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Old 05-05-2013, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 3,437
Firefox Won't Start

I keep getting the message "Failed to read the configuration file. Please contact your system administrator"
I am the administrator. I've tried re-downloading, system restore, ccleaner, safe mode, etc.
I'm running a Dell, plenty of hard drive space, 4 gig of memory.
Firefox has worked fine for years until I downloaded Avast (Free) upgrade. Then everything went to Hell. I'm guessing I have a virus but don't know how else to find it. Now using (Ugh) Explorer, which is intolorable!
Old 05-05-2013, 11:13 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Las Islas Filipinas
Posts: 444
Have you tried this mate?
Old 05-05-2013, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Regina, SK, Canada
Posts: 1,696
By "re-downloading" do you mean re-installing? According to this you want to remove the Mozilla Firefox program folder before re-installing. That folder doesn't contain any of your personal information like bookmarks or cookies to it's ok to remove.
Old 05-05-2013, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 5,752
If that doesn't work, try this:
Old 05-05-2013, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 33,333
I remember some time in the past Firefox had a problem with an antivirus which declared one of it's configuration files to be a virus, and then blocked all access to said file. If this is the case, you won't be able to remove the Firefox folder while Avast is running, so try turning off protection temporarily if you have troubles deleting the Firefox folder.

You may also be able to set an exception for the specific file in question. See your antivirus's documentation for how to do that. If Avast is causing the problem, that file would most likely be mozilla.cfg in Firefox's main folder.

Note Firefox's main folder is usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox or C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox.
Old 05-06-2013, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 3,437

Thank you all for your help. I finally had to re-install windows. Lost some things but cleared up a lot of others. It seems like every site wants to put in something extra like a toolbar or browser, etc.
It probably was Avast that screwed up my browser, I'll never use it again!
Either Mcalfee or AVG, what do you think?
Old 05-06-2013, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
Originally Posted by Jake View Post
It seems like every site wants to put in something extra like a toolbar or browser, etc.
Gahd, yes, everyone wants their freakin' spyware on your system in the name of "helping" you. So much of it is stealth-install, as well - miss that tiny checkbox in the install process for something you want (Flash and Acrobat come to mind - pit you, Adobe, for bundling that McAfee crap that way!) and you've got ineradicable garbage screwing up your system.

Either Mcalfee or AVG, what do you think?
Any of the lightweight AV tools - as opposed to the "we're going to bloat your OS to John Candy proportions to protect you against Martian diseases and chipmunk invasions" panoplies - are good. AVG AV, Kaspersky, even Avant if you restrict it. I have been very satisfied with AVG for years.
Old 05-06-2013, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 3,437
Thanks, AB, I think I'll try AVG.
Old 05-07-2013, 04:26 PM
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Location: 742 Evergreen Terrace
Posts: 6,206
When Firefox goes bad on me, I back up the bookmarks to an HTML file in another folder, and delete everything labeled Firefox so when I reinstall it all the settings are remade. Otherwise it likes to keep the part of the setup that was causing the problems.
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