jdMorgan - 2:07 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)
Yes, it's a good idea to do the uninstall/reinstall whenever there's a major version update or whenever you are having problems with Firefox in general. By NOT selecting "Remove personalizations" in the uninstall options, you can keep all of your add-ons, themes, bookmarks, etc.
The "automatic update" feature introduced with Firefox/3.5 is certainly a time-saver and a convenience improvement. However, there are some cases where the only fix is to export your personalizations, uninstall Firefox, completely delete your old Firefox profile (or copy it to a different location as a back-up), and then start anew.
Many persistent problems have resulted from updating errors and/or add-on bugs -- in some cases introduced many months or even years ago. I noted a sizable increase of problems when Firefox switched over from using plain-text data storage to using SQL databases... I think that the first few database-driven versions had several bad bugs. Problems with the databases tend to make the Firefox start-up and shut-down operations take far too long.
Firefox itself is not solely to blame for all problems. Many times, the real problem is with a buggy add-on -- or one that was designed for optimum performance with an earlier Firefox version. A good way to test this is to start Firefox in "Safe mode" without any add-ons, themes, or "personas," and see if your performance problems and/or crashes go away.
But sometimes, it's just a good idea to forgo the "automatic update" and start over.
Note that Firefox/3.6.11 was released last night.