Mozilla 1.4 does not start up after machine crash



15 years ago
14 years ago


(Reporter: Keith S., Unassigned)


Windows 2000

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




15 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.3) Gecko/20030312
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.3) Gecko/20030312

I've installed and started using Mozilla 1.4 (final release) for a few days.
Then, after suffering a fatal machine crash and rebooting/cleaning up, Mozilla
1.4 refuses to start. I have Mozilla 1.3 on this machine as well (installed to a
different directory), and it continues to work. Both were using the same profile.

Clicking on the icon or executable causes nothing to happen. No error is thrown,
no temp files are created, no process is ever started, except maybe for a
millisecond, in Task Manager. It isn't just the browser, but ALL components:
Mail, Profile Manager, etc. The Mozilla executable itself is failing immediately
-- even when just trying to get help at the command line.

I ran a File Monitor program, and it seems to look for xpcom.dll, but that's as
far as it goes. Again, no error message is thrown.

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling -- no luck. I have tried uninstalling
and reinstalling to a new directory -- again, no luck. I think this rules out
any plugins or .xpi's, since none were present after reinstalling from scratch.
I've tried deleting my profile, and it still shows no sign of starting up.

On one hand, there is the problem the browser simply can't be made to work again
after a fatal crash like this, so there is some kind of data corruption in the
profile or in the registry that is causing Mozilla 1.4 to die before it can even
get off the ground.

On the other hand, there's the fact that no error message is being thrown, which
itself is a real bug.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
Unable to reproduce environment consistently.
Actual Results:  
see above

Expected Results:  
see above

I also installed Talkback when reinstalling several times -- it doesn't trigger
anything either (which makes sense, as virtually nothing is being loaded).

To repeat one key fact here: Mozilla 1.3, pointing to the same profile I was
using before, DOES WORK. It's only Mozilla 1.4 that doesn't.

Also, it bears mentioning that I did see this problem once before with Mozilla
1.4 Release Candidate 2. No matter how many times I uninstalled and reinstalled,
I could never get it to work. However, when RC3 came out and I installed that,
everything was fine. So I'm wondering if the problem is somehow tied to the
specific version, and reinstalling something only slightly different or new
would help.

I thought the registry was well cleaned up after the install, but I haven't been
able to narrow down what registry keys, if any, the executable is accessing upon
startup, and that might be causing it to barf.

Comment 1

15 years ago
Try removing Program Files/Common Files/

Comment 2

15 years ago
That fixed it -- beautifully simple.

Does the deinstall procedure currently remove these directories (either
automatically or optionally)? If not, it looks as though it should to avoid this

Or can the installer be run in some sort of "forced" mode that automatically
overwrites anything in this directory? Would that have prevented this problem?

Comment 3

15 years ago
I don't think uninstall, uninstalls Common Files/ At least on my
system it remains after installing a specific version (1.3?, 1.4x?, not sure
which one I uninstalled last before I looked).

Comment 4

15 years ago
I think a somewhat recent change to the installer will now delete that directory
for you, but previously it did not. If you see it saying something about
deleting "Orphan GRE's", that's what it's doing. So Keith, would you consider
this problem solved? If so, I'll close the bug. Thank you.

Comment 5

15 years ago
I suppose so, but these are common files, right? If the uninstaller removes
them, isn't there a risk that it may be breaking other software that
is installed?

What if there are other Mozilla programs installed and the uninstaller detects
this, so does not remove the directories. Won't this problem still exist then?
Or is it smart enough to remove only the pieces that are needed by Mozilla?

The most ideal solution is to detect and error-trap the situation that's causing
the startup to fail. Another ideal solution would be for the installer to
overwrite any potentially corrupt common files at install time, so the problem
can be fixed with a new install.

Certainly, removing the common files in ALL cases would solve this problem, but
I'm concerned that this approach by itself may introduce others.

Comment 6

15 years ago
I agree that the best solution is to detect that the files are old, corrupt, or
whatever is causing the problem and trap the error. However, as far as I know,
there is not yet any software other than the browser suite that
actually uses the files installed to Common Files\ so that deleting
it is not dangerous. Eventually the plan is to move in that direction to save
memory and disk space, but currently each program (Firebird, Thunderbird, stand
alone versions of Chatzilla and Calendar, etc) comes with its own copy of the
Gecko Runtime Engine (GRE) files rather than sharing the ones the suite installs
in that folder. On my home machine I have Firebird and Thunderbird but not the
suite, and there is no Common Files\ folder at all. So for the moment
at least, deleting that folder is only affecting the main Mozilla suite and not
anything else.

I think the belief among developers is that whatever causes this crash relates
to multiple, old versions of the GRE existing at the same time in the common
files folder, and deleting them all (and from now on using the updated
installer) will ensure that this situation can't happen again.

Comment 7

15 years ago
I'm going to mark this worksforme. There is definitely still an issue of Mozilla
not gracefully handling obselete extensions, but that should be filed in a new
bug (if there is not one already).
Last Resolved: 15 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME
Product: Browser → Seamonkey
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