Chrome, Safari, Firefox won't open, but IE and Opera will

  • J Bryan Price

    I have Chrome 12.0.742.100, Safari, Firefox, IE 9.0.8112.167421 and Opera 9.51 installed on my Vista machine. UAC is on.

    Recently, Visual Studio 2010 has been hanging up on me while loading a solution. After this happens, I can't open Chrome, Safari, or Opera. They show up in Process Explorer, but no window - not even the flash of one. However, IE and Opera are able to start up just fine.

    I can reboot and things generally start working again - but sometimes even that doesn't work the first few times.

    I'm leaning towards the assumption that I've over-super-used my system a bit: I've recently split my hard drive into three partitions, C:\, P:\, and T:\. I've created symbolic links on C:\ to point

    • C:\Users\<me>\AppData\Local\Temp -> T:\UserLocalTemp
    • C:\Windows\Temp -> T:\WindowsTemp

    I've then mapped a V:\ drive as a network share to \\<machine>\P$\Projects\Visual Studio 2010\ where I have subfolders for my projects, so to Visual Studio they are based at V:\. I may not quite have my permissions right on V:\, which may be why Visual Studio hangs sometimes on me.

    How all this relates to the browsers I haven't a clue. I have Chrome set up as my default browser.

    Does anyone know if Chrome, Safari, and Firefox have something in common that would make them collectively fail to open? They are all WebKit-based, right? Does WebKit go looking for folder or file permissions somewhere that I should check?

  • Answers
  • Haqa

    Chrome and Safari are both based on WebKit under the hood but I've seldom had problems with them on a system that wasn't broken. Firefox is not really related (It's mozilla/gecko) but it just sometimes fails to start, even on a good day.

    I have experienced what you are describing with firefox and almost always it has been a program failing to start or stop correctly which has got the system in a bad state. Unfortunately it's not easy to determine what, exactly, a program THINKS its doing when it's fails to open a window, but if you think VS is causing the problem I'd be inclined to uninstall and reinstall VS to make sure all it's libraries are where (and what) they should be.

    Basically I think it's important to focus on the cause rather than the symptom. While your browsers are failing to open, it appears clear from your description that they only do this after something else has gone wrong.

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