IE8 constant disk activity

I am using IE8, under XP, both fully patched. I see a lot of disk activity even when I am doing nothing, which stops when I close Internet Explorer. Two questions: One, is there any way that this could be anything other than an attack? Two, better tools than what I am using to find it?

I have a commercial WAN modem / router that includes a hardware firewall, Norton Internet Security, and Spy Sweeper. The two of them have been quite good at keeping my system clean - the first time that I attached to my corporate vlan, my alarms went off, not theirs.

Any suggestions on immediate tools to use to trace the problem, if problem it is? Any reason why it might not be a problem?

And, no offense meant to anyone, but I've read enough threads with arguments on what's the greatest AV and why some other one is trash; let's not degenerate into that.

Thanks in advance
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  1. Further info - same thing happens with Firefox, at the same site. Setting that site's security level to Restricted in IE disables several of their controls (dropdown boxes, links to another section of the same site) but stops the disk activity. I feel safer now, but I'm truly curious as to what kind of attack, or bug, that is.
    Since it's a single site I'll have to break down and confess that I read manga; it's at
  2. It could be the additions that you want. Adobe flash player, Realplayer, Quicktime etc... try disabling them in tools, manage add ons, and see if that's what it is.
    Could also be IE getting or looking for updates.
    Also don't forget about google toolbar or yahoo toolbar.
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