Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Mystery of Multiple Opening of Firefox Windows

Dear folks,

It's only Week 1 of 2015 and since Monday I have been slowly going insane. I use Firefox browser and on Monday, it started going mad. There were two problems. The first one. Typing any url on the address bar doesn't work. I couldn't navigate to any site at all. When I typed in a search on Google, the behaviour of the search history was weird. I tried using the search function on my computer data and the same weird behaviour. The second problem. Multiple copies of my Firefox kept opening by itself. Non-stop. I couldn't close them fast enough.

I tried every other web browser I have - Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Chrome. All of them gave the same problem.

The first thing that came to mind was I have a virus. Fortunately, I have another pc I can use. I downloaded a few virus scanner - Anti-malware, adwcleaner, Junkware removal tool and a rootkit removal utility. I ran these programs. Yep - lots of so-called virus on my pc. But I couldn't see any real malicious virus. Just lots of cookies. Running the scan took ages. After I had done all the scanning, I would re-install Firefox to test. I did this over and over again, each time doing more - even going down to opening Firefox in safe mode, disabling all the add-ons, going to the registry to manually remove unnecessary files, running a few of the virus scanning in safe mode. I also tried restoring the pc to a previous timestamp. Each restoration took a long, long time. Each time it looked hopeful but during the reboot I would be informed it was unsuccessful as well. And I tried this experiment a few times, thinking a different timestamp would yield a success.

Nothing worked. No matter what I did, the thousands of Firefox windows kept opening. And opening.

On Wednesday, I told hubs I was giving up. It was too depressing and stressful. I was very reluctant to give up my computer because it has Windows 7 and my other pc uses Windows 8 which I dislike tremendously. Also, all my programs are installed on this computer. On Wednesday night, before I went to sleep, I decided to do one last thing. I re-indexed all the files on my computer. I thought that might help with problem one - which is the search function was off. Indexing took a very long time so I left the computer running and went to sleep.

This morning, I tried the seach function on my computer and it worked! I could search properly again. I wanted to wake hubs but thought I had better re-install Firefox to see  if it worked. And it did. I was able to type in a url and navigate to the correct site. I was so happy I wanted to scream and shout. And then it happened. The hundreds of Firefox windows started popping up. Like crazy. I tried to close them all but they kept coming at top speed. It was so frightening. I was so desperate that I removed the battery in my wireless keyboard. To my amazement, the Firefox windows stopped popping up.

So the problem was in the freaking keyboard. I had previously told hubs this was a possiblity but we forgot to buy a new keyboard to test it out. My god. We could have saved ourselves so much headache. Today we bought a new non-wireless keyboard (play safe) and yep, the Firefox windows no longer pop up mindlessly. I can stop feeling so tensed now. And maybe get on with some real work like write a bag pattern.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It's gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshine' day.
It's gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshine' day.
- Johnny Nash


Bethany said...

I never would have thought of the keyboard! That's so weird! But good on you for figuring it out!

Sandra :) said...

OHhhhhhhhhhhh my goodness I didn't see that ending coming - when you described the problems I was 1000% certain you had some kind of a deep rooted virus. Not for a second did it occur to me that a keyboard could cause that kind of havoc! But it makes sense, if something is broken in the keyboard and it's basically on "Enter" mode, it could cause exactly the problems you mentioned. I'll keep this in mind should I have - or more accurately - WHEN I have - problems in the future. I'm glad everything is working for you now, but I'm sure it was one hell of a crappy time getting to the bottom of that!

pennydog said...

Keyboard was my first thought, been there unfortunately!!

Aunty Stitches said...

OMG So glad you got it sorted and the rain has gone (according to the song anyway!)

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