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Changing Prefetch for faster startup

 
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mommabear



Joined: Feb 20, 2003
Posts: 6325



PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Changing Prefetch for faster startup

This tip may already be here someplace, but it's such a general search term, I couldn't find it. So here's what I just discovered.

Despite other tweaks in msconfig and Services Windows still loads a lot of stuff at startup that we can't see. Even for old applications that you don't use much but don't want to uninstall. I found this tip at another forum just awhile ago.

I can't believe the difference this has made.

I run my machine pretty tight. I've disabled lots of services, etc, and I never let programs I've installed start with windows just for grins. Besides the clock and volume control icon, I only have my firewall, antivirus, and a temperature monitor in my systray. Plus I have a script that runs at the first boot of the day to create a system restore point and a startup delayer for my temp monitor. And that's it for msconfig.

Well, using this tweak I was able to shave an additional 15 seconds off the startup delayer for the temp monitor. Without the delayer, the temp monitor couldn't find the probes on startup. I figured it was because of other things loading at startup, but of course, it was impossible to find the culprits. Setting the delay at 25 seconds solved that for me and loaded the the temp monitor last. I've now got it set for 10 seconds and it's perfect!

I may have to adjust that slightly tomorrow if the system restore point on my first boot takes a bit longer than 10 seconds I've allowed before the temp monitor loads, but this is still an amazing improvement. If I didn't have to have the delayer to get the temp monitor to start properly, my whole startup would probably take less that 10 seconds total! (Of if this change in the registry has disabled the boot script I may have to enable it in the startup delayer. I just won't know about that until my next first boot of the day.)

This is what you do.

First go to:

My Computer>C:>Windows>Prefetch folder and delete everything in the Prefetch folder. This will not harm your computer.

(If you're not comfortable doing that, copy them to another folder you've created for safe keeping until you feel secure enough to delete that folder too.)

Then open regedit and browse to this entry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

and to the right side double click,

Enable Prefetcher

These are the settings for making changes. It doesn't matter if it's hex or decimal.

0 no prefetch
1 applications only
2 prefetch only on boot
3 boot and apps (default)

change to 2

restart computer
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drwho07



Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2296

Location: Central FL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject:

I've always left mine at the default setting (3)
Then, I'm deleting all the Prefetch entries as a part of my XPCleanup program that runs from the \Program Files\Startup folder.

Windows seems to run just fine that way.

Startup is usually slow because just TOO MANY programs are in the startup folder (MSCONFIG/Startup).

Also, startup can be quickened by shutting down all the redundant 'Services' that you don't need. ( About 20 on most home PC's....24 on my Vista PC )

The "Black Viper" web site is a good source of information on just what services can be shut down. I just wrote a batch file so I can shutdown or put into Manual Mode, all the redundant Services, in just about three seconds.

On my Vista PC, I'm currently shutting down 24 services that are NOT needed.
A few less on my XP machine.

Contrary to some "Experts".....shutting down unneeded services DOES increase system performance.

Cheers!
The Doctor Cool


Last edited by drwho07 on Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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davolente



Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 362

Location: Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Changing Prefetch for faster startup [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Re clearing out the pre-fetch folder, I haver read in several places elsewhere (including MS themselves!) that it`s not recommended. I gather that it`s actually MEANT to contain every program that you`ve ever opened. Quote "The prefetch folder is a subfolder of the Windows system folder. The prefetch folder is self-maintaining, and there's no need to delete it or empty its contents. If you empty the folder, Windows and your programs will take longer to open the next time you turn on your computer."
The word used on one site to describe emptying the folder was "myth" !
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pcrattail



Joined: Jun 11, 2004
Posts: 406



PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Changing Prefetch for faster startup [Login to view extended thread Info.]

That was "propaganda" of sorts...
1. Yes, it is "supposed" to contain every program you open so it may "speed" up the process of re-opening them later.
2. No, it doesn't "self-maintain". The process is flawed, I have personally seen programs "listed" in it, that I had deleted 5 months ago.
3. Yes, it slows it down on "next" boot.............. duh. It has to "re-learn" what programs you are using... that takes a little bit of time. HOWEVER, your following boot-ups, will go much faster.
... I can only see "over-cleaning" this folder as being bad.... IF..
1. Microsoft is using a "log" file to keep up with those programs.
2. Microsoft is using the "log" file as a "location guide" for those programs"
3. The "log" file gets "confused" to the location of those files.
... I personally don't see this happening.......


davolente wrote:
Re clearing out the pre-fetch folder, I haver read in several places elsewhere (including MS themselves!) that it`s not recommended. I gather that it`s actually MEANT to contain every program that you`ve ever opened. Quote "The prefetch folder is a subfolder of the Windows system folder. The prefetch folder is self-maintaining, and there's no need to delete it or empty its contents. If you empty the folder, Windows and your programs will take longer to open the next time you turn on your computer."
The word used on one site to describe emptying the folder was "myth" !
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drwho07



Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2296

Location: Central FL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

I usually follow the recommendations of the "Experts" on making settings to either my XP or Vista Ult.

But, when even the most reputable Experts disagree on something like "Prefetch" and what path a person should take, then I have to blaze my own trail.

So, I leave Prefetch set at 3, the Default setting and then delete all the entries in the Prefetch Folder from my XPCleanup.bat program that runs in my Startup folder, every time I turn on my PC.

The Prefetch entries also get deleted when I do a Ghost backup, along with the old System Restore Points and all the other junk that Windows likes to stash away in the darndest places. Confused
Add the Pagefile to that delete list and I've saved about 4 gigs of space in my Ghost Backup Image File.

On topic: I've personally NEVER seen any downside to cleaning out the Prefetch folder. Files will build up in that folder like almost forever if not deleted. Then every time you do a Virus Scan or Spyware Scan or chkdsk or Defrag, those files have to be dealt with over and over and over and over, add-infinitem.

My computer NEVER has old junk files on it, because they are deleted DAILY and I save hours a month in scan times alone.

I think too many people put too much emphasis on things that really matter very little and let the HUGE problems just slip on by. They spend all their energy worrying about the Prefetch folder (for instance) and do nothing about the thousands of Temporary Internet Files, temp files, histories, cookies, etc, that build up Forever on their HD.

Then they won't run Defrag, because it takes three hours. Or let an Anti-Virus scan run its course, because it takes so long.
OF COURSE!, those things take so long, because they have to scan those thousands of garbage files that 'you' are too lazy to get rid of. Twisted Evil

Probably my biggest gripe about computer users, in general, is their ineptitude or laziness in maintaining their PC's properly.

In my perfect world, no-one could buy a computer without first showing their Computer Operators License. Just like you can't buy a car or insure one without a valid operators (Drivers) License.

Nuff said. Wink

Doc Cool
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davolente



Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 362

Location: Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Wrong? [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Just come across this in response to similar points raised in another forum:
____________________________________________________________
WRONG WRONG WRONG!!

This article is based on a complete misunderstanding of how prefetch works. Contrary to popular opinion, prefetch does NOT preload applications at bootup. Application prefetching does not take place until application launch has been initiated. Unused or rarely used prefetch entries will have virtually no impact on performance in any way. In any event the prefetch folder is self cleaning after 128 entries. Manual deletion of these files will impair performance and has no benefits. This has been extensively tested.

See my comments on this article for a description of how prefetch really works:
http://www.tech-recipes.com/windows_tips1285.html

Larry Miller
Microsoft MCSA
CompTIA Network+, A+
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Werebo



Joined: Aug 09, 2003
Posts: 4078

Location: SE London, UK...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

drwho07 wrote:
. . . . . . . . . .

In my perfect world, no-one could buy a computer without first showing their Computer Operators License. Just like you can't buy a car or insure one without a valid operators (Drivers) License.

Nuff said. Wink

Doc Cool

Close, but ideally, the software would be written competently, so it removed it's own junk when closed down Wink
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drwho07



Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2296

Location: Central FL, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

I go all the way back to DOS 2.0 and I don't remember any program ever doing that.
(cleaning up after itself)

Not to say it never happened.....it's just that this old tech has never seen it.
That takes extra code, that no programmer ever wants to write. Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

I've been doing drive maintenance ever since I installed my first 20meg Seagate drive in ~1980.

My first HD Defrag program was "Compress" from the old PCTools package from Central Point Software.

I always suspected that brother Bill G. bought out Central Point Software and then added "Compress" to DOS and called it "Defrag", because the two programs looked almost identical. The new Backup program from MS also looked amazingly like the Backup program from Central Point. Rolling Eyes Wink

Cheers Mates!
The Doctor Cool
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