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What can I do to make sure that the prefetch feature is active in my Windows Vista ?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the search box on the start menu type services.msc and scroll down to Superfetch. If it says it is started, then it is running. It should always be running unless you have disabled it previously.

If you need to enable it, you can double click on the service and set Startup Type to automatic and reboot.

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is superfetch the same as prefetch ? – Radi May 28 '10 at 10:47
@radi, it was renamed to superfetch in Vista/7, so yes. – MDMarra May 28 '10 at 15:35

From Use XP's Prefetch feature to improve system performance :

The registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters contains EnablePrefetcher which may have the following values:

  • 0—Disable
  • 1—Application Launch Prefetch
  • 2—Boot Prefetch
  • 3—Prefetch everything

To change the value, double-click it. You'll then see the Edit DWORD Value screen. Enter the value representing the level of prefetching you want in the Value Data field.

Verify that it is set it to 3.

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how much performance does this boost ? – nXqd May 27 '10 at 15:42
@nXqd: The real answer is - nobody knows. As far as my understanding goes, it would be useful only for very special setups. So I wouldn't monkey with it and leave it as the default (1). – harrymc May 27 '10 at 19:24

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