20-line patch to Firefox 4 that makes startup on Windows up to 2x as fast

In the world of browser wars, speed is everything. All the top vendors love to show off how fast their browser is and why it is better than the competition. So, when a user comes up with a way to increase the cold boot time of a browser, it generally grabs the attention of many people.

Taras Glek, from bugzilla.mozilla.org, found a way to trick Windows into loading Firefox faster by using a simple patch. From the bugzilla.mozilla.org page via Reddit:

Basic idea is that the sequential flag + bull**** read tricks windows into reading xul in Mb chunks instead of stupid 32k(or smaller) ones. Have to do it this way because there is no fadvise() on Windows(that I know of) A big sequential read cuts down on a lot of seeks.

Many users are reporting faster boot times, with load time cut by 50% on slower drives. If this work-around proves to work for the masses, it may be rolled out in the next version of Firefox. Currently, there are users looking to refine the process to make it even more efficient.

When trying out any experimental technique, you are cautioned to do so at your own risk. This patch has not been verified to work on all versions of Windows, but the general response so far has been very positive.

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