QA/Firefox3/Investigation/Norton 360

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Some users running Norton 360 v2 and Norton Internet Security 2008.5 have reported that after upgrading to Firefox 3, they can no longer access their bookmarks, create new bookmarks, create or use browser history, or access their saved passwords from IdentitySafe.

Investigation by our support team and Symantec's QA group has determined that a conflict between coffplgn.dll (installed by Norton 360 in <appdir>\Components) and some Firefox add-ons results in firefox.exe not exiting properly and locking the new SQL files used to store this information. If a user starts Firefox after a reboot, they will be able to see their bookmarks and history; as soon as they exit and relaunch Firefox, though, the problem re-appears.

Add-ons known to cause this conflict with coffplgn.dll are:

  • Google Toolbar
  • Skype
  • Cooliris
  • Freecorder


Three workarounds are known to exist:

  1. Disable conflicting extensions
  2. Remove coffplgn.dll from C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Components
  3. Using Task Manager, kill all firefox.exe processes and restart firefox (temporary)


The issue can be reliably reproduced if you are running: Firefox 3, Norton 360, and have the Cooliris add-on installed. Using this mechanism we've been able to determine:

  • firefox.exe is being held open by AppMgr32.dll which is itself being affected by coffplgn.dll
  • unclear why the profile isn't remaining locked while firefox.exe remains open
  • mfinkle suspected jemalloc based on a stack obtained by Tomcat
  • jemalloc-free builds show that firefox.exe remains open, but the SQL files do *not* stay locked
    • determined that jemalloc is not the cause of the failure, but likely the cause of the SQL files staying open and locked
  • Screenshot how this Problem looks can be found here -> Screenshot
  • A stack with Windbg was created for the firefox.exe process that remains open. The Stack can be found here