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Solved: Firefox freezing when trying to print


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cwwozniak's Avatar
cwwozniak   (Chuck) cwwozniak is offline cwwozniak is a Trusted Advisor with special permissions. cwwozniak has a Profile Picture
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12-Jul-2007, 03:43 PM #1
Solved: Firefox freezing when trying to print
This one has been bugging me for a week or two and is getting to be a royal pain. Short of switching to IE, I am looking for a way to solve this problem.

I am using Firefox 2.0.0.4 running on Windows XP Home SP2 with all current updates. If I try to select Print, Print Preview or Page Setup from the Firefox File menu, the menu box goes blank and nothing happens after that. Firefox just seems to go to sleep. I can still switch to and use other open applications with no problem. The only response I can get out of Firefox is if I click on the "X" on the far right of the title bar. That gets me a Windows "Program not responding" screen and I can end the program followed by a "Do you wish to report this error?" screen. If I then restart Firefox, I am asked if I want to start a new session or continue the last one.

Other programs like MS-Word, MS-Excel and Adobe Acrobat have no problems printing before or after Firefox hangs.

I have tried choosing a different default printer connected to a different computer on our LAN with the same failed results.
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Augie65's Avatar
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12-Jul-2007, 04:08 PM #2
You might check this.
Type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter.
Go to:
print.print_printer
Right click that preference and select Reset, close then restart Firefox.
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12-Jul-2007, 05:05 PM #3
Thank you. That solved almost all of the printing problems.

Everything works OK except when I try to choose a different printer in Firefox. My cursor turns into an hourglass for maybe half a minute for some choices while for others I gave up waiting after about 2 minutes.

I looked through about:config a bit more and noticed that it had entries for printers that are no longer on the network. Would removing them from the about:config list possibly cure my last problem? If so, How do I delete them from the list?
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12-Jul-2007, 05:38 PM #4
Are the removed printers still listed you your printers and faxes? Make sure that the printer you want to use is set as default and the others are listed when you reset the print.print_printer preference.
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12-Jul-2007, 05:43 PM #5
Yes, the Windows printers and faxes list still has every networked and directly connected printer I ever used with this computer. Some were just temporary while testing printers for another office location. Looks like I will be spending some time removing them tomorrow.
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13-Jul-2007, 10:25 AM #6
Thank you Augie65 for solving the original problem pointing me in the right direction to resolve the printer switching problem.

Got Firefox printing OK on different printers on our network and printer selection is real quick.

My Steps were:

* Went into the Windows and Faxes Control Panel and deleted all printers except for Adobe PDF Writer. This made PDF Writer the default printer.

* Launched Firefox and opened the TSG page you are now reading.

* Selected "File -> Print" and the dialog box showed PDF Writer as the chosen printer. I closed the box without creating a PDF file.

* Looked at about:config and still saw data for the other printers in addition to PDF Writer.

* Closed Firefox.

* Added the 4 networked printers in the Printers and Faxes Control Panel, making one of the added ones the new default.

* Located the prefs.js file for my Firefox profile and made a backup copy of the file.

* Opened the found prefs.js file in Notepad and deleted all lines that showed configuration data for the old printers, keeping the PDF Writer data.

* Saved and closed the prefs.js file.

* Launched Firefox and again opened this TSG page.

* Printed the page on three of the four printers without any problems while being able to quickly switch between printers. (The fourth printer is a P-Touch label printer and I did not try to print the web page scaled down to a 3-1/2" x 2" label. )

NOTE: Not sure if I did any extra steps that were not really needed; just know they worked for me. Your mileage may vary.
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13-Jul-2007, 10:40 AM #7
You are very welcome.
Glad you got it sorted out. The prefs.js file should correct itself, but you didn't hurt anything.
I case you every want to save your set preferences over the default ones. You can create a
user.js file and enter the preferences that you want saved and it will over ride the default prefs.js.
I have one in my profile folder that sets up all the changes I have made in about:config over the years.
You have to create the user.js, it is not there by default.
Here is a guide that will explain better. User.js
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