I disabled Prefetch ...

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by Johnny, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    After reading some sites on prefetch. I have disabled it. According to research and tests done it don't help any. From what I read from various sites is that it is is a just a folder to take up space.

    I'll see what it does here for a while.. Once I start to see a downgrade I might re-enable it ..
     
  2. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    As far as preliminary. It looks like the box is going a little faster. I just did a test on the programs that take a little longer to load. They seem to be loading faster. The whole system in a whole seems a little faster ..
     
  3. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    On the machine you did it, does it have a shortage of RAM?
    It can be helpful when you are stocked full of RAM - programs will load slightly quicker.

    In today's HDDs - space is not an issue.


    http://www.tweakxp.com/article37028.aspx
     
  4. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    pretty much if the hardrive is partitioned with programs on a different partition then the OS prefetch won't do much

    also, once prefetch does it's job, that being defragmenting snippets of the files that are brought into memory first, the work is already done and you won't see the gains of the utility or the loss of using it

    however you won't notice the loss in performance for the programs that are installed new, or the difference in your loading sequence as your workload changes

    prefetch is something that accumulates in effectiveness, and the work prefetch has done is not discarded by turning it off

    Prefetch actually arranges fragments of those files, (not the entire file) in the order in which the OS will most likely, (using statistic algorithms), read them... generally, these files aren't read from beginning to end before the head goes to the next file...prefetch lets the disk head behave as if they are being read beginning to end...for this, the heads move very little at boot...cute

    but the work done is already done, dissabling it doesn't change that, but th os won't see future improvements or changes that would have been made had it been on

    for instance, every one of my computers is MUCH faster then a newly installed os

    most people claim their os is slower after time

    I'm gonna bet if thsoe people are otherwise keeping their computer clean from spyware, they are the people have turned their prefetch off
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2006
  5. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    It's 512 meg ddr mastershakes .. And Perris, Alot of what is being said about is that it is useless. They say that antivirus pragrams and such work better with it disabled as well. Mostly for the reason that when they run they scan the whole prefetch file as well as the rest.

    Alot of the "Pro's" it's best to just disable it. There is no diff in speed with it enabled or disabled. As I am not noticing any slow down at all. It seems to working pretty good so far ..
     
  6. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    these "pro's" have been saying that ever since the os came out.

    it's really not useless, it does what I described...they don't notice a differance in performance because the work is accumilative, and therefore there is no slowdown when it's dissabled since the work is allready done

    also, I'm gonna bet most of these "Pro's" have their apps on a differant partition then the os...prefetch won't cross volumes and it's close to useless if the apps are on a second partition on the same hardrive as the os

    if it didn't work ms wouldn't have put it into vista

    some of the defragmentors might do it better, like perfect disk, but they don't work in the backround like prefetch does...an anti virus would not do anything to affect prefetch one way or the other

    virus scans have nothing to do with how prefetch works unless you were running the virus scan on boot or within a minute of boot

    if you ask these pro's if their os is faster after a reformat, I bet every one of them will tell you yes.

    mine is faster about a month into a fresh install and doesn't ever get slower then a newly formatted os running what I run
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2006
  7. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    Same here Perris, 3 years, 4 months, same XP install. It's fast as hell.

    Johnny - hehe... I just noticed mine is disabled @ home. hehe.
    Perris - all my apps are on a different partition.

    So I must be setup correctly for maximum performance on this prefetch thingy. ???
     
  8. Admiral Michael

    Admiral Michael Michaelsoft Systems CEO Folding Team

    I seem to have the opposite effect. My system slows down.

    Mastershakes, what do u do to keep your install running so well. I try hard to keep mine running well but it never seems to do any good.
     
  9. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    no, if your apps are on a differant partition then the os performance suffers a smidge

    some people find the convenience of a seperate partition for their apps to be overwhelming and I tend to believe the benefit of having the app on the same partition as the os to be almost transparent

    the exception would be a high resource game, I would put that on the same partition as the os without a doubt, unless you have a fast physical hardrive for it
     
  10. Son Goku

    Son Goku No lover of dogma

    Well part of it also could be that he's indicated he's got 512 MB RAM. Not sure about his setup. Johnny, you might want to check Task Manager and see what your RAM usage is.

    Anyhow, when I built my previous computer, almost 3 years ago now, I put 512 MB in and all was OK. But since that time, I swap, and swap bad :laugh: I've got an Athlon 64, that swaps and it's also the older Corsair XMS 2400 DDR... Not ideal at all, and given a sale at Best Buy for $70 per 512 MB DIMM of Corsair XMS Pro 3200, I might be replacing it all with a gig soon.

    Anyhow, if he's seeing what I'm seeing, cutting down on memory useage might actually even help. Some things that have gotten in the pre-fetch folder do have me wondering though, as they're not apps I would either use all that often (at least not over any period of time), nor something that gets loaded at boot.

    Dispersing some apps might also help, if they're separate hard drives (and not just separate partitions), either connected through a different bus or controller, or have something like SCSI disconnection. Reason, the drives can work in parallel, and when one drive is loading one thing, the heads on another drive can also be active working on something else.

    As is, I now have 2 internal SCSI drives, and 1 USB 2.0 drive, I purchased to get some school work done last month. Given the USB drive is larger (100 GB vs either 37.6 GB or 9.1 GB), it might end up seeing some programs eventually... As is I've got the OS on the 37.6 GB Cheetah x10 I've got in my comp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2006
  11. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    prefetch self purges, there's nothing in my prefetch folder older then a couple of weeks
     
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  12. Son Goku

    Son Goku No lover of dogma

    Hmm, odd then. I got my A64 in about October or so. When I did some stuff with drivers (and I'm talking upgrades to the mobo, video, mouse, well most drivers here), I went to clean out the pre-fetch folder, and there were some files from the time the comp was installed. Dunno then
     
  13. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    Prefetch does not self perge .. The pf file stays their till you delete it. or, use an app that cleans out old files, like crap cleaner.
     
  14. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    open your prefetch folder (paste prefetch into run) and look at the oldest file in there

    f you find anything older then one week, right click, hit properties and tell me when it was last accessed, last modified

    I believe the only file that will have been modified more then a week ago will be a system file called ntosboot, I imagine system files and dlls that are always loaded wouldn't be purged
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  15. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    Various things, but mostly when I first set it up, I went through everything.... services, start up BS, researched every single running process.

    With the help of black viper's website, I adjusted the Windows Services accordingly.

    Black Viper's site is still under construction, but here's the gist of it someone gleaned b4 he took it down.... LINKY

    Once this was done, I had only 18 services/processes left. I went back to 24 later on as I decided I wanted IIS running and such. Then I started spending late nights all over the place on the net, looking at registry tweaks and such to speed her up. At this point, I ran into NTFS.org and several other sites I don't care to mention on this fine forum. :)
    Of course most of the registry changes I made, eventually were offered in little tweak suites you can download. Made life much easier, though I frequently searched out the true registry tweaks behind the GUIs.

    After all this, I turned off the bells and whistles, like the animations, shadowing and such. With a 2.4 P4, a fat FSB mobo, and 1 gig of premium RAM - I later turned back on some of the 'pretty flashing lights' that I had quelched. I only turned them on to the point where I saw performance suffer. Swapped out a lower end NVidea and stuck in a mid range ATI - and it got even faster.

    Now the 3 years 4 months, once all the system was tweaked, was maintenance. I installed Diskeeper, and set it to run whenever the hell it wanted, as long as it was a low priority (wouldn't mess with anybody's games, email checking sessions... ) Then I got into researching and finding all the temporary caches Windows uses.... then once again, an app came out to do it for me. Crap Cleaner. Every Sunday morning, I click a few favorites that take me to sites that will tell me if there are any updated drivers. I then rip out the old drivers with DriverCleaner or some sort of wizard, and load up the fresh ones. Then I run Anti-spyware, Spybot, and Adaware in succession, making sure they are up to date. Then I manually analyze the drive for fragmentation. Once a month I run a registry cleaner. The registry cleaner managed to mess up a couple of freeware programs at some point, but otherwise it's made my system just a little more streamlined.

    The OS has a 10 gig partition to itself (I think it's too much space, but whatevs)
    The second partition contains apps. The 3rd, is media. The 4th, a very small one, contains critical drivers and such, and backups of several application installs.

    In the end Admiral, it's a huge combination of things that enable the little biatch to run like the dickens. I just made sure when I built the PC all the hardware when put together would have no bottlenecks. ie a slower FSB, or slower clocked RAM, ... anything. Then it was just persistence. I just treat it as a hobby. Whenever I see it stumble, immediately I'm troubleshooting, turning things off, on - looking at error logs, until I figure out what caused it to hiccup. That, combined with keeping her up to date with regards to patches, fixes - has made it stable and fast.

    Any new applications that are installed, are scrutinized after installation. Do I need that agent running? Do I need it to run at startup ? ... I went from a PII 266 with 256 RAM to a P4 2.4 1 gig RAM.... but I still behave as if I'm trying to save resources ----- even now that I have plenty.

    If you ever need any assistance, or have any further queries as to how to keep your system running sweet, I'll be glad to help you out. Of course, many other members of this forum are always be able to help as well, I don't pretend to know nearly everything - and I've gleaned much of them with regards to information on tweaking and performance.

    Much to the dismay of Perris .... my page file is static (hence as far as I know will never fragment) and it's 1.5 gigs.

    /shakes rests fingers...
     
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  16. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    it will never fragment static or dynamic, that is a myth.
     
  17. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    I know, just thought I'd mention it for fun :) I've read your article 4, 5 times. hehehe
     
  18. tom9042

    tom9042 OSNN Senior Addict Folding Team

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    Great thread.

    After reading the comments I did a little research and found out that much of the prefetch optimization work is done when the computer is "idling". Since I am running the Folding At Home program when the computer is on, will that hinder the optimization?

    Second question: I have two old ZoneAlarm files in my Prefetch directory. Since I don't use ZoneAlarm any more, I guess this means that there's a ZoneAlarm process that didn't get uninstalled?

    Thanks Perris and Mastershakes for the info.
     
  19. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    yes tom that is right .. You can delete those zone alamr files .. They are useless.

    Going on what perris said, thanx for the input perris, I have re enabled it. I went and did some more tweaking. I'll see how these work. How does it feel to know I trust your computer judgement perris ??? lol
     
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  20. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    of you're doing folding the computer probably won't find trme to optimize

    you can call the process by pasting this into a command window

    Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

    I would turn off folding and anything that's running and walk away from the box for about ten minutes
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006