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Cleaning LAYOUT.INI

 
 
Alex Coleman
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Posts: n/a
 
      8th Oct 2005
I run XP Pro/SP1 and the PREFETCH folder contains 137 items. That
seems ok.

But my LAYOUT.INI file has kept lots of old and out of date entries.
It 7,084 entries each pointing to a file or folder.

That seems way too many!

Very many of these entries refer to hard drives which are no longer
in the system and to files which have been moved to another drive.
Also to applications which have been removed or to folders which no
longer exist.

Is there a way to clean up my LAYOUT.INI?

I have used BOOTVIS a few times in the past but it has not helped
with LAYOUT.INI.
 
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R. McCarty
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      8th Oct 2005
Prefetching is a self-maintaining utility. Many XP Tweakers find that
purging prefetch is an itch they have to scratch. If you empty it, after
the appropriate # of reboots it will repopulate the folder. However,
I've seen cases where the Layout.Ini will not get re-created and the
benefits of Prefetching are lost. Also, if you manually edit the Layout
file it may in effect corrupt it. If you're intent on doing it, Backup the
folder to a alternate location (Just in Case). Then purge it, Run all
your programs a few times, Reboot 4-5 times and then to force a
manual rebuild - Click Start, Run and enter the following String.
rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks [Enter]
Once the command completes, check the contents of Layout.Ini &
make sure the data is rebuilt. Run Defrag.

However, I would just leave the folder alone.

"Alex Coleman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:96E99096CDFCF31E75@204.153.244.170...
>I run XP Pro/SP1 and the PREFETCH folder contains 137 items. That
> seems ok.
>
> But my LAYOUT.INI file has kept lots of old and out of date entries.
> It 7,084 entries each pointing to a file or folder.
>
> That seems way too many!
>
> Very many of these entries refer to hard drives which are no longer
> in the system and to files which have been moved to another drive.
> Also to applications which have been removed or to folders which no
> longer exist.
>
> Is there a way to clean up my LAYOUT.INI?
>
> I have used BOOTVIS a few times in the past but it has not helped
> with LAYOUT.INI.



 
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Wesley Vogel
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      8th Oct 2005
You can force a boot optimization by doing the following:
Start | Run | Type: cmd | OK |
Type:

defrag c: -boot

Hit Enter

Also...

Disk Layout can be manually forced by...
Start | Run | Type: cmd | OK |
Type:

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

Hit Enter

[[It can take 10 to 15 minutes for idle tasks to complete. Task Manager will
report processes running, and the disk will likely be active during this
time.]]

To see what happened, navigate to >>>
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
Value Name: OptimizeComplete
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Yes or N
If Yes, boot optimization was completed.
If No there will be an entry in OptimizeError.

Value Name: OptimizeError
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Insufficient space or Insufficient Resources

--
Hope this helps. Let us know.

Wes
MS-MVP Windows Shell/User

In news:96E99096CDFCF31E75@204.153.244.170,
Alex Coleman <(E-Mail Removed)> hunted and pecked:
> I run XP Pro/SP1 and the PREFETCH folder contains 137 items. That
> seems ok.
>
> But my LAYOUT.INI file has kept lots of old and out of date entries.
> It 7,084 entries each pointing to a file or folder.
>
> That seems way too many!
>
> Very many of these entries refer to hard drives which are no longer
> in the system and to files which have been moved to another drive.
> Also to applications which have been removed or to folders which no
> longer exist.
>
> Is there a way to clean up my LAYOUT.INI?
>
> I have used BOOTVIS a few times in the past but it has not helped
> with LAYOUT.INI.


 
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frodo@theshire.org
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10th Oct 2005
In microsoft.public.windowsxp.general Wesley Vogel <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> You can force a boot optimization by doing the following:
> Start | Run | Type: cmd | OK |
> Type:


> defrag c: -b


> Hit Enter


> Also...


> Disk Layout can be manually forced by...
> Start | Run | Type: cmd | OK |
> Type:


> Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks


> Hit Enter


FWIW, doing the ProcessIdleTasks will automatically do the defrag -b
afterwards, _IF_ you have not disabled boot-defrag via the registry
(or via a util like CacheMan, TweakUI, or PerfectDisk).
 
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Alex Coleman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10th Oct 2005
On Sat 08 Oct 2005 14:23:58, R. McCarty wrote:
<news:(E-Mail Removed)>
>
> Prefetching is a self-maintaining utility. Many XP Tweakers find
> that purging prefetch is an itch they have to scratch. If you
> empty it, after the appropriate # of reboots it will repopulate
> the folder. However, I've seen cases where the Layout.Ini will
> not get re-created and the benefits of Prefetching are lost.
> Also, if you manually edit the Layout file it may in effect
> corrupt it. If you're intent on doing it, Backup the folder to a
> alternate location (Just in Case). Then purge it, Run all your
> programs a few times, Reboot 4-5 times and then to force a
> manual rebuild - Click Start, Run and enter the following
> String. rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks [Enter]
> Once the command completes, check the contents of Layout.Ini &
> make sure the data is rebuilt. Run Defrag.
>
> However, I would just leave the folder alone.



I do not suggest I mess with the PREFETCH folder. But LAYOUT.INI is
another matter. It's 7,000 entries seem excessive in my situation.

I have booted the PC maybe 100 times since some of my LAYOUT.INI
entries were made obsolete. So I have little hope that it will
correct itself.

Is there perhaps a registry setting or some other control which may
have got tweaked to enable/disable the update of LAYOUT.INI?
 
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Alex Coleman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10th Oct 2005
> Alex Coleman <(E-Mail Removed)> hunted and pecked:
>
>>
>> I run XP Pro/SP1 and the PREFETCH folder contains 137 items.
>> That seems ok.
>>
>> But my LAYOUT.INI file has kept lots of old and out of date
>> entries. It 7,084 entries each pointing to a file or folder.
>>
>> That seems way too many!
>>
>> Very many of these entries refer to hard drives which are no
>> longer in the system and to files which have been moved to
>> another drive. Also to applications which have been removed or
>> to folders which no longer exist.
>>
>> Is there a way to clean up my LAYOUT.INI?
>>
>> I have used BOOTVIS a few times in the past but it has not
>> helped with LAYOUT.INI.



"Wesley Vogel" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>
> You can force a boot optimization by doing the following:
> Start | Run | Type: cmd | OK |
> Type:
>

-- snip --
>
>
> Hope this helps. Let us know.
> Wes
> MS-MVP Windows Shell/User



Wes, I have been using Perfectdisk and have configured it to use
Window's boot settings.

Could this be the reason I am getting this too-large LAYOUT.INI?
I have found that if I get Perfectdisk to manage how it
defragments and places the boot files then the result is poorer
than if I use the Windows settings (which I guess were once based
on a Bootvis run I did a few weeks ago).
 
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R. McCarty
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10th Oct 2005
As I said earlier there is nothing stopping you from removing the
Layout.Ini file. As test case, I just went to my Prefetch folder
and renamed Layout.Ini Layout.Org (Original), I then invoked
the ProcessIdleTasks command. I went back to Prefetch and it
had recreated a "Brand New" Layout.Ini file for me. So if you
wish you can try this and see if the Layout.Ini that is recreated
contains the more current data you expect to see. In my own
test case the size of the resultant file was nearly identical 260 KBs.

Purging/Cleaning it out is OK - as long as you verify a manual
rebuild does indeed recreate the Layout.Ini

"Alex Coleman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:96EBC1D9C6E9A31E75@204.153.244.170...
> On Sat 08 Oct 2005 14:23:58, R. McCarty wrote:
> <news:(E-Mail Removed)>
>>
>> Prefetching is a self-maintaining utility. Many XP Tweakers find
>> that purging prefetch is an itch they have to scratch. If you
>> empty it, after the appropriate # of reboots it will repopulate
>> the folder. However, I've seen cases where the Layout.Ini will
>> not get re-created and the benefits of Prefetching are lost.
>> Also, if you manually edit the Layout file it may in effect
>> corrupt it. If you're intent on doing it, Backup the folder to a
>> alternate location (Just in Case). Then purge it, Run all your
>> programs a few times, Reboot 4-5 times and then to force a
>> manual rebuild - Click Start, Run and enter the following
>> String. rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks [Enter]
>> Once the command completes, check the contents of Layout.Ini &
>> make sure the data is rebuilt. Run Defrag.
>>
>> However, I would just leave the folder alone.

>
>
> I do not suggest I mess with the PREFETCH folder. But LAYOUT.INI is
> another matter. It's 7,000 entries seem excessive in my situation.
>
> I have booted the PC maybe 100 times since some of my LAYOUT.INI
> entries were made obsolete. So I have little hope that it will
> correct itself.
>
> Is there perhaps a registry setting or some other control which may
> have got tweaked to enable/disable the update of LAYOUT.INI?



 
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Wesley Vogel
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10th Oct 2005
These services need to be set to Automatic and running.
System Event Notification
Task Scheduler

First, I do not know anything about PerfectDisk. PerfectDisk may have it's
own version of Prefetch.

Disadvantages of Optimize hard disk when idle:
• Using a third party disk defragmenter. That app should take care of it.
• Running a laptop with a battery; defragmenting can use up power.

PerfectDisk should take care of optimizing the hard disk when idle.

The following info is from various sources and my own experience and relates
to XP's native defrag utilities.

Maybe there will be a clue in the following.

[[Windows XP Professional monitors the files that are used when the computer
starts and when you start applications. By monitoring these files, Windows
XP Professional can prefetch them. Prefetching data is the process whereby
data that is expected to be requested is read ahead into the cache.
Prefetching boot files and applications decreases the time needed to start
Windows XP Professional and start applications.

Prefetching is further improved if the files are located next to each other
on the outer edge of the disk. Windows XP Professional optimizes the
location of boot files and applications when the computer is idle. The
optimization occurs in the background and lasts only a minute or two; you
might hear the hard disk being accessed when optimization occurs. After the
initial optimization takes place, subsequent optimization occurs, at most,
every three days. {Three boots.}

When you run the Disk Defragmenter tools that are included with Windows XP
Professional, they can perform any optimization updates that are scheduled
to take place during the next idle period. The Disk Defragmenter tools do
not disturb the existing layout of optimized boot files and applications.

Note
Computers running Windows XP Home Edition also prefetch and optimize boot
files and applications.]]
From…
Optimizing Startup Times by Using Defragmentation Tools
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d...d_tro_uutk.asp

Prefetch uses DFRGNTFS.EXE and DEFRAG.EXE on NTFS formatted drives. I have
no idea about FAT32.

These services need to be set to Automatic and running.
System Event Notification
Task Scheduler

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory
Management\PrefetchParameters

Value Name: EnablePrefetcher
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0, 1, 2 or 3
Values are:
0 = disabled
1 = Application launch prefetching
2 = Boot prefetching
3 = Both Application & boot prefetching

3 seems to be the preferred option. 3 is parameters 1 and 2 ANDed.

Value Name: RootDirPath (Path to %systemroot%\Prefetch folder)
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Prefetch

This is what (E-Mail Removed) was referring to.

TweakUI
[+] General
Optimize hard disk when idle
[[This allows Windows to rearrange files on the hard disk when the computer
is not in use to improve performance. This is a system wide setting which
requires a restart for changes to take effect.]]

TweakUI changes this key to 0 or 1...

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OptimalLayout
Value Name: EnableAutoLayout
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0 or 1
0 = disabled
1 = enabled

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OptimalLayout
Value Name: LayoutFilePath
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\Layout.ini

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
Value Name: Enable
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Y or N

[[Accepted values for this entry are Y or N. If the entry is set to Y,
Windows automatically optimizes the file location for boot optimization.
This optimization occurs automatically if the system is idle for 10 minutes.
Boot optimization improves startup time by locating startup files in
contiguous clusters on the volume, reducing the movement of the disk head
when reading the volume.]]

Value Data needs to be Y.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction

Value Name: LcnEndLocation (disk address, end location on the hard drive)
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Some number (disk address)

Value Name: LcnStartLocation (disk address, start location on the hard
drive)
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Some number (disk address)

Value Name: OptimizeComplete
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Yes or No
If Yes, boot optimization was completed.
If No there will be an entry in OptimizeError.

Value Name: OptimizeError
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: Insufficient space or Insufficient Resources

The above registry Value Names refer to running defrag, defrag c: -boot or
Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks.

You can delete the contents of %windir%\Prefetch\layout.ini or delete
layout.ini altogether and Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks should
rebuild or recreate the layout.ini. You can do nothing to layout.ini and
Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks should rebuild it.

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks will rebuild the layout.ini file,
even if it has been deleted from %windir%\Prefetch. Layout.ini is the
OptimalLayoutFile. [OptimalLayoutFile] is the first line in layout.ini.

Layout.ini is what keeps track of this...

[[XP keeps track of files used by every application. After several launches
of the same application, it has some sense of what files are required.
Thereafter, it uses an algorithm that says, basically, if a file has not
been used in the last six launches, it is marked for removal; if a file has
been used in the last two launches, it's marked for inclusion. Then based
on these notations, Windows XP determines which files need to be brought
into the block, and which ones moved out. When this move will take place
depends on several factors, such as how recently files were moved for this
application, and when the machine is available? Consistent with the idea
that disk activity should not interfere with performance, Windows XP won't
move the application files unless there has been no user-initiated I/O
activity for 13 minutes. Microsoft presumes this means the user is away
from the machine. It then begins migrating the files to the optimal place
on the disk.]]
From...
Performance Enhancements in Windows® XP
http://windowsxp.devx.com/articles/perfen/default.asp

--
Hope this helps. Let us know.

Wes
MS-MVP Windows Shell/User

In news:96EBC2AAD8C5D31E75@204.153.244.170,
Alex Coleman <(E-Mail Removed)> hunted and pecked:
>> Alex Coleman <(E-Mail Removed)> hunted and pecked:
>>
>>>
>>> I run XP Pro/SP1 and the PREFETCH folder contains 137 items.
>>> That seems ok.
>>>
>>> But my LAYOUT.INI file has kept lots of old and out of date
>>> entries. It 7,084 entries each pointing to a file or folder.
>>>
>>> That seems way too many!
>>>
>>> Very many of these entries refer to hard drives which are no
>>> longer in the system and to files which have been moved to
>>> another drive. Also to applications which have been removed or
>>> to folders which no longer exist.
>>>
>>> Is there a way to clean up my LAYOUT.INI?
>>>
>>> I have used BOOTVIS a few times in the past but it has not
>>> helped with LAYOUT.INI.

>
>
> "Wesley Vogel" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>>
>> You can force a boot optimization by doing the following:
>> Start | Run | Type: cmd | OK |
>> Type:
>>

> -- snip --
>>
>>
>> Hope this helps. Let us know.
>> Wes
>> MS-MVP Windows Shell/User

>
>
> Wes, I have been using Perfectdisk and have configured it to use
> Window's boot settings.
>
> Could this be the reason I am getting this too-large LAYOUT.INI?
> I have found that if I get Perfectdisk to manage how it
> defragments and places the boot files then the result is poorer
> than if I use the Windows settings (which I guess were once based
> on a Bootvis run I did a few weeks ago).


 
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frodo@theshire.org
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11th Oct 2005
If you tell Perfect Disk to "manage boot files" itself (the recommended
setting), what happens is that it sets the reg to PREVENT processidletasks
from kicking off the "defrag c: -b". [This is the same thing that
UNChecking TweakUI's "optimize HD when Idle" would do]. PD then does its
own version of the prefetch optimize whenever you trigger perfect disk to
defragment - it does not do any "background" or "when idle" defrag in
place of defrag c: -b. IMHO it does a slightly better job, because it
moves the bootup files to the front of the disk (the purple files in its
display), rather than to just any open place as defrag c: -b does. But it
only does it for the boot partition (the one w/ \windows), and not any
others (PD 7 at least). So, if you're in the habit of using a diff
partition for your \Progam Files directory the it won't benefit. You can
use defrag d: -b for it (d: or whatever its letter).

What I do:

manually force the processidletasks to get the layout.ini to rebuild, then
manually run PD, then (sometimes) do a "defrag f: -b" to get my program
files partition optimized too.

I typically only bother to do this once a month, usually a day or two
after "black tuesday". Or if I do a major application install/remove.

 
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Alex Coleman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11th Oct 2005
On Tue 11 Oct 2005 02:01:29, wrote:
<news:(E-Mail Removed)>

> If you tell Perfect Disk to "manage boot files" itself (the
> recommended setting), what happens is that it sets the reg to
> PREVENT processidletasks from kicking off the "defrag c: -b".
> [This is the same thing that UNChecking TweakUI's "optimize HD
> when Idle" would do]. PD then does its own version of the
> prefetch optimize whenever you trigger perfect disk to
> defragment - it does not do any "background" or "when idle"
> defrag in place of defrag c: -b. IMHO it does a slightly better
> job, because it moves the bootup files to the front of the disk
> (the purple files in its display), rather than to just any open
> place as defrag c: -b does. But it only does it for the boot
> partition (the one w/ \windows), and not any others (PD 7 at
> least). So, if you're in the habit of using a diff partition
> for your \Progam Files directory the it won't benefit. You can
> use defrag d: -b for it (d: or whatever its letter).
>
> What I do:
>
> manually force the processidletasks to get the layout.ini to
> rebuild, then manually run PD, then (sometimes) do a "defrag f:
> -b" to get my program files partition optimized too.



Frodo, what you write here might explain something which puzzled me.

When I tried version 7 it had the two middle options (out of four
options) for boot optimization grayed out.

So I uninstalled 7 and went back to 6. Maybe those two options were
grayed out because my ProcessIdleTasks was set to OFF. Could you
confirm this happens.

If I can get all four Perfectdisk options to show then I will go to
version 7 again.
 
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