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Permanent 100% Disk Usage - Question of Cause

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  • Last reply by rahewitt

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I've seen this issue before for a number of people, and solutions were thin at best.

So the system issue has been resolved, as summarized below: Basically, Firefox suddenly -- presumably after an update, I wasn't really paying attention -- started cranking disk useage to 100% rendering my entire system unuseable. At first I was able to switch to Chrome, but pretty soon 100% disk usage kept creeping any time I made use of the internet.

The only thing that stopped it was a complete wipe of firefox, coupled with completely cleaning out every single file on my system referencing the terms 'mozilla' or 'firefox'. That did the trick, until the issue about a week later after a system update, re-emerged.

Now this time, I wanted to see what in the profile data was actually causing this, and searching by file-modified-date I found only two files that had been updated recently, beyond the temp file which was removed when I closed firefox:

Those files were: e10srollout@mozilla.org.xpi loop@mozilla.org.xpi

Closing firefox and deleting those had immediate results. 100% usage dropped to 2% instantly. The weird thing is these files were somehow hogging disk capacity on the sly. Windows couldn't track it at all - total use was 100% but in every process breakdown I could find the processes weren't cracking 3% usage... whatever those files are doing, they're hogging HDD capacity on the sly.

No viruses were detected, I made a point of scanning with my own scanner and microsoft's downloadable mserc client. If it's malware, nothing is catching it... and it's unclear what - if anything - those files are doing to hog so much read/write capacity. I don't hear the HDD going crazy, but then, they're a lot quieter than they used to be... its unclear to me if any actual data is being read or written.

If it occurs again I can test which of those two files is causing this, but it seems to me mozilla and the community at large should be aware these files can render a pc virtually useless as of the updates mentioned in the shared data.

So the Question: Does anyone have even a remotely sensible explanation for how or why either of these files would be causing this? I am genuinely curious.

Chosen solution

Hi rahewitt, Sure, so these are the files that detect if you are capable of the e10s feature being tested in this release version. The e10s rollout add on facilitates the feature being turned on. Currently 40% of users or so in Release have it turned on (stat from the Mozilla Monday meeing on air.mozilla.org)

To learn more about e10s check out:

You might find the feature turned on or off in the about:config section. gHack goes over the meta data to check if its on.

I think loop@mozilla.org.xpi is Firefox Hello, which will be disabled once you update to version 49.

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Chosen Solution

Hi rahewitt, Sure, so these are the files that detect if you are capable of the e10s feature being tested in this release version. The e10s rollout add on facilitates the feature being turned on. Currently 40% of users or so in Release have it turned on (stat from the Mozilla Monday meeing on air.mozilla.org)

To learn more about e10s check out:

You might find the feature turned on or off in the about:config section. gHack goes over the meta data to check if its on.

I think loop@mozilla.org.xpi is Firefox Hello, which will be disabled once you update to version 49.

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Thanks for the info. From what I'm reading, it sounds like this could /possibly/ be interference between the e10's and NoScript in particular.

If it re-occurs I'll test and confirm and let you guys know what I find.

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rahewitt sounds like a plan. If you do find unexpected behavior I would let the addon's developer know as well as filing a bug in bugzilla.mozilla.org.

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Latest update re-added e10srollout. I didn't see when it happened, but I'd started having problems and just this morning the computer became unuseable whether Firefox was running or not.

The issue caught me by surprise while trying to do something, I should have disabled noscript and adblocker first to confirm the conflict, but I was in a hurry. Deleting e10srollout@mozilla.org and restarting appears to have resolved the issue.

I noticed for a few days after mozilla updated last week that disk useage was consistently spiking but the system and firefox remained usable throughout so I didn't look into it.

Will continue to keep an eye on this and update. Will file a bug with Bugzilla once I've better nailed down the bug.