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Kudos2 Stats

Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I still have Win XP SP3 and use Firefox as my browser which is still compatible. I also have I.E.8 which I don't use as out of date and do not have Chrome installed. I upgraded from Firefox 50.1.0 to 51.0.1 today and noticed that after installation the hourglass continued to show beside my cursor as if it was still busy. I opened the task manager to see what was going on and every single process had changed to conathst.exe (from memory I hope I've remembered it right) which I find is a Norton process. I closed Firefox 51.0.1 and started it again. This time my task manager showed all the processes that I am used to and I assumed all was correct for a moment but as i watched each and every process changed to conathst.exe  again so I had a great list of conathst.exe and nothing else. I have rectified things now by restoring my computer back to Firefox 50.1.0 but I am concerned as to what is going on.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I have exactly the same problem, when Firefox is opened several new conathst.exe's add to the process list every second ! After only a couple of minutes browsing, I have thousands of processes running !!! Can anyone help - is this a norton problem or firefox problem ?

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Gavioli

Are you also on XP SP3?

Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Yes :

Microsoft Windows XP Profesional

Version 2002

Service Pack 3

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Have you run LiveUpdate until no updates are available? Have you restarted the computer?

I don't have any XP machines. I am on Win 10 and do not see this with FF 51.0.1 and NSBU 22.8.1.14

Let's see what others have to day. 

Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Yes, tried that & still have the problem. I think it's something to do with firefox rather than norton as they released an update yesterday and it's been since then.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

No more updates ot install, but sadly still the same. There's a few posts on the mozilla forum with the same problem, but they say it's a norton issue ! https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1155179

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

It's so bad, it ends up crashing my pc after 5 minutes of trying to use firefox. I had over 7000 conathst.exe all running ! I'm having to temporarily use chrome.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Firefox claim to support Win XP ( from SP2) until September 2017 which suits me as I have many useful programs on it which I haven't got on my other Win 7 computer.  XP has enabled me to restore Firefox 50.1.0. so I am currently OK.  I would say XP is much preferable to me as I have heard stories about later Windows versions where some people still don't understand it.  This appears to be a problem between Norton and Firefox and as mentioned similar complaints have been made about this on Mozilla Firefox forum.  Perhaps Norton and Firefox can get together and sort this out because it was a nightmare and I am reluctant to try again until I hear some positive news on it. Fingers crossed. 

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

 This appears to be a problem between Norton and Firefox and as mentioned similar complaints have been made about this on Mozilla Firefox forum

If I may...It is a problem between Norton and Firefox and Windows XP.  As I noted, this does not happen on my Win 10 system. I might expand my statement to include other OSs as well, as the only posts here are from XP users. But I cannot confirm that last statement.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Thanks for reporting this issue @imbart & @Gavioli. We are looking into this issue.

@Gavioli, Not a recommendation but in order to test this scenario, Could you please downgrade from Firefox 51.0 to Firefox 50.0 and check if you are still facing this issue? 

Mohanakrishnan G | Norton Forums Administrator | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Do not use Windows XP. There is no longer any support for your operating system. 

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

The problem does not happen on my 50.1.0 - read other previous posts. 

I have the problem on XP Media Center (MCE), with Norton Internet Security (NIS) 22.8.1.14 (current update), I am NOT on Norton Security.

This does not happen on my Windows 7 machine, so yes, it is XP related.

Anybody else that wants to point out that XP is not supported should check whether Firefox and Norton support XP before commenting.  We think so.  :-)

This problem has cost me major stress and money.  Hope Firefox or Norton can fix this quickly.  Thanks!

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I am NOT on Norton Security.

NIS and NS are functionally the same, as long as both are the 22.8.1.14 version. It is just the interface and possibly the number and type of devices you can use that may differ.

The problem does not happen on my 50.1.0 - read other previous posts.

The other posts have been read. This was a diagnostic suggestion made earlier today when this was first brought to our attention.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I had the same problem. Quickly uninstalled the Firefox 51. back to 50.1 and all is well.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Symantec claims they still support XP.  It doesn't matter if Microsoft supports it or not.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I found this on the Firefox Bugzilla site. I also have an open ticket on this issue with Norton Support. The problem file, conathst.exe is the executable used for the Norton Identity Safe feature. At this point it doesn't appear that you can disable this feature. I will update this thread with any new info I receive from Norton Support.                  

File Attachment: 
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

@boblupt

Please remove the case number from your post - Norton Community Participation Guidelines

Thanks.

P.S. Posts can be edited within one hour from posting time.

Windows 7 HP SP1 32-bit | Chrome 62.0.3202.94 | NS 22.11.2.7
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I have the same problem with Windows XP SP3.

To "imbart" and "M_VanHat10" and any others:

How did you accomplish the downgrade to Firefox Version 50.1.0?

Were the user profiles preserved?

Thanks for sharing.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I used revo uninstaller to uninstall, found somewhere on Mozilla the previous version. All profiles preserved
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

How to install a previous version of FireFox.  https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1141234

Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

JAM_Tampa

Some good advice already given on rolling back to Firefox 50.1.0 but I actually used XPs System Restore.  However I make restore points every three or four days because I find that restoring XP beyond about a week can mess up some applications such as Norton and you find you have to remove and reinstall it. The same happens with Malwarebytes although they have a simple click facility which restores the version you have without any bother.  The ideas above may be better.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Thanks to everyone who replied with help.

I am running successfully with Firefox 50.1.0 again with user profiles preserved.

I downloaded Firefox Setup 50.1.0.exe from ftp.mozilla.org and, after launching Firefox, quickly set Tools|Options|Advanced|Update|Check.

This thread should remain open until we have resolution from Mozilla and/or Symantec.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I am very glad that I have been referred to this thread. (Thank you, @peterweb!)

I have exactly the same problem (also XP, SP3, NIS and FF 51.0.1 and the "endless loop" conathst.exe in the Taskmanager.

After uninstalling and reinstalling Norton it worked with the FF for this one session, but after restarting the PC it was the same again.

Now I will wait a few days, wether from Norton or FF still a solution comes - and if not, then I will also downgrade FF.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Hello Whynot

After you download FF to 50, then you have to turn off automatic upgrade to new version.

Thanks

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NS with BackUp 22.11.2.7 Core 202 I E 11
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Same Firefox (FF) problem.  XP, Service Pack 3, all updates.

Task Manager shows over 1000 Conathst.exe running simultaneously using over 40% of the 2 CPUs.  Massive system instability with Task Manager failing and eventually the blue screen of death.  Trying to roll back to the 25th when FF updated instead of uninstalling & reinstalling an older version of FF.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Hello Floplot!

Thank you for your hint! I hope I can turn off the automatic update at the time of installation.

Otherwise this debacle will start again :-).

Kudos3 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I have Firefox 51.0.1 (32-bit) running on WinXP SP3 (32-bit) and Norton Security co-existing without the CONATHST.EXE Windows Task Manager process replication problem. Disabling NS Identity Safe did not prevent the problem. Disabling the Norton Security Toolbar add-on extension within Firefox did. The Norton Security Toolbar is the vehicle enabling Norton Identity Safe and Safe Web within Firefox. Hopefully Symantec and/or Mozilla can resolve the issue in the near future.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Encountered this conathst.exe problem today. XP XPSP3. Firefox 51.1.0 Temporary solution - as above except: (1) disable add-on identity safe  (2) Disable automatic update under options, advanced; (3) Download firefox 50.1.0 from filehippo.com (4) Uninstall 51.1.0 (5) Restart computer (6) Install 50.1.0 You will see conathst.exe at approx 7000-10,000 kb. - not > 100 instances of that file. (6) Enable Identity safe. (7) DO NOT UPDATE TO 51.1.0. Every time I tried - EVEN WITH IDENTITY SAFE DISABLED - SAME PROBLEM.

I spent hours with chat - cut off 3 times. Called them & was told "it is an ongoing problem"  which requires a level 2 technician. My guess is this is a Firefox change causing havoc - as it did before - with Norton.

Update: Had two updates then read entry by ljp007. The new temporary solution IS disable Norton Security Toolbar. Identity safe can be enabled WITHOUT the conathst.exe multiplicity in task manager. Kudos to ljp007! I am now safely running firefox 51.1.0

I agree with suggestion of keeping thread open until issue of Norton Security Toolbar & Firefox compatibility is resolved.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I'm sorry if this has already been brought up and tried but this page lists a version of FF 51.0.1 compatible with XP and Vista.

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/

Has anyone seen if this makes a difference?

Again I apologise for my ignorance of the situation.

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I turned off automatic updates in FF before reverting to the previous version.  Worked OK but I did a no-no by installing the older version on top of the newer version.  Worked fine this time.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

To Krusty13: Look at the system requirements. It contains additional information about operating system support and some installation instructions. Note: Firefox 53 planned April 2017 will drop Windows XP, Vista and Server 2008 support. FF 51.0.1  32-bit build is compatible with all 32-bit Windows versions XP and above. FF 51.0.1 64-bit build only supports Windows 7 and above. Taking a quick look on a Windows 7 (23-bit) computer does NOT reveal any problem with CONATHST.EXE. Only one process is initiated. The Windows 7 tests was with Norton Security Toolbar, Identity Safe and Safe Web all enabled. The replicating process only occurs on Windows XP so far. I haven't tested Vista, yet. My Windows 10 test was negative also until I realized it hadn't updated to FF 51.0.1 yet. Doing that now.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

As a temporary fix, go to Firefox, Tools, Add-Ons and click Disable Norton Security Toolbar.  Restart your computer to clear out the many conathst.exe instances.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

lip007

I read that Firefox will support XP until September 2017 (with some changes)

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/end-support-windows-xp-and-vista

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Disabling Norton Security Toolbar did the trick for me on XP pro SP3 FF 51.0.1 (32-bit). So Norton is the root cause.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

According to the Firefox language download page system requirements link, FF ESR 52 expected March 2017 will be the last version supporting XP.

Quote:

From Firefox 53 planned for April 2017, Windows XP/Vista/Server 2008 are no longer supported. These users should migrate to ESR 52 once available (planned for March 2017).

End quote

Your reference states ESR 52 will receive security updates (no new features) until Sept 2017. There is no information conflict. But the whole picture does provide clarity.

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/51.0.1/system-requirements/

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Hello

According to the Mozilla link provided by ljp007 , FF no longer supports xp sp3 64 bit as of 51.0.1 Starting with FF 53, there will be no support for XP 32 bit. See his link for instructions on how to install FF 51.0.1 on 32 bit machines. So FF 52 will be the last version for FF for xp.

They should then start with FF ESR 52.

Thanks.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NS with BackUp 22.11.2.7 Core 202 I E 11
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I wouldn't say that Norton is the root cause.  They did NOT make any changes to their software.  The change was made by Mozilla (Firefox) who, apparently, did not test the combination of Windows XP SP3 and Symantec.  FF made the update/change so, technically, they are responsible.  As someone who has worked in IT for 47 years, this is a typical scenario.  You really can't point-the-finger at one or the other, but it was not a change in Symantec/Norton that triggered this; it was on the FF side.

You can't just assign blame.  What needs to happen is the FF people and the Norton people need to work together to fix this.  You can't actually blame Mozilla for this either because there are so many combinations and permutations that it is impossible to test with EVERY piece of software and hardware combinations.  Look at this case, for example.

You have to have (according to these reports) FF 51+ AND Norton AND XP. The important thing should be that warnings go out, a temporary workaround should be found (going back to FF 50) and both sides need to analyze what happened and one or both parties should come up with a solution.  But, as I said, Norton was working fine until Firefox made a sudden change.  Think of it that way.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

That isn't what ljp007 said in his post.  He said that 52 will be the last to support XP so version 51 should still support that.  Unless, of course, someone changed the page that the link goes to.  I'm just pointing out what ljp007 said in his post.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I didn't attempt to assign blame. I agree with hforman. The only way to create a real solution is for development teams to work together, not nitpick. 47 years in electronics maintenance and 33 years in computers has made it abundantly clear to me teamwork, even between diverse entities, is the way to go. Although more troublesome the reverting to FF 50.1 may maintain NS's Identity Safe and Safe Web functionality, the much easier solution is to disable the Norton Security Toolbar within FF.  Due to the very limited environment within which the problem is manifested and the pending suspension of FF XP support all together, I wouldn't expect Symantec/Norton or Mozilla to expend vast resources create a fix. My suggestion is to accept the situation using either of the proven temporary solutions and move on. If either of the teams can identify a simple solution, I trust they will include it in their next update release.

Peace.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Having the same problem.  Uninstalled FF and deleted all profile data in the Mozilla folder.  Went back to 49 and even with auto update turned off, FF when back to 51.  But, running FF by itself (no extensions), I did not have the repeating conathst's.  It wasn't until I added the Norton Tool Bar extension that it started the repeating conathst's.

I started up Chrome, which also had the tool bar installed and the conthst.exe showed up again.

I'm back to FF 51 with the tool bar Disabled and everything is stable.  Unprotected, but stable.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Unprotected, but stable.

You are still protected. It is just that it will be other layers of Norton protection that would catch any nasties. And you do not get the Safe Web warnings when searching.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Okay, you've decided you want to return to FF 50.1.0.
The instructions in the earlier System Requirements link says

Quote

To install Firefox on a Windows XP system, because of Windows restrictions, the user will have to download Firefox 43.0.1 and then update to the current release.

End quote

The problem is you don't want to update to the current release (FF 51.0.1).
Following are links to the solution. First is to the Mozilla FF "Install an older version of Firefox" Help page.

The second link is a direct download of the Windows XP SP3 FF 50.1.0 installer from the help page.

The third link is a direct download of the Windows XP SP2 FF 50.1.0 installer from the help page.

BTW: Don't delete the profile(s) from the "C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox" folder. [username] being your user name. Instead, copy the profiles.ini file for safe keeping. It can be copied back, if necessary, to restore your current FF user data access.

If any of the links are not clickable, copy & paste to your URL.


FF Help "Install an older version of Firefox":

file:///Y:/Download/Mozilla/Install%20an%20older%20version%20of%20Firefox%20_%20Firefox%20Help.htm


Windows XP SP3 installer direct download link:

https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/50.1.0/w...


Windows XP SP2 installer direct download link:

https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/50.1.0/w...


Hope this helps.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Win XP SP3 FF 51.0.1 Norton Security Toolbar extension disabled. Agree with hforman: " You have to have (according to these reports) FF 51+ AND Norton AND XP" for problem to arise." Chrome stopped supporting XP & providing updates - and forget about IE. Also running MBAE & MB for added security in the interim. Additionally, ljp007 sad commentary " I wouldn't expect Symantec/Norton or Mozilla to expend vast resources create a fix" is realistic. It did take a while for the fix ID safe to function within FF. Writing on the wall regarding XP - still  beats Win 10 IMHO.  Really appreciate the comments of norton community as an invaluable tool - forgive me, just needed to say that. Regards.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

'flo

I see from the linked Mozilla instructions:

To work around this issue, a two-step process is necessary to install the latest version of Firefox on Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3 or on Windows Vista.

That if also applies to VISTA of which there may still be a few users around although it was so bad that most must have gone to Windows 7. There are more reasons in hardware why some stick to XP despite any increased security risk and compatibility problems. 

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Hello Hugh

From what I saw in this thread, I don't think I saw any Vista users having this issue. Of course, that doesn't mean that there aren't any. I'm just trying to help with my very limited knowledge of FF.

Thanks.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NS with BackUp 22.11.2.7 Core 202 I E 11
Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

I've been using FF since it was Netscape. Don't know why 43.0 would be a required entry point. Never encountered that with  the many XP computers I've installed FF on. No mention of 43.0 exists on the "Install an older version of Firefox" help page linked later. I have a Vista laptop I haven't used for quite a while. Bringing it online and up to date for testing would take a while. I was curious about it too. Could be done if it would be helpful.

Kudos2 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Hi everyone,

We are looking into this issue. I'll post an update when available.

Thank You for your patience.

Mohanakrishnan G | Norton Forums Administrator | Symantec Corporation
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

Thank you Mohan

We have a mixed situation where some XP users have rolled back to FF 50.0.1 and others have stuck with the new FF51.1.0. and disabled Norton toolbar.  I have reverted to 50.0.1 and changed the update button to "check for updates" until I hear some good news from you.  I am a bit of a technophobe and know little of how the fix will apply but am  not sure if I will have to resurrect FF 51.1.0 (which has several  security upgrades) and apply it or the fix will take care of both FF versions without upgrading first.  Hope this makes sense.

Kudos0

Re: Task manager gone mad with conathst.exe

floplot:

From what I saw in this thread, I don't think I saw any Vista users having this issue. Of course, that doesn't mean that there aren't any.

Just an FYI that this problem doesn't appear on my 32-bit Vista SP2 machine when Firefox v51.0.1 is running with NIS v22.8.1.14 (Norton Security Toolbar v2016.8.1.9).

It's possible this problem has something to do with the new Electrolysis (e10s) multi-processing architecture being rolled out to Firefox users.  I could see that multi-processing was enabled in my configuration settings after upgrading to FF v51.0.1 (i.e., I entered about:config in the address bar, clicked the "I accept the risk!" button and searched for "browser.tabs.remote"; my browser.tabs.remote.autostart.2 setting has changed to TRUE).  However, multi-processing is turned off [Help | Troubleshooting | Application Basics | Multiprocess Windows = "0/1 (Disabled by add-ons)"] if I enable my Mozilla Archive Format (MAF) v4.0.2 extension, since the current version of MAF is still not fully compatible with multi-processing.

Win XP users might want to check the status of multi-processing their Firefox v51.0.1 browser at Help | Troubleshooting | Application Basics | Multiprocess Windows.  If the status says something like "1/1 Enabled by default" then multi-processing has been enabled in your Firefox profile and there's likely a glitch in the current Norton Security Toolbar v2016.8.1.9 that doesn't work with Firefox's new multi-processing architecture on Win XP computers.
------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v51.0.1 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * Norton Security Toolbar v2016.8.1.9
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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