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FF 3.6 portable is pretty cool


I ran across an article on the web how to run Firefox from a ramdisk.  I messed around with it for awhile and decided I really didn't want the ramdisk.  But it got me to try Firefox 3.6 portable. I ended up running it from an external USB drive I always have on.  The reason I did it is sometimes I start some disk intensive job, like a video mux, then remember I want to get or read something from the web.  Well, forget about waiting for FF to load off the same HD that's doing a video mux.  But in those situations I can just launch the portable Firefox.

Using syncplaces it was easy to just download all my bookmarks. I installed a couple of essential AddOns.  Once I killed the splash screen it loaded up nice and spiffy from the USB.

I decided to give the ramdisk another go.  I'm using Dataram RAMDisk freebie.

I made the mistake before of setting it to auto save the image on shutdown.  This resulted in horrible shutdown times.  What I'm doing now is only saving the image manually if I have some significant Firefox update, like updating a bunch of AddOns.  My bookmarks and passwords I can save with SyncPlaces instead of saving in the image.

It may not load much faster than standard FF off a fast HD, but if your HD is busy, like doing a video mux, then this method kicks ass.

The configuration tool for the Ramdisk doesn't have a setting to autoload on Windows startup, but I just put a shortcut in the Startup folder and have it set to load the image file when the ramdisk starts.  The thing opening on the desktop will remind me to start the Ramdisk.

Hmmm, at least with DataRam Ramdisk, I found it easier to forgo the disk image and just use a .cmd batch to xcopy the Firefox stuff into the drive.  Seems if you have it associated with a disk image, it's not always so nice about letting you stop the ramdisk even if you saved the image contents.

It seems to create the disk with the same drive letter every time.  Just simpler to use the batch file with the xcopy command.

Also since NoScript stuff isn't going to be saved when you allow a site there's no sense using it.  I set it to Allow Scripts Globally, then just run the browser sandboxed using Sandboxie.

edit: finally found a good use for WinPatrol delayed start.  Dragged a shortcut to the xcopy batch file to the Startup folder.  Then used WinPatrol to put a 30 second delay on it.  Seems to be working really well.

Something I overlooked.  Firefox NoScript lets you export a "white list" of trusted sites.  No need to train the new browser all over again. Run the portable off my external USB to make changes, enable NoScript, import the white list. Now I can have both NoScript and Sandboxie protection without the hassle. I just delete the Firefox folder in the Ramdisk and run the Firefox loading batch to propagate changes into the Ram disk.  Next boot or log on the newest incarnation on the USB drive is loaded in.  No need to save the ramdisk image.


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