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Xp Boot Defragmenter


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#1 Michael07

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:27 PM

i understand (from the Extreme Tech website) that XP had a built-in boot defragmenter that is supposed to run automatically in idle time every three days. i checked a place in my registry which indicates that it has not run since May 20th, and i don't know what the hang-up is. they suggested on trick which was to Run "Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks" and that should bring all idle/background tasks to completion, but the registry still indicates that the boot defragmentation didn't "take".
First of all, am i understanding this correctly? And if so, are there any suggestions as to how to get the boot defragmentation to work? i understand the prefetcher is involved somehow, but that hasn't helped me. and i know there is third party software as well, but i just want XP Pro to do what it's supposed to do automatically, and i'd love to learn how to get this process to run.
Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide.

Mikl
A bird in the hand ... makes typing difficult.

Mikl

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:49 AM

What is the Date Modified property for the file %windir%\Prefetch\Layout.ini? That date marks the occasion XP last updated the file layout.

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#3 hamluis

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 11:16 AM

I've never heard of defrag running automatically...unless the drive is trashed.

Any reference for that Extreme Tech article?

Louis

#4 garmanma

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:49 PM

You could probably set it up to do that in Scheduled Tasks
http://www.iopus.com/guides
Mark
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#5 Michael07

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 03:52 PM

thanks for the input on this thread.
platypus, ... in windows/prefetcher there is no file at all - it is an empty folder. also, there is no Layout.ini file anywhere on my computer. isn't all that curious ? !!
Luis - the cite for the extreme tech article is http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1786009,00.asp
Mark - i'm pretty sure there is no way to get prefetcher to run the boot defrag under tasks scheduler. my understanding (which may be faulty) is that it is like a hidden process not amenable to re-configuration, except that there's some manipulation that can be done through the registry.

hopefully with your help we can untangle this. ... thx again
A bird in the hand ... makes typing difficult.

Mikl

#6 garmanma

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:22 PM

I thought you were referring to disk defragmenter
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555098
Mark
Is this what you're referring to?
http://www.tweakxp.com/

Edited by garmanma, 04 January 2008 - 04:25 PM.

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:36 PM

http://www.theeldergeek.com/automatic_boot...5Bdefrag%5D.htm

I guess that I place no credence in an article that talks about a boot defrag function that Microsoft doesn't document anywhere.

FWIW: Many persons use 3d-party defrag utilities (e.g., Perfect Disk, Diskeeper) for functionalities that are not found in the XP native utilities.

Louis

#8 Michael07

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:12 PM

Louis - i believe it's a real process, though it may be hard to find out about it on M$. If you care to, you could check your registry and see when it last ran for you ... "If you are interesting in finding when the last time was that the boot defrag was run, open up regedit and navigate to: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Prefetcher" and then look for the key named "LastDiskLayoutTimeString". "
That's where i see the May date on my machine.

Mark - yes, i believe that's the function i'm raising the question about ... i tried that fix, though, and my settings on that registry entry were already correct.

Thx for any further thougts you may have.

Edited by Michael07, 04 January 2008 - 05:13 PM.

A bird in the hand ... makes typing difficult.

Mikl

#9 Michael07

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:36 PM

also, to respond further to Louis, there is M$ evidence for the process i am trying to fix. see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457057.aspx
for the statement "Once every three days, by default, Windows XP will perform a partial defragmentation and adjust the layout of the disk based upon current use. The files to be moved are written in the file Layout.ini (found in the Prefetch directory under the System Root directory)." They do not specifically call this a boot defrag, but that's what this partial defgrag is ...
A bird in the hand ... makes typing difficult.

Mikl

#10 Platypus

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:45 PM

Boot file layout optimization is part of XP's dynamic self-optimization:

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/benchmark.mspx

If there's no layout.in file, that will explain the registry string date. That would be the date of the last layout.ini file that existed.

There's nothing in the prefetch folder? You haven't followed someone's (wrong) advice to delete the contents of the prefetch folder to "speed up" Windows have you?

Do you run your system 24/7, or always hibernate?

Boot analysis requires at least three boot cycles to "watch" in order to begin functioning, if the prefetch folder is "cleaned" on a system with long uptime before this requirement is satisfied I suspect the layout optimization would be defeated.

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#11 Michael07

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 06:09 PM

Noooo, Platypus, there's nothing whatever in the Prefetch folder. i don't know whether i deleted a layout.ini file at some point or not, i don't recall doing it but, sad to say, it is possible. i just ran SFC to see if it would replace it as a missing system file, but no luck.
i do usually just hibernate the system instead of shutting it down. would the system probably run the boot defrag and re-generate a layout.ini file, if it were shut down and restarted over three days? since the complete all idle tasks command didn't work to get the boot defrag to run, i'm thinking, maybe not ... perhaps not without that file. do you think that missing file is the hangup? or is it more likely a registry setting? or just that probably all i need to do is shut down my computer daily for 3 - 4 days and see ...
looking forward to your thoughts ...
A bird in the hand ... makes typing difficult.

Mikl

#12 Platypus

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 06:30 PM

I suggest run services.msc and make sure System Event Notification and Task Scheduler are not disabled (if Task Scheduler is disabled, running Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks will do nothing as you've experienced). Check the registry entry Enable Prefetcher in:

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

has a value of 3, if not, double click it & set it to 3.

Reboot 3 times & see what happens.

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#13 M...

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 06:31 PM

There may be another Registry entry controlling this feature at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction\Enable":

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/935/btoptz01apj9.png

#14 Platypus

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 06:37 PM

Of course, if you always hibernate, boot layout optimization has no great value anyway when loading Windows, Windows is reloaded to memory from the hibernation file, not the boot files... :thumbsup:

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#15 Michael07

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:05 PM

thx, M.., i already got that one !

ok, Platypus, task scheduler wasn't running so i've started it, and followed your other directions. next i'll go ahead and reboot it 3 times and see what happens.

and yes, i DO usually just go to hibernate, but i figure every six months is not too often to get a boot defrag done ... doesn't seem excessive <grin> . and i like learning about all this anyway, so thx lots for your tips and time ...
A bird in the hand ... makes typing difficult.

Mikl




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