I have an external hard drive attached to my (Windows Vista) computer. For some time, I've noticed that when I run Google Chrome, the drive starts whirring, whereas this never happens with Firefox.

I thought browsers couldn't access the file system. Is this possible?

  • A better question would be why does Chrome use the external drive instead of just the default user data location. – user1686 Aug 29 '11 at 11:51

Browsers absolutely touch the file systems. How else would data be cached and files saved? Browsers can touch the file system, however they limit what sites can access through NPAPI etc.

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  • Accepting this answer now in case I can't do so later. Apologies if anyone else answers – user52032 Aug 29 '11 at 8:08
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    @user52032 — just because there's already one answer doesn't mean there shouldn't be others. That's the whole point of this site. There's not one universal answer to every question. – slhck Aug 29 '11 at 10:18
  • @slhck It was just that there were 4 votes on SO to close the question and I thought if it was closed I wouldn't be able to accept the answer after that – user52032 Aug 29 '11 at 10:28

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