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Some Performance Hacks

Scenario : You want to improve the performance of your PC. What do you do ??

Solution : These are some of the performance hacks i have collected over time to improve PC performance. Hope these are useful to you. One way of improving the performance of your machine is to tweak the NTFS file system. Once you do this that it will be obvious that simple changes like this can make a big difference.

Here are the tips : 

1. Disable Short Filenames

By default, NTFS creates an 8.3 filename every time it creates a long filename, which adds a bit of time to the file creation process. To speed things up, you can disable short filenames using the fsutil command:

fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1

Restart your machine for this to take effect.

Note :  You’ll notice a performance difference only on drives that have a very large number of files and relatively few folders, and where a lot of the files have names that start similarly.  That’s because if you have a lot of files that start with the same characters in their filenames and occupy the same folder, NTFS has to work harder (and take more time) to generate unique 8.3 names for these files.

2. Change Cluster Size

The default cluster size on NTFS volumes is 4K, which is fine if your files are small and remain the same size. But if your files are generally much larger or tend to grow over time as applications modify them, try increasing the cluster size on your drives to 16K. That will reduce the amount of space you are wasting on your drives and will allow files to open slightly faster.

Note : 

  • If you want to compress older files to save disk space using NTFS compression, you have to leave the cluster size at 4K.
  • The smaller your files (compared with the cluster size), the more fragmented your volume will tend to become over time.

3. Defragmentation

Fragmented drives increase the time it takes for applications to open, close, create, or delete files. A good practice is to use Windows inbuilt Disk Defragmenter tool to defrag your drive at least once a month, especially if you run applications that frequently modify files and you have a lot of files on your drives. 

4. Disable Last Access Time

By default, each file and folder on an NTFS volume has an attribute called Last Access Time, which records the last time the file or folder was opened, read, or changed. This means even when you read a file on an NTFS volume, a write action occurs on that volume too. Normally this isn’t a problem, but if you have an application that tends to frequently access files for short periods of time, this feature of NTFS can really slow performance. Fortunately, you can use fsutil to disable writing to the Last Access Time attribute:

fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1

Once this is done, the Last Access Time attribute for newly created files will simply be their File Creation Time.

Note :  disabling Last Access Time may affect the operation of backup programs that use the Remote Storage service.

5. Change Indexing Service

Whether you enable or disable the Indexing Service on Windows depends on your needs. If you search for files on your hard drive only rarely, it’s probably best to leave Indexing turned off, since it adds a slight overhead to NTFS operation and also uses up disk space to store the catalog. But if you search for files on your hard drive frequently (and need to search the contents of files as well) then turn Indexing on, as it will speed the search process considerably.

  1. Tom Mundy
    April 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work 🙂

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