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Warning: Unresponsive Script

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rebelboy | 19:47 Wed 18th May 2016 | Technology
4 Answers
For the past month or so I keep getting this message on the screen of my laptop. In the box the message continues : A script on this page may be busy or it may have stopped responding. It then gives three options. Continue. Debug script. Stop script. Whatever I press doesn't help as it has crashed and frozen and I have to restart the laptop.Happening more frequently now at least 3/4 times a day. Only happens on certain sites but didn't occur before. I'm using Firefox.

Any help appreciated.


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I get that sometimes. You don't want to debug. Continue only if you think your computer is being slow. Most of the time it'll be ad related and you just want to stop it. It ought not crash your laptop though.
Question Author
Thanks OG. Seems to be a common problem. Thought it was just me.
'Unresponsive script' errors in Firefox most frequently occur when something else on your computer is hogging all of its resources, meaning that Firefox can't cope with what's left. So you need to identify what it is that's actually causing the problem (although I've got a very good idea already - see below).

When you first turn your computer on, open the Task Manager (via right-clicking on the bar at the foot of your screen). If the 'Processes' tab isn't already selected, click on it. Then click on 'Show processes from all users'. (If you're asked for permission to proceed, grant it). Maximise the window (by clicking on the square in the top right corner), then minimise it (by clicking on the line).

Then, when you see an 'unresponsive script' message, click at the foot of your screen to maximise the Task Manager window again. Then do the following:

1. Look down the 'Mem Usage' (or 'Working Set Memory') column to see if there's an unusually large figure there. You'd normally expect to find that everything except Firefox is shown as below about 50,000 K. Anything else with a high figure should be regarded as a suspect process.

2. Look down the 'CPU' column to see if there are any large numbers there. You should normally expect to see everything (except 'System Idle Process', which will be high) showing '00' or a very low number. Again, anything with a high figure should be regarded as suspect.

3. Now look more carefully at the 'CPU' column to see if there's a figure which (even if it stays low) changes every second or two. Yet again, that could point to a possible problem.

My guess (based upon having experienced the same problem, on different computers, several times and having answered similar questions here before) is that you'll find a high 'CPU' figure against 'svchost.exe'. However that only tells you that a program is seeking to download something. You need to look for another 'CPU' figure, which is constantly changing,' to identify what it is that's making a call upon svchost.exe. I'd be prepared to bet that it's the updating element of your anti-virus software that's the real cause. (For example, if you're using Microsoft Security Essentials, you'll see 'MsMpEng.exe' with a constantly changing 'CPU' figure).

The usual solution to the problem is to uninstall your antivirus software, restart your computer and then reinstall it (or, often, to install something better anyway).
On my task manager there are 7 items at the top of the list larger than 100M. Most I'd admit are browser related.

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