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Author Topic: Windows prefetch  (Read 6692 times)

oldfogy

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Windows prefetch
« on: June 10, 2006, 11:00:21 PM »

After reading an article the other day I decided to try it out for myself.
And yes I was quite surprised at the result.

Windows Prefetch folder?
What is it?
Well it's a hidden folder in windows that stores a "long list" of programs that have been used in the past and pre-load each time windows starts ready to use again.

Now it's quite safe to delete all of these files as they will simply get replaced with new ones, as and when,

But the main point being, my list also contained programs that were only loaded on a temporary basis and then removed, but information with regards to these programs was still being loaded each time I restarted windows.

So, as part of your general clean-up you could also remove these files.

Don't forget to alter your settings to show "Hidden files and Folders"


[Post title edited by admin]
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 11:17:22 AM by kitz »
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archie123

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2006, 07:51:10 PM »

to avoid me going into the ins and outs of why its not advisable and spending hours trying to explain it ive found a link to do it for me ;)

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000619.html
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kitz

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2006, 01:25:03 AM »

Ive cleaned out the prefetch folder in the past when doing a cleansweep/tidy up. 
Then quite often I will go for months without bothering..  tbh I dont think Ive noticed much if any difference either way.
Sometimes I just like having a nice clean PC without too much junk in it.
-
Yeah I used to be one of those sad gits who would format windows 98 every so often to have a nice clean PC.  :D
These days I dont really seem to have the time to do stuff like full formats - specially now that drives are so much bigger and it would be a mare putting stuff back on again.  :'(

I think Im of a similar opinion.

The "Prefetch" is a kind of cache. For any cache to work, it has to contain data: So, over-aggressive cleaning of any cache, including the Prefetch, can be counterproductive because the cache will have to be refilled with data again.

The flip side is that a cache that's overfilled with more data than is necessary, or that's filled with old and obsolete data also is bad: That useless data is just so much junk that gets in the way.


Therefore I dont think a *quick flick around with the duster* does too much harm.


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oldfogy

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 03:14:05 AM »

The flip side is that a cache that's overfilled with more data than is necessary, or that's filled with old and obsolete data also is bad: That useless data is just so much junk that gets in the way.[/i]

I just checked mine as I haven't looked at it since June, and it contains data referring to programs that I no longer have on my PC, programs that were installed, tried or tested and then removed.
So to me they are unnecessary and also possibly data that could cause or create conflicts, that will soon be replaced  with more current data.

My original post was after reading one of the top PC magazines. So who am I to argue.
But as I have said on numerous occasions, it's always good to hear other peoples points of view.
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archie123

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 09:02:30 AM »

your not wrong mate , the prfetch folder does contain old files that should have been deleted but deleting the entire file only slows windows down , not a noticable ammount but a little ;) 

we all have opinions on whats good and whats not for windows , i try to base mine on things that for the most part ive tested and researched myself , as i have with the prefetch folder , i remember once arguing for over a week on a forum with a guy who had some very strange ideas on how windows virtual memory worked , ive since given up trying to get my point across as i realise its a little futile.

im not here to dispute everything you say (although it seems i am ;) )  but i am right ;)  ;)

i expect theres many things you can teach me about windows but theres a few things i can teach you back  ;D

Please dont take anything i say the wrong way , im a nice person really , just a little abrupt sometimes ;)

I love you  (in a manly way)  ;)
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soms

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 01:39:40 PM »

Quote from: archie123
but deleting the entire file only slows windows down , not a noticable ammount but a little

lol, I just put this to the test by deleting the folder contents and restarting and XP took ages to load back up again.
I have got a 2+year old laptop and previously I could be logged on within about 45 secs, this time round I was waiting a great deal longer once logged on for all to come up.

So I would say delete some items but not everything or you'll be waiting a day and an age next time for it all to load up from where ever it all lies on the hard disc!
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oldfogy

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 03:50:47 PM »

Soms,

I don't and will not dispute what you say with regards to the first re-start, because yes, windows has to analyse the system again, but what about further re-starts, are you back to normal?
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archie123

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 07:01:36 PM »

Soms,

I don't and will not dispute what you say with regards to the first re-start, because yes, windows has to analyse the system again, but what about further re-starts, are you back to normal?

they will windows fills the prefetch folder back up ;)
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archie123

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Re: Hints & Tips
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2006, 07:36:40 PM »

taken from here  http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/XPMyths.html , wherte i originaly saw a few years back


"Every time you delete an application's Prefetch (.PF) file you will cripple that application's load time the next time you go to launch it. This can temporarily increase load times by as much as 100%. For one thing, XP will just re-create the Prefetch (.PF) trace files anyway; secondly, it trims the files if there's ever more than 128 of them so that it doesn't needlessly consume space. However you do not regain optimal application load times back until after the second time you launch the same application due to the Prefetch (.PF) trace file being re-created. Prefetch (.PF) trace files are not a cache and are not preloaded into memory upon windows startup. They are never even accessed until you launch an application. Only one Prefetch (.PF) trace file per application is created. There is never ANY reason to delete these files. Cleaning the Prefetch folder is actually a temporary self-inflicted unoptimization. Why you would want to deliberately hurt your PC's performance I have no idea."

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000743.html
http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000024.html
http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000619.html



if you really want to optimise your XP............................... http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/OptimizeXP.html

« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 07:39:32 PM by archie123 »
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anything