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Author Topic: Make Firefox 3 load faster  (Read 23669 times)
OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2009, 01:30:40 PM »

Wow! That was quite the writeup Magis esse!  Cool

And so many extensions!  ohmy I'm surprised you don't have many more issues.

Anyway, i did a quick search and someone in another forum pointed out that the History being kept is set at 90 days!  huh Yup. So i changed it to 7, cleared history cache and cookies and, although it may be too soon to tell, everything seems to be pretty well in ship shape now.

BTW, "MinimizetoTray" isn't to be confused with "Firefox Preloader" (which has been upgraded since 2005). The latter would preload/boot with the OS, not "MtT"

@cmpm, ya, i kind of had that intuition.

Thanks for the heads up about the history cache. It was something I'd overlooked and of course, it was set at the 90 days default! I've done all the tweaks to FF I want, ISTM. My main way of keeping the load time down is only using 7 extensions and 2 themes. FF loads for me in just under 30 seconds, but I'm not in a hurry. YMMV
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dantheman
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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2009, 02:58:16 PM »

You know, sometimes i wonder what the impact can be between extensions themselves?

I mean, perhaps you only have 7 extensions but maybe one of those doesn't like the face of only one other in the group.
Could this happen if there were even more like 30?
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stoobee
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« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2009, 05:12:13 PM »

I have 7 extensions and 10 plugins. I run a Vista Premium box. FF3 opens in about 4 seconds. I had changed many of the settings, but then reinstalled the default settings. I have experienced no problems loading FF3.
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dantheman
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« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2009, 05:18:31 PM »

Good for you stoobee!  smiley

And welcome to DCF!

7 extensions is a pretty safe amount i would say.
Problem is that i like to try new ones.

Question is, do extensions have conflicting issues with others or with the browser or both?

Does re-installing extensions all in one shot using FEBE for example have an impact or is better to re-install them one by one, separate from the other?
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phillfri
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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2009, 09:14:40 AM »

Try the Firefox 3.1 beta2. It does seem considerably faster and more responsive than 3.06 in a lot of ways. Albeit, I'm not sure that load times are that much faster.
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AndyM
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« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2009, 09:25:09 AM »

I have 39 extensions and FF3 3.06 loads in 3-5 seconds.  Fairly new, fairly fast laptop running XP SP3.
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Daleus
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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2009, 09:44:08 AM »

The only problem I've had with FF is the Real video plugin, and frankly, I think it has more to do with the fact that Real is such crap, and less with FF.

I installed the version of Real that offers the handy download this video function, so that I could grab neat vids from webpages.

Then the new version of FF came out so I upgraded, on;y to find out that the real plugin isn't compatible with FF3.  Not only that, but FF3 has never been able to locate an update to the Real plugin and on top of that, I now can't uninstall the dysfunctional Real plugin.

So I have a piece of Real crap hanging around that I can't get rid of nor can I update.  Really burns my biscuits.

/rant off - thanks for listening

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dantheman
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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2009, 12:51:42 PM »

...I now can't uninstall the dysfunctional Real plugin.

So I have a piece of Real crap hanging around that I can't get rid of nor can I update.  Really burns my biscuits.

/rant off - thanks for listening

If you have FEBE or Mozbackup, it's a sync to setup a new profile without your Real extension.

Personally, since i've recently had issues with extensions, i've been basically setting them up almost one by one. Although i like FEBE (which i haven't re-installed it yet) MozBackup (less options) has been pretty good.

FF3 has been loading under10 seconds lately.
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OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2009, 06:16:41 PM »

You know, sometimes i wonder what the impact can be between extensions themselves?

I mean, perhaps you only have 7 extensions but maybe one of those doesn't like the face of only one other in the group.
Could this happen if there were even more like 30?

dantheman, you probably have a point about some extensions not playing nice with others. I review mine periodically for reconsideration. Currently, those are Adblock Plus (a little problematical in some configurations, I'm told), Customize Google, Flashblock, Secure Login, Session Manager, Stumbleupon, and Tab mix Plus. Java installed Java Quick Starter with JRE runtimes 6 v. 10 or 11. Stumbleupon's hanging by a thread because I just never use it. Been keeping it out of sentiment, maybe. Recently, I dumped Bookmarks Duplicate Manager because I rarely have more than 60-70 bookmarks. Gone are the days of 700+ bookmarks!(ISTM finding what you need is so easy, that bookmarking is rarely useful. YMMV) This is my basic FF3 setup on all my machines. They all run XP Pro SP2 and the slowest is a 2.53GHz P4 with 2GB ram. Loading isn't much of a problem, but the server and one of the main desktops run 24/7.  8-))

Themes? FF default and CrystalFox Qute  (easy on the eyes for me)

hth
OEF aka 2 penny Ron
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f0dder
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2009, 06:49:22 PM »

Btw: putting %TEMP%, firefox internet file cache and profiles dir on a ramdisk is pretty darn nice for reduced disk access - FF starts & operates noticably faster. Downside is of course that you need a ramdisk product that supports persisting the memory contents, and you need a stable backup scheme to avoid dataloss because of crashes or powerloss.
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dantheman
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« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2009, 03:55:15 PM »

Getting some good tips here.

"À tout malheur quelque chose de bon!"

Anyway, i was up to 1,700 bookmarks!
This was due in good part to using Diigo which allows you to save to Firefox as well.
Disabled that option and did some early Spring cleaning, now i'm down to about 1,250.

Already, i've noticed that FF has a preppier startup but boy! Is page rendering ever fast in latest 3.0.6 build!   Thmbsup
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2009, 05:14:58 PM »

...
Don't need minimize to tray anymore!  Grin

I tried FF Minimize to tray but it acted a bit funny.  Now I use a general purpose AutoIt3 freebie called WinTray.  If you hold down Shift while clicking the minimize button it minimizes just about any app main window to tray.

http://www.autoitscript.c...opic=85841&hl=WinTray

I'm still using v 1.0.  I guess he's up to 1.6 now but you can also download source for it somewhere it that thread.
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« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2009, 07:42:23 PM »

I'm really interested in the claims made by stoobee, AndyM, dantheman, and others about Firefox 3 loading in under 10 seconds.  Are you talking about the first time you start FF after you've booted up your computer?  It takes more than a minute on my computer (which admittedly is almost three years old.  The computer is running WinXP Pro, has a 3.20 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 1 GB RAM, and plenty of free space on the hard drive.)  Currently, I've got FF 3.0.8 with about 20 add-ons.  After the first time, FF tends to start up pretty quickly, but the first time is absurdly long, especially in comparison to Opera 9.64, which starts up in about 5 seconds even the first time I run it.  At times, Firefox is also pretty sluggish if I close it down and don't use it for an hour or so.  I've gotten so frustrated with it that I've thought about going back to Opera as my default browser, and just using Firefox when I can't use Opera (e.g., when using WebResearch).  I probably won't do that, since I'm loathe to give up AdBlock, FlashBlock, CookieCuller, and RoboForm (LastPass isn't nearly as good), but I'd love to find a way to make Firefox as responsive as Opera.
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rgdot
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« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2009, 07:59:17 PM »

Just for the record my experience is close to cyberdiva, 12 add-ons and a similar computer. And FF is easily the most sluggish program on it and I have lots of programs that I download to play around with and test. Keep my pc as tuned as I can turning off unneeded stuff and deleting startups, etc. so other things while not great considering the age of my system are still good.
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dantheman
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« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2009, 08:39:33 PM »

Cyberdiva,

Just do a search to find .urlfilter for opera and you'll find a way to block most ads in Opera.

Firefox always takes a long time to load when computer is booted up or restarted.
After that, it usually doesn't take mine much more than 8 seconds.
I've read elsewhere that this is the way the Mozilla browser behaves.

I can't do away with qtl, SlimSearch (SimilarWeb recently discovered) extensions for Firefox.
Adblock Plus of course is standard installation but i'm also an avid Diigo user (which recently acquired Furl bookmarking services). Too many bookmarks will slow down your startup process and i'm trying real hard to keep them low in FF. That's why i'm using Diigo as complimentary/backup to my bookmarks.
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2009, 09:19:30 PM »

Thanks, dantheman, for your response.  I'll definitely look for .urlfilter.  Even if I don't make Opera the default browser, I still use it enough to make me want to do what I can to get rid of the ads.

From what you say, I guess your statement about Firefox taking <10 seconds to load referred to subsequent loading, not the first time.  I can understand Firefox being a little slower than Opera on first load, but Opera loads about ten times as fast.  Sigh.

As for bookmarks, they're not an issue for me.  I have NO Firefox bookmarks.  I keep all my bookmarks in Linkman, a terrific bookmark manager that works with Firefox, Opera, IE, and a bunch of other browsers. 
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AndyM
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« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2009, 10:06:44 PM »

I'm really interested in the claims made by stoobee, AndyM, dantheman, and others about Firefox 3 loading in under 10 seconds.  Are you talking about the first time you start FF after you've booted up your computer?

I was about to say yes, but I did some re-testing and I learned that starting Firefox for the first time after booting is not the same as starting Firefox for the first time after logging off and logging back on.  I was quite surprised.  I made sure there was no running Firefox process before I started it.

After rebooting: around 20 seconds.  After closing Firefox, logging off, logging back on: 7-9 seconds.  Any subsequent restart: 5-6 seconds.

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2009, 10:15:55 PM »

I'm really interested in the claims made by stoobee, AndyM, dantheman, and others about Firefox 3 loading in under 10 seconds.  Are you talking about the first time you start FF after you've booted up your computer?  It takes more than a minute on my computer (which admittedly is almost three years old.  The computer is running WinXP Pro, has a 3.20 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 1 GB RAM, and plenty of free space on the hard drive.)  Currently, I've got FF 3.0.8 with about 20 add-ons.  After the first time, FF tends to start up pretty quickly, but the first time is absurdly long, especially in comparison to Opera 9.64, which starts up in about 5 seconds even the first time I run it.  At times, Firefox is also pretty sluggish if I close it down and don't use it for an hour or so.  I've gotten so frustrated with it that I've thought about going back to Opera as my default browser, and just using Firefox when I can't use Opera (e.g., when using WebResearch).  I probably won't do that, since I'm loathe to give up AdBlock, FlashBlock, CookieCuller, and RoboForm (LastPass isn't nearly as good), but I'd love to find a way to make Firefox as responsive as Opera.

In the end you might have to resort to that. I actually found that Firefox's slow start up doesn't bother me if I'm in a more lightweight browser. Of course there's the problem of Firefox hogging the memory but ironically enough, I found since Opera with more tabs and Google with some tabs  still being much less sluggier than FF with those links inside it, I just treat FF like Adobe PDF Reader or some Java App.

Also, the more you deviate from Firefox the more you can trim down on add-ons and the like. Hell, I would even go overboard if it doesn't overwhelm you. Move some add-ons to Flock, some add-ons to Firefox, use Opera as your main browser, use Google as your 2nd lightweight browser (for AJAX sites) and use Maxthon for the third and K-meleon for the 4th. Then just use Flock and Firefox for heavy duty stuff.

I don't do this myself though but because I don't, my taboo firefox extension is so loaded, I can't open the full taboo view or else my 1gb ram system completely slows down beyond minutes.
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f0dder
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« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2009, 12:36:39 AM »

I find firefox startup to be relatively sluggish too, especially once you have a good amount of addons, and after you've used it for a while.

Part of the sluggishness seems to be related to the sqlite database files FF uses for various purposes, like your browsing history - getting those files defragmented can help. I went to the extremes of moving my entire firefox profile and browse cache to a ramdisk smiley (one that saves it's content to an imagefile when the computer it shutdown/rebooted, and with regular automated backups in the unlikely case I should have a windows crash or power glitch). Helps a lot.
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« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2009, 04:34:06 AM »

If there's one thing i can't complain about in FF3, it's the non-existence of CPU overload and ressource usage.
Albeit, i rarely have more than 5 tabs open.

Nevertheless, it's an issue that happens often with Maxthon2 and occasionally with Opera.

I like to keep a "minimum" of bookmarks in Firefox as i do appreciate the url box features (like the "ahsome bar") that i've enhanced with other extensions.

Basically, keeping FF minimized not only helps for quick starts (obviously) but also keeps ressource usage to a minimum.

-XP Home SP2
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gpetrant
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« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2009, 06:43:44 AM »

I've found a way to make Firefox 3 or 2 lightning fast without compromising security or tweaking it in any way.  It loads in under 15 seconds everytime.  I've christened it Shaolin RAMming.  It takes RAM disking, which fodder uses, a step further.  I create a RAM disk big enough to load the entire portable app edition of Firefox 3 and have it load up automatically at start up, where it stays for the duration of my session.

I've tried all the RAMdisk apps I could find out there, and settled on this very easy to use little number:  Virtual Hard Drive Pro 2 from FarStone ($29.95 (US)).  After installing it, I followed the directions for creating a RAM disk.  In my case, I chose 200 MB (out of 1.5 GB RAM).  Next, I downloaded and installed the portable app edition of Firefox 3 into my RAMdisk.  Why portable?  Because it's self-contained, and therefore won't be dragged down by having its cache, profiles, add-ons, etc, placed in various other locations on my hard drive.  With Firefox 3 portable installed and configured with a 85 MB cache, it takes up about 170 MB of my 200 MB RAMdisk (leaving me a generous 25 to 30 MB of breathing room).

This RAMdisk application saves a disk image of your RAMdisk to any location you specify on whatever persistent storage medium you choose...automatically.  Using the same disk imaging technology which apps like Acronis and ShadowProtect use, Virtual Hard Drive Pro 2 can be configured to take disk images of the contents of your RAMdrive either at regular user-specified intervals or just once upon shutdown.  I chose the once upon shutdown option because I reboot my computer on a daily basis and don't mind losing a new bookmark or two if something goes wrong. 

Since Virtual Hard Drive Pro 2 allows me to specify where to save this disk image, I chose my USB drive.  In essence, I've completely bypassed my hard drive altogether.  The disk image of my RAMdisk is saved to my USB drive upon shutdown (automatically).  When I reboot, it is taken from my USB drive and reloaded into my RAMdisk (again, automatically).  This cycle repeats itself without user intervention every time I start up or shut down my computer.  I've been using this technique for about a year now without a single major disaster.  Once or twice, when my machine locked up, I lost the contents of my RAMdisk, but then I simply reloaded yesterday's image file (saved to my USB drive). I lost a new bookmark or two, maybe one new add-on.

My results: Firefox 3 loads in under 15 seconds, runs eerily silent (no hard drive access noise or slowdown), and since it bypasses my hard drive completely, it saves that much wear and tear.  All automatically.  If an outage occurs, I simply recreate the RAMdisk and reload the image file from my USB drive (I also make a backup copy of it elsewhere on my hard drive).  This technique works for any portable app, btw.  The amount of available system RAM on your machine is the only limit.

(My system: Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (HT), 1.5 GB RAM, Windows XP Home, 180 GB SATA HD.  Virtual Hard Drive 2 Pro (presently discounted down to $20 US): http://www.farstone.com/s...re/virtual-hard-drive.htm
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« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2009, 07:19:20 AM »

I've found a way to make Firefox 3 or 2 lightning fast without compromising security or tweaking it in any way.  It loads in under 15 seconds everytime.  I've christened it Shaolin RAMming.  It takes RAM disking, which fodder uses, a step further.  I create a RAM disk big enough to load the entire portable app edition of Firefox 3 and have it load up automatically at start up, where it stays for the duration of my session.

I've tried all the RAMdisk apps I could find out there, and settled on this very easy to use little number:  Virtual Hard Drive Pro 2 from FarStone ($29.95 (US)).  After installing it, I followed the directions for creating a RAM disk.  In my case, I chose 200 MB (out of 1.5 GB RAM).  Next, I downloaded and installed the portable app edition of Firefox 3 into my RAMdisk.  Why portable?  Because it's self-contained, and therefore won't be dragged down by having its cache, profiles, add-ons, etc, placed in various other locations on my hard drive.  With Firefox 3 portable installed and configured with a 85 MB cache, it takes up about 170 MB of my 200 MB RAMdisk (leaving me a generous 25 to 30 MB of breathing room).

This RAMdisk application saves a disk image of your RAMdisk to any location you specify on whatever persistent storage medium you choose...automatically.  Using the same disk imaging technology which apps like Acronis and ShadowProtect use, Virtual Hard Drive Pro 2 can be configured to take disk images of the contents of your RAMdrive either at regular user-specified intervals or just once upon shutdown.  I chose the once upon shutdown option because I reboot my computer on a daily basis and don't mind losing a new bookmark or two if something goes wrong. 

Since Virtual Hard Drive Pro 2 allows me to specify where to save this disk image, I chose my USB drive.  In essence, I've completely bypassed my hard drive altogether.  The disk image of my RAMdisk is saved to my USB drive upon shutdown (automatically).  When I reboot, it is taken from my USB drive and reloaded into my RAMdisk (again, automatically).  This cycle repeats itself without user intervention every time I start up or shut down my computer.  I've been using this technique for about a year now without a single major disaster.  Once or twice, when my machine locked up, I lost the contents of my RAMdisk, but then I simply reloaded yesterday's image file (saved to my USB drive). I lost a new bookmark or two, maybe one new add-on.

My results: Firefox 3 loads in under 15 seconds, runs eerily silent (no hard drive access noise or slowdown), and since it bypasses my hard drive completely, it saves that much wear and tear.  All automatically.  If an outage occurs, I simply recreate the RAMdisk and reload the image file from my USB drive (I also make a backup copy of it elsewhere on my hard drive).  This technique works for any portable app, btw.  The amount of available system RAM on your machine is the only limit.

(My system: Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (HT), 1.5 GB RAM, Windows XP Home, 180 GB SATA HD.  Virtual Hard Drive 2 Pro (presently discounted down to $20 US): http://www.farstone.com/s...re/virtual-hard-drive.htm)

Out of curiosity how many tabs do you usually have open when you open Firefox?
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f0dder
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« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2009, 09:29:33 AM »

I dunno if you gain that much from also moving the FF application files to the ramdrive - moving your profile includes addons and such, but I do find that this (and the internet cache) on ramdisk speeds up things wonderfully smiley
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« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2009, 09:47:39 AM »

Does it make page rendering faster too?

(I'm content with loading time).
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edbro
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« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2009, 10:06:53 AM »

Does it make page rendering faster too?

(I'm content with loading time).
I don't use a ram disk (yet) but I would think that initial page loads would not be affected. Subsequent page loads that use the cache would be able to access that cache faster, thus a faster page load.

I don't see the advantage of using Portable Firefox. I plan to implement this idea but I will put the FF profile in ram to see if it helps much.
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