Adjusting Windows XP Prefetcher settings

The Windows XP Prefetcher reduces the amount of time it takes Windows to boot and can speed up the launch of applications. It does this by monitoring which programs initialize when the Operating System is booted, then in the future, fetches them quickly via trace files. Although prefetcher is enabled by default, we can easily improve on its performance by adjusting or tweaking it's value to make Windows boot faster.

Note: The performance gains attained by adjusting the prefetcher settings is a debatable and controversial subject. I have personally seen a perceivable difference in performance by tweaking the prefetcher values on various machines and stand by my results. Your results may vary.

Modifying Windows XP Prefetcher Settings:

  1. Click Start ->Run and type regedit in the Run Box
  2. From the Registry Editor, Find the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlSet / Control / Session Manager / Memory Management / PrefetchParameters
  3. Find the value EnablePrefetcher. Default, it should be set to 3. I recommended setting the prefetcher to 5. Feel free to play around with it and find out what works best for you.