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adamzapple

Repair XP Prefetch Folder

36 posts in this topic

After quite a lengthy experimentation process I have discovered what the "Tweak Gurus & PC Geeks" don't tell you in their posts on the subject of cleaning the Prefetch folder.

This guide has not been plagiarized. It is totally compiled by me and was once posted by me at the SoftZone Forums.I decided that I did not wan't to be a member of that comunity because they have more rules than posts so I removed this post and others I had made and canceled my membership.So if you have seen it before that is where it came from.

I hope it can be of assistance to some of you that have cleaned your Prefetch folder because you have been told it will speed XP up. But now "like I did" you find that after you have cleaned the prefetch folder your PC now suffers from slow boot up's and general lack of performance. Here is the real deal about the Prefetch Folder

DO NOT REMOVE OR DELETE THE ->(layout.ini)<- FILE WHICH RESIDES IN XP'S PREFETCH FOLDER OR YOU WILL SLOW DOWN YOUR PC AT START UP AND WHEN YOU OPEN WINDOWS PROGRAMS. Once it is gone it can stay gone on some PC'S (like mine) for ever and your Prefetch Folder will never work again no matter what you do in the registry to try to rectify the problem.

If this has happened to your prefetch folder DON'T WORRY because I will now show you in 5 easy steps how you can rebuild the -> (layout.ini) <- file again.

1): make sure that the task scheduler is enabled.If you are un sure go to-> Start/Contrl Panel/Administrative Tools/ Click on Services/ Then in the list of services make sure the Task Sheduler is enabled & restart the service by clicking on Start. Close the Services Folder & go back to desktop.

2): Then go to START/RUN/ and TYPE IN/->cmd<-(without the arrows) CLICK OK. This will bring up the DOS Command screen.

3):You will need to copy and paste this entry in at the flashing cursor

-> rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks <-(without the arrows) and press ENTER.

4):Now reboot three times and your Prefetch folder will be rebuilt.(It takes 3 reboots for the prefetch folder to work out what it needs)

5):Then go BACK to ->Start/Contrl Panel/Administrative Tools/ / Services/ Once again find TASK SHEDULER in the list and stop the service and then set it to disabled.This will stop any more entries going into your Prefetch folder.

If you need to leave your task sheduler enabled,(No Drama) you will just have to clean out your Prefetch folder manually from time to time.Just remember not to remove the layout.ini file

You should only clean out files ?other than Windows Start up files? in the Prefetch folder.

If you clean out the standard Windows entries you will CRIPPLE & SLOW DOWN the Windows XP Quick starts and also slow down opening windows processes.

No one bothers to tell you the consequence of deleting the (layout.ini file) in all the tips I have seen about cleaning out the Prefetch folder.

Also if you use one of the many programs that are availabe to clean the prefetch folder you will find that they delete the layout.ini file also.

I have now tried about 50 of these so called Prefetch clean programs and they all disable the Prefetch folder completely and for ever which is a crazy thing to do.The Prefetch is one of the best things about XP.

The truth is that only people who don't know what the Prefetch folder is actually for and don't know how it works say that it is useless.

All I can say is that there must be a lot of people with a verry sluggish XP Windows PC's around,,especially at Boot up.

Edited by adamzapple

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

dword value = EnablePrefetcher

0 = Disable,

1 = App launch prefetch

2 = Boot Prefetch

3 = Both (recommended)

Task Scheduler is needed for Prefetch to work.

Not sure what the rest is needed for...unless I've just never bumped into that particular problem.

I personally do purge my Prefetch folder every so often, including the Layout.ini file.

If you open the Layout.ini file and scroll through it, chances are you're going to see a lot of things that are long gone on your system, including file and folder paths. The Layout.ini file is pointing to those things upon boot.

Ever disable a Service and have DCOM errors spring up all over the place in the Event Viewer? Sometimes, (not always), the errors are coming from the Layout.ini file pointing to that disabled Service.

The Layout.ini file will usually rebuild itself after a couple of reboots and in about 20 minutes of idle time. (Pre SP2, the Layout.ini file would rebilut itself in exactly 13 minutes...a little Pre SP2 trivia...lol )

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The layout.ini does rebuild by itself like Bold said.

Deleted it a few times and it always came back.

Clearing the Prefetch folder is nothing serious at all.

I think Blackviper said something about Task Scheduler is needed by Bootvis.

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Thanks for the info. . I have deleted the folder in the past and it did run slow thanks for the fix.

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Thats not 100% correct Iron200,, delete everything in your prefetch folder including the layout.ini file and see what happens. It will not always come back as you say.Once the layout ini file is deleted it has to be rebuilt manually using the comand prompt in DOS.

Bold fortune that Registry tweak you have posted only works when you have still got a working Prefetch folder.If you delete the Layout.ini file and clean out the Prefetch folder that tweak does nothing and it won't just magically rebuild itself once the Prefetch folder has been stripped bare.

Yes you are correct on the fact that you must have the Task Shedular enabled to use bootvis.

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Whenever I've gone to clear out the Prefetch folder, I've done a "Ctrl+A", "Shift+Del". Unless the prefetcher is disabled or the Scheduled Tasks service is disabled, the files have always come back on all the computers I'd done this on (several times...).

The Prefetch folder will rebuild itself when it is empty. If it isn't working, then you've got a bigger problem than what's been outlined here. How do you think that the system keeps track of files that it should prefetch? It keeps adding to the list (but not removing...) with the new programs that are run.

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If it isn't working, then you've got a bigger problem than what's been outlined here

That is what I have just shown you how to do: REPAIR IT WHEN IT'S NOT WORKING.I wish you people would read the original post.

All I said was if you clean out your prefetch folder not to clean out your Standard Windows Startup files and to leave the layout.ini file in the folder.Do not delete these files or you will slow down your PC especially when windows XP boots up.

If you do delete these files and you find Like I did and hundreds of other XP users that your PC runs slow because the Prefetch folder now doesn't work and that it stays empty no matter how much Registery tweaking you do.I have shown you how to rebuild the layout.ini file and the process involved in repairing the Prefetch folderit so it will work properlyagain OK.Nothing more.

To all the other users that have a PC with an automatic prefetch repair,,Good luck to you and I wish I had one too.

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That is what I have just shown you how to do: REPAIR IT WHEN IT'S NOT WORKING.I wish you people would read the original post.

All I said was if you clean out your prefetch folder not to clean out your Standard Windows Startup files and to leave the layout.ini file in the folder.Do not delete these files or you will slow down your PC especially when windows XP  boots up.

If you do delete these files and you find Like I did and hundreds of other XP users  that your PC runs slow because the Prefetch folder now doesn't work and that it stays empty no matter how much Registery tweaking you do.I have shown you how to rebuild the layout.ini file and the process involved in repairing the Prefetch folderit so it will work properlyagain OK.Nothing more.

To all the other users that have a PC with an automatic prefetch repair,,Good luck to you and I wish I had one too.

586061299[/snapback]

No need to get hasty here... we're just trying to put our input here as well.

Your method does work for the situation where something has gone buggered and the Prefetch system isn't working, but if that's the case, then there's most likely an underlying problem. The Prefetcher shouldn't stop working because the folder is empty.

All I'm saying is that I've never run into troubles with the prefetch folder from deleting its entire contents. All the files that are needed, including layout.ini are recreated. Yes, I will say that after you delete the contents of the Prefetch folder, the system will take a bit longer to boot for the next few boots, but that's because (as you yourself said) it takes three full reboots for Windows to track all the files needed on startup.

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Thats not 100% correct Iron200,, delete everything in your prefetch folder including the layout.ini file and see what happens. It will not always come back as you say.Once the layout ini file is deleted it has to be rebuilt manually using the comand prompt in DOS.

586052755[/snapback]

actually, i've deleted everything (including the layout.ini file) and they were all re-created.

of course, this is a useful tweak for people with messed up prefetching.

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I just found this with a Google Search. (I should have bookmarked where...darnit.)...

After deleting files out of the prefetch directory you should run the command

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

So, I went ahead and opened my Prefetch folder and deleted its entire contents, including the Layout.ini file.

While leaving the now empty Prefetch folder open for my view, I typed in the above command to my Run Box.

..I'll be buggered...the Layout.ini file was re-created IMMEDIATELY! No need to even reboot the 3 times as prescribed.

Well, I think we all learned something from this thread.

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dreamz, what does the "Warn %" meter under my avatar mean?

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This just keeps getting more interesting. By doing what I did above, it shaved 2 seconds off my complete, round-trip, reboot time.

I compared the new Layout.ini file with my old Layout.ini file from my drive's image. The new one looks sooo clean compared to the old one.

The old Layout.ini file has about a zillion entires and weighs in at 123 KB. The new one is only 5.81 KB...and only lists the basics.

Incidentally, that old Layout.ini file was one re-created after I had manually deleted it and it had re-created itself after 20 minutes of idle time. But, it was never re-created as clean as this new Layout.ini file.

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Funny thing is nothing ever appears under my prefetch folder. I have now changed task scheduler to start automatically rather than manually under services.msc to see if that makes a difference. I do have EnablePrefetcher at 3.

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Yes, after putting Task Scheduler in automatic mode, my Prefetch is now working.

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adamzapple, Thanks for this thread :)

In my windows XP SP1 with Task Scheduler service disabled, prefetch is not working I mean new entries are not being added up. Infact I doubt prefetcher is working. After trying out your instruction I found it useful. :)

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If you clean out the standard Windows entries you will CRIPPLE & SLOW DOWN the Windows XP Quick starts and also slow down opening windows processes.

I cleaned out everything in my prefetch folder, including the .ini file, and disabled it in the registry to no performance detrement at all!

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i understand that doing this makes things faster.. but what excatly is prefetch and what am i doing to make things go faster?

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i understand that doing this makes things faster.. but what excatly is prefetch and what am i doing to make things go faster?

586069575[/snapback]

The prefetcher is a feature in Windows that "pre-fetches" parts of programs that you use often. When you start your computer, parts of the programs are loaded into memory so that when you go to run the program itself, it starts up quicker.

It will make your boot time a little bit slower though since there's more work to do here.

The guide is more for people who are having troubles with their Prefetchers. Sometimes - due to viruses and other bad stuff mostly - the prefetcher will stop working altogether.

My recommendation for the prefetcher is based on the amount of RAM that you have:

128MB - Disabled (reg value 0)

256MB - Boot only (reg value 1)

512MB or more - Both (reg value 3)

Hope this helps.

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Prefetch Parameters

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

"EnablePrefetcher"=dword:00000005

First, I fail to see where any advantage is gained by messing with the prefetch settings. While disabling the prefetch service (or only using setting 1 or 2) can speed boot times it only hurts overall system performance.

Most tweak guides and popular tweaking programs use a setting of ?5?. There is no documentation to suggest that this setting works. MS states that valid values are 0,1,2,3 and that this setting is ?anded?. The default value is ?3?. I tested using a setting of ?5? on 3 occasions and there was no real improvement in boot times and hard drive activity was longer at boot.*

Prefetching is a good thing, leave it alone. In addition well written disk defrag utilities such as Raxco?s Perfect Disk use the layout.ini information for its optimizations.

Source

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I created a short informational essay about the functions of the prefetcher. You can view it here.

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I always thought the layout.ini file was only actually processed by defrag to determine where best to place files. Therefore, it shouldn't matter if it's MBs in size, since the defrag task is only run when your computer is idle (or you force it with Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks).

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With 2GB of RAM, you fill no **** :)

Everything flies...

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After quite a lengthy experimentation process I have discovered what the "Tweak Gurus & PC Geeks" don't tell you in their posts on the subject of cleaning the Prefetch folder.

This guide has not been plagiarized. It is totally compiled by me and was once posted by me at the SoftZone Forums.I decided that I did not wan't to be a member of that comunity because they have more rules than posts so I removed this post and others I had made and canceled my membership.So if you have seen it before that is where it came from.

I hope it can be of assistance to some of you that have cleaned your Prefetch folder because you have been told it will speed XP up. But now "like I did" you find that after you have cleaned the prefetch folder your PC now suffers from slow boot up's and general lack of performance. Here is the real deal about the Prefetch Folder

DO NOT REMOVE OR DELETE THE ->(layout.ini)<- FILE WHICH RESIDES IN XP'S PREFETCH FOLDER OR YOU WILL SLOW DOWN YOUR PC AT START UP AND WHEN YOU OPEN WINDOWS PROGRAMS. Once it is gone it can stay gone on some PC'S (like mine) for ever and your Prefetch Folder will never work again no matter what you do in the registry to try to rectify the problem.

If this has happened to your prefetch folder DON'T WORRY because I will now show you in 5 easy steps how you can rebuild the -> (layout.ini) <- file again.

1): make sure that the task scheduler is enabled.If you are un sure go to-> Start/Contrl Panel/Administrative Tools/ Click on Services/ Then in the list of services make sure the Task Sheduler is enabled & restart the service by clicking on Start. Close the Services Folder & go back to desktop.

2): Then go to START/RUN/ and TYPE IN/->cmd<-(without the arrows) CLICK OK. This will bring up the DOS Command screen.

3):You will need to copy and paste this entry in at the flashing cursor

-> rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks <-(without the arrows) and press ENTER.

4):Now reboot three times and your Prefetch folder will be rebuilt.(It takes 3 reboots for the prefetch folder to work out what it needs)

5):Then go BACK to ->Start/Contrl Panel/Administrative Tools/ / Services/ Once again find TASK SHEDULER in the list and stop the service and then set it to disabled.This will stop any more entries going into your Prefetch folder.

If you need to leave your task sheduler enabled,(No Drama) you will just have to clean out your Prefetch folder manually from time to time.Just remember not to remove the layout.ini file

You should only clean out files ?other than Windows Start up files? in the Prefetch folder.

If you clean out the standard Windows entries you will CRIPPLE & SLOW DOWN the Windows XP Quick starts and also slow down opening windows processes.

No one bothers to tell you the consequence of deleting the (layout.ini file) in all the tips I have seen about cleaning out the Prefetch folder.

Also if you use one of the many programs that are availabe to clean the prefetch folder you will find that they delete the layout.ini file also.

I have now tried about 50 of these so called Prefetch clean programs and they all disable the Prefetch folder completely and for ever which is a crazy thing to do.The Prefetch is one of the best things about XP.

The truth is that only people who don't know what the Prefetch folder is actually for and don't know how it works say that it is useless.

All I can say is that there must be a lot of people with a verry sluggish XP Windows PC's around,,especially at Boot up.

This worked a treat! Thank you!!! I'm forever tinkering with Windows XP, and after a recent purge using System Mechanic, I noticed my Prefetch folder no longer was in use, and thanks to Google and your post, I have rectified the problem and my PC is running nice and fast again!

Thanks a million!

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DO NOT REMOVE OR DELETE THE ->(layout.ini)<- FILE WHICH RESIDES IN XP'S PREFETCH FOLDER OR YOU WILL SLOW DOWN YOUR PC AT START UP AND WHEN YOU OPEN WINDOWS PROGRAMS. Once it is gone it can stay gone on some PC'S (like mine) for ever and your Prefetch Folder will never work again no matter what you do in the registry to try to rectify the problem.

First time I heard that..I clear out my prefetch folder weekly :unsure:

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the prefetch files are "defragged" every 3 days, so depending on when you clear out your prefetch folder, it could take anywhere from minutes to days for the layout.ini to be recreated.

And yes it's safe to delete the file, it's automatically created when the files are "defragged".

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