Sudden Slowdown In Xp Pro

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RAM-PAGE

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WhitPhil said:
Bob:

Yes, I "sort of" know that. But since he "seems" to know what is going on (since he is making these recommendations), it would be nice to understand why he believes these things will work, since I see no reason for them.
" ... since I see no reason for them."

You might care to pass on your opinion to Executive Software.

I am sure they will welcome it.

Doubtless they will stop recommending the use of their products on your say so.
 

WhitPhil

Gone but never forgotten
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Dear Mac:

Please start reading the posts before you react to them.

My comment in this thread, and all the others are in relation to why padding the MFT zone, when it is not fully in use, has any affect on performance.

Executive software does not make this claim, YOU do!
 
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Rampage,

Again your inability to provide even the simplest of information to back up your claims continues to erode whatever technical expertise you seem to have.

Rather than offer technically accurate advice, you make comments that just don't seem to have any basis in fact. When asked to explain yourself or provide some documentation you can't. You just post things like you did. Over and over and over again.

Another example is I've been waiting for days for a reply to your claim that you can only use FAT16 on smaller hard drives. Asked about 10 times but all you can reply with are the same type of cocky little retorts. Nothing of value or accuracy seems to be coming out.

Hopefully things will get better in the near future. This forum, and the people that read the information it contains, deserve as much.
 

RAM-PAGE

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From Diskeeper 9 Professional Help

" Frag Shield
Note: This feature is only available when Diskeeper is running on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.

Also Note: The Frag Shield option is not available in Diskeeper Home Edition.

Use the Configure MFT/paging file option in the Change your settings menu to open the Frag Shield dialog. (This option is also available from the Action menu.) Follow the instruction displayed to configure your MFTs and paging files.

Frag Shield helps you configure your MFTs and paging files as recommended in published Microsoft guidelines. Following these recommendations will help keep these critical system files contiguous.

Frag Shield is comprised of two components: the MFT configuration tool and the paging file configuration tool. These tools allow you to set up your paging file(s) and MFT(s) such that fragmentation will be very unlikely to occur in the future.

After running Frag Shield once, data gathered by Diskeeper during future analysis and defragmentation jobs as well as data gathered periodically on paging file usage is used to determine if either configuration tool should be run again. Should the need arise to run either tool again, you are given a recommendation and are provided a link to easily access the appropriate tool. In most cases, once these tools are run they will not be needed again.

Note that any scheduled defragmentation jobs are temporarily suspended when the Frag Shield dialog is opened. Also note that any running Diskeeper defragmentation engines will be automatically stopped before Frag Shield makes any changes to your computer configuration.

Configuring the MFT
The Master File Table (MFT) is, in a sense, a file containing records about each file on an NTFS disk volume. In general terms, one file record exists in the MFT for each file on the volume. (There are exceptions to this. For example, a highly-fragmented file can require multiple file records in the MFT to store the information about the many fragments that make up the file.) When an NTFS volume is first created, Windows reserves a portion of the volume for the MFT. As files are added to the disk volume, the MFT grows as additional file records are added to it. As the disk fills, it is possible for the MFT to outgrow the space originally reserved for it. When this happens, additional new space is reserved for the MFT, but this new space is usually not adjacent to the original MFT zone. This is the cause of MFT fragmentation.

Also, when free space becomes too low, files get written into the space reserved for the MFT, thus causing the MFT to eventually expand around these files in a fragmented manner. This is another common cause of MFT fragmentation.

The MFT configuration tool helps pre-extend the MFT in a contiguous manner, so future growth of the MFT will not result in fragmented extensions of the file. Approximately one spare file record is needed for each file that will occupy the volume in the future. The number of file records to add is determined in one of two ways:

Frag Shield recommends the size increase based on the estimated number of files that could occupy the volume. This estimate is based on the current average file size and amount of available free space.

You can enter in how many files you estimate will potentially occupy the volume.

Tip: Pre-extending the MFT can be beneficial in the early stages of setting up a computer system, including cases where you are creating “images” of the system to deploy to other computers.

Once the number of file records to add has been determined, Frag Shield ensures it is safe to add these records. In other words, there must be adequate free space in the volume (20% after the MFT has been expanded) and if adding the records would fragment the MFT, or the MFT is already too fragmented, then the MFT is defragmented and/or files are moved to allow the MFT to extend continuously. (Windows NT and Windows 2000 require MFT defragmentation be done at boot-time.)

On an ongoing basis, whenever analysis and defragmentation of the volume is done, the percentage of free MFT space is checked and if it is beyond a certain percentage of use, the Reliability pane shows this information, recommends the MFT configuration tool be run again, and provides a link to run the tool.

Note: Once the MFT is extended, it cannot be reduced in size without reformatting the volume.

Configuring Paging Files
The paging file is an area of a disk set aside to temporarily hold data intended to reside in computer memory. As the operating system needs physical memory (RAM), it temporarily moves less-used data from the RAM to the hard disk. Data is copied back and forth between the paging file and the system memory as needed. This is known as “paging” or “swapping”.

When Windows is first installed, a paging file is initially created based on the amount of physical memory (RAM) detected on your computer. Windows establishes both an initial and a maximum size for the paging file. Over time, this default paging file can become too small, so Windows extends the file, often in a non-contiguous manner. When the paging file becomes fragmented, it takes the operating system longer to move data into and out of the paging file, thus slowing the computer.

The Frag Shield paging file configuration tool helps you set the paging file size correctly and handles any fragmentation incurred during the process. By specifying a correct size for the paging file, you allow it to handle all the memory needs of the system without needing for it to grow and potentially fragment as a result. Since the paging file can only be defragmented when the computer boots, it is especially beneficial to prevent it from fragmenting.

One possible solution to paging file fragmentation is to choose a size for the paging file that is large enough to accommodate current and future memory needs in such a way that it would never grow, then set the initial and the maximum paging file sizes to this value. The main disadvantage to this approach is that it could increase the paging file size unnecessarily, thus robbing you of disk space.

Microsoft recommends the following method to determine the appropriate size of a paging file:

“You can also determine the appropriate size of a paging file by multiplying the Paging File\% Usage Peak counter value by the size of Pagefile.sys. The % Usage Peak counter indicates how much of the paging file is being used. Consider expanding the page file whenever either this counter reaches 70 percent of the total size in bytes of all paging files or the Memory\% Committed Bytes In Use counter reaches 85 percent, whichever occurs first.”

Frag Shield monitors these counters to periodically compute the appropriate size of the paging file. When you open Frag Shield, and whenever a defragmentation or analysis is done, Frag Shield uses the collected paging file usage data to make a recommendation as to whether the paging file minimum size and maximum size should be expanded, and by how much. You are given other basic statistical data regarding your memory usage and can elect to use the recommendation or choose different values for the initial and maximum paging file sizes.

When you choose to make size changes to the paging file, the paging file configuration tool determines if a reboot or defragmentation is needed and takes the necessary actions.

As a note, you might occasionally open a very large file or open many files at once, which will expand the paging file. Later, the operating system will reduce the page file in size. Thus, in this case it is beneficial to have a different initial and maximum paging file size, as it allows it to only take up space on the disk as needed. If expanding the page file under these circumstances would fragment it, when it is reduced in size again the extra fragments would be eliminated due to the size reduction. Therefore, some expansion and contraction is useful and does not cause any long term fragmentation.

On an ongoing basis, whenever analysis and defragmentation of the volume is done, the calculated optimum page file size is checked against the current page file size. If the current size is determined inadequate, the Reliability pane shows this information, recommends the page file configuration tool be run again, and provides a link to run it."

As I said on the review thread, I'll leave it there.
 
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"In fact, six out of ten drives, this week alone, needed to have the MFT adjusted by Frag-Shield.

All have improved performance."

In addition to text files from a vendor, which in this case would be expected to claim their product to enhance a computer's performance:

What were the specific performance parameter to measure this.
What was the value before any changes were made
What were all the changes made
What were the the values after these changes
 

topazbest

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Tip of the hat to all for the great help. Grab a chair and an adult beverage and listen to how this SLOW RUNNING XP PRO problem was solved with your help!

First off, don't get too confident that you have examined all the possibilities. A lot of users are quick to say, " I ALREADY CHECKED THAT" and go on , willy nilly. I would encourage all to check and DOUBLE CHECK every step of a process, regardless of how simple and mundane it may seem. Now on to the RESOLUTION OF THE MYSTERY! As you will recall, one of my posts made mention of my attempt to configure a NETWORK PRINTER on this XP PRO machine. I had downloaded 98 SE drivers onto the XP PRO machine so the other two 98 machines could print via this machine. Could not get printer to function, so deleted the drivers. OK, I THINK IT WAS BOB who posted, " TRY AND THINK OF ANY NEW PROGRAMS YOU HAD INSTALLED". I could not think of any PROGRAM installed but I did know that I had "fooled" with a printer. Recalling a post in a different forum about PRINTER CACHE, and how it would HANG a machines preformance, so I looked at the PRINTERS AVAILABLE, and found one labeled, "IMAGE PRINTER" with a small 2 under it. I right clicked and found "2 PRINT JOBS IN QUE", I deleted the jobs, and the ICON for IMAGE PRINTER disappered. I then rebooted... MACHINE IS NOW BACK UP TO SPEED, and EVEN QUICKER THANKS TO OTHER POSTS SUGGESTING DISKEEPER 9 DEFRAG and other tweaks for speed. I actually gained speed function. A computer I would think, rarely suddenly goes slow for no obvious reason less hardware issues, so it was ALL OF YOUR GREAT ARROWS THAT PUT ME ON THE ROAD TO ENLIGHTNMENT....you gave the clues for a successfull completion!!!!!!!! THANKS TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
 

RAM-PAGE

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G'day, and thanks for your really compelling reply! :)

It does us old folks good to think that we might still be of some use in this moden age of gizmophilia. :)

The three grumpy old men of computing have struck again! :D

Fine work on YOUR part!

I'll just crack another adult beverage so that I can celebrate!

Cheers, Topazbest, good on you!

Now all it needs is for Planet Repair Man to put all the trees back and we can all start over! ;)
 
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topazbest,

Thanks for letting me know that the question for what has changed made you take another look at that printer again. Glad I could wake up a few brains cells for you and help get your computer back the way you want.
 
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Rampage,

Still haven't heard back on the details

From another of your posts:

"In fact, six out of ten drives, this week alone, needed to have the MFT adjusted by Frag-Shield.

To help better understand the specifics:

1. What were the specific performance values to measure this. For example boot time, time to load different applications, shutdown time, etc.

2. What was the value before any changes were made.

3. What were all the changes made.

4. What were the the values after these changes.

It would be good to help understand.
 
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Rampage,

Maybe to help with you on this, to be more specific, what are the "better performance performance results" the many people are getting? Again, I would assume that if you are making the claim, would by now be a fair of data to back that up. Just haven't seen it.

1. Since there is the claim of increased performance, what is being increased? Boot time? Time to open various applications? Network throughput? It's got to be something that can be timed. A general sense of things being faster really doesn't offer that much. Then measure that performance before any changes are made.

2. Only make one change at a time. So if padding the MFT is supposedly what is increasing performance, just do that. Do not do any file cleanups, spyware scans, derfags etc.

3. Document the current configuration. So if padding MFT is the big performance gain, what was it before and after.

4. Then measure you performance again and post the results.
 
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