Firefox 2.0 and Windows Vista niggles

, posted: 3-Dec-2006 13:23

FirefoxI'm using Windows Vista RTM now on a daily basis despite it to be honest not being quite ready for prime-time. Vista drivers for the different bits and pieces I use are starting to show up, but many are still missing, or just don't work all that well (Nvidia's video driver being one example).

Even so, most software runs just fine but not one application that I really would like to use: Firefox 2.0. Well, it runs and does most things a Firefox installation in XP would, but it seems to have issues with the User Access Controls (UAC) in Vista, as well as the default lowered privileges for applications.

At first, I couldn't get Firefox 2.0 to run at all after installation. It came up with an error message saying: "The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete. Please restart."

The suggestion in MozillaZine Knowledge Base here didn't help, nor did setting the FF executable to run in Windows XP compatibility mode.

Then I noticed that FF ran if I was logged on with a Domain Adminstrator account. I tried setting the FF shortcut to Run As Administrator (right-click on it for the menu). Still no go, so I did the same with the Firefox executable. Now it ran, and oddly enough, continues to run even after I've removed the Administrator privileges elevation. This suggests perhaps that FF needs to elevated access to parts of the system the first time it runs.

What still doesn't work is using Firefox as the default browser in Vista however. I've set it to be that but Firefox doesn't launch when I click on URLs in any application. IE7 launches instead, even in Thunderbird.

Just to make things more complex, if I click on a mailto: link in Firefox, it won't launch Thunderbird (which I've set as the default email program). Instead, it launches Outlook 2007. However, doing the same in IE7 launches Tbird.

Setting Firefox and Thunderbird as the default applications in Vista is painful actually and I don't know if works properly. Vista starts churning away, and fires up Firefox which hangs and the Setting Defaults... dialog stops:

Setting Defaults

If you kill FF with Task Manager, Setting Defaults proceeds to launch Thunderbird, which also hangs and has to be be killed. I suspect both would have be set to Run As Administrator, but I haven't tried that yet.

Another curiousity is that using Firefox seems to bypass the UAC Protected Mode that you get in IE7. Obviously, FF 2.0 doesn't support PM yet (that's for 3.0), but it'll let you install just about anything without Vista popping up the security screen.

So why do I bother with FF/T-bird then? Well, IE7 doesn't have anywhere near the amount of useful extensions that FF does, and some sites just don't work in the Microsoft browser. Technorati refused to load for me for several days in IE7 for instance - it works now, and unfortunately I've lost the screen cap of the IE7 "Operation Aborted" error dialog. It means I have to have both browsers installed for the time being.

Opera 9 is very very nice indeed, but... Geekzone doesn't work with it.

I'm liking Outlook 2007 more and more and could see myself using that instead of Thunderbird but... I can't change the default "top-posting" mode in Outlook 2007. Instead of typing at the top of the message, I want to start at the bottom, with the signature inserted at the end too. However, I can't find anyway of changing that default.

Other related posts:
FreeBSD 6.2 released
Thunderbird 2.0 beta 1 out - and I like it
OpenBSD 4.0 out

comments powered by Disqus


Google News search
IT News
PC World New Zealand
Computerworld NZ
PC World and Computerworld Australia
PC World US
Computerworld US
NZ Herald
Virus Bulletin

Content copyright © Juha Saarinen. If you wish to use the content of my blog on your site, please contact me for details. I'm usually happy to share my material as long as it's not for spamblogs and content farms. Please attribute with a link back to this blog. If you wish to advertise on my blog, please drop me an email to discuss the details.
Comments policy All comments posted on this blog are the copyright and responsibility of the submitters in question. Comments commercial and promotional in nature are not allowed. Please ensure that your comments are on topic and refrain from making personal remarks.