Firefox & Event ID 58 error

Updated: August 30, 2019

Here's a philosophical question for you. Would you rather have a problem that clearly manifests and comes with a well-defined error or one that seemingly does not exhibit any symptoms but is also accompanied with a vague message that doesn't really tell you what's wrong? I have to say I prefer the former, because the latter just assailed me a few days back, in the form of a Firefox error in Windows.

Without having made ANY changes to my operational setup, I was merrily browsing the net, and as it happens, I did look in the Windows 7 Event Viewer logs for unrelated reasons, when I noticed a bunch of errors, all related to Firefox. The message read: The description for Event ID 58 from source Firefox cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer. Well, let's debug this.

Problem in more detail

This issue occurred on a Windows 7 machine, with Firefox 68.0.1. Seemingly, there are no problems. The only indication that something is wrong is the bunch of error messages, which seem to be correlated to my browsing sessions, i.e. Firefox gets used and an entry is logged.

The detailed explanation for the error is a bit more indicative, but not by much:

The description for Event ID 58 from source Firefox cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.

If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event.

The following information was included with the event:

And then, the binary data:

z:/task_1563391906/build/src/browser/app/winlauncher/SameBinary.h

With this information in hand, I went about the Web and found a single Mozilla forum thread, dated mid-July this year. While the date does not offer a lot, it's a still useful snippet of information. My first hunch is, given the fact the issue is correlated to Firefox usage only, both in my case and that of the poster on the forum, this would point to a problem with the browser. In combination with the similarly arcane problem with high CPU usage on exit that I've experienced in Firefox 65, this occurrence reinforces my impression.

Then again, why would the browser suddenly decide to misbehave, especially when nothing has changed, and what's the deeper importance of this error long-term? Well, for the time being, I don't have a concrete answer, but I did have enough to decide to go forth and fix this.

Solution

My general conclusion so far was thus: a Firefox-only problem. The error message indicates there could be a problem with thread management, and it's possible that some library got corrupt in some odd way, but not something that the user can perceive right away. Well, the Event log had one thing right, and that's the recommendation to try to repair the component.

So I did something rather simple - I reinstalled the browser. I grabbed the Firefox 68.0.1 installer from the Mozilla download page and ran it again. Technically, this didn't do anything, I still had my browser in place just like before. But practically, it DID make a difference. The error was indeed gone.

About

Conclusion

Like I said, I hate weird errors, because they feel unpredictable, they are difficult to debug, and if you're analytical and ever so slightly paranoid, like any honest techie, then you will spend too much time and effort fretting about seemingly trivial things, trying to fix issues that are badly described or ever worsely defined.

In this particular case, everything seemed stacked against us, but working methodically did help. The errors were useful enough in providing a general direction, and the forum thread confirmed my suspicions. Then, as a resolution, I started with the browser, rather than making any system changes, and I mean any, and that includes a seemingly innocuous reboot, because why. Anyway, I hope this was helpful. If you think you have more information that can shed light on this somewhat obscure error, please feel free to email me.

Cheers.

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