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I am experiencing extreme initial (first 60 seconds) hard disk activity while loading/watching HD clips with Flash in the latest versions of Firefox (problem started sometime after the fifth version and was never seen before). The SSD activity is so extreme that the computer can become unresponsive the first minute of load, after which videos play fine and do not lag. If monitored, one can see that Windows does not run out of memory (3 Gb; ≈1½ Gb free even during most severe loads).

Any HD video (even 1080p) loads and plays fine in both Chrome and IE. Disabling (starting in safe mode) plugins and addons tested: does not help.

x64 Ultimate SP1

Firefox 9

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It looks like it's a problem with the browser cache. Use Sysinternal's free "Filemon" utility to see which files are being accessed.

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Thank you for this hint. I finally managed to extract some useful data through Process Monitor (which superseded this Filemon). Here is it’s file summary. What’s the next move? – Россарх Dec 24 '11 at 21:37
It could be due to swapping, are you short of free memory? Also try deleting the browser cache – golimar Dec 25 '11 at 10:07
No, as you can read in the main post, Windows still has ≈½ of the free memory left (1½ Gb). How do i stop FF from using the hard drive while buffering and rather fill the (large) amount of free system memory? Clearing cache did not do anything (actually i think that it is not used in safe mode anyway, and that was already tried). The file summary i posted from your tip on Process Monitor; what does it tell us? – Россарх Dec 25 '11 at 12:55

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