Semi-frequently (a few instances during a given day), when running Firefox, it will refuse to navigate to any website, not even when I click home. The tabs just get stuck saying “Loading”. When I shut down Firefox and restart again, I get the “Firefox is already running…” message. Attempts to End Process via Task Manager (which only shows firefox.exe as a Process, but is not shown as a running program in Applications) are unsuccessful. Stranger still, nothing happens when I attempt to restart or shut down the computer via either the Start menu or by Alt+F4, so I have to turn the computer off and on at the wall, selecting Start Windows Normally when prompted. For some reason using the power button to restart didn’t work the time I tried that.
Another problem of the same frequency is, for example when I’m on a website like YouTube or Myspace, the media stutters seriously until it has fully buffered 100%. I have never had this problem before. Also, when this problem is flaring up, if I have Windows Media Player running and I navigate from one website to the next, it will stutter a little, sometimes a lot. Turning off AVG Anti-virus (and disabling the related superfluous add-ons in Firefox), Zone Alarm and Spybot S&D doesn’t seem to affect it. The problem also occurs in IE7 when I try that instead.
I am not sure whether these two problems have the same cause, but it is quite a nuisance, especially the first one. I have recently removed McAfee and installed AVG, ZoneAlarm and Spybot S&D instead, though I don’t know if that’s a cause and am not assuming anything either way.
I am running Windows Vista 32-bit.