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Thread: Speed up HDD Access

  1. #1
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    Exclamation Speed up HDD Access

    This tip is for those of you who work with large files or HDD intensive programs. Did you know that you can optimize your file allocation size for a bit more performance? Well you can. Now, everyone knows how frustrating it can be when you're waiting for a large photoshop file to load thanks to the slow HDD, but there is a tweak for this.
    For users of Win2k/XP, load up regedit (Start, Run and type regedit). Follow this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> Session Manager -> Memory Management. Inside there add the DWORD ContigFileAllocSize and and modify it's value to 512 while using decimal base. After this modification, you will have to reboot and defrag your HDD. Once everything is done, you should notice your HDD intensive apps run just a bit faster.

  2. #2
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    After enabling this tweak, PerfectDisk really flies now! 12 seconds to defragment my drive! I also notice my hard drives churn less now.

  3. #3
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Hmmm and just what does this tweak do, 512 is not a good file allocation size for NTFS...I'm leary, please explain....

  4. #4
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FastGame
    Hmmm and just what does this tweak do, 512 is not a good file allocation size for NTFS...I'm leary, please explain....
    Not really sure myself, just experimenting!

  5. #5
    Junior Member PCWriter's Avatar
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    Re: Speed up HDD Access

    Originally posted by Dehcbad25
    This tip is for those of you who work with large files or HDD intensive programs. Did you know that you can optimize your file allocation size for a bit more performance? Well you can. Now, everyone knows how frustrating it can be when you're waiting for a large photoshop file to load thanks to the slow HDD, but there is a tweak for this.
    For users of Win2k/XP, load up regedit (Start, Run and type regedit). Follow this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> Session Manager -> Memory Management. Inside there add the DWORD ContigFileAllocSize and and modify it's value to 512 while using decimal base. After this modification, you will have to reboot and defrag your HDD. Once everything is done, you should notice your HDD intensive apps run just a bit faster.
    This is fine and dandy if you have a 120 GB + hard drive, otherwise you are losing a vast amount of data storage space by allocating your sectors to 512 Kb instead of 4 or 8 Kb. Figure out the math...
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  6. #6
    Triple Platinum Member Thor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Conan
    After enabling this tweak, PerfectDisk really flies now! 12 seconds to defragment my drive! I also notice my hard drives churn less now.
    Perfect Disk flies because it has far fewer sectors to go through.

  7. #7
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thor
    Perfect Disk flies because it has far fewer sectors to go through.
    So is this a bad tweak or not? So far I have not seen any ill effects but you never know.

  8. #8
    Triple Platinum Member Thor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Conan
    So is this a bad tweak or not? So far I have not seen any ill effects but you never know.
    What this all means is this.

    Say you have a 17KB file and your sectors are set to 4KB. 20KB will then have to be used to store the file. 4+4+4+4+1........that last 1 will use a whole 4kb sector. Now.if you have your sectors set to 16KB then the file will take up 32KB.......16 KB in one sector and the leftover 1KB taking up another full 16KB sector.

    Expand this to the 512KB sectors and you can readily see the difference. That same 17KB file will now lock up a full 512KB for storage.

    Sure, things will be faster but at, IMO, a huge loss in storage space. Even with 120, 160 or better gigabyte drives you'll eat up the space quickly.

  9. #9
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Okay I'll set it back to default value then.

  10. #10
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    I think Dehc noted that you should do it if you are using lots of Big files, not so many small files, obviously less than 512kb.

    I guess this would be good for Video Editing or wav recording etc, large files. And probably with emphasis on intensive file I/O.

    Does anyone do this? has the tweak helped for this case?

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  11. #11
    Triple Platinum Member Thor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cash_site
    I think Dehc noted that you should do it if you are using lots of Big files, not so many small files, obviously less than 512kb.

    I guess this would be good for Video Editing or wav recording etc, large files. And probably with emphasis on intensive file I/O.

    Does anyone do this? has the tweak helped for this case?
    Your right, cash_site, but that 'fix' would still only be for a limited number of people out of the vast array of users. Not something for everyone to hop on 'willy, nilly'.
    Last edited by Thor; August 18th, 2003 at 20:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Thor
    Your right, Reverend, but that 'fix' would still only be for a limited number of people out of the vast array of users. Not something for everyone to hop on 'willy, nilly'.
    Reverend?

  13. #13
    Triple Platinum Member Thor's Avatar
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    Been gone for a while. Sorry Reverend, I meant cash_site.


    Edited post.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Conan
    Okay I'll set it back to default value then.
    Do you remember them ?? win2k??

    Ruben

  15. #15
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tosbsas
    Do you remember them ?? win2k??

    Ruben
    I just deleted the new DWORD that I created for that tweak "ContigFileAllocSize". I'm using Windows XP by the way.

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