Author Topic: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times  (Read 110867 times)

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Umath

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2005, 04:52:19 PM »
I disabled the prefetch function while ago and noticed nothing since then.  I did it in my way to disable as many unnecessary processes that as possible and probably I was right - except that I didn't need to disable the function in the first place, either.  At least, I don't need to see prefetch data files in my search for recent modified files anymore. ;)

Offline DavidR

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2005, 05:04:27 PM »
I had prefetch disable for a long time also and no real boot or launching issues. I now use prefetch but I only monitor boot time programs now. It is slightly quicker but noting to get excited about.

However, if you have it on monitor boot and programs it can have an adverse effect if you delete the contents of the prefetch including the Layout.ini as that takes time (3 boots I believe) to be recreated and get a history.

The reason the slowdown is noticeable is because the prefetch was working and doing its job, right up until you deleted it. It won't take long before it starts to decrease boot and launch times again.
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Offline Abraxas

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2005, 07:47:50 PM »
Hmm, seems every one has varying  opinion's on this subject.
1. I  saw this CCleaner / prefetch issue listed as "news" @ castle cops and followed the links, out of curiosity.
2. I first saw instructions as to how to clean the Prefetch folder manually here at the Avast! forum not so long ago and just took it as ' good house keeping '.
Thanks for all the reference links, every one.
3. I've emptied the PF folder maybe once  over the last three months, with the idea that I am deleting useless obsolete .EXE files trying to be launched at BootTime. Active non-obsolete programs/applications will rebuild entries into the prefetch directory anyhow it seems, which is the so called bootTime  "slowdown", or so I presume.
4. I've watched the CCleaner results after ticking the "Clear OLD prefetch files ", and haven't as yet seen anything listed as deleted from the PreFetch directory since it was introduced.
5. If in fact over the period of say a few months  clearing the PF directory 'does clear useless' .EXE files from being asked to initiate , I'd think it as a good thing .
6. Seems to be user's choice as to whether or not you clear the folder in question. I think I'll wait and see when CCleaner actually does remove files from the PF directory , and which ones. Then the  parameters of files deemed as  being old will be more apparent and I may learn something.
I think CCleaner is taking a bit of unnecessary flack over this issue personally as I haven't seen it over-doing Prefetch directory cleaning  at all.

Offline DavidR

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2005, 08:01:47 PM »
This is from the on-line FAQ for CCleaner and what it cleans in the Prefetch Folder.
Quote
Old Prefetch Data
    In Windows XP a Prefetch file is generated each time an application is run. This helps Windows optimise the application the next time it is executed. Unfortunately these files are not deleted when the applications are removed. This option removes these files for programs that haven't been accessed in 14 days. (This process is very safe and Windows will recreate the files as necessary.)

So, according to this it is unlikely to delete the Layout.ini file because that is effectively in use daily. So yes it would appear if this is correct CCleaner it getting a bit of bad Press as it isn't deleting the entire contents of the Prefetch folder.
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Mastertech

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2005, 08:32:34 AM »
To understand the problem you need to read the whole article from Popular Technology:
Quote
What CCleaner does
CCleaner deletes any Prefetch file older then two weeks based on the .pf file's last access date. This is completely idiotic for a number of reasons. First you should never delete a .pf for any installed application. With the .pf file missing, that application will take up to 100% more time to load when you decide to launch it. CCleaner does this to any application you have installed on your computer but have not used in over two weeks. It makes absolutely no sense to delete these files. Why would you deliberately want to slow down any installed application's load time? It will also do this if you have not used you computer for two weeks. Second, it is quite common to disable the NTFS Last Access Time Stamp for performance reasons. I actually recommend doing this since it speeds up the file system. In this case CCleaner will delete any .pf file that was created over two weeks ago. You can clearly see how running CCleaner in this case would wind up deleting ALL your Prefetch files every two weeks. Now you are crippling every application's load time on your system instead of just the ones you have not used in two weeks. Ridiculous!

See this is a miconception:
Quote
I've emptied the PF folder maybe once  over the last three months, with the idea that I am deleting useless obsolete .EXE files trying to be launched at BootTime
That is NOT how prefetching works.

Here is a better explanation:
Quote
By default Windows XP only (not 2000 ect...) will monitor the boot process and an applications startup process. After three boots or three application loads it creates a .pf file. This file is merely a reference to all the files that the boot process or an individual application uses to load. Normally Windows will load these files in a less efficient way. Say DLL A before B and then maybe D or C. With prefetching enabled (it is by default) When you click on an icon to launch an application Windows will first look in the prefetch folder, if a .pf file exists it will now have the location of every file that specific application uses to start and will load them all at once, example: DLL A+B+C+D simultaneously. Look at the .pf file in a text editor and you will see it is just a list of file locations. Now the prefetcher goes further and use the Defragmenter to take all those files and "lay them out" on the disk in the same location. This further improves the application load times.

.pf files are only accessed when you launch the application and take up next to no space, then obsolete ones are cleared when the folder reaches 128 entries. Even with all 128 entrie it only takes up less the 5MB. The article also provides a way to test it:
Quote
Testing
Make sure the Task Scheduler service is set to automatic. Launch an application like Firefox three times. Reboot and make sure there is a FIREFOX.EXE-XXXXXXXX.pf file in the C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch folder. If there is, launch Firefox and time it. Then delete the .pf file, reboot, relaunch Firefox and time it again. You will now see Firefox take a significantly longer time to load. Now imagine this on any other application, then imagine doing this deliberately every two weeks? Why? To save a tiny bit of HD space? It makes no sense. 128 .pf files take up maybe 5 MB of disk space.

Offline polonus

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2005, 09:18:40 AM »
Hello,

A lot of basic conceptions are wrong, and this is another. Some people think delete with MS means delete = gone at once. It is not "deleted" in any way, you just cannot find it back. It just sits there to be written over. If you have special restore programs you can get to it even beyond the recycle bin. If people understand what delete in Microsoft terms really mean, they would create other attitudes in computing.

greets,

polonus
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Offline Eddy

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2005, 09:22:21 AM »
Cynthia Reed
Quote
This folder may accumulate useless junk, especially if you change your configuration a lot. There's no harm in emptying it. Simply delete all the files in that folder; Windows will rebuild it as needed.

MajorGeeks
Quote
Disabling the Prefetch function or at least only enabling it for the Boot Files will allow you to free up some system resources and preserve some disk space.

Techrepublic
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start up can be seriously delayed if Windows if prefetching the whole world.

R. Patrick (tweakXP and programmer)
Quote
I recommend that you erase all files located in your TEMP and PREFETCH folders on a monthly basis.

Meself has 25 years of experience with computers, running my own computer repair store as well as a on-site-service for small busineses.

Believe whoever you want, it is a free world after all.
But it has been proven that prefetching does not speed up things. That is a fact that will remain, no matter what you like to belive.

Offline polonus

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2005, 09:37:41 AM »
Hello Eddy,

25 years counts, I like to see your comments on the next thread?
http://forums.techguy.org/archive/t-382236.html. So what Kenny 94 tells about the Prefetch running too large is bull, as you try to tell us?
My experience with the Windows system in general is that it operates sometimes in mysterious ways (like in the U2 song), and that you have to consider and re-consider your actions. That is why a good Restore Program, like RestoreIt or Regular Backups are a must to stay ahead of trouble. You must create a possibility to always go back on your tracks and undo what you apparently have miscalculated. That is the prize we all pay for closed source with many cooks and ergo fingers in the code. Who is the expert. He is the guy who really made all the mistakes he could in a very narrow field, and learnt from this.

greets,

polonus
« Last Edit: October 05, 2005, 09:41:44 AM by polonus »
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Offline Eddy

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2005, 09:55:03 AM »
Nope, Kenny tells the same as I did in other words.

a61_a61

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2005, 02:08:03 PM »
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I also was able to do things that MS said was impossible with Windows

Eddy can you tell us what some of these impossible things you did?  You're so smart.  ;D

Offline Abraxas

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2005, 02:52:58 PM »
To get back on line here.
1.CCleaner has an Option to enable Old prefetch files to be cleared. It does not have to be checked/ticked , if you are in doubt.
2.Polonus said :
Quote
"...You must create a possibility to always go back on your tracks and undo what you apparently have miscalculated."
"...Who is the expert. He is the guy who really made all the mistakes he could in a very narrow field, and learnt from this."
I like this idea of learning through your mistakes, not that causing errors to your system is something you want to do, but when you do , and understand why, you wont make the same mistake twice.
I believe it's called the Empirical Method, from which all knowledge is gained. Our science today would not be alive if it wasn't for trial and error.
The subject of CCleaner performing a task which may slowdown or even disable performance is stupid. it's a user choice option.
I'm glad I raised this issue, as the subject of prefetching has been explored .
 The Term has been around in a different instance before windows XP, as an optional setting for hard drive performance in older versions of windows, or maybe I'm thinking of BIOS settings.
However, User choice, having a Good System Backup, and IF IN DOUBT, DON'T, are the dynamics to consider here, in my opinion.

Offline TedNelly

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2005, 03:05:17 PM »
 yes Abraxas I think the subject of PFing has been well and truly covered in this posting and I for one have gained some information added knowledge that I was not aware of prior to reading all of this posting and after all is this not the reason a lot of us come here to voice our opinions, help, learn, teach,expand our knowledge base this has been a very interesting forum topic ;D
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Offline Abraxas

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2005, 03:20:24 PM »
yes Abraxas I think the subject of PFing has been well and truly covered in this posting and I for one have gained some information added knowledge that I was not aware of prior to reading all of this posting and after all is this not the reason a lot of us come here to voice our opinions, help, learn, teach,expand our knowledge base this has been a very interesting forum topic ;D

Yes  p3t3rb0nn I also learnt a lot, and what you say is true, about sharing knowledge.
Plus to top it all off, WE Won The Cricket today against the world 11 !!!  ;D

Mastertech

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2005, 11:18:16 PM »
Quote
Believe whoever you want, it is a free world after all.
But it has been proven that prefetching does not speed up things. That is a fact that will remain, no matter what you like to belive.
All three places you quoted are wrong. The fact is you don't have the slightest clue as to how prefetching works. Not to mention you have obviously never tested it. Please provide me with a reproduceable test to show that prefetching does NOT work. I provided you with one from the article that shows it does work.

Quote
The subject of CCleaner performing a task which may slowdown or even disable performance is stupid. it's a user choice option.
You are not reading the article or comprehending it. CCleaner has an option that's only effect is it slows down installed application load times and is enabled by default. There is no reason for it to be there. Once you understand how prefetching works you will realize this.


Offline Abraxas

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Re: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2005, 05:25:49 PM »
Mastertech:
Quote
Abraxas said:
The subject of CCleaner performing a task which may slowdown or even disable performance is stupid. it's a user choice option.
Quote
You are not reading the article or comprehending it. CCleaner has an option that's only effect is it slows down installed application load times and is enabled by default. There is no reason for it to be there. Once you understand how prefetching works you will realize this.
The cleaning of OLD PREFETCH FILES is NOT a DEFAULT setting in CCLEANER.
As I said earlier, you have to check the box, and enable it. After what I've learnt in this thread I won't be "Checking the box" , which as a USER I CHOOSE to do.
Enough about Prefetch for goodness sake Mastertech  :P