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joshl
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Discussing the fate of the die-hard Windows XP users, i.e. stability, browsers, applications, security issues.

@davehawley

Firefox users on XP and Vista have now been moved onto the Extended Support Release (ESR) channel, with Firefox 52 ESR.

Well, I remember reading someone's comment earlier, stating there was this stream (ESR channel), and that some 52 or 53 would be the last suited for XP, or something... (Where's my smilies button?)

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davehawley
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Firefox 52 is the last official version for XP and Vista, and if you want to still use legacy NPAPI Firefox plugins like Java, Silverlight and QuickTime, you will now need to be on the ESR release of 52, as the normal version has already dropped support for these, except for Flash.
:)

joshl
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Dave, as I saw your initial post in that other thread about 36, I was with Firefox and checked right away about updates: it showed ESR52 available. I decided to postpone, and the other day decided to upgrade - but it showed that my Ff51 was up to date this time! Strange, isn't it?

davehawley
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That happened with mine too, I think if you keep looking it will eventually offer you the update again.
:)

joshl
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@davehawley

This is potentially off-topic of course, but did the BSOD tell you what file (usually a driver) had apparently caused it?

Seriously? How is one supposed to read that blink of an eye? Pause it? :P

joshl
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Returning stuff to this thread...

>

That was first!
A new task tab of the same program or application seems to have always appeared next to its other ones - regardless of the actual "timetable", right? Now in my Firefox, I'm having a new window task separated by a document one. Funny! Is it? :yikes:

@davehawley Well the 52esr offer appeared at last -- I had checked several times since - was nothing.
It didn't upgrade though yet. Maybe because of a browser crash. I seem to remember a similar incident with updating: as I remember, it updated next time... Ah! yes, I clicked the offer; but it seems the Fox couldn't handle itself: it seems to tend to crash after prolonged sessions.

PS: I know it was in another thread, but I reckoned to do with one and the same post, especially for the thread is funny - and related to almost anything!

PS-PSSS: Yikes! The :yikes: smilie seems to have been stolen!
Report to the authorities immediately! I need NATO cruisers deployed AT ONCE!

Well, Dave, it didn't.
Then I saw the offer again and clicked it. Everything seemed going fine: "downloading", then "restart", no crashes... But in the end, having restarted and all, it appeared to be/show being the same 51. And the offer was "still standing". But I decided to not decide till I decide later - like having talked with you :)

davehawley
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Well that's very odd!
Perhaps it updated to a later version of 51 rather than updating to 52ESR.
Try it again!
:)

joshl
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joshl

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Try it again!

I just did.

At least this time they showed me a window saying that it had failed. Suggesting I could use some mozilla.org or something.
Before it restarted though, I noticed in that "about" window that it was saying "you're on esr stream now" - whatever that meant...

My current version is 51.0.1. I don't remember it being any less "zero-one" recently, plus they definitely suggested I could update to 52... :confused:

And the :yikes: smilie is still missing.
I suggest we could put a bolo and use some Abby Sciuto to analyse the crime scene. She could find some prints or fibre.
Was it Leo? Leo, do you have an alibi?
Was it Donald Trump? A binLaden junior? :sherlock:

davehawley
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Try downloading the language version you need from here.
I've had this happen sometimes before, and ended up having to use the standalone installer.
I think the versions there are 52.0, and it's now on 52.1, but once you've got 52.0 up and running, hopefully it should update itself OK.
:)

joshl
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I think the versions there are 52.0, and it's now on 52.1, but once you've got 52.0 up and running...

Good morning??? :confused:

davehawley
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Sorry, what's the problem? :confused:
The versions on the FTP site are 52.0 ESR.
Just install the one you want, and once it's up and running, run an update check again.
It should then update to 52.1.0 ESR, which is the current version as of a couple of days ago.
:)

joshl
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Sorry, I didn't see the granma.

Something wrong with this browser!
There was no update since February, but right now recently - a couple of days - it started acting like it can't load stuff, some spinning cogwheels, bars about a page troubling the browser; I can't measure my speed with speedtest.net any more (doesn't load the laptop), having trouble playing videos even 240p, and the pornhub player won't even load. Right, took for granted, but it was the first thing: it started being slow right from the open (not as its usual 3-day session tired).
There are two things I can think of. 1. My Disc C free space dropped lower than 8GB recently. 2. I put up a new version of Adobe Flash Player: it's 25, without "au".
Can I try reverting the Player upgrade?

joshl
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Try downloading the language version you need from here.

What "dir"? The language versions? What should I choose? Are those normal language codes? Like "uk" for BrE?

joshl
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There are two things I can think of. 1. My Disc C free space dropped lower than 8GB recently. 2. I put up a new version of Adobe Flash Player: it's 25, without "au".

There was one more thing. Our ISP changed something ^^THERE^^ right about the time. Of course I'm not sure. Could that affect something here? Opera 36 seems o'k.


Well, yesterday I resorted to checking on my Task Manager about memory and other consumption.
Didn't check with Opera 36 yet though. But this Firefox. It appeared when loading some sites, CPU hits the ceiling. Even looking at those pages (active tabs) made it go up significantly.

Well, I know I should buy a new computer with a more powerful processor etc.

By the way, is there a way to pin the Task Manager icon to the Tray without having the manager actually open? Like a messenger kind of. Because the icon shows the CPU which is most important. Does Windows allow for it? I tried some time earlier to pin it via that customisation thingy (what to show and what to allow on the Tray particularly), but this one doesn't stick. Is there a solution? It seems useful to have such an indicator always shown in my current circumstances.

davehawley
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I've got the latest version of Flash 25 installed and it works fine.
I'm not sure what's happened to your Firefox installation.
If it's malfunctioning badly I would uninstall it and then install the language version you need of 52 ESR from the FTP site.
It should keep your personal data unless you ask it to remove it on the uninstall.
If the new version still malfunctions it is possible there is some corruption in your profile, but I hope not!
:)

joshl
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If it's malfunctioning badly I would uninstall it and then install the language version you need of 52 ESR from the FTP site.

About that. I have three non-standalone, regular versions of Firefox in different locations (however not using the other two), and I'm not sure what happens if I try uninstalling one/some/???.

Back to the business at hand.
It seems I've eventually made it :party:
It struck me there might have been something with plugins. There is this Mozilla page to check the plugins' validity and update some. I tried finding it in my bookmarks, typing history, even settings. Finally in settings, I found it.
I downloaded the updates, closed the browser.
Well, I had some :bomb: about Java, and Adobe Reader's installer have always behaved unfriendly recently, but I did my best. (Well, I've acquired some approach - mosty unintentionally: I download an update, but then there is an older update that wasn't installed; how that happened in the first place, it's not easy to recollect, but it's usually worked for some time; so I kinda always have a spare update in case of unexpected events. Adobe Reader's weird, as I say, so I can't be absolutely sure if it did or did not: the application itself shows that I'm up to date and no updates available, the installer file disappears, so I can't seem to do any much further about that.)
So, I tinkled, tinkerbelled and such, went to the bathroom a couple of times (which is important!)... Now eventually it came to open the Firefox. Upon clicking it, it showed the thingy "I'm applying your upgrades" or something! :) And yes, it looks differently! :cheers:
And this thing. Apart from the usual starting tab, it opened this "temporary" Mozila site - page. In its top, there is this "IMPORTANT announcement": "We’re going through some system changes...", etc. Which might actually explain certain things...

Now to the main content of that page.

Important - Firefox is ending support for Windows XP and Vista

Firefox version 52 will be the last complete update for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Security updates will be released, but no new features.

Why is Firefox support ending for Windows XP and Vista users?

Firefox is one of the only browsers to offer any support for Windows XP and Vista. Microsoft itself ended support for Windows XP in 2014 and will end support for Windows Vista in 2017. Unsupported operating systems receive no security updates, have known exploits, and can be dangerous to use, which makes it difficult to maintain Firefox on those versions.

Firefox security updates for XP and Vista users will continue until September 2017, although new features will not be offered. In mid-2017, a final support end date will be announced based on the number of users still on Windows XP and Vista.

So I gather, Firefox 52 is final, right?

In March 2017, if you are using Firefox with Windows XP or Windows Vista, you will automatically be updated to the Extended Support Release version of Firefox. You will continue to receive important Firefox security updates but no other features or updates. You do not need to do anything else.

Does it mean longer than September? :confused:

(Then there is a suggestion that I should either upgrade my Windows or move to Linux. So long as I don't have any money for a new computer, and this one is said to be not-upgradable, I should consider Linux sooner than later...)

davehawley
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Firefox 53, which was just released, is definitely stated to not be compatible with XP or Vista, so yes, 52 is the last one for those operating systems.
The reason to go to the ESR version is that as its name says (Extended Support Release) it will be supported with security updates for much longer that the usual releases on the rapid release cycle.
How long 52 ESR will actually be supported is unknown. If it follows the usual pattern, it will end support around the Autumn of this year, replaced with another (non-XP compatible) ESR version.
They have said that they will review things later in the Summer to see how many users are still registering as being on XP or Vista, and make a decision then as to whether they will extend the life of 52 ESR beyond its normal lifespan.
Fingers crossed!
:)

joshl
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Came today and forgot this.

Lately I've been usually using Opera 36 for this site and Facebook, plus additional tasks if needed. Like most daily issues, but not games nor video. Right.
So it glitched time to time. Like when I hit these forums' speeddial right after the browser started, or hit my Facebook page the same way - like statistically it usually didn't load but kept "connecting". Restarting might have usually helped, etc. Or it was a local issue? Bad server connections? Yesterday I noticed some stuff wouldn't but loaded right after I switched to Turbo.

The thing is, this morning my Opera 36 started to behave similarly, but then it seemed to like break of sorts: I tried to stop and/or close the stuck tabs to try anew, or change something before the retry - like that Turbo... But it KINDA froze, the tabs' titles changed to blank "Loading...", the tabs didn't close... I tried to restart, but that didn't seem to help any much.

Does this Opera 36 have some chronic or inherent minor or not so minor mishaps in it?

Dave, you said about reinstalling (about Firefox it was though). The other thing is, when I installed, I was surprised this new Chromium Opera got quartered right in the bowels of my other, old Opera. So that even first I couldn't find a launcher on my desk - it didn't seem to have created one, or something, I'm not sure now...
The thing now is that both Operas' files are totally piled up in one and the same folder, so one could hardly tell which one belongs to which one, except some specific files that are known to be quite different in the new Opera.
Right, one could use last change times, I guess... I mean what if uninstalling would harm something?

Well, I guess I could part with the Olde Opera, especially if its settings and stuff are in a different location, and I could back it up. I don't use the browser itself now, because it doesn't load most stuff at least good any more. :awww:

joshl
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Opera seems to be working today...

I don't know... Perhaps it might be certain lags/delays in something starting etc...
Anyway, I started the browser, then I went away for several minutes, then I hit whatever it was. OR, perhaps it might be due to the fact that I left it with Turbo on? Or both...

blackbird71
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If you use Windows Event Viewer (Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Event Viewer), are there either System or Application Log errors clustered or repeated around the time(s) of your Opera freeze up(s)? It's not unusual to see an occasional yellow 'warning' scattered over time, but it's the red Errors occurring at or just prior to a freeze that are likely to be relevant? If it's a pure system issue, you should see some errors; if it's purely within Opera, perhaps not so much.

joshl
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Bird, to clarify, it is not a freeze-freeze, it is a non-connection-"freeze".

I would find the Administrative tools, I guess, then it's this "Russian translation": lots of things are hard to find having directions in one language and cramping in another :doh:
When then to open that thing, you're saying? Provided I find it:)


Just took a look. I guess I've found it: the translation, surprisingly, is not confusing, for a change :D

blackbird71
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The event log should be a history of events that the system detects or that apps report to the system as events. Many of them will be normal starts or stops of services and such, but things that are somewhat abnormal get yellow warning flags and things that actually cause an error get a red 'x' flag. In most systems I've run into, there will always be a scattering of yellow flags in ordinary usage with a small number of occasional (and obscure) red errors that pop up in the history. The main usefulness is when an issue occurs that causes usage problems, one can go into the logs and sometimes find flagged events that happen just prior to and during the onset of the main issue's time of occurrance. These can sometimes provide clues about other programs or even hardware elements that might have misbehaved just before the main issue was noticed by the user.

While they're typically not as effective for pinpointing causes as a true crash log, they do occasionally provide clues to troubleshoot a problem - mainly because apps frequently don't create much, if any, crash log when they freeze. In any case, the event logs are present on all the Windows versions from XP onward, so they essentially "come free" and may sometimes be better than nothing in trying to figure out what happened. This is particularly true if multiple failures have occurred over time and similar related events happen to appear surrounding each in the event log.

davehawley
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@joshl

Just following up on our Firefox discussion off-topic on another thread, if you are still using Flash to play Facebook videos on Firefox 52 ESR, are you aware that it's possible to get a plugin to allow it to use HTML5 video on XP, which in my opinion performs much better?
See here.
:)

joshl
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Black, yesterday happened, Event Logger didn't have anything at all.

Dave, Facebook videos aren't a problem so ain't worth a breath. Thanks.

blackbird71
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The Event Viewer is primarily useful in pointing at something whose failure it can capture. Lack of a recorded event doesn't necessarily prove there are no failures. Two of the areas that often go uncaptured are internal apps failures (eg: purely within Opera) and certain erratic hardware issues (eg: RAM chips).

Are you experiencing any kinds of repeating failures or issues with any other application software? If you run a different browser consistently for a while, does it ever show any similar problems to Opera's?

The idea is to isolate whether the problem is global in some way(s) or whether it might involve the system's interface elements with which the browser communicates. If neither is true, then you may be dealing with a defective Opera installation (including defective or rogue registry entries). It's much less likely that the version itself contains this kind of bug in its code, else there would have been many multiple reports of the same problem details by this point in time.

My long experience has been that over time, hardware deteriorates; likewise, software can and does sometimes deteriorate (due to file corruption, media errors, etc). There's kind of a Law of Entropy constantly at work in digital systems, such that the older the system, the more often certain things start to go wrong or fail to work. The cause(s) may or may not be easily traced back and repaired, and the older the system and software, the bigger the role that pure-guesswork/instinct/past-experience plays in resolving problems.

joshl
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Are you experiencing any kinds of repeating failures or issues with any other application software? If you run a different browser consistently for a while, does it ever show any similar problems to Opera's?

Nope. Nothing similar even remotely. No.
(My messenger can very occasionally lose its connection, but it's incomparable and unclear why.)

blackbird71
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Pulling out the technical problem flow in this thread's posts, you wrote (with my various emphases):

On April 22: Something wrong with this browser! (FF) There was no update since February, but right now recently - a couple of days - it started acting like it can't load stuff, some spinning cogwheels, bars about a page troubling the browser; I can't measure my speed with speedtest.net any more (doesn't load the laptop), having trouble playing videos even 240p, and the pornhub player won't even load. Right, took for granted, but it was the first thing: it started being slow right from the open (not as its usual 3-day session tired).

And again on April 22: There was one more thing. Our ISP changed something ^^THERE^^ right about the time. Of course I'm not sure. But this Firefox. It appeared when loading some sites, CPU hits the ceiling. Even looking at those pages (active tabs) made it go up significantly.

On May 2: Lately I've been usually using Opera 36 for this site and Facebook, plus additional tasks if needed. Like most daily issues, but not games nor video. Right. So it glitched time to time. Like when I hit these forums' speeddial right after the browser started, or hit my Facebook page the same way - like statistically it usually didn't load but kept "connecting". ... this morning my Opera 36 started to behave similarly, but then it seemed to like break of sorts: I tried to stop and/or close the stuck tabs to try anew, or change something before the retry - like that Turbo... **But it KINDA froze, the tabs' titles changed to blank "Loading...", the tabs didn't close... I tried to restart, but that didn't seem to help any much.

On May 3: Opera seems to be working today... I don't know... Perhaps it might be certain lags/delays in something starting etc... Anyway, I started the browser, then I went away for several minutes, then I hit whatever it was.

Again on May 3: Bird, to clarify, it is not a freeze-freeze, it is a non-connection-"freeze".

A possible pattern that seems to run thru this is that both FF and Opera 36 are having problems connecting to websites with your system. They may also (or alternatively) be having problems loading, initializing, and maintaining themselves on your system. With both browsers behaving this way, it would seem to point at either connection issues (your system or your ISP) or local file corruption (perhaps with the OS connectivity modules or your file system in general).

Ordinarily, I would also consider a possible intermittent RAM chip, but with only 2 programs showing issues, that is less likely. Similarly, one might suspect a corrupted browser profile folder, but with two browsers showing similar issues that would be much less likely - unless the file system (eg: hard drive) is failing.

In any case, one easy thing to try would be to test Opera 36 with a new profile folder (rename the current one to something else so you can get back to it later), and see if the Opera problems continue.

joshl
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Bird, about April 22 it might have been about the plug-in issues, at least considering the first piece...


They may also (or alternatively) be having problems loading, initializing, and maintaining themselves on your system. With both browsers behaving this way, it would seem to point at either connection issues (your system or your ISP) or local file corruption (perhaps with the OS connectivity modules or your file system in general).

  • After the said "macabration", it connects right away and stays stable. Some figures in speedtesting changed, but it's likely irrelevant.
  • What are the OS connectivity modules?

Actually, with this ESR52 Firefox is doing all right.
Well, there was some plug-in update quirk the other day, but it's another question: on the update page, it said I'd get some .171 or something version, I veered nowhere, all straight away fine, but the resulting file said version .140. Good, it's working! Update's great! But still - what the :banana: ?

blackbird71
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... What are the OS connectivity modules?

It's just a term for the various code files and services found in the OS that an application uses to access the Internet. It's the plumbing between the app itself and the system's network interface card, all of whose handshaking must work perfectly for network communications to occur. Which modules/services that are used depends mainly on the app design and the Windows version... things like Winsock, etc. On occasion, I've seen such code modules or their registry settings become corrupted (either by a faulty apps software install, hard drive error/failure, or failed OS update). The result can be a sudden or erratic loss of connectivity. Another thing along the same line is erratic operation of the Network card (or chip) itself, but that usually will show up as connection issues involving anything on the system that has to talk or update from out on the network, of which browsers are usually just a few.