I would like to ask what is the difference in Windows 7 between these two settings in managing layout.ini and files needed to start the computer in PerfectDisk 11 Professional: (1) 'Let PerfectDisk manage (recommended)' and (2) 'Let PerfectDisk manage all layout.ini files (Workstation only)'. I've read the help file but I can't discern the difference between the two for Windows 7.

Also, if I understood correctly, Windows 7, by default, repositions files in the layout.ini every three days. If I set PerfectDisk to 'Let PerfectDisk manage (recommended)' or 'Let PerfectDisk manage all layout.ini files (Workstation only)', will it also reposition these files every three days? If not, when and how frequent does PerfectDisk manage these files and what does PerfectDisk do when it 'manages' these files?


From Boot quicker -- Speed up boot times with smarter boot time defrag :

Let PerfectDisk Manage

This option is the recommended option and is selected by default . If selected, PerfectDisk optimizes the location of the files needed to start your computer. This decreases the time necessary to reboot your computer, so you boot quicker. If not managed by the Operating System or PerfectDisk, your computer could become unbootable if a file needed to boot the system is moved beyond the BIOS limit of your computer. This is a subset of the files listed in the layout.ini file (i.e. only those needed to boot the operating system).

Let PerfectDisk Manage all layout.ini files

The file stores every file that is accessed from the moment you power up your computer to one minute after the desktop appears. By placing files on the disk in the exact order recorded in the layout.ini file, your machine boots faster. With all Windows versions starting with Windows XP through Windows 7, Microsoft includes a prefetch routine, which reads this file and loads the files in memory prior to them being needed. In this way, the operating system can access the files faster during boot up. If selected, PerfectDisk defragments and places all the files listed in the layout.ini file in order, starting at the beginning of your disk. This list contains all files loaded by Windows from the second you turn on your computer until about 1 minute after the desktop appears. This list not only contains the files needed to boot, but also the applications you routinely start after the system has booted.

Therefore the difference is whether PerfectDisk only optimizes operating system files or all files in the layout.ini file.

  • Thanks for this. If I let PerfectDisk manage with either option, when and how frequent does PerfectDisk manage these files and what does PerfectDisk do when it 'manages' these files (compared to Windows 7's default layout.ini management behavior, which 'repositions' files in the layout.ini every three days)? – galacticninja Nov 26 '10 at 13:54
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    This is not the same repositioning: Windows repositions entries in the layout file, while PerfectDisk repositions the files physically on the disk. PerfectDisk doesn't update the file, only uses the info recorded in there by Windows. The names chosen for the 2 above options are not too descriptive of their true function. – harrymc Nov 26 '10 at 14:39
  • Does Windows 7 also do any sort of physical repositioning when it is set to manage the layout.ini file, and not PerfectDisk? Also, how frequent does PerfectDisk reposition the layout.ini files, when it is set to manage it? Is it only done when I do an online SmartPlacement defrag? – galacticninja Nov 27 '10 at 8:44
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    Windows never moves any file physically in daily usage, only PerfectDisk does. So PerfectDisk never "manages" the layout.ini file : It manages the files that layout.ini points to. That's what I meant by this option being badly named. – harrymc Nov 27 '10 at 9:05

I would add that when PerfectDisk is configured to manage layout files that PerfectDisk configures Windows so that Windows does not attempt to re-position layout files on disk. This means that both PD and Windows won’t both be trying to place these files – possibly conflicting with each other. PD places boot/layout files every time a SMARTPlacement defrag pass is run on the drive – manual defrag, scheduled defrag or StealthPatrol.

FYI -- the latest version of PerfectDisk is 12.5, but this is true for PD 11 as well.

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