Causes of "Windows rot"

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Gullible Jones, Apr 23, 2012.

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  1. trismegistos

    trismegistos Registered Member

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    To expand what Mrkvonic said, I found these by googling:

    1) NTFS has to make 8.3 filesnames for every file (unless you tweak it via fsutil). Its gets progressively harder once your folder has a large number of files. Also applications that make the temp files, have to search for a unique name. I had a pokey old 4200 rpm drive, so each seek was very expensive, and lots of seeks were needed because (see point2)

    2) Size of the MFT. The Master File Table can become many hundreds of MB in size and won't be cached as often (or atleast more of it will pbe paged out all the time). ntfsinfo from Sys Interals will give you the deets...

    3) Each time the temp folder is enumerated - there's a lot more work to be done - esp. if you have a virus scanner that checks all the files in a folder, each time the folder is enumerated! I'd also been very aggresive with Windows Search indexing. Excluding the temp folder from the index, helped speed-up my computer too...


    EDIT:
    I also don't think registry optimizers(cleaning and defrag) do help much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  2. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    One of my XP machines is limited to only 1GB of RAM. Sometimes it's just like molasses in January. But by disabling the paging file and turning off System Restore, I inject new life into the old machine, and everything is much snappier.
     
  3. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    IMO, Windows rot is real, and doesn't require the user to be installing things all the time to happen. Windows is very capable of bloating itself. Windows update adds more code all the time. The original files get archived, more to store, index, etc. Applications, especially AVs, update themselves and continously get heavier in the process, more definitions, more running processes, services, etc. Temp files, especially those stored by Internet Explorer and flash player can build up to huge quantities, even when they're set not to.

    Earlier this week, I was servicing a PC for a friend and creating a full system backup for them. The amount of space being used surprised me as this user didn't have much installed. When I looked, there was over 1GB of files in the temporary internet files folders and subfolders. Upon further checking, I found Internet Explorer was already set to delete temp files when closed. I double checked the paths to make certain that they weren't leftovers from a previous setting. They weren't. The delete files setting is being ignored. Flash player had another 38,000 files stored in Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects totalling well over 1GB. That's with Flash Player storage settings one step above zero. How much does keeping all this indexed and stored in the file tables slow a PC? By the time I was done cleaning, I'd reduced the disk space usage by almost 6GB and well over 50,000 files, all garbage.

    This PC definitely picked up speed afterwards. With anything near "out of the box" settings, Windows is a garbage collector. It even makes its own garbage with it's update process. In the vast majority of cases, those archived files will never get used again. When updated, applications occasionally change where they store files. When they do, the updates don't get rid of the old files. Like everything else, they just accumulate. Most every XP install I've worked on could easily have its "post cleaned" size cut in half or more without losing anything at all. Getting rid of all that excess does speed Windows up. On my PCs, the difference was very obvious.
     
  4. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    You cant blame windows for third party programs not cleaning up after themselfs.
     
  5. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    No, you can't, but it does cause Windows to slow down. That said, Windows is guilty of the same thing.
     
  6. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    Hello. There's the #1 cause of any 'slowdown', right there.

    And folks who buy (bought) the average XP bargain computer with 256MB of RAM installed, then never increase their RAM while at the same time installing five or six different security programs that all want to be doing real-time and boot-time scans.

    Toss in Skype and/or a few other bandwidth and memory-intensive programs onto the machine that also all have auto update and boot services running-- then it's time to sit back and scratch the head, wondering why the machine no longer boots and responds in the same manner it did when fresh and without all those programs.

    The popular first attempted fix: To disable a bunch of inherent Windows services that need to be running for optimal performance, because it was gleaned from the internet that disabling those services would be just what the doctor ordered.
    Though since that slowed down the machine even more, as well as caused a bunch of error messages, must be time to run a reg cleaner and let that program remove any entries it flags.

    Voila! Umm . . . "feexed". Oh yeah. But good, too. ;) :D
     
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