TechSpot

Flashes will not open in firefox.

By pyromaster114
Dec 28, 2007
  1. Okay, so I have a problem: ANY .swf file I have saved on my hard disk drive WILL NOT OPEN.
    More specifically, they'll open in Internet Explorer, but not in Firefox.
    I have the latest version of flash installed... to my knowledge at least.

    Firefox will open the flash if it's off a web server, even if it's not embedded in a page...

    But off my hard disk drive is a whole different thing... it just brings up the "save as" dialog box... Seriously... maybe I'm panicked and not thinking right... but I can't figure out why my precious flashes won't open! T_T
     
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Do you have Real Player v11 installed? I recently found one of its Firefox addons (Browser Record 1.0) it interferes with a number of different media used by other products. Disable the extension. Restart Firefox. (Don't uninstall RealPlayer yet. can be a tricky bug)
     
  3. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    No, there aren't any real player products on the computer...
     
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Good. No RealPlayer to deal with. Then next, you check you have the right plugin
    1. Open a Firefox window
    2. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar (where you would typically type a web address). You'll get a long display of all current Firefox preferences.
    3. Towards top of your display, you;ll see the word Filter. Type plugin into the input box right of the word Filter.Now you'll only see preferences containing the word plugin
    4. Look for the preference plugin_exposed_full_path. It is probably set to FALSE. We want it set to TRUE.
      • Left click to highlight the preference
      • Right click to get the context menu.
      • Left click on menu entry labled Toggle. You should see the value change to TRUE.
    5. Next, type about: plugins into the address bar. But without the space between : and p. (I just had to enter it with a space or Techspot displays :p). You will see a list of all plugins currently installed in Firefox. The preference you set above causes the full path for the plugin filename to be displayed (Helpful when multiple versions of a plugin happen to all reside on your computer. Having the directory plus plugin filename you can see Firefox is using the right file from the right directory.)
    6. Look to confirm you see
      • A plugin labeled Shockwave Flash. Next lines under it should be
      • File name: C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32.dll
      • Shockwave Flash 9.0 r115
     
  5. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    I have:
    File name: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins\NPSWF32.dll
    Shockwave Flash 9.0 r115
     
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Well, here’s another example why the default value of preference plugin_exposed_full_path should be TRUE. (I had you change it previously). Without that full path I’ll bet it would have taken a looong time to realize that even tho the flash player you and I use are the same file and file version yours vs. mine are installed in different directories. That's the tip off there's something wrong or at least different between our environment that raises questions.

    Mozillazine's section on Flash said "Starting with Flash 9.0.r45 the Flash plugin installer for Firefox and other Mozilla-based browsers no longer copies files to the browser plugins folder and, instead, adds the needed plugin files NPSWF32.dll flashplayer.xpt and other related files to the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\Macromed\Flash folder and adds a Windows registry entry that enables each browser to detect Flash via plugin scanning using a PLID scan"

    Which makes your setup suspicious as it showed you had Shockwave Flash 9.0 r115 installed but not in the directory their zine article describes (which is consistent with my setup. and i also run XP PRo, btw). In addition i looked quick and think the normal installer and the XPI installer are handling this differently.

    I believe your best bet is starting from a clean start point and then moving forward with required installers. I started putting a checklist/guidelline together for you on the steps i think you need to take. But can't finsh now. i have to go and then busy this afternoon/evening.

    So if you can be patient, i can post a list of what to cleanup the order of installs you need including java to be safe. Would be either late tonight or tomorrow morning.

    what u can do in meantime if u want (as i'm curious)
    1. Download Sysexporter. It's a handy tool to have around.
    2. Now, do an Explorer Search for np*.dll on your C: drive. Right click on the output column heading area in your Search results. Then Right click so you can add the following columns in your Search ouput. : File Version, Date Created, Date Modified
    3. Run Sysexporter to grab the text output you see displayed as Search Results. Look thru the upper pane for entries the name in your Search window. As you click on each entry the associated data appears in the lower pane. When you see it's the file search results right click in lower pane, Select All and now save the data in a file or in a report or anything where i can review it later.

    Will be in touch if you still need it later
     
  7. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 246

    So you're saying that apparently somehow the flash isn't installed in the right place... so if we were to copy the files to the right place it could open it?
    I don't get how it can open it if it's off a web server but not off the HDD...
    As soon as I get back to the computer in question i'll try and run that program...
     
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    YES. would make sense because...
    • When you open a .swf file within Firefox, Firefox has a list of places it will look for plugins, including its plugin directory under Program Files
    • However, when you open a .swf on HDD it's Windows not Firefox looking... and Windows doesn't know to look under Program Files. So it wouldn't work!
    As a quick test, just place a COPY of NPSWF32.dll into the directory C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash. Create the directory by hand if need be. Just be sure to match the spelling!
     
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Haven't heard back from you yet. Hope that's a sign of having a very good New Years eve! :)

    Instead of having you start with the whole Firefox/Java/Web Players cleanup process, try the simple steps below. They may be sufficient for your case.

    And as a "by the way" to follow-up on Firefox vs. Windows possibly looking for things in different places, Windows file extension handling came to mind. It may be interesting to look this up before clearing the problem.
    1. Open a Windows File Explorer window
    2. Click Tools->Folder Options->File Types
    3. Find the file extensions you want (probably .swf and .flv?)
    4. For each file extension, note which program is supposed to handle it
    To try and clear the problem
    • Uninstall both the Flash Player and Shockwave Player. Download their uninstaller using the hot links on Adobe’s Web Players page.
    • Install both the Flash Player and Shockwave Players. For each player, use the installer download link listed for Netscape. Download the installer using the links at Adobe’s Web Players page.

    Test your problem. Any better?
     
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