe it helps keep order. Should I "go naked" (without full-time anti virus) or should I try Super Anti Spyware again?
 
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Old 01-12-17, 12:17 PM
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My fear Joel and this is just going on gut feeling alone and nothing I have looked at recently, is that no anti-virus right now will properly protect Windows XP. Microsoft as you know has given up on Windows XP and many companies look for advice from Microsoft when they manufacture or produce their software. When they know that the OS manufacturer has given up on their OS they no longer work as hard on their software for it or give up entirely on it. Superantispyware though if you have the full version is better than nothing and the cost isn't too high.

I am not endorsing Superantispyware though but I do use the free addition with Windows 10 and it seems to do a good job as a supplement to Windows Defender.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 03:42 PM
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Furd, it's not an AVG problem. Firefox does that on XP. It happens to me too. Clean your PC weekly with anti malware from malwarebytes.org & you'll be fine. Always update first.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 10:21 PM
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Download and install CCleaner (CCLEANER.COM), then run the app and select the Registry icon on the left side. Then at the bottom, select the Scan for Issues button. After the scan, click on the "Fix" buttons.

You may want to do the above two or three times, until it doesn't find any issues or only one or two repeatedly show up.

Close the CCleaner program. Reboot your PC and reinstall AVG, if you haven't already.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 11:07 PM
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Just a note that with Windows 7 and above, 'cleaning' the registry is no longer advised due to the risk of fragmenting the registry.
 
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Old 01-13-17, 08:30 AM
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Furd Ė

If the you accidentally transposed two letters in post #1, and FDSSvc.exe should read DFSSvc.exe then possibly the info from this link is relevant.

DFSSvc.exe Windows process - What is it?

If DFSSvc.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, the security rating is 6% dangerous. The file size is 164,864 bytes. The program is not visible. It is a Microsoft signed file. The software uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. The file is a Windows core system file.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as DFSSvc.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the DFSSvc.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.
 
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Old 01-14-17, 01:29 PM
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Zoesdad, nope, the letters are correct in the first post. Both of the processes are related to the Spybot, Search and Destroy I had recently added.

Mad Scientist, I have run CCleaner in the fairly recent past, no change. I'll do it again along with your additions.

Donoli, Thanks for the info.

Richard, so far, other than this irritation, XP is still working for me.

All, I suspect that everyone is wondering why I don't just bit the bullet and upgrade my OS. Well, I am comfortable using XP and upgrading would mean all new hardware and all new software along with learning a new OS. I don't have gobs of money to spend and my current set up does everything I need. If (when) I absolutely need to change I will go for a Linux solution just so I don't have to get a new computer (two of them plus a laptop) a new laser printer and a new printer/scanner/ copier. My copy of Word is Word 2000 and works just fine for me as does my Excel and other MS software.

Recently I was darn glad that my laptop is an older model that still has an RS-232 connection. I had bought a commercial speed control unit for my lawn tractor project and it had the RS-232 connection for programming. It also came with a USB to RS-232 adapter cable but after installing the software on this computer it would NOT connect to the speed controller. Using my laptop via the RS-232 port worked perfectly. I have a couple of communication units that also require RS-232 so that "antiquated" serial protocol is pretty important to me.

One more thing. I have left my computer on the last few days, just putting it to sleep when not using and today I had the Firefox hang issue again. Couldn't do a thing and the task manager was showing Firefox at 99%. I had to close Firefox and restart. This supports donoli's statement that it is a FIREFOX-XP problem and not an AVG problem. Since this happens primarily on this site as well as one other site, both of which run numerous "scrips" in the background I suspect it is a problem with scrips rather than basic Firefox and XP. When on one of these two specific sites I also will occasionally get an error message concerning scrips.
 
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Old 01-14-17, 03:48 PM
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Since this happens primarily on this site as well as one other site, both of which run numerous "scrips" in the background I suspect it is a problem with scrips rather than basic Firefox and XP.
This $ite recently added more $cripts, in order to fill every inch of unused $pace. Firefox may handle scripts in XP differently than how it handles scripts in recent versions of windows.
 
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Old 01-16-17, 06:23 PM
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Furd, you might try running FF in safe mode and see if the lock-ups continue.

To get into Safe Mode,
1) If your FF Menu bar is visible,
Click on Help> Restart with Add-ons Disabled

2) If your FF menu bar isn't visible,
Click on "Open Menu," click on the question mark (?) at the bottom, and then click on "Restart with Add-ons Disabled"

... or ...
3) <Alt><H>, <Alt><R> gets you to the same place.

Running FF in "Safe Mode" reduces the workload that the browser imposes on the OS and should make it less temperamental. Unfortunately, it also makes it less useful.


I don't fault you in the least for still running XP. I've got three PCs on XP, two of which see daily use, and two of which (not the same two) use FF as the default browser. One of the three is my Mom's, and lord help me if I ever have to switch her to something else!

I still use two of the XP PCs myself, but I am cognizant that everything I do on them is riskier than if M$ hadn't "sunsetted" the OS, inherently less safe in any case than a still-supported OS would be. That's a given on account of no security updates since April of 2015.


Speaking directly to your questions, I don't see a problem like the one you're having on any of my own XPs but I do see something similar with Firefox on Win7 (on a PC that, for the record, runs ESET antivirus). If I have a large number of tabs open, like donoli2016 mentioned, particularly pages with lots of dynamic scripting, the browser can become unresponsive. It locks up so bad, it won't even respond to clicking the "Close" button to shut it down. When that happens, first I try to close the browser from command line, and failing that I go to the Task Manager application to "End process."

But sometimes it will have bogged down the entire OS so badly that it won't even respond to a three-finger salute, leaving me no option but to switch off the PC (which the OS finds a very unpleasant experience). My corn pone analogy is that the browser is sucking up so much memory that what little memory is left over just doesn't have the muscle it needs to force the browser to close.

Anyway, I suspect there's nothing "abnormal" going on, you're just taxing it to the hardware's limits.


But let me play devil's advocate and give you a few reasons why you should be preparing to give up your current set-up, regardless. And I'm speaking of two possible eventualities, one that XP (in time) becomes of no use to you, and the other that your PC bites the big wazoo.

So why would XP cease being useful? Well, what if there were no (supported) browsers available for it? Last month, Mozilla posted this notice on their website:

Firefox is one of the few browsers that continues to support Windows XP and Vista, and we expect to continue to provide security updates for users until September 2017. Users do not need to take additional action to receive those updates. In mid-2017, user numbers on Windows XP and Vista will be reassessed and a final support end date will be announced.
So it's looking like FF's days on XP are numbered.

On top of that, M$ stopped supporting its Internet Explorer browser on XP (soon to be) two years ago, and Google stopped supporting its Chrome browser on XP last year. So if Mozilla does sunset FF on XP, you might be willing to risk running an unsupported (and undeniably vulnerable) OS so long as the browser still is being updated, but what about when the browser also is unsupported? OS and browser together is worse than doubling your risk, that's quadrupling it.


The second possibility is that your PC could die. Eventually, everything breaks. The older your hardware gets, the more the likelihood grows that you'll lose something you can't replace. Your PC might well outlive the both of us but the odds are against it. Hard drives in particular are vulnerable because they're one of the few PC components that contains moving parts.

Replacement parts for old computers can be hard to come by (harder still when they're laptops). Or even if you can find it, it might be hideously expensive because it's got so scarce.

When parts start breaking, (depending how many parts break, which parts in particular, and how quickly), it can put the operating system's "authenticity" at risk. M$ built that in as a precaution against one copy of an OS seeing duty in more than one PC. When it kicks in, that's when you start seeing the message that reads, "This copy of Windows is not authentic," and all the good stuff stops working.

None of which is necessarily fatal, but it does take a relatively high "geek quotient" to deal with it.


So at the risk of sounding like a Linux pimp, I'm going to suggest that you should consider the option of switching to Linux ...before stuff starts breaking.

Why Linux, and why before? Because (most) Linux is free and non-proprietary. They don't try to control how many or which PCs you put it on. And regardless how old your hardware is, there's a version of Linux available that will run on it, and probably be snappier than XP was.

Starting now lets you audition different Linuxes at your leisure, see if you think you can live with it, and which one suits you best before you install it. If your PC's BIOS will support it (not all older hardware supports booting from a USB drive), you can boot and run Linux from a thumb drive, and it will look and feel just like it would have if you installed it, you just haven't made any changes to your hard drive yet. You can use the same thumb drive over and over to test as many different versions of Linux as you'd like.

Switching to Linux sooner rather than later lets you do it at a time of your convenience rather than scrambling to get it done because something broke, or because your bank will no longer let you log on with XP/Firefox. I mention that because some weeks after M$ sunsetted XP, my Mom found she wasn't able to log on to Craig's List any more. She was using XP and Internet Explorer 8, and once M$ stopped updating XP, Java stopped updating their plug-in for IE8. Craig's List took their cue from M$ and updated their security criteria so that their log-in no longer supported the old versions of Java. And the change "broke" my Mom's IE8.

Ironically, the "fix" was to have her use Firefox for Craig's List.

The moral of this story is, Mozilla ending support of FF on XP could do more than put your browsing at some theoretical security risk. It's entirely possible it could "break" some websites, particularly the ones with high security.

And where M$ will obsolete old hardware whenever there's a nickel to be made doing it, part of Linux's heritage is the "no hardware left behind" philosophy. They only give up on backwards compatibility if there's no other way forward. Even if you just put Linux on your current laptop, it's likely to be fully supported and usable long after XP would be.


The one thing that gives me reason to pause (RE: Linux) is the speed control programming application you mentioned. Most all Windows applications can be made to run on Linux, either through an application called WINE, or running an entire Windows operating system, virtualized, as a "guest" of the Linux "host." But running doesn't necessarily equate to communicating. Getting the Linux "host" to cooperate with the Windows "guest" when Windows wants to communicate through that RS-232 port is a horse of another color. Linux's drivers situation is vastly better that it was in the past, but most peripheral communications now default to USB, so serial comms could be a crap shoot. I mention this because I've had two different electronic devices with a Windows-based management application that communicated by RS-232. Getting the applications themselves to run on Windows was easy enough, but danged if I could ever get either of them to communicate properly with the external device, regardless whether the application was running in WINE or on virtualized Windows.

That's among the many reasons I can't see myself ever being completely Windows-less (for the foreseeable future), even if that just means dual booting it with Linux. But if that programming application is a deal-breaker, I can see why you'd be holding off on changing as long as possible.

Then again, auditioning Linux from a thumb drive could give you a fairly painless opportunity to see whether Linux can be coaxed into letting that application communicate properly over a serial port.
 
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Old 01-17-17, 02:19 AM
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Thank you , Fred for that in-depth explanation. I have copied it and will try these things in the next few days.

The point about Craig's List is also interesting. I have never had to "log in" to send messages asking about some item but the last several times I have sent a message it often did not receive a response from the seller although the last one I sent, maybe a week or so ago, did indeed get me a response.

I'm not extremely worried about the RS-232 issue. In addition to the speed control (for my electric lawn tractor) I have a Zetron 1514 Device Page unit that can call a pager (with an alphanumeric message) that is programmed via RS-232 and Hyper terminal. This unit is long obsolete but I keep it because it was a rock-solid alarm for someone using a pager. I also have two Zetron 1550 Sentri-Max alarm systems that can call a pager, telephone or (with the radio option) a radio with either voice or alphanumeric messages. These are, last time I checked, still manufactured and they are fairly expensive. They can be programmed without a computer but it is far easier to use the computer. I may never use any of these Zetron units but as long as I have them I would like to be able to program them.

A few years ago I attempted (several times) to download a Linux OS but the only sites I found were in universities on a time-share computer and it was taking forever, literally hours even with a high speed connection so I gave up.
 
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Old 01-17-17, 12:48 PM
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So it's looking like FF's days on XP are numbered
The days are really gone but we are too stubborn, to admit it.
 
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Old 01-17-17, 03:51 PM
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I don't see a problem like the one you're having on any of my own XPs but I do see something similar with Firefox on Win7 (on a PC that, for the record, runs ESET antivirus). If I have a large number of tabs open, like donoli2016 mentioned, particularly pages with lots of dynamic scripting, the browser can become unresponsive. It locks up so bad, it won't even respond to clicking the "Close" button to shut it down. When that happens, first I try to close the browser from command line, and failing that I go to the Task Manager application to "End process."

But sometimes it will have bogged down the entire OS so badly that it won't even respond to a three-finger salute, leaving me no option but to switch off the PC (which the OS finds a very unpleasant experience).
Furd Ė

Iím using FF on W7 as Fred does and Iíve experienced many times the problems exactly as Fred describes above, including the same exact steps to recover.

I suspect itís what Fred suggests: FF had not been designed to degrade gracefully when running up against memory limits.
 
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Old 01-18-17, 06:17 AM
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Notice how after FF is restarted, the response between tab & window changes is good, for awhile. As time passes, it gets slower. I keep the task manager opened & watch the green box, in the tray. You'll see it go up & down. When FF starts to get really slow, the box stays full. I was looking for a cache to empty. I didn't want to empty the history since I use it.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 07:58 AM
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Furd I kinda stopped reading and started skimming the thread when you started your thread with WinXP....I understand your reason for keeping XP and one being $, but many of us held on after Win7 came out but when we jumped shipped Win7 was a lot better and not difficult to grasp (unlike win8- barf!). So you can upgrade to Win7 and I am pretty sure you'll like it.

A somewhat affordable upgrade to your system would be to install an SSD hard drive. You can get an affordable 250gb SSD from amazon for under $90. Some come with software that you can install on your current system in order to make an exact 1:1 copy to the new SSD, so once done you replace the HDD for the SSD and viola, computer runs like (almost) new. If you dont have the tools or experience you might be able to find someone to do it for you. I knew someone that needed some old DELLs for a construction site, meaning they were oging to get dirty and beat up. Was not interested in new machines but they were slow turtles. I recommended SSD's and after the upgrade they ran a lot better.

So maybe give that a try and any bottle necks you might be experiencing from an old cpu, limited memory and old mechanical drive might go away with an SSD upgrade.

Here's one of the drives that I purchased that comes with the software+license key (you have to download it, doesn't come with a CD) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

my 2 cents.
 
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