Someone suggested deleting the contents of the Prefetch directory in Windows XP on a weekly basis, to speed up the boot process. Is that good advice?
Few months ago, my friends suggested me to do it. And I did it for about last 3 months. For the first 2 months, it was okay. Nothing wrong occured on my PC even though I didn't feel any different for the boot process.
You guys know what happened next? I can't run my WMP (Windows Media Player) because an internal application error has occured. When I tried to trace what the problem is, I was shocked when it displayed the target to "prefetch" directory. OMG, I've emptied the prefetch contents! I already tried to re-install the WMP from a CD but still it didn't work anyway.
Another problem comes when I log in to my Yahoo! Messenger. I can't see what I've written or what my friend wrote. So did my McAfee Security Center front page. I can't see the menu hence (it displayed a blank page) I can't run its application to scan my computer.
I called my friend (who currently studies at Bina Nusantara University) to ask about this problem. He insisted that he didn't give me a bad advice and if I wanted to see the proof, he would show the magazine that suggests it as well. I asked him whether he had a problem with his computer programmes, but fortunately he said NO.
I don't have any idea who's right or wrong in this case. I feel like an idiot. My boyfriend told me to format my computer since there were no other way to solve the problem. I'm gonna do it later for sure, as soon as my mid-exams done.
Here's some information my boyfriend gave me from Ed Bott's blog:
You can see the full of his post here.
The Prefetch directory serves a valuable purpose by analyzing files that you use at startup and when you run programs. Contrary to what some well-meaning but technically inaccurate articles suggest, this does not copy the files themselves. It creates an index to the location of those files on the hard disk, including the order in which they’re loaded. This allows Windows and Windows programs to start very quickly after the first time you use them.
The Prefetch directory has one additional salutary function when used in conjunction with the built-in defragmenting tool. Every three days, during idle times, this utility rearranges program code, moving it to the outside of the disk to make it more efficient when loading (to force Windows to perform this optimization without having to do a full defragmentation, use the Defrag.exe command with the -b switch. For instance: defrag c: -b).
Overall, deleting content of Prefetch Directory is a BAD ADVICE! Keep that in mind!