Monday, March 11, 2013

Installing NoScript to Mozilla in Windows Vista

This blog post describes how to install NoScript to Mozilla Application Suite in Windows Vista.
In all actuality, this should also apply to other compatible Mozilla extensions.

Conditions:To install NoScript in an account with administrator rights,
  • you must run Mozilla as administrator.

    For how to properly install NoScript in a guest account, see below.
    Attempting to install in any other way won't work. Yes, I've tried it myself before I found the solution.
  • I chose NoScript, because it's the last version for Firefox 1.0.x.
    The reason is that Firefox 1.0.8 uses version 1.7.13 of the Gecko layout engine, which also matches the last version of Mozilla Application Suite. Any newer version might be incompatible, and I haven't tested NoScript 1.10, which is the last version for SeaMonkey 1.1.
  • Since Mozilla 1.7.13 is eight years old and does not support modern web standards, installing any extension from requires more steps:
      To download version of NoScript from,
    • go to its version section there and hover over the section so that the Download Now link which looks like a button becomes visible.
    • Right-click on the Download Now link, choose to "Save Link Target As..." from the context menu, then save the extension into a folder of your choice. The Mozilla extension is saved with the .xpi file extension (but not installed.)
    • 01.03.2014 update:
      If that does not work (because of design changes at a.m.o), go instead to Mozilla's relevant addons folder for NoScript at, and scroll down to the chosen version.
      Firefox addons developers, either by tradition and culture or requirements from a.m.o, append their addons' XPI files with product acronyms as markers of compatibility with a client program in such a way that amongst browsers, fx stands for Firefox, sm for SeaMonkey, and mz for Mozilla. This should inform users of older client versions as to which extension version is still compatible.

      As I skimmed over Mozilla's NoScript FTP folder with above knowledge, I noticed that the most recent NoScript version marked with mz is actually I don't remember having tested that version with Mozilla in Windows Vista before, but I hope other adventurous users might be lucky. Maybe in the future I will get to test that version, too.
    • in Mozilla, browse to the on-disk location of the saved extension, and click on it to install. The filename should be noscript-
  • Given the circumstances, always install NoScript and any other extension into the user profile and not the general installation folder, because it may be rather difficult to remove it afterwards.
  • Once the extension reports it's installed, exit Mozilla.
  • Then start Mozilla again as Administrator to finish the install process, then exit Mozilla again.
  • Start Mozilla normally.
Added L., 01.03.2014.:

Installing NoScript in a normal/guest account.

Now, in a normal or guest account, it needs more work, mainly because of the differing designs of Windows Vista and Mozilla. We should remember that Mozilla 1.7.13 was made to run in Windows 95...

It won't be necessary to run Mozilla as administrator, because it will launch the instance with administrator credentials, which then brings its own settings as set in the administrator account.

Installing NoScript into Mozilla in a non-admin account mostly follows the steps of installing in the user profile space. After that, restarting Mozilla fails with this error:

"The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete. Please restart."

The result in the background is that Mozilla starts, and starts xpicleanup.exe.
The following is an assumption: xpicleanup.exe wants to delete xpicleanup.dat, and unlike in Windows xp and older, the latter file is placed not where xpicleanup.exe anticipates it to be. xpicleanup.exe then fails to delete the file, Mozilla exits, and renders xpicleanup.exe an orphan process, hanging in memory. Trying to start Mozilla several times leaves more instances of xpicleanup.exe in memory. These processes must be ended either from Task Manager or Process Explorer.
Finding xpicleanup.dat within your profile, deleting or renaming it to xpicleanup.bak does the trick, and Mozilla will start again, with NoScript installed and functioning. (I usually rename such files as filename.ext.bak in order to preserve its extension, might I ever need the original and now renamed file again.)

xpicleanup.dat for a normal/Guest account (yours might be named differently) is located at —

C:\Users\Guest\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\\Mozilla\

^ to browse there, enable viewing of hidden files at folder options (Alt or F10 > Menu > Tools > Folder Options)

Useful instructions from a post by Alice at MozillaZine Forums.

A little bit of background information and history

Mozilla Application Suite (Mozilla) was not designed with Windows Vista in mind, so using it in a modern operating system is not without obstacles. Yes, it does run, but this post about installing extensions sort of shows where some of the caveats lie.

Mozilla was at the time the open source base for Netscape, and version 1.0 of Mozilla was released on 05.06.2002, which is roughly 11 years ago as of 2013. I mean, wow, eleven years. Anyways, Mozilla was released to a wide variety of operating systems and for just as wide a variety of versions of each, including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000 (released 17.02.2000) and Windows XP (itself released on 25.10.2001).

After version 1.0, Mozilla progressed to have quick developments over its lifetime by getting new features added, but not too much by way of changes to its baseline architecture.

Mozilla's penultimate 1.7.13 version came out on 21.04.2006, just five and a half months before the RTM version of Windows Vista was finalized on 08.11.2006. Windows Vista was released to general availability on 30.01.2007.
Mozilla 1.7 Alpha is dated 23.02.2004, and 1.7 itself came out on 17.06.2004, so there is two years and about two months of time between 1.7 Alpha and 1.7.13, and exactly two years between 1.7 RC1 (21.04.2004) and 1.7.13.
After ceased development of Mozilla Application Suite, another team took over development and renamed the project SeaMonkey. Windows Vista was not released yet by the time SeaMonkey 1.0 arrived on 30.01.2006, but beta versions of Vista had to have been available already.
SeaMonkey 1.1.xx (18.01.2007 and on) was thereafter developed to accommodate Windows Vista, with SeaMonkey 1.1.19 (16.03.2010) being the last version of the 1.1 line, and the last for Windows 98/Me. Note that Windows 7 was released on 22.10.2009, so there's a great possibility that SeaMonkey 1.1.19 should run well on that operating system, too.Three years and nearly two months between SeaMonkey 1.1 and 1.1.19.

Overall, if I discount layout engine changes, then Mozilla and SeaMonkey are essentially the same product and programmatically the same infrastructure. When taking into account the release dates of Mozilla 0.8/0.8.1 (14.02.–26.03.2001), when it finally became reasonably stable and usable, and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 (16.03.2010), then that whole architecture has lasted for about nine years. Ten when factoring in development time, but that's a stretch considering official titles. If I were, on the other hand, to also consider Classilla, a browser for Mac OS 9, and the latest version of which was released on 19.10.2012, then all in all, Mozilla's run could certainly be timed to ten years from Mozilla 1.0, eleven years from Mozilla 0.9.5 (12.10.2001), and almost twelve years since Netscape 6 (06.12.2000).

Such a long lifetime for one branch of development is a testament to its quality and reliability over a long span of time.


The reason to have NoScript in Mozilla is that the browser is just so old and can easily crash with a piece of JavaScript newer than what Mozilla can support. It should be of relevant help that the post that follows this one, is a tutorial on installing extension uninstallers in Mozilla and SeaMonkey.

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