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Firefox 24+ for ME and 98


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For people who enjoy testing.:)

Versions 24esr up to 35.0.1 can run very useful.

There is a workaround to run versions 42.0 up to 48.0.2 - see below.

 

I would like to express my thanks for the work. Jumper, I know you've spent endless hours with the further development of KernelEX. I'm able to run Firefox 35 and even 52.9 and see almost the whole contents of the web on Windows Millennium again.

 

ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases

Firefox Portable:

sourceforge.net - FirefoxPortable

 

Improved versions for ME/98:

Downloads:

Firefox 35.0.1 portable   -> Note: FF window is not completely displayed (UI) - see issues below.

Firefox 31.8esr portable

1. Working address (URL) bar

2. No delayed loading of the pages

3. Working "Restore Previous Session", "Recently Closed Tabs" and "Recently Closed Windows"

4. "browser.newtabpage.enabled" set to false for more stability

5. No Tab artifacts

6. QuickJava  - Javascript, Style, Image Toggler  (Version 2.0.6 in 35.0.1 and 2.0.5 in 31.8esr)

7. PlainOldFavorites 1.3.1

8. ClassicThemeRestorer 1.5.3

9. "browser.urlbar.trimURLs" set to false to see protocol / scheme in URL (http/https...)

 

Requirements:

* KernelEX + latest Core Updates: KernelEx.dll 4.5.2016.19, Kexbasen.dll 4.5.2016.24, Kexbases.dll 24, Kexcom.dll 18, Sheet.dll 19, verify.exe 18, VKrnlEx.vxd of 18, Core.ini 20i

Set Firefox.exe, Xul.dll and furthermore for portables the FirefoxPortable.exe to Windows XP SP2 or higher. Otherwise you get an error "Couldn't load XPCOM".

Explanation: Xul.dll is set to 2k in the Registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\KernelEx\AppSettings\Configs). This string entry *\XUL.DLL="NT2K" can be deleted to get the file in follower mode (default). Reboot required. 2k mode was set on Xul for older FF versions like 9.0.1. There is no need to set XPSP2 on Xul, if you had disabled KernelEx (system wide) during KernelEx installation.

Don't choose Legacy WinXPSP2! Firefox will be very unstable.

 

Recommended Hardware:

Pentium 4 or newer processor that supports SSE2

512MB of RAM

200MB of hard drive space

After version 48, SSE2 CPU extensions are going to be required on Windows.

 

Extensions:                                                    Compatibility

PlainOldFavorites 1.3.1                                      Firefox   3.0 - (99.0)

QuickJava 2.0.5                                                Firefox 20.0 - 36.*

QuickJava 2.0.6                                                Firefox 33.0 - 36.*

ClassicThemeRestorer 1.5.3 CTR                       Firefox 29.0 - 50.0

 

Newer Versions and Forks:

:whistle:Firefox 42.0 - 48.0.2  and K-Meleon 76

Additional requirements  (Kext and some dll files required)

 

SeaMonkey    2.21 - 2.32.1 and 2.39 / 2.40

Thunderbird

Cyberfox, GNU IceCat

IceDragon   up to 52.0.0.4

Firefox 49 - 52.9, MyPal 28/29, Centaury and SeaMonkey 2.46 - 2.49.5  (see also IceDragon and additional requirements / the complete requirements are not yet certain. Testers are welcome.)

Note: There is still no known workaround to run FF 36 - 41 (crash on start) and the corresponding forks with the exception IceCat 38. That also applies to lower versions 12 - 23. These lower versions are freezing after some seconds and are useless in today's internet anyway.

 

Limitations: No support for WebGL and Direct2D! Blocked for graphics card because of unresolved driver issues. WebGL is based on OpenGL ES. There's simply no driver that supports OpenGL ES. ME/98 don't support Direct2D.

Issues on ME/98SE:

* Adding bookmarks doesn't work (also the popup - dialog window doesn't occur). History should work partially. Recently visited addresses aren't saved. Partial solution > the bookmark extension PlainOldFavorites 1.3.1. "Restore Previous Session, Recently Closed Tabs and Recently Closed Windows" often don't work at first. And many pages are loaded with a delay. A safe method to troubleshoot is to run the portable version on XP once. Afterwards on next start on Win ME(98) the functions "restore previous session, recently closed tabs and recently closed window" work here, too, and the pages load as they should. On XP Firefox repairs corrupt or wrong created data profile files immediately. The History and the Bookmarks created on XP can be used on ME. FF42.0 and higher versions aren't affected by delayed loading of the pages and there is no need to run it on XP once for this purpose.

* If Firefox crashes when opening a new tab, open about:config and set "browser.newtabpage.enabled" to false. This leaves the new tab blank. It's possible to modify the string "browser.newtab.url" with a search engine or another url of your choice. FF42 and higher versions haven't the string "browser.newtab.url" anymore. You can use the ClassicThemeRestorer to set an url.

* Firefox freezes or crashes on some websites. Disable Javascript or CSS/Style Sheets for these sites. The extension QuickJava allows you to rapidly switch Javascript (JS), CSS/Style Sheets (CS), Images and more. Depending on the system, it may make sense to deactivate Javascript permanently. There are reports of systems in which JS does not work at all. Add "user_pref("javascript.enabled", false);" in profile\prefs.js or open about:config and toggle "javascript.enabled" from true to false.  FF42 and the higher versions are less affected. If a website suddenly stops working and Firefox crashes, then clear the Cache (Tools>Options>Advanced>Network>Cached Web Content>Clear Now) or delete it in the folder (e.g. FF32+: FirefoxPortable\Data\profile\cache2\entries).

* Firefox crashes with Adobe Flash plug-in activated. Make sure that this plugin is disabled. If it is still needed, deactivate the plugin container: dom.ipc.plugins.enabled;false and dom.ipc.plugins.timeoutSecs;-1. The boolean "dom.ipc.plugins.enabled" has been removed with version 43.

* Own fonts of pages can be blurred or unreadable. Recommended: Uncheck "Allow pages to choose their own fonts". Tools > Options > Content > Advanced

* The popups for installing addons, saving passwords and such have big black lines around them.

* The button on the download popup "open containing folder" has no function.

* Printing doesn't work.

* Squares and boxes instead of icons: Install suitable fonts - Awesomefont (version 4.7 tested) for this Site and and see Workaround

Possible setting (You can even see the "search magnifier" and the "Rate stars"):

browser.display.use_document_fonts;1

gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled;false

* Last character of the URL in address bar is missing - The search bar can also be affected: Different solutions are possible.

* Possible: Second process "Explorer" remains after close. Probably after Player usage (YouTube, and so on) in KM76/FF45.9.xx/MyPal/Centaury...). Open the Taskmanager and close the lower (second) "Explorer" process.

 

FF28 - 44:

* Input in address bar doesn't work after a while or second start anymore.

* Search Engine List is empty after a while or second start.  Both errors are related. 

Workaround: With the first run you can remove search engines you don't want from the Search Engine Manager list and then set the search.json file in the profile folder quickly to read only. After that add your favorite engines and set a Home Page. Restart FF and check the functionality. If the first attempt fails, delete "search.json" and "searchplugins", restore the original state (Restore Default Search Engines ...) and try it once more.

FF45 and higher versions aren't affected.

FF27 - 51:

* Tab bar glitches since FF27. Firefox 27.0.1: Toggle "gfx.content.azure.enabled to false. A new standard theme comes with FF29.  FF34 and higher versions come with five themes more. Choosing another theme solves the tab glitch. Another solution for 29 and higher: Install add-on ClassicThemeRestorer 1.5.3 and set Options > Tabs(1) > Tabs > Squared Tabs (Australized) (V2) or Squared Tabs (Classic) (V2). Another solution for Firefox 31 - 35 and 44 - 51: AzureContentBackend skia (not suitable for FF36 - 43 ) - Add to Prefs.js: user_pref("gfx.content.azure.backends", "skia,cairo");

FF28 - 51:

* Icon artefacts - Solution for Firefox 31 - 35 and 44 up to 51: AzureContentBackend skia - gfx.content.azure.backends;skia,cairo

FF30 (and higher?):

* Context Menu (Right click) partly without function - has seldom occurred, probably associated with other errors and is usually not a problem.

FF33 - 48.0.2:

* UI glitch - FF window is not completely displayed:

FF33 - 35.0.1: The problem can largely be avoided, if you don't start and run Firefox with maximised window. Reduce the window size a little bit. Other possibilities: Click "Show Desktop" on Taskbar twice to refresh the Firefox interface (UI). You also can press F11 (Full Screen) twice or leave FF with Full Screen. Then it starts with Full Screen again and afterwards click F11 to exit that mode.

FF42 - 47.0.2: Click "Show Desktop" on Taskbar twice to refresh the Firefox interface (UI). Usually it is sufficient to press the button twice after starting. Or: The boolean "layers.offmainthreadcomposition.force-basic" doesn't exist anymore, but if you create it and set it to true, it's possible to start and run FF with a slightly reduced window size without this UI glitch.

FF48: It starts without UI. The boolean "layers.offmainthreadcomposition.force-basic" = true makes it usable. Start and run it with a slightly reduced window size.

Apparently the glitch is related to OMTC (offmainthreadcomposition). From version 33 on OMTC is enabled by default. Simply switching it off again solves the glitch, but makes the browser unusable.

Solution:

DirectX 9c is required to enable hardware acceleration (GPU Accelerated Windows). After you've installed DX9c set "layers.acceleration.force-enabled" to true and make sure that "layers.offmainthreadcomposition.enabled" is set to true (default value). That completely solves this UI glitch for FF33 - 48. It's tested with NV GF7800GT (driver 82.16), NV GF7900GS (driver 82.69), NV GF6200LE PCIe (driver 81.98) and NV GF5900XT AGP (drivers 81.98/82.16/82.69). Caution: This may not work with other hardware!

 

Not all issues are listed yet.

 

Other settings:

* Highly recommended for FF 24 - 26, 24esr : "security.tls.version.max" should be set to 3 (TLS 1.2 enabled). TLS 1.2 is enabled since version 27 by default.

* FF43 - 47: "xpinstall.signatures.required" => false  to install unverified add-ons (already set in RT's builds). A workaround is required for version 48: Override the Firefox Add-on Signing enforcement

* Youtube:

FF33 - 35: Set "media.mediasource.enabled" to true. It's possible to enable "media.mediasource.enabled" on lower versions, but it's quite likely useless.

FF42: Set "media.mediasource.webm.enabled" to true. It should run on FF43 and higher by default. In case the player doesn't run on FF43+, set "media.mediasource.webm.enabled" to true, too.

Settings not needed, but interesting - matter of taste:

* "browser.tabs.onTop" => false to move the Tabs toolbar below other toolbars (FF24/27). FF 29 and higher: You can move the browser tabs with the extension ClassicThemeRestorer.

* "browser.search.showOneOffButtons" => false to restore Firefox's classic search where you could see the favicon for the current search engine (FF33 - 42). However, the new search should be a bit faster.

* "browser.urlbar.trimURLs" set to false to see protocol / scheme in URL (http/https...)

* "browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll => false     It changes the behaviour of the URL while editing.

* "browser.urlbar.doubleClickSelectsAll" => true     It changes the behaviour of the URL while editing.

 

Recommendation for testing:

Use portable versions or create different profiles for the installed. In the second case call the Profile Manager (Start > Run > ..../firefox.exe -P) or open "about:profiles" (Firefox 46+ only) and start the Profile Wizard.

Edited by schwups
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On 4/17/2020 at 7:19 AM, FantasyAcquiesce said:

Am I supposed replace system dll through DOS?

No.

On 4/17/2020 at 7:19 AM, FantasyAcquiesce said:

and made the ntdll a known dll in the kernelex folder, but I get an error that XPCOM cannot be found

You can try this, but first it is easier to paste MEdll.dll into the Firefox program folder, here ... FF35.0.1Portable\App\Firefox. I see "App folder" is ambiguous. There is no need to register a dll file. And make sure that you really set xul.dll to XPSP3, too. Then the XPCOM error should go away:
 

Edited by schwups
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@Schwups

I tested as following instructions and FF35 still wants to load XPcom.dll. What I do not understand is the MEDLL.dll how is this involved? If NTDLL of another OS is placed in the Windows directory along with the correct Kernel32.dll it slows down system but still operational last time I checked. In WinME NTDLL is loaded first and it is solely directly linked to ME's Kernel32. NT based OS' s load the other way around Kernel32 first. What might be able to be done is to search for files altered in the time frame of when you got FF to work and see if other modes are necessary.

If you just meant it did not need registering in FireFox then OK, I posted below to prevent any confusion.

>>There is no need to register a dll file.

It depends on whether the DLL is in the mapped paths. A Dll can only be registered if it contains function DllRegisterServer and is said then to be self registering. When installing, a program can write the necessary registry settings if the Dll does not self register. If the Dll is in the same folder as the program then the program does not need the registry to find it. If outside the set paths then it will not be found if not registered. In KernelEx folder/subfoldereds the the Dll has to be KnownDll registered for kernelEx to use it. Dlls are shared and icons need to be directed/selected that are within the Dll. They can do direct decoding all types of stuff and generally if it has DllRegisterServer then it should be registered. If within the Dependency Walker Dll tree there is NTDLL and NTDLL has all red Dependency Walker imports, no input functions compatible, then the DLL may still register but may not work. If there are some compatible imports (green) then the DLL will not register.

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Of course, don't use the ntdll.dll of 2K or XP named ntdll.dll in the windows/system directory.  A renamed ntdll.dll to MEdll.dll doesn't hurt your system! The patched Firefox don't need the ntdll.dll, but MEdll.dll. That's all.

Edited by schwups
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I think if we compare KernelEx ApiLog results it might help but it is good that you have it running. There is no altered file dates in the download except prefs.js, they seem to represent the original and this is why I don't understand the MEdll mod how is this file involved?

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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I just rebootet without Kstub823 and I write here on FF 35. I will make list of XP files in my system folder, and I would like to add, that I'd installed hjsuffolk14's me service pack on the test system. Currently I'm at my main machine, but at the moment I 'm not sure, if that SP is installed.

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If you use Process Explorer or CodeStuff Starter while FF is running it will show what files are used therefore narrowing down the files to just the ones used. Process Explorer will show version numbers - a lot more info than Starter but I use both. I think from memory PSAPI has to be removed from Starter.

@FantasyAcquiesce:

When you put the NTDLL of another OS in the KernelEx folder/subfolder and registered it in the KernelEx known Dlls, if you use one of the above programs I mentioned you will see that the NTDLL in the KernelEx folder/subfolder is not loaded and therefore is not used and does not play any role in the operation of the operating system. It cannot load unless all its import functions are linked except any forwarded functions and forwarded functions although shown to link in Dependency Walker do not work with WinME. Forwarded functions are shown in DW having an arrow pointing down with a blue folder like symbol.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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Used not ME files of Firefox (ProcessExplorer):


* IE6SP1 files
* MSVCR70 VS NET twice sorry
* Cabinet.dll XPSP3 5.1.2600.5512
* DGBHelp.DLL XPSP3 5.1.2600.5512
* Imagehlp.dll 5.0.2195.6613
* MFC71.dll VS NET
* MSVCP100.dll VS2010
* MSVCR100.dll VS2010
* MSVCR70.dll VS NET
* MSVCR71.dll VS NET
* PDH.dll XP 5.1.2600.2180 of course not - PDH.dll in the KernelEX folder is used!

Edited by schwups
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I will try the ones that are different to mine. The MSVCR100 and MSVCP100 were the ones in the FF program folder? When profiling with DW the first thing that comes up is the message couldn't load XPCOM then after acknowledging this the profiling begins. Straight away there are many red can not hook modules then it reaches the all implicit modules loaded successful point. So DW is not going to display properly when the modules can not be hooked I would think. In saying that though, it says that there is a memory location 998 problem of which I have encountered with other profiling. The other thing is I have WTSAPI32 have you got WTSAPI32? My WTSAPI32 will not load though : - missing functions and disabled in KEX. Yours did not load either as shown in PE unless you had not included it.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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I m not going get it to work I tried the different files. I am not important, what is important is that you and other members have it running and you have posted about it. Can you do one favor for me is delete the MEdll.dll or rename it as It does not show as being used and tell me if FF35 still works or if you already know the answer then just say. The interesting module that loaded is PDH from XP, RtlStringFromGUID is not listed in Ktree9 is yours listed. It sort of backs up my comment in registering Dlls but for one thing, RtlFreeUnicodeString is listed in Ktree. The KernelEx known dlls does affect Ktree results, It is important to know what files you have as KernelEx known Dlls. No only the way it is displayed in KTree. It might work for those who have not used an earlier Mozilla, ones that do use XPcom.dll. You might confirm that this build that you have FF35 working has it had early FF running on it?

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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