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100% disk usage

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
Sapperdeflap

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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 10:34 am

Hello everybody,

On my laptop (W8.1 shell W7, 8 Gb RAM) I'm experiencing extreme slowness due to 100% disk usage since a few months. I have been reading about it and trying out a lot, but I cannot find what is causing it. I tried disabling my antivirus (MBAM Premium), my VPN (Proton), I have no other realtime things running but MBAM, the laptop is superclean, so it's no infection (I make a system image backup each month and prior to that I clean the whole laptop, I do scans with MBAM and ESET (online scanner), I do AdwareCleaner, CCleaner (cleaner, registry and startup files), disk cleanup, chkdsk and sfc /scannow and defragmentation). I tried some other things I found online, but I'm afraid I forgot about them in the meantime. Sorry. Oh, I remember the Windows Search function. Didn't help.

The big problem for me is that the slowness is intermittent. The only thing I know for sure is that it's always Firefox and System which are on top of the list in Task Manager's disk usage when it's 100% and of those two Firefox is the absolute winner, that's why I'm turning to you now to see if you can help me with this.

I do all my usual work on my desktop, I use the laptop as a backup and for surfing in leisure time on the couch. The laptop is practically an exact copy of the desktop regarding programs and settings. I have no slowness on my desktop. The only difference is that my desktop is W7 and the laptop W8.1 shell W7. I have Firefox 60.0 (x64) at the moment. I don't use sync between the two pcs, so in that sense there are some other minor differences.

Because it's intermittent I also ruled out my internet connection which is not so high (around 10 Mb) but it works for me.

A few days ago late one night the laptop was superfast. This morning it was crazy slow again. Just now I thought I'd try Safe Mode. In Safe Mode everything was fine. I was happy because that would mean I'd found a possible cause, not sure what, but I was going to ask you. :lol: So I returned to normal mode, but then the laptop was on its best behavior again and it still is after an hour or so. So much for that attempt.

Am I correct in saying that it's alright for the disk usage to go up towards 80-100% for a few moments or for a minute or so? I see that happening with other programs and functions, but I guess that is alright. You see that I've been looking at the wretched Task Manager a lot in the hope of seeing something that makes sense.

Can you help me with this? I'm getting really frustrated now.

Sapperdeflap
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DanRaisch
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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 10:43 am

In all that you never reported how much memory you have on that laptop or how much free disk space you have on it. Since the issue is intermittent, it's possible that it's really RAM that has been used up, resulting in significant writing to disk.

Also, do you see the same problem if you create a new profile and test it with no extensions or non-default themes installed?
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager
and
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Creating_a_ne ... on_Windows

Sapperdeflap

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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 11:12 am

In my very first line I wrote I have 8 Gb RAM.

Free disk space I also checked. I have 3 partitions, the C: disk with Windows has 100 Gb with 25 Gb free space left. The other two also have a quarter left, so in case RAM has been used up, there is plenty of space left. At least that's what I thought.
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DanRaisch
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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 11:40 am

Sorry, obviously I missed that in your initial post.

Well, the C: drive certainly seems to have enough free space. As for the other partitions, it depends on the size of the other two partitions and thus what the 1/4 would represent.

Did you try a new profile?

Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 2:31 pm


Sapperdeflap

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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 2:47 pm

Okay, I see that there are two Safe Modes. I did the Windows Safe Mode. I suppose that is different from the FF Safe Mode? Then I must check that again when the laptop is slow again.

I forgot to mention I have CleanMem (by PcWinTech) installed, so hard disk space isn't an issue.

Haven't tried the new profile yet. Have to find the time to figure out how that works.
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DanRaisch
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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 3:14 pm

I suppose that is different from the FF Safe Mode?

Yes, very much so.

Haven't tried the new profile yet. Have to find the time to figure out how that works.

All of your user data (bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, extensions, custom settings, etc.) are stored in the profile. Creating a new profile using the information in the links I posted above will let you test Firefox in its pristine state, unaffected by any changes, intended or otherwise, in the original profile. But the original profile is still available to you through the Profile Manager (again, as in those links) so you don't lose any of those personalized elements.

Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted May 12th, 2018, 3:53 pm

If Windows Safe Mode did it its for sure a driver, in Most cases its an antivirus.

Sapperdeflap

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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 1:32 am

Brummelchen wrote:If Windows Safe Mode did it its for sure a driver, in Most cases its an antivirus.


Would you say that still holds when the slowness is intermittent? And I did disable MBAM's realtime protection modules but that didn't help. Doesn't that rule the antivirus out?

Also, I cannot yet say that Windows Safe Mode did it, as, like I wrote, I did a reboot right away and the laptop in normal mode was fine too at that moment.

Can anyone answer the question in my first post about the 100% disk usage going up and down as seen in Task Manager? I'm trying to understand what is happening with disk usage and what is normal. Is that just reading from C: where Windows is on?

The Task Manager in W8.1 is different from W7. Here's a pic. The laptop is fine now. I will post a pic when the laptop is slow. Maybe you can see something from that.

https://www.imgdumper.nl/uploads9/5af7f ... anager.jpg

So I'm a Dutch girl :) and the Task Manager is in Dutch. The four columns are: Processor, Memory, Disk and Network.
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Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 1:46 am

Would you say that still holds when the slowness is intermittent?

do not matter - windows safe mode do not load 3rd-party drivers thus its antivirus or any other you have installed.
ofc protonvpn can cause this too if it has filtering for adware or other.

another reason may a failing hard drive
https://crystalmark.info/en/software/crystaldiskinfo/

if users switched from hdd to ssd without calibrating is can also possible -> refresh "Windows Experience Index"
- delete all XML from c:\windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore
- open system control > system and do the index again.

Sapperdeflap

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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 3:23 am

ofc protonvpn can cause this too if it has filtering for adware or other.


Wouldn't Proton have to be on top of the list in Task Manager then instead of FF? Also, I have disabled the VPN several times during slowness, made no difference.

another reason may a failing hard drive

No, checked the health of the HD with HDSentinel on April 2nd. Part of the report:

Hard Disk Summary
-------------------
Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : S-ATA Gen3, 6 Gbps
Disk Controller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller (AHCI) [VEN: 8086, DEV: 9C03] Version: 13.0.0.1098, 2-5-2014
Logical Drive(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : C: [Lokale schijf] D: [Lokale schijf] E: [Lokale schijf]
Current Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 30 °C
Power On Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 108 days, 4 hours
Estimated Remaining Lifetime . . . . . . . . . . : more than 1000 days
Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : #################### 100 % (Excellent)
Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : #################### 100 % (Excellent)

The hard disk status is PERFECT. Problematic or weak sectors were not found and there are no spin up or data transfer errors.
No actions needed.


if users switched from hdd to ssd without calibrating is can also possible

Didn't switch to ssd.

Thank you for your suggestions, Brummelchen. Much appreciated. :)
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Sapperdeflap

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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 4:30 am

The laptop is still fine. Here are two pics of the Task Manager I made a month ago when the laptop was continuously slow for hours.

https://www.imgdumper.nl/uploads9/5af82 ... slow_1.jpg

https://www.imgdumper.nl/uploads9/5af82 ... slow_2.jpg

I hope this helps.
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LIMPET235
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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 4:51 am

Hi,
1st up...
You posted that you run CCleaner.
Well, we all recommend the following...
Open CCleaner, go to the Applications Tab & UN-check anything related to both Firefox & Thunderbird.
They are more than capable of taking care of themselves.
There have been many instances where CCleaner has removed "stuff" it shouldn't.

As for your images...
I don't know why you show 5 & then 6 instances of Firefox running.
The "norm" is 4. AFAIK.

If you go to, Tools > Options > General & scroll down to Performance
& UN check the "Use recommended performance settings" box
you'll see other options.

If you click the "Learn More" button, you'll ......learn a bit more. :)

You can select the number of processes using the
"Content Process Limit" drop down.....provided you have a fast/er computer.

The default is 4, which should be adequate for most users.

I'm not too sure exactly how this option functions though.
Expert comments required...please.
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(Always choose the "Custom" Install.)

therube

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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 5:46 am

100% disk usage

What does that mean "disk" usage?
In particular in that you say you have plenty of free disk space.
CleanMem (by PcWinTech) installed, so hard disk space

CleanMem, looks like it deals with (RAM) memory, so nothing to do with disk space. (And I would think it to be of dubious value.)

FF is not using CPU
FF memory usage is "normal"
FF disk I/O is negligible (and that is I/O, not "usage" or "space")

I would look at CleanMem.
Disable that & test.
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therube

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Post Posted May 13th, 2018, 5:52 am

As for your images...
I don't know why you show 5 & then 6 instances of Firefox running.
The "norm" is 4. AFAIK.

(I don't know, in general, but) I believe it is not set in stone.
That over time it has changed, that over time, there have been "phase-ins", & also where system configurations (how much RAM, how much free disk space...) can play into what a particular person gets - even without a person manually adjusting preferences.
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