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Disable Prefetch for low memory systems

Posted March 2003 by Steve Sinchak

If you're like me your system only has about 128megs of RAM.  The Windows XP Prefetch can take a lot of this up by preloading programs at boot as well as preloading programs you often use thus sucking away your available RAM.

On my system, a Dell PIII 866 with 128 megs of RAM, I was able to greatly boast my system performance by disabling Prefetch all together.  It used to take a half hour for the disk to stop thrashing after stopping Nortons SpeeDisk,  Now it stops instantly.

Note:  This tweak worked for this user and their system configuration but disabling prefetch on other systems may have a bad effect as it might free up ram but it also could increase program start up time.

Here's how to disable Prefetch.

  1. run "regedit";
  2. goto [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher];
  3. Set the value to either 0-Disable.
  4. reboot.

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