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Author Topic: Firefox regularly not taking/executing input  (Read 300 times)


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Firefox regularly not taking/executing input
« on: April 13, 2017, 10:29:11 AM »
In this forum, complaints about Firefox abound, and since I use FF for all my browsing, I know none of the complaints are unjustified, it's just that with other browser, you get into even more trouble, or then, add-ins/-ons are not available you depend on.

Just one example, I use Youtube Video and Audio Downloader, manually, so that it lets me download the highest sound (music) quality, whereas all automatic downloaders (and even the automatic way to do it in the aforementioned FF tool) just download some thing or then the highest video quality, even if that means that you do NOT get the highest audio quality, but for me, audio quality is more important than video quality (classical music downloads).

Also, I'm fond of the FF bookmarks strip to the left of its main window, and which I have always open. In my opinion, it's much better than third-party bookmark managers, free or paid, since those either do not appear/disappear in sync with the browser, or/and take valuable screen space below the main window, where there isn't any space for that with modern screens, while on the side of the main window, there is plenty of space. This especially concerns Linkman which is in high praise everywhere, but I don't need its plenty of comments or the link in full or other info, I just need to get to the short title of a link/bookmark as fast and easy as possible, and without that taking too much screen space. My bookmarks are sorted into a tree, now imagine how I would manage a tree in some 100 or 200 pixels under the main window, instead of full height, not speaking of the fact that the main window would then have only 924 or 824 pixels left from its original height of 1024.

So there are very good reasons for continuing to use FF, even if that means living with its many faults.

But now to my question. I regularly use FF on XP, so I never know if some fault is with FF or with XP, and quite regularly, perhaps once in a hour or two, I need to minimize FF, then reopen it again to its original size, in order for it to continue to take my keyboard input, or more precisely, to react to it, when I put an url into the address line, then press enter, the screen does not change. It goes without saying that I attributed that behavior to XP.

But recently, I tried a brand-new (!) Win 10 installation on another (!) pc (and with 16 gb of memory, also with another monitor, and with another screen driver, BUT I have to add that it was another OLD screen driver, NVidia Quattro 2200, so it's possible that the problem lies with old screen drivers in general, and that the Windows version does not matter), and I not only got that same phenomenon there, too, but it was five times as frequent here, so I encountered that fault several times per hour, and that's quite a disturbance. Also, I would have never expected that in the described environment, while with my old XP, well, I'm willing to live with incompatibilities of all sorts now.

Does anyone know that behavior, and did you find a way to eliminate it?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 10:43:08 AM by ital2 »


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Re: Firefox regularly not taking/executing input
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 12:40:44 PM »
Yesterday I encountered something similar here in my Firefox 52.0.2 setup. While typing a comment on a Dutch forum, suddenly the keyboard stopped working...at least it felt that way. After getting to a certain level of frustration I started to press buttons forcefully (useless, I know) and for a longer period. Suddenly the character beneath the key I was pressing appeared in the edit box.

For some reason I managed to enable the 'FilterKey' functionality from, in my case, Windows Server 2012 (on a 9 year old Dual Core Intel PC). Something that didn't show up until opening the complete overview from the tray menu. Which I only did, because I needed to properly dismount a pendrive from my system.

To me it was unclear how I could have managed to do this, the 'FilterKeys' functionality is something I disable after installing Windows for my own purposes and I am the only user of that system. My first thoughts were that this old PC was starting to fail on me. Or the keyboard itself, as it has a similar age. After disabling this functionality again, everything worked as normal.

Hope the above helps in finding out what goes wrong on your system...


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Re: Firefox regularly not taking/executing input
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 02:39:14 PM »
One thing that seemed to work for me lately in FF is to downgrade back to a recent version that seemed stable.  Then as new releases came out I would try them to see if the weird pauses and hangs no longer occurred.  Also you may want to try CPUBalance

Especially I noticed that when doing a SuperAntiSpyware scan in the backgroud FF got all "jittery" in the foreground. With CPUBalance running the FF in the foreground runs smoother at the cost that the background scan takes a bit longer.  If you install CPUBalance Pro without a license it is in effect the free version.  The only feature missing in the free version is the ability to tinker with the Affinity of running processes(assign the program to another CPU core essentially.)

The genius of CPUBalance is two fold.  One, you can just install it and run with the default settings.  Two, by default it never throttles or boosts the program that has the focus.  A lot of "booster" type programs tried to get the foreground program to run quicker by boosting its priority.  This throws the system out of kilter.  CPUBalance does it the other way around.  All but the foreground program are throttled if they start to eat up too much CPU.

Anyway, if CPUBalance is helpful that should show up pretty quickly.  On my system it was very obvious when running FF whereas with other browsers the effect was more subtle.

Another thing you can try it toggling "use hardware acceleration when available" in the FF settings.  I tried turning acceleration off but it made things even worse.  But back to the original premise, I don't know why but there seemed to be a stretch of FF releases where it was very reluctant to react to input.  Only in the last couple of releases have I noticed the symptom is not as pronounced.

Another alternative for the short term, try Cyberfox.  It has both X64 and X86 Intel and AMD versions.  As far as I remember it runs every AddOn that regular FF does.  It is a bit slow loading, but once running it seems much more stable than FF.  I mainly use it to watch streaming videos that won't play well in other browsers.

I say "in the short term" for Cyberfox because the author has announced that he is easing out of updating Cyberfox due to health issues.  If you google you can find the announcement with all the details.  But Cyberfox should be getting at least minimal updates to keep in sync with FF for a while.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 02:46:45 PM by MilesAhead »


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Re: Firefox regularly not taking/executing input
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 11:47:14 AM »
Thank you both for your tips and hints.

My current assumption goes with "old graphics cards", above I mistakenly called them "screen drivers". In fact, I used the NVidia Quadro 2200 with a modern driver for the Quadro 4000. I admit I only had the graphics card idea after posting here, so my edit above.

I should have been more specific, the thing I've observed on two completely different systems (on the second system I even had not installed most of my FF add-ons yet, but Addblock Plus, Click&Clean, and perhaps New Tab Override, I don't remember, so there is a chance the culprit is among those.

Next time I'll install it into a new system, I'll leave out those add-ins for some days, to check - it's only now that I see that with those add-ons, my FF was not a fresh installation, too bad.

It has nothing, or very little, to do with FF system load, on the other system it occurred almost instantly. It always (in both systems) comes with some sort of a shadow in the "menu" corner (top left corner) of FF, in other words, from that shadow, I can even see my input will not be processed if I try (on condition that I see that shadow first of course, but it's always there before, and it has nothing to do with the keyboard?).

This brings me to the fact that mouse and keyboard/keyboard driver were the same, too, so that is another possibility indeed, my saying "totally nother system" was wrong, obviously, so there's lots of possible reasons I realize now.

So I've disabled the "Filterkey" function, never knew what it was good for anyway, never used it in any way but it was on indeed. CPUBalance seems interesting, but does not work with XP. Have installed Cyberfox, will try it, first without add-ons, than with the more important ones, then with the rest of them, but the question remains, if Cyberfox was FF but without the memory problems, why doesn't everybody use Cyberfox? Correction: Cyberfox 52 is incompatible with XP, 45 seems to be compatible, in-between: doubtful. Will report my FF trial, as well as the CPUBalance trial, to after having bought a new pc.

For the "old graphics cards" and old computers. I have sent back the second-hand pc, for probable motherboard problems, should buy instead a modern and new i7 (6700 or 7700 or probably 6700 if I can it for less because of the 7700 being new now, I'm looking for sales) instead.

It was an i5, and it was far from running at the speed I had expected, ditto for the 4 gb graphics card: ridiculous! So it seems that when buying something new today, i5 is not good, let alone i3.

Also, 8GB of memory will suffice for most uses it seems, with that 16 GB thing I often checked the memory load, it it was never higher than 35, 40 p.c., while at the same time, as said, speed was much too low for my wishes. In other words, you'll need 16 MB when you run several heavy programs concurrently, but if not, you don't need them, and above all, plenty of memory will not replace processor power. (This may be an evidence, but it was good to have seen my own eyes.)

Old graphics cards are not good either: Office 2016 was preinstalled, but the graphics card, even with its modern driver - or because of the combination old card-new driver, but the old driver would not have been compatible with Windows 10 anyway -, did not correctly display the very last line in these Office applications: you typed without seeing what you typed.

So with your old pc, you know exactly what to expect from it, but with a new one, if it's a i3/i5, you risk to be quite let down; I would not have expected an i5 to be that lame, with quite simple (office) software - not speaking of video cut or such things.

But my problem with FF does not seem to be that widespread, so I'll have to check any "old" component with a new computer, incl. keyboard drivers etc.

This last element is probably even the one, since on forums, people complain about incompatibilities between Cherry kb drivers and newer Windows versions, and I had said on that other system the problem occurred five times as much as on my old one. And then, this does never occur in any other program than FF...