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Major browser problems!


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amerikiwi

 
Member Since: Oct 10, 2009
Posts: 12
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Hi All,

I've been scanning the internet for days for someone with my exact problem but can't seem to find anyone in a similar situation. My problem is that all my browsers, Safari, Firefox and Camino, have suddenly started running incredibly slowly and are even refusing to load certain pages. Safari is normally my only browser but I decided to try Firefox and Camino to see if things might improve. Unfortunately the others act the same as Safari - painstakingly slow and highly uncooperative.

My slowing problems started a few weeks ago after I'd downloaded a demo of a Christmas movie I was going to purchase from a website called ZML.com. I've since learned this website is based in Russia and may be a front for scammers. When the demo downloaded it was missing its audio so to get the video working properly, I downloaded a couple of different video codecs/plug-ins. The plug-ins did indeed get the demo working but I was starting to have suspicions about the site at that point so I stopped the purchase process. Too late though, as I think the damage was done the second I downloaded the demo.

Originally I thought I had that DNSchanger Trojan but I've now run several virus scans (VirusBarrier and DNSchanger Remover) which seem to show no infection.. Yet I still have these frustrating browser problems. I thought also about reinstalling Safari but with Firefox and Camino operating as poorly, I'm not sure a reinstall would make any difference.

Anyway, if anyone has any brilliant thoughts, other than reinstalling my entire system (since I don't have the original discs!), I would be thrilled to hear them.

Here are my computer specs:
eMac 1.42GHz
OSX 10.4.11
1GB RAM
42G free hard drive space
High-speed broadband
Linksys WRT54GL wireless router

I've heard that some routers can be infected by trojans, has anyone had any experience with that?

Thanks so much for your help.

Lesley
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerikiwi View Post
Hi All,

I've been scanning the internet for days for someone with my exact problem but can't seem to find anyone in a similar situation. My problem is that all my browsers, Safari, Firefox and Camino, have suddenly started running incredibly slowly and are even refusing to load certain pages. Safari is normally my only browser but I decided to try Firefox and Camino to see if things might improve. Unfortunately the others act the same as Safari - painstakingly slow and highly uncooperative.

My slowing problems started a few weeks ago after I'd downloaded a demo of a Christmas movie I was going to purchase from a website called ZML.com. I've since learned this website is based in Russia and may be a front for scammers. When the demo downloaded it was missing its audio so to get the video working properly, I downloaded a couple of different video codecs/plug-ins. The plug-ins did indeed get the demo working but I was starting to have suspicions about the site at that point so I stopped the purchase process. Too late though, as I think the damage was done the second I downloaded the demo.

Originally I thought I had that DNSchanger Trojan but I've now run several virus scans (VirusBarrier and DNSchanger Remover) which seem to show no infection.. Yet I still have these frustrating browser problems. I thought also about reinstalling Safari but with Firefox and Camino operating as poorly, I'm not sure a reinstall would make any difference.

Anyway, if anyone has any brilliant thoughts, other than reinstalling my entire system (since I don't have the original discs!), I would be thrilled to hear them.
My first guess is you have a rogue plug-in of some sort. Go to /Library/Internet Plug-Ins and see if something is suspect. Check that same folder in your user Library.

Also check /Library/Input Managers, and the same in your user Library.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu). Also advise us if you have any antivirus or "cleaning" software installed on your Mac. If you are using MacKeeper, you are hereby advised to uninstall it.
------
Links to commonly recommended software and instructions: Onyx | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | How to reveal the User Library
------
Having issues with Safari? Adware is on the rise. See this guide on how to remove it: The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide
------
Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.
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amerikiwi

 
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Hi LIAB,

Thanks so much for your suggestions and sorry for my late reply, I didn't realize anyone had responded! I've just looked in the Library/Internet Plug-Ins folder and haven't found anything that looks suspicious to my eyes but thought I'd post the results just in case:

From HD/Library/Internet Plug-Ins:

Flash Player Enabler
Flash Player
flashplayer.xpt
iPhotoPhotocast.plugin
Java Applet Plugin Enabler
Java Applet.plugin
JavaPLuginCocoa.bundle
NP-PPC-Dir-Shockwave
nslQTScriptablePlugin.xpt
Quartz Composer.webplugin
QuickTime Plugin.plugin
QuickTime Plugin.webplugin
VerifiedDownloadPlugin.plugin

I also looked in my User Folder/Libary/Internet Plug-Ins and found no items at all in the folder. I also couldn't find any folders related to "Input Manager" in either the home or user folder. Maybe those parameters aren't available in 10.4.11? Thank you so much for your input though, it is greatly appreciated.

Also, as an update, my Safari seems to be working much better now all by itself, for some reason. The improvement seemed to coincide when I created a test account with which to test my various browsers. As soon as I logged back into my normal account, not only did the speed improve but I was able to access sites I hadn't been able to before. How weird?? I'm still a bit unsure as to whether I should trust the security Safari with regard to entering usernames, passwords, etc. though, despite the improvement in performance?

Thanks so much again for your thoughts.

Lesley
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Those plug-ins mostly seem kosher, though there are a couple that I don't have. That may be due to me running Snow Leopard. In particular, I don't have these:

Flash Player Enabler
Flash Player
Java Applet Plugin Enabler
Java Applet.plugin
QuickTime Plugin.webplugin
VerifiedDownloadPlugin.plugin

Those all "seem" normal to me and I doubt there's anything to worry about. I see where you downloaded some video codecs, so you may want to look into those also. Look in /Library/Quicktime to see if anything is amiss there. Ditto for the same in your user Library, if it exists (it doesn't on mine).

I'm not sure why Safari would have straightened itself out by testing out on other accounts, but so long everything is working well, so much the better. If you are really worried about security, you could always just back up the Plug ins folders, then whack them and let the OS rebuild them with their default content, then just download and reinstall the other plugins you may be missing. Keep the backup until you are sure it's all working correctly.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu). Also advise us if you have any antivirus or "cleaning" software installed on your Mac. If you are using MacKeeper, you are hereby advised to uninstall it.
------
Links to commonly recommended software and instructions: Onyx | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | How to reveal the User Library
------
Having issues with Safari? Adware is on the rise. See this guide on how to remove it: The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide
------
Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.
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amerikiwi

 
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Posts: 12
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Hi again,

Thanks LIAB for your other great suggestions. Safari's just gone back to acting weird again today so I'll definitely do what you suggested and will move all the plug-ins to a safe place while letting Safari rebuild them. I'm wondering if I should do the same with the video codecs as well? I had a look in my home/quicktime folder (didn't find a QT folder in users) and found the following, I wonder if these could be the culprit:

AC3 Code.component
AC3MovieImport.component **
AppleIntermediateCodec.component
Perian.component **
XviD_Codec 1.0 alpha.component
ZyGoAudioS.component
ZyGoVideo.component
ZyGoVideo.component.hqx

The two with asterisks have creation dates the same day I was trying to download my Christmas video. Maybe these could be the fishy files? I'll try deleting them to see if that makes any difference.

Thanks so much again for your input.

Lesley
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amerikiwi

 
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Wow, deleting those plug-ins did it LIAB, thank you so much! I tried deleting those two QT components which didn't do much to improve things, but the moment those plug-ins were gone I was back in business again!

Thanks so much for the great advice LIAB. I'm a happy Mac user again!

Lesley : )
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerikiwi View Post
Wow, deleting those plug-ins did it LIAB, thank you so much! I tried deleting those two QT components which didn't do much to improve things, but the moment those plug-ins were gone I was back in business again!

Thanks so much for the great advice LIAB. I'm a happy Mac user again!

Lesley : )
Fantabulous! Did you delete the internet plugins or Quicktime plugins? Perian is a very good one to keep around... make sure you have the latest version installed so long it doesn't give you problems once doing so. Perian has a Preference Panel item which you can use to install and uninstall its components with ease.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu). Also advise us if you have any antivirus or "cleaning" software installed on your Mac. If you are using MacKeeper, you are hereby advised to uninstall it.
------
Links to commonly recommended software and instructions: Onyx | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | How to reveal the User Library
------
Having issues with Safari? Adware is on the rise. See this guide on how to remove it: The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide
------
Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.
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amerikiwi

 
Member Since: Oct 10, 2009
Posts: 12
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amerikiwi is offline
Well it seems I spoke too soon... Safari is back to its sluggish, uncooperative self again.

When I reported success yesterday it was after having deleted all plug-ins (Internet and QT) but I had to quickly replace a couple of the Flash plug-ins when some of the pages weren't loading fully. Safari worked well for a few minutes then once again began failing to load pages or loaded them only partially. At that point, I started testing each plug-in by removing and replacing one at a time trying to nail down the culprit but to no avail. I then reinstalled Safari 4.0 thinking maybe a new install might correct any missing or inappropriate files. No improvement there either unfortunately, so as a last ditch effort, I tried replacing Safari 4 with Safari 3 which I'd saved from an old back-up. Still no love. Needless to say, I'm at a total loss now. If LIAB or anyone else may have any other suggestions for me, please let me know. I'm ready to try anything at this point!

Thank you.

Lesley
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
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Mac Specs: iMac i3 (mid-2010) + OS 10.9; TV 3; iPhone 5S; iPad 4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerikiwi View Post
Well it seems I spoke too soon... Safari is back to its sluggish, uncooperative self again.

When I reported success yesterday it was after having deleted all plug-ins (Internet and QT) but I had to quickly replace a couple of the Flash plug-ins when some of the pages weren't loading fully. Safari worked well for a few minutes then once again began failing to load pages or loaded them only partially. At that point, I started testing each plug-in by removing and replacing one at a time trying to nail down the culprit but to no avail. I then reinstalled Safari 4.0 thinking maybe a new install might correct any missing or inappropriate files. No improvement there either unfortunately, so as a last ditch effort, I tried replacing Safari 4 with Safari 3 which I'd saved from an old back-up. Still no love. Needless to say, I'm at a total loss now. If LIAB or anyone else may have any other suggestions for me, please let me know. I'm ready to try anything at this point!

Thank you.

Lesley
Since it recurred after reinstalling Flash... did you remove Flash again? Also... does this happen with other web browsers, like Firefox? Also, try creating a new user on your system and use that user... see if there is any difference with Safari.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu). Also advise us if you have any antivirus or "cleaning" software installed on your Mac. If you are using MacKeeper, you are hereby advised to uninstall it.
------
Links to commonly recommended software and instructions: Onyx | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | How to reveal the User Library
------
Having issues with Safari? Adware is on the rise. See this guide on how to remove it: The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide
------
Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.
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amerikiwi

 
Member Since: Oct 10, 2009
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Hi LIAB and thanks so much for your reply. I did indeed remove both the Flash Player.plugin folder and the flashplayer.xpt file. The .xpt file seems to regenerate itself when the browser restarts so that's the only file remaining in the Internet Plug-Ins folder at the moment. I did also try Firefox and Camino in my regular home account but both seemed to be equally as slow as Safari. However I just tried your suggestion of logging into a test account to try all three browsers again and while I noticed no difference when I first tried that a few days ago, this time around there was a huge improvement in speed of all three browsers, Firefox, Camino and Safari, with Firefox having the best performance out of the three. So I decided to do a time test comparison for all three browsers between my home and test accounts. Here are the results:

Time to fully load Apple

Firefox
:54 - home account
:06 - test account (great result!)

Camino
1:20 - home account
:56 - test account

Safari
1:25 - home account (with broken images)
1:01 - test account (with broken images)

Do you think this difference in speed (especially Firefox in the test account) might mean my home account is corrupted?

Thanks again for all your advice LIAB.

Lesley
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harryb2448

 
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Are you using any maintenance scripts or utilities to clean caches etc? If your problems continue, download a little utility called Applejack, print and read the instructions and let it run in deep clean mode.

http://applejack.sourceforge.net/
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amerikiwi

 
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Hi Harry, thanks for your reply. I did recently run both MacScan and VirusBarrier X5 which I think may have cleaned out some of my cache files but I'm quite sure neither runs in the background as a script. But could either of those apps be what you were referring to? In the meantime though, I'll take your suggestion about AppleJack and will try a deep clean.

Thanks again.

Lesley
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amerikiwi

 
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Hi again, I've just been reading up a bit on AppleJack and have come across a number of complaints for 10.4 users where some haven't been able to boot up after running the app. I don't have original system install disks for this computer so I'm a little wary about trying this, but maybe those cases were more the exception than the rule. I've also read good and bad things about Onyx, not sure if this could be a "safer" alternative to cleaning cache files? Thanks again.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amerikiwi View Post
Hi again, I've just been reading up a bit on AppleJack and have come across a number of complaints for 10.4 users where some haven't been able to boot up after running the app. I don't have original system install disks for this computer so I'm a little wary about trying this, but maybe those cases were more the exception than the rule. I've also read good and bad things about Onyx, not sure if this could be a "safer" alternative to cleaning cache files? Thanks again.
I'll have to plead ignorance on AppleJack. I have heard of it though and it is supposed to be a great tool. As for Onyx, I've never heard of any bad things about it. Just be very sure you use the one intended for Tiger. I would certainly use it to clear out the various user and internet cache files. If that fails, then run some of the Maintenance tools.... the daily/weekly/monthly scripts in particular, and repair permissions for kicks. Perhaps even rebuild the LaunchServices and dydld's shared cache.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu). Also advise us if you have any antivirus or "cleaning" software installed on your Mac. If you are using MacKeeper, you are hereby advised to uninstall it.
------
Links to commonly recommended software and instructions: Onyx | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | How to reveal the User Library
------
Having issues with Safari? Adware is on the rise. See this guide on how to remove it: The Safe Mac Adware Removal Guide
------
Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.
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berlos

 
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Hi ameri i have the same problem with safari and firefox....i think that the problem started with an update of apple.
Have you discover the solution ?

Thanks
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