Friday, May 27, 2011

Because sometimes upgrades suck...

So, I have this Sony Vaio laptop that we bought prior to our trip to Washington D.C. a few years ago. It's been through a lot with us, being hauled through airports, in hotels, being accidently squished at the bottom of stuff we packed in the back of the car, bumped by kids and cats, hauled to libraries and cafes, soccer board meetings in questionable places, and so on. In other words, it's had its share of getting knocked around.

So, when it started getting inexplicably slow, after cleaning caches, registry, defragging, scanning it for viruses and malware, all to no effect, I figured it was aging, maybe needed a few upgrades, maybe I needed to get rid of some excess software, but mostly, it's getting old.

When it started freezing, sometimes shutting down completely, or refusing to load a page no matter how many times I clicked "refresh," I figured it was getting cranky, too. Or maybe it was possessed. Or maybe it had a virus/worm/trojan that our antiviral software couldn't handle. This wouldn't be a surprise because no one's antiviral programs can possibly handle everything that comes out of evil little hacker minds the moment it comes out, right?

I was getting ready to reprogram the damn thing with an axe... and then I read a friend's rant about Mozilla's Firefox 4, and when I read through the comments, suddenly realized what the problem was.

I had upgraded to Firefox 4, and while I liked some of the new features, mostly I just wondered why they had added all the new bells and whistles, because it didn't really seem to improve things much. It just added more stuff. It was nice and shiny, just kind of top-heavy and cumbersome. I got the earlier version mainly because I wanted to watch movies on Netflix on the laptop, and for some reason, Silverlight won't work with Safari for PC (works just fine for Safari for Mac, so???), and when the upgrade popped up, I had no problem with giving it a shot.

And that's when all the problems started, though it took a week to manifest, which is probably why I didn't make the connection. So... I went to Mozilla's website on the desktop to look and see if they had any fixes, and they suggested deleting add-ons. That would be great, if it didn't take forever to get the damn browser to even load. Fifteen minutes, I shit you not. Fifteen minutes!!! That's when I finally said, "Screw this!" and uninstalled the whole friggin' thing.

Amazing how fast my laptop was after I did that!!

I still ran the cache cleaners, rebooted, and defragged the hell out of it. Then I reloaded Firefox 3.6, and it's running beautifully with no problems whatsoever. It's like having a new laptop, I swear!!

If any of y'all are having the same problems and need to reload Firefox 3.6, you can get it HERE.

And thank you, Keira, for posting about it in the first place. You saved a laptop from an untimely death!

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