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Beginners Guides: Stopping Vista From Thrashing Hard Disks to Death

Beginners Guides: Stopping Vista From Thrashing Hard Disks to Death - PCSTATS
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Abstract: While your PC may be doing nothing, all of a sudden you notice the hard drives are trashing around like the entire drive is being copied. Never fear, PCSTATS is here to help you stop Windows Vista from excessive hard drive usage, and show you how to free up some disk space too!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Microsoft Mar 11 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > Microsoft Vista

Superfetch, the grand-daddy of (disk)thrash

Now we get to the biggest culprit of them all when it comes to seemingly random Vista hard disk thrashing: Vista's Superfetch.

The Superfetch feature is a new and improved version of Windows XP's prefetch feature. Superfetch functions by analyzing what applications and features you use most often, and when you are likely to use them. It uses this knowledge to predict your future computing needs and attempts to speed things up by loading frequently used applications partially into memory at bootup and while you are using the computer. Once they have been 'superfetched', these applications will launch faster when started. The benefits of this are obvious in a work environment, where it's quite likely that you will run the same applications at the same general time day after day after day. The benefits become a little less clear in the home computing environment, where users can expect to use a wide variety of applications and programs at wildly varying times of day.

Superfetch is always 'learning' while its enabled, trying to find patterns in your computer usage and pre-loading applications to match. This causes a lot of background drive thrashing as Vista grabs program files off your hard drive and loads them into memory. This activity may tail off after several days, especially if you are fairly consistent in your computer use, but it never entirely goes away.

The penalty for disabling superfetch? Your system will essentially revert to Windows XP-like usage, where the entire application is loaded as needed. This means a little more time to load each commonly-used app, but less disk thrashing and wear and tear for the rest of the time.

To disable the superfetch feature, Go to the 'start' menu and type 'services' in the search bar. Hit ENTER.

In the services window, scroll down until you reach the 'superfetch' service. Right click and choose 'properties.'

Change the 'startup type' dropdown box to 'disabled' and click the 'stop' button to stop the service.

Hit 'OK'.

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Contents of Article: Microsoft Vista
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Stopping Vista From Thrashing Hard Disks to Death
 Pg 2.  Windows Vista file Indexing Con't
 Pg 3.  Windows Vista Hard Drive Defragmentation Process
 Pg 4.  — Superfetch, the grand-daddy of (disk)thrash
 Pg 5.  Optimizing the page file to reduce disk activity
 Pg 6.  Reclaiming lost drive space in Windows Vista
 Pg 7.  Disable or edit system restore to save hard disk space
 Pg 8.  Alter the amount of space Restore takes up
 Pg 9.  Advanced Disk Cleanup Utility

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