Registry Hack – Prefetch

Introduction to Prefetch

As the name suggests, Prefetch will improve the speed of the operating system starting or indeed applications such as Word for Windows opening.

Topics for Prefetch

Investigating Prefetch

I suggest that the place to start is not with Regedit, but in the Windows\Prefetch folder.  A quick inspection will reveal: and probably other .pf (PreFetch) files.  As the machine boots, or applications open, so the Cache Manager monitors the disk access.  The idea is that the next time the machine starts or an application executes, the Cache Manager reads the file the appropriate .pf file with its prediction of the disk areas that will be needed in the first 10 seconds of starting.

Your Decision

Do you like Prefetch, or hate it?  Do you want Prefetch just for the operating system or would you also like applications to benefit from this feature?

What you are looking for in the registry is RegDword called EnablePrefetcher, this is how you can set the values:

EnablePrefetcher settings for the DWORD:
0 = Disabled
1 = Application Launch
2 = Boot Prefetch
3 = Prefetch All

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Getting Started

The best executable to hack the registry is Regedit.exe.  Go to the START (Button), RUN, REGEDIT (Type), OK (Button).  The Windows 2003 version remembers the last place you visited which is useful if you use Regedit often.

If you are still not sure how to start Regedit,click here.

Instructions to Adjust Prefetch

1) Launch Regedit

2) Navigate to
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

3) Double click on EnablePrefetcher and set it 3.  This means enable prefetching for all programs.  Naturally, you need to reboot the machine before the new registry settings take effect.

4) If for some reason there is no EnablePrefetcher, then you can add a new DWORD see diagram below.

Prefetch Windows XP EnablePrefetcher registry setting

Here is zipped, .reg file to make the change automatically.  Incidentally, you could extract the file and then read or edit with notepad.  My thinking is that notepad will help you learn about the path.

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