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CPU usage/lag spikes when using Firefox 3

By parkwhf · 6 replies
Feb 25, 2009
  1. Recently, I have been experiencing cpu usage/lag spikes while browsing on Firefox. I dont think it has anything to do with Flash like the similar cases I've encountered. Ive observed task manager while browsing and I saw that firefox.exe would use from 05-15% cpu normally but would have sudden jumps to 40-60% arbitrarily and when I'm typing in a field like i'm doing now. during these spikes, letters would not appear on the screen as im typing, but a bunches of them would appear after a pause of about 1-2 seconds. these spikes happen about every 10 seconds or so. Also, whenever I move to a new page, i would get about 5 seconds of cpu lockup or lag (i can't click/type anything in the browser) before I could continue browsing normally.

    This isn't the case with IE. However, I have noticed that it takes a bit longer for my computer to boot than I remember. Im not quite sure though. Otherwise my computer has been running fine.

    Could this be a problem with my computer? If so, is it a problem with firefox thats fixable, or possibly a virus/malware problem i haven't been able to detect? What would be the best course of action to fix this problem?

    Thanks in advance everyone! I would really appreciate any suggestions.
  2. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    While awaiting an expert’s reply here, you can also try the FireFox support forum, which specializes on it:

    For existing answers on your issue, you can also search that forum for “Firefox 3 memory usage” and “Firefox 3 CPU usage”. I did as a test, and it produced lots of relevant threads.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Are you also using Comodo firewall with the Firefox... we find the problem is usually with Comodo, for which there is a fix.
  4. parkwhf

    parkwhf TS Rookie Topic Starter

    no i'm not using it. I have spybot search and destroy but thats about it. i've uninstalled any others fearing they were conflicting with firefox, but to no avail.

    ive even tried undoing the immunization /uninstalling spybot. that didn't work either.
  5. parkwhf

    parkwhf TS Rookie Topic Starter

    anyone have a suggestion or a fix for this? thanks
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Stop using Firefox.
    Remove the useless Spybot, and remove it.
    Remove Firefox using add and remove
    Defragment the drive.
    Edit the registry with RegCleaner from www.Majorgeeks.com
    Install all service packs.
    Scan your system with Avira Antivirus, malwareBytes, and SuperAntispyware.
    Reinstall Mozilla Firefox.
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    My advice is a bit different:

    1. Open the Task Manager.
    2. Double click top frame of Processes tab.
    3. Check CPU usage for Firefox
    4. Check memory usage for Firefox.

    For instance right now with Firefox homepage open with 7 tabs, the CPU for Firefox is 0 and the Mem usage is 100,000k. Total CPU usage shows only 5%. When it approaches this memory usage, I close and reopen.

    Now we do another test:
    1. Prepare the system for shutdown, but don't shut down. Close all active Windows and email.
    2. Open Task Manager. Double clock on CPU column.
    3. CPU usage should only be showing for taskmgr, System and System Idle. These 3 processes should add up to 100% of CPU.
    4. Any process above 1 or 2 in CPU usage should be investigated.

    I have found that simply giving a per cent use is not as helpful as identifying what process is using the CPU and go from there.
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