QMy copy of Firefox has been plagued with problems and I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling to fix it. But the problems remain. How can I make these problems go away?

AThe cure is to delete your Firefox user profile, which has somehow gotten scrambled enough to affect this browser's behavior.

But since that will erase your personal data, you'll first need to save a copy of your bookmarks. From Firefox's Bookmarks menu, select "Manage Bookmarks . . ." and choose "Export . . ." from the Bookmark Manager window's File menu. Save that copy someplace obvious, like the desktop. Then type:

C:\Documents and Settings\[Your User Name]\

Application Data into the My Computer window, replacing "[Your User Name]" with whatever you use. You need to type that, not double-click your way through folders, because Windows keeps this directory invisible. Convenient, eh?

You should see a Mozilla folder in the Application Data directory; drag that to the trash.

Run Firefox, and you'll get a clean start, free of whatever had corrupted it before. You can then bring in that copy of your bookmarks (going through the same steps as before, but instead choose "Import . . ." from the Bookmark Manager window's File menu).

The basic concept behind this fix -- curing a misbehaving application by deleting any user-specific data so it can start afresh -- works fairly often in practice. Unfortunately, programs are far from uniform or obvious in their choices of where to store this kind of data.

The Adobe 6.0 plug-in keeps freezing up my computer instead of showing PDFs in my browser. What's going on here?

Adobe Reader 6.0 is now obsolete, and good riddance to it -- it didn't work that well for me either.

The current release, Adobe Reader 7.0, has behaved better on all the machines I've installed it on. It's a free download at www.adobe.com/reader/.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.