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Firefox stalls -other- programs running

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Hi everyone,
I have a problem that seems fixed, but I don't know why it happend and if I should worry. -
every time firefox was running, it stalled the other programs. Often, they would not react for a split second, sometimes they wouldn't react for a full minute - all the while, firefox was fine. Even when the windows explorer was completey frozen, i could switch over to the browser, which worked fine most of the time. But music played would stall, spit out half-second tones to go mute for a couple of seconds, pick up, play a half second and go, all for a good five minutes; then it would go back to worling decently for a couple more minutes, but the stalling would always return. This for every other running program - excpet firefox.
Now, I uninstalled firefox and got opera. Now, everything works fine again. No more problems. Howver, I'm worried. Was some malware using my firefox for God knows what? I ran anti virus software, spyware detection, everything on it - it had found stuff a couple of weeks ago, but nothing since. Also, Security Task Manager noticed no suspicious programs. On some occasions, however, firefox would hog 150000k plus of memory and use 90-99% of the cpu for long periods of time.
As I said, it's not urgent; the problem has gone with firefox, but I'm just curious to know what it could have been?
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