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Old 08-12-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Rep: Reputation: 15
Firefox doesn't Start - except in a Terminal

OK - Dummie here.....

I should know this after all the problems I've had recemtly - (Grub Crash, System Crash, Hard Drive Crash - don't get me started...)

Teach ME to dual boot - never should have brought in that W2k junk....

ANYway - adter I got the whole thing up and running again, I have a few problems - like where does my browser go when I reduce it ?? Looks like it reduces to the lower right behind my clock, but I moved the task bar, and can't find it anywhere... I have to start up a new browser to get back on-line...

But, that's not the core problem....

I installed Firefox - D/L'd the tar.gz (that's all they have to offer @ and installed it on my Mandrake system I use for browsing and Web Site updates and that stuff...

Works FINE - I also D/L'd several of the AMAZING plug-ins they have


Except for one thing - (here it comes folks):

I can't get Firefox to come up unless I run it thru a Terminal !

I have to go into the Firefox folder and click on the Firefox-SH icon, and bring it up in a Gnome Terminal, and that S L O W S me down terribly, and I'm not crazy about running a blank terminal behind Firefox while I browse, either....

Anybody have similar problems ??

What did you DO ??

(More aptly - what should <u>I</u> do... ?)

I have no problem reading, but I can't seem to find anything that addresses this particular problem....

Old 08-12-2006, 05:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Birmingham UK
Distribution: Various
Posts: 1,736

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If your browser "disappears" when you minimise it then you need to add the "window list" to the panel (taskbar).

To create an icon launcher for the newly installed firefox, right click on either the desktop/panel and go to Add Custom Application/Launcher and in the "command" section put the path to the appropriate file/app or "browse" to it.

Hope that helps.
Let me know if it's too vague.
Old 08-13-2006, 05:40 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Suwon, Korea
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 288

Rep: Reputation: 32
Definitely check your launcher. It sounds like your launcher might be trying to execute a binary that isn't where it expects it to be. I would just remove the current launcher and recreate it.
Old 08-16-2006, 03:44 AM   #4
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks Guys....

czarherr & salparadise:

Thanks a LOT :>)

That did it - everything is everything now....

You guys OVIOUSLY know more than I thought I did----

I feel like those guys on StarTrek that attacked Picard on the Enterprise -

You know - that space ship that looked like it was filled with special-needs Astronauts....

"We can go fast now..."
"We are smart..."
"We will get weapons too..."
"Then, We can be strong..."

About the Firefox thing - could it have been indicative of other problems ?

It's not just the browser - anything else I bring up in a window dissappears also - test files, apps, programs, installs -

And my system seems slow - obviously slow - and it takes forever to bring up some apps, like CD burner - Adobe files, GEdit - and I mean forever - I can try and bring up something, and it just doesn't come up, so I cut everything to a CD, and half way thru burning the CD, the file or program finally pops up....

or like when I get on-line and check my Email - I can usually get thru two or three Emails before something I tried to bring up and it wouldn't show up, finally pops up


And, whenever I restart, it tells me that there is no system disk, and I need to put one in my CD player and hit return - but I've got all the pointers in my Bios pointing to hd0, with an MBR in the first section of the first partition (Grub install) - I even went so far as to install Mandrake 10.1 Official, to get rid of the problems, but they were still there when I converted (and still are).

Should I do a back-up of important files, and do a re-install, again ??

This has been happening since that crash I tried not to get into in my first post happened.... it's like the fourth or fifth system I've installed, and at first the problem seems to not be there, then shows up a day or two later

and, randomly, my system just locks up for about 10 minutes, then starts running again, but
r e a l slow - slow enough I usually just shut down and goto bed.... my old Commodore C64 was faster.... come to think about it - my old Zenith Z 80 was faster....

I got a bad partition or something ??

How can I check that... ??


Last edited by Post Modern; 08-16-2006 at 03:48 AM.
Old 08-16-2006, 09:03 AM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Suwon, Korea
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 288

Rep: Reputation: 32
First, the delay you are experiencing may be a lack of system resources, especially since it is spanning distros. What are the specs of your system?

Run this command and post the contents of the file it makes here. The files will be in the directory that you run the commands in.

ps -aux > processlist


cat /proc/meminfo > memoryinfo

We can track down potential memory issues with these.

Also, do you have these problems on the command line, or is it just in your windowing manager? So far to me, this all sounds exactly like memory, especially since the problem doesn't appear immediately. Also, if you want to check your partition, boot up from an install disk and run the command

fsck /dev/hdx#

replace x# with the proper device, (ex. hda1). Don't run this on a mounted partition, meaning do not do it while running the system normally unless you know what you are doing. If you do it from an install disk, the disk should be unmounted by default, and it should be safe to run the fsck. This will locate any filesystem errors.

On your second question, it may have been indicative of other issues. I would guess that you updated your windowing software at some point and some of the links to the programs changed, but for some reason, the change was not reflected in the upgrade.
Old 08-17-2006, 06:14 PM   #6
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Ok - here it is:

As for the info you requested:

Did as you asked - wound up with blank files (both memory and process files)

I'm running a K7VMM Mobo, Athlon 1800+ with a 512 MB slip of Memory, a Maxtor 100 Gb HD and Mandrake 10.1

Built it myself - everything was clean and new....

And, for the problem with bringing up Apps:

Command line or WM - these problems happen every time - sometimes the call just gets dropped, sometimes not

Here's what happened:

I've been running the system since Fedora Core3 came out, which is what I started with (on this one system - I have about a dozen, but this is the only one that hits an outside wire to the Net), and had zero problems until recently

I own a Mall on the Net that's growing almost faster than I can keep up with, so I decided to load up a HUGE pile of Software, PDFs, Articles and stuff like that, which I've prepped for the store, so I can open the doors, before it gets out-of-hand....

As I'm getting ready to do just that - a thought hits me:

"better test this crap out before you post it for sale, dummy..."

So, I decide to test it all out, or at least check it all, and decide to dual-boot my system

Format, cut the HD in half, set it up with Fedora Core3 and W2K with all the updates (so I can check the Windoze stuff)

Load in all the software, etc, and start checking....

Sure enough, I open up something (-in Windoze -), and it's a time bomb - has a virus in it (first one I've ever caught)

Starts eating its' way thru all my W2K files, and when it was done, it started eating my partitions -

Normally that might not have bothered my Nix install, till it hit the partitions, and seemed not to care which system or how they got there, it just ate them up - including my Nix partitions

Teach ME to install Micro-anything....

SO - I wind up with vegetable soup on a brand new HD that I can't even hack into with a live forensics disk to try and save whats left

Pull the plug....

Install a Seagate 80 Gig....

DUMP the Windoze install idea....

Strip the HD, delete the MBR, and do a clean Install of Fedora Core3, update the system - run it for a day to make sure everything is everything - load in more (read:different) software and PDFs and stuff (I got about 100 CDs filled to the rim...) - boom - back and live on-stage

Everything works fine... for a while - then, slowly, these problems start showing up.... again (after about 2 - 2 1/2 days)

Caught it - dump everything - repeat clean install with the new Seagate

Everything is everything - for a while, and the problems start showing up...... again

Decide to try something different, so I install Mandrake 9.2 (had it in the drawer), and I'm back on-stage in about 2 - 3 hours....

Everything is everything again, until a couple of days go by.....

This time, I decide to upgrade Mandrake to 10.1, but....

The rest you know -

I have noticed a few odd things, tho...

1) Start-up is fine, and zipps thru until I hit the log-in, then it takes about 4-5 minutes for the log-in process to give me my first page

Every time

2) About 2:30 in the morning (I work nights) the system slows w a y down - this happens at what seems like random times - sometimes 3:00, 3:30, some times 4:00, sometimes 2:41, so I don't think it's a bad cron or anything like that - it never hapens during the day, only late at night

3) Sometimes, when this happens, my CPU usage spikes to 100% - and the system freezes so hard, I have to shut down and re-boot to get back in

I'm thinking maybe I've got a bad spot on the HD, or a bad slip of memory - or something in the Virus I caught whacked the memory slip when it tried to imbed itself in to it.... but I'm not a Tech, so I can only take a guess at it - it all just seems so "coincidental"


Last edited by Post Modern; 08-17-2006 at 06:18 PM.
Old 08-18-2006, 05:44 AM   #7
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Suwon, Korea
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 288

Rep: Reputation: 32
Hmm, the virus can't stay resident in memory after a reboot, there's no way it embedded itself, so we can safely rule that out. This sounds a lot like a RAM issue, its strange you only got blank files from the commands I gave you, perhaps I got them wrong. See if the commands work without a redirect, and post the output. If CPU is spiking to 100, something is eating up its cycles, the ps -aux command will tell you that. The next time it happens, run the command 'top' without the quotes, and check to see if any processes are seriously eating up memory.

As far as a bad hard drive, this is possible, but the only way to know for sure is to run a sequential write test. Be warned that this test will overwrite every sector on the hard drive, deleting anything you had on it. To run this, just put in a boot disk (the slack boot disk allows this, and I'm fairly sure Fedora Core does too)

badblocks -vws /dev/<harddrive>

obviously replacing <harddrive> with the proper device.

I will take this time to point out to you than I am human. I make mistakes, and I would not run a command like the one I gave you above without thoroughly checking it myself. When it comes to disks and filesystems, you can't be too careful. You can opt for a non-destructive drive test, but it will not be as comprehensive as the write test. The write test is the only way to be sure all sectors are fine. I would be a little surprised if it were a disk problem, as it would be an oddly timed coincidence with your virus, but its nonetheless possible. I'd still suspect memory, and I'd like to see the contents of the ps command and the file /proc/meminfo. Also, could you post your dmesg and /var/log/messages files? They may have some clue as to what is happening here. Awaiting your reply.
Old 08-18-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15

Thanks for all the help, I really do appreciate it - one thing I am not is a Tech, so whatever you're helping with is more than I'm capabe of...


Linux version ( (gcc version 3.4.1 (Mandrakelinux (Alpha 3.4.1-3mdk)) #1 Fri Oct 1 12:53:41 CEST 2004
BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
BIOS-e820: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009fc00 (usable)
BIOS-e820: 000000000009fc00 - 00000000000a0000 (reserved)
BIOS-e820: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 (reserved)
BIOS-e820: 0000000000100000 - 0000000000f00000 (usable)
BIOS-e820: 0000000000f00000 - 0000000001000000 (reserved)
BIOS-e820: 0000000001000000 - 000000001fff0000 (usable)
BIOS-e820: 000000001fff0000 - 000000001fff3000 (ACPI NVS)
BIOS-e820: 000000001fff3000 - 0000000020000000 (ACPI data)
BIOS-e820: 00000000ffff0000 - 0000000100000000 (reserved)
0MB HIGHMEM available.
511MB LOWMEM available.
On node 0 totalpages: 131056
DMA zone: 4096 pages, LIFO batch:1
Normal zone: 126960 pages, LIFO batch:16
HighMem zone: 0 pages, LIFO batch:1
DMI 2.2 present.
ACPI: RSDP (v000 VIA694 ) @ 0x000f68d0
ACPI: RSDT (v001 VIA694 AWRDACPI 0x42302e31 AWRD 0x00000000) @ 0x1fff3000
ACPI: FADT (v001 VIA694 AWRDACPI 0x42302e31 AWRD 0x00000000) @ 0x1fff3040
ACPI: DSDT (v001 VIA694 AWRDACPI 0x00001000 MSFT 0x0100000c) @ 0x00000000
ACPI: PM-Timer IO Port: 0x4008
Built 1 zonelists
Local APIC disabled by BIOS -- reenabling.
Found and enabled local APIC!
Initializing CPU#0
Kernel command line: root=/dev/hdb1 acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb5
PID hash table entries: 2048 (order 11: 16384 bytes)
Detected 1535.556 MHz processor.
Using pmtmr for high-res timesource
Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Dentry cache hash table entries: 131072 (order: 7, 524288 bytes)
Inode-cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
Memory: 514300k/524224k available (1859k kernel code, 8136k reserved, 578k data, 200k init, 0k highmem, 0k BadRAM)
Checking if this processor honours the WP bit even in supervisor mode... Ok.
Calibrating delay loop... 3039.23 BogoMIPS
Security Scaffold v1.0.0 initialized
SELinux: Disabled at boot.
Capability LSM initialized
Mount-cache hash table entries: 512 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
CPU: After generic identify, caps: 0383fbff c1c3fbff 00000000 00000000
CPU: After vendor identify, caps: 0383fbff c1c3fbff 00000000 00000000
CPU: L1 I Cache: 64K (64 bytes/line), D cache 64K (64 bytes/line)
CPU: L2 Cache: 256K (64 bytes/line)
CPU: After all inits, caps: 0383fbff c1c3fbff 00000000 00000020
Intel machine check architecture supported.
Intel machine check reporting enabled on CPU#0.
CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1800+ stepping 00
Enabling fast FPU save and restore... done.
Enabling unmasked SIMD FPU exception support... done.
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
init init/main.c:689
init init/main.c:702
init init/main.c:707
do_pre_smp_initcalls init/main.c:653
do_pre_smp_initcalls init/main.c:659
init init/main.c:711
init init/main.c:714
enabled ExtINT on CPU#0
ESR value before enabling vector: 00000000
ESR value after enabling vector: 00000000
Using local APIC timer interrupts.
calibrating APIC timer ...
..... CPU clock speed is 1534.0950 MHz.
..... host bus clock speed is 266.0947 MHz.
init init/main.c:716
init init/main.c:718
checking if image is isn't (no cpio magic); looks like an initrd
ACPI: Looking for DSDT in initrd ... not found!
Freeing initrd memory: 140k freed
init init/main.c:724
do_basic_setup init/main.c:634
do_basic_setup init/main.c:636
NET: Registered protocol family 16
spurious 8259A interrupt: IRQ7.
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.10 entry at 0xfb450, last bus=1
PCI: Using configuration type 1
mtrr: v2.0 (20020519)
ACPI: Subsystem revision 20040326
ACPI: Interpreter disabled.
Linux Plug and Play Support v0.97 (c) Adam Belay
PnPBIOS: Disabled
PCI: Probing PCI hardware
PCI: Probing PCI hardware (bus 00)
PCI: Using IRQ router default [1106/3099] at 0000:00:00.0
vesafb: probe of vesafb0 failed with error -6
apm: BIOS version 1.2 Flags 0x07 (Driver version 1.16ac)
audit: initializing netlink socket (disabled)
audit(1155900694.785:0): initialized
VFS: Disk quotas dquot_6.5.1
Dquot-cache hash table entries: 1024 (order 0, 4096 bytes)
devfs: 2004-01-31 Richard Gooch (
devfs: boot_options: 0x0
Initializing Cryptographic API
isapnp: Scanning for PnP cards...
isapnp: No Plug & Play device found
Serial: 8250/16550 driver $Revision: 1.90 $ 8 ports, IRQ sharing enabled
ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
ttyS1 at I/O 0x2f8 (irq = 3) is a 16550A
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 32000K size 1024 blocksize
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 7.00alpha2
ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
VP_IDE: IDE controller at PCI slot 0000:00:11.1
VP_IDE: chipset revision 6
VP_IDE: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
VP_IDE: VIA vt8233 (rev 00) IDE UDMA100 controller on pci0000:00:11.1
ide0: BM-DMA at 0xdc00-0xdc07, BIOS settings: hdaio, hdbMA
ide1: BM-DMA at 0xdc08-0xdc0f, BIOS settings: hdcMA, hddMA
Probing IDE interface ide0...
hdb: ST380021A, ATA DISK drive
Using anticipatory io scheduler
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
Probing IDE interface ide1...
hdd: LITE-ON LTR-24102M, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
ide1 at 0x170-0x177,0x376 on irq 15
hdb: max request size: 128KiB
hdb: 156301488 sectors (80026 MB) w/2048KiB Cache, CHS=65535/16/63, UDMA(100)
/dev/ide/host0/bus0/target1/lun0: p1 p2 < p5 p6 >
mice: PS/2 mouse device common for all mice
serio: i8042 AUX port at 0x60,0x64 irq 12
input: ImPS/2 Generic Wheel Mouse on isa0060/serio1
serio: i8042 KBD port at 0x60,0x64 irq 1
input: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard on isa0060/serio0
md: md driver 0.90.0 MAX_MD_DEVS=256, MD_SB_DISKS=27
NET: Registered protocol family 2
IP: routing cache hash table of 4096 buckets, 32Kbytes
TCP: Hash tables configured (established 32768 bind 65536)
NET: Registered protocol family 1
BIOS EDD facility v0.16 2004-Jun-25, 1 devices found
init init/main.c:726
md: Autodetecting RAID arrays.
md: autorun ...
md: ... autorun DONE.
RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem).
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
Freeing unused kernel memory: 200k freed
usbcore: registered new driver usbfs
usbcore: registered new driver hub
USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver v2.2
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.2: UHCI Host Controller
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.2: irq 5, io base 0000e000
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.2: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
hub 1-0:1.0: USB hub found
hub 1-0:1.0: 2 ports detected
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.3: UHCI Host Controller
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.3: irq 5, io base 0000e400
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.3: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 2
hub 2-0:1.0: USB hub found
hub 2-0:1.0: 2 ports detected
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.4: UHCI Host Controller
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.4: irq 5, io base 0000e800
uhci_hcd 0000:00:11.4: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 3
hub 3-0:1.0: USB hub found
hub 3-0:1.0: 2 ports detected
usb 1-2: new full speed USB device using address 2
Linux video capture interface: v1.00
V4L-Driver for Vision CPiA based cameras v1.2.3
cpia_pp: Unknown symbol cpia_register_camera
cpia_pp: Unknown symbol cpia_unregister_camera
cpia_usb: Unknown symbol cpia_register_camera
cpia_usb: Unknown symbol cpia_unregister_camera
USB driver for Vision CPiA based cameras v1.2.3
USB CPiA camera found
videodev: "CPiA Camera" has no release callback. Please fix your driver for proper sysfs support, see
EXT3 FS on hdb1, internal journal
Adding 506008k swap on /dev/hdb5. Priority:-1 extents:1
CPiA Version: 1.30 (2.10)
CPiA PnP-ID: 0553:0002:0100
VP-Version: 1.0 0100
usbcore: registered new driver cpia
Linux agpgart interface v0.100 (c) Dave Jones
agpgart: Detected VIA KT266/KY266x/KT333 chipset
agpgart: Maximum main memory to use for agp memory: 439M
agpgart: AGP aperture is 64M @ 0xe0000000
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS on hdb6, internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
Supermount version 2.0.4 for kernel 2.6
loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
hdc: ATAPI 48X DVD-ROM drive, 512kB Cache, UDMA(33)
Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
hdd: ATAPI 40X CD-ROM CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB Cache, UDMA(33)
natsemi dp8381x driver, version 1.07+LK1.0.17, Sep 27, 2002
originally by Donald Becker <>
2.4.x kernel port by Jeff Garzik, Tjeerd Mulder
natsemi eth0: NatSemi DP8381[56] at 0xe083d000 (0000:00:0c.0), 00:09:5b:1e:e8:82, IRQ 5, port TP.

The only thing I can see here, is agpgart seems to have an awful lot of memory alloted... (see next reply)
Old 08-18-2006, 11:15 AM   #9
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
The Messages file is HUGE-

Should I send it to you as an Email ??

(In 3 or 4 pieces....)


Last edited by Post Modern; 08-18-2006 at 11:39 AM.
Old 08-21-2006, 10:31 AM   #10
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
|Sorry 'bout getting back - I lost the Hard Drive...

I was re-booting, and the screen turned grey and a zillion rows of little white squares appeared and locked the re-boot solid - couldn't re-boot, so I installed another HardDrive (my last one)....

Got a new Maxtor 100Gig with Mandrake 10.1 Official on it now....

But - I lost all my Bookmarks and more Software again....




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