Security Component Error

I am taking a quick break from my Blog Vacation to add a couple helpful entries. Earlier this week I received a frantic e-mail from a family member saying they couldn’t their Firefox to start and attached a screenshot of this error message:

“Could not initialize the browser’s security component. The most likely cause is problems with files in your browser’s profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the browser and fix the problem. If you continue to use this browser session, you might see incorrect browser behavior when accessing security features.”

Talk about Déjà vu! When I wrote the Fx Not Accessing Secure Sites entry on December 27th, I had read about this error message. Here are a few tips from the mozillaZine Knowledge Base Article: SSL is disabled:

  • Check your hard drive’s remaining capacity and the file permissions on the files in your profile folder.
  • Delete the cert8.db file in your profile folder and try again.
  • Try creating a new profile. Your current profile might be corrupted due to many reasons, such as changes in your system or lack of HD space at one point.

We quickly determined hard drive space was not an issue, especially since the free space on their hard drive was more than the total capacity of my hard drive (and 30 GB seemed so big back in 2002)! So the next thing we tried was deleting the cert8.db file from the profile folder. Thankfully that fixed the problem so we didn’t have to go to the final option which would have been a fresh profile.

Within a few minutes their Firefox was up and running again. The only other problem they had was their bookmarks had disappeared. This was something we were also able to get fixed in just a couple minutes. See Bookmarks: Backing up and Recovering for details.

8 Comments on Security Component Error

  1. Actually, I had the same error when updating Thunderbird from 1.5.0.8 to 3.0 alpha 1. Deleting the file secmod.db from my profile and then changing the master password to a new value (the same one) fixed the problem. Thanks for the hint! -E

  2. Deleting secmod.db and not cert8.db fixed this problem
    Thanks for the hint!

  3. I tried to retrieve a Thunderbird Windows profile under Kubuntu. I fixed this security component problem by deleting cert8.db, secmod.db and key3.db.
    Thanks for your tips !

  4. I have been trying to fix this for hours. I had been shopping online, exited for about 30 min. then tried to get back into firefox. I received the above message, could still get on firefox, but had no access to secure websites. I’ve gone thru all the Mozilla website suggestions and there was nothing that needed to be reset. I’ve been checking the blogs and have checked what I can. I cannot locate a cert8.db file anywhere on my harddrive! I’m really not a complete idiot, but wouldn’t I just retrieve a new one when I go on firefox?

    Please help …. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

  5. SPACED OUT QWERTY | June 16, 2009 at 1:50 AM | Reply

    IT’S SO SIMPLE PEOPLE, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GO TO YOUR PROFILE DIRECTORY:
    C:Documents and SettingsyourprofileApplication DataMozillaFirefoxProfilessomeweirdlettersand#’s.default AND RIGHT CLICK(ANYWHERE IN THE BACKROUND), CLICK PROPERTIES, AND UNCHECK THE READ ONLY BOX, CLICK APLLY, THEN CLICK “APPLY TO CHANGES TO THIS FOLDER, SUBFOLDERS, AND FILES”, CLICK OK, AND YOUR DONE, EVERYTHING SHOULD BE BACK TO NORMAL. POSTED BY SPACE. AND YOU DONT HAVE TO DELETE ANYTHING.

    • god all these people put me through the hugest hastle before i saw your post and fixed it immediately ARE YOU PEOPLE IDIOTS i could have went to bed at midnight instead of 2 am. fucking a.

  6. Had the same problem in Thunderbird today (freshly updated to Version 2.0.0.22 (20090605)).
    Unchecking the read only box didn’t help. It always turned up checked read only again. But deleting the cert8.db file worked for me…Looks like this post is still up to date 🙂
    Thanks!

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Blog Year in Review: January 2007 « Firefox Extension Guru’s Blog

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*