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  1. #1
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    Firefox and IE have stopped working

    Yesterday evening I logged on to Windows Secrets in order to add a PS to my response to Susan Bradley’s article about EMET 5. Just as I posted the PS a message popped up saying Firefox had stopped working. Several more attempts to open FF produced the same result, so I allowed Windows to search for a solution online. For a few minutes it said it was searching, then the message just disappeared – which was to happen regularly for the rest of the evening.

    Turning to IE, the same thing happened, except it would open the page requested and then stop working. Testing the connection to the router found nothing amiss, and rebooting the PC a few times had no effect, likewise the router.

    Starting my wife’s PC, which hadn’t been used all day, FF had stopped working –if I recall correctly - but IE was OK. Returning to my machine, IE now opened, so FF was removed with the intention of a fresh install, but IE no longer worked. Stalemate. Next the laptop was opened up, and both browsers worked fine. Having run out of ideas, I phoned the ISP just before midnight, when it was possible to get through without waiting half an hour, and was told that as it appears only my PC has problems, and so many things could be the cause, I should take it to a repair shop. Easier said than done when one needs a walking stick to get about.

    It is so frustrating as I completed my monthly accounts yesterday and was going to make a new image, as usual. If only I had done so prior to going back online! The latest image is four weeks old, and it has been a month when quite a lot of data was added.

    This morning my PC is unchanged, whereas the other two are problem free. So I’ve burned a DVD of the seven large folders which certainly contain changes, in the expectation of having to reinstall the latest image and then the laborious task of updating it from the new DVD back up. That’s assuming the image installs without problems.

    So, if anyone can suggest where to start looking for an alternative solution, I would be really grateful. Incidentally, email works, provided it doesn’t have to open a web site.

    George

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Try System Restore in Safe Mode before you do anything else.

  3. #3
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    When something like this affects more than one machine even though another may be working, I would tend to look to the router and a power cycle, but opening a command prompt as an administrator (should the restore points not do it) and entering these commands may help.

    netsh winsock reset catalog (if you are using Win 8/8.1 you may need to leave the catalog bit off)
    netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
    exit

    Now reboot.

    Event Viewer may have something related recorded, so it will be worth looking in there if the browsers still play up.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-09-30 at 11:28.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions, but the problem has been resolved in a weird manner.

    As mentioned in my OP, the browsers stopped working just after adding a PS to my entry in reply to Susan Bradley’s article about EMET5. By a strange coincidence, after spending Sunday evening and the best part of Monday trying to sort it out, just before going to bed yesterday I decided to remove EMET - not really sure why – and then decided to try IE again.
    It worked, as it had done briefly on occasions yesterday, but this time several sites opened, and switching to FF everything was back to normal.

    There seems to be no logical reason why a comment about EMET should cause browsers to fail, then revert to normal when it was removed, especially as it has been no this PC for a year or more, but I’m just happy everything is now working OK.

    Presumably, I can now remove the folder Old FF Data that appeared on my desktop when FF was removed.

    Again, thanks for your helpful suggestions, which may come in useful at some future date.

    George

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    Well, AV programs can go rogue now and again and block Internet connectivity, but it's normally because of a buggy Definitions update.

    Does your wife's computer also have EMET5 installed ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Well, AV programs can go rogue now and again and block Internet connectivity, but it's normally because of a buggy Definitions update.

    Does your wife's computer also have EMET5 installed ?

    I've experienced very similar problems in the past few days since I installed EMET 5, default settings, on Win 7 32 SP1. Now removed it, better but still a bit clitchy. Will try to restore to pre EMET and see if improvement.

  7. #7
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    I have found that EMET 5 is very sensitive to the settings on the "Application Configuration" screen. If you get these wrong, sometimes you get an error message (e.g. application has detected SimExecFlow), other times you see that the application has "stopped working", other times again the application just hangs and you have to kill it. Sometimes there will be an entry in the Application or System event log with more information about the error. By trial and error, my settings on that screen for Firefox are: every column enabled except EAF, SimExecFlow, StackPivot and ASR. For IE, every column enabled except EAF, SimExecFlow and StackPivot. Interestingly, both will not work with EAF enabled, but are fine with EAF+. Configured like this, both Firefox and IE are OK on my system (Win 7 64).

    Other applications will have similar issues with EMET 5. The columns mentioned are the ones to play with first. You want to have as many columns enabled as possible, except the one(s) which the application doesn't like. Do not just remove EMET 5; even with columns disabled, it still provides valuable protection for that application.
    Last edited by Bundaburra; 2014-10-02 at 19:55.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bundaburra View Post
    I have found that EMET 5 is very sensitive to the settings on the "Application Configuration" screen.
    Unfortunately that did not work on my Win 8.1 64 machine.

    After reinstalling EMET 5, making the suggested changes to IE was very easy, whereas FF wasn’t listed among the applications and it took me some time to work out how to get it listed.

    That done, the changes were made, and initially everything looked promising: I started FF, went to my bank site and the first two pages appeared as normal, but as soon as I tried to log in the ‘FF has stopped working’ message appeared. IE opened with the corresponding message, no chance to try a less secure site. EMET was removed, I checked my bank balance with FF and went to bed.

    It would be possible to experiment with various settings, as you have done, but don’t have the time, and I never really know what I am doing when getting involved with the inner workings of computers. Much simpler to do without EMET.

  9. #9
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    Just wondering does EMET 5 report back to MS re incompatabilities? There is scarce info on the MS site and the small # of incompatabilities mentioned leads me to think they have not done too much research of their own.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #10
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    As Susan Bradley mentions, browsers can also be affected by their add-ons. In the case of Firefox, there is an element called Plugin-container.exe, which must also be defined to Emet 5 - sorry, I forgot to mention that.

    To add a non-default application or program to Emet, first open it and have it running, if not running already. Then, in Emet, find it in the list of "Running processes", right-click it, and then click "Configure process". (If Firefox is running you will also see Plugin-container.exe in the list.) It will then be added to the Application Configuration list with all options enabled, and you can disable those which don't work. For Plugin-container.exe, disable EAF, SimExecFlow, StackPivot and ASR, same as for Firefox itself.

    That's my experience anyway, but every system is different. I am happily typing this in Firefox, configured as described, with no problems.

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