Firefox 3.0.1 location url bar autocomplete broken (and rss live feed bookmarks)

My favourite web browser – Mozilla’s Firefox, has recently begun to cause consternation – only on my work PC. On the laptop it is fine. There are a gazillion blog/forum posts complaining about the new functionality of said URL bar, but so far I haven’t found anyone else describing the same issue as myself and several of my work colleagues.

This is what it looks like:

My broken Firefox 3
My broken Firefox 3

So – it looks like the autocomplete is ‘working’ (as in it brings up the icons for the pages) but it is not displaying the text – which makes it pretty useless. Even more odd is the fact that my Live Bookmarks (RSS) are no longer displaying either.

I tried everything (safe mode, delete localstore.rdf, new profile etc as per the Firefox Standard Diagnostic) ending in a complete and utter fresh install. A few of these seemed to fix it but on restart – the problem returned…

Another one of those annoyances I thought I would share just in case anyone else out there has the same/similar issue.

I will keep you updated as to whether a fix is found.

UPDATE: Today’s 3.0.2 update didn’t fix it either… well – it did until system restart (just like all the other installs I performed). Another thing I noticed today is that it doesn’t reload tabs when it does a browser restart, also ‘recently closed tabs’ is greyed out.

I am thinking that my initial conviction that it is caused by Group Policy at work is still the most likely… although our IT guy says he has the same problem at home (but there is a connection there ;-))

UPDATE: Today’s 3.0.3 update didn’t fix anything, although I notice that if I right click the url bar (where the star is) and select ‘customize…’ then click ‘Done’ – all my live bookmark feeds in the toolbar re-appear (until the next restart). Hmmmm…