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Thread: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    I want some information in cleaning the layout.ini file in Windows XP 64bit. Does this really help to boost up my system performance. 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 That seems ok.But my LAYOUT.INI file has kept lots of old and out of date entries.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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    It is useful to periodically purge the prefetch folder: This speeds up Windows.. 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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    Before doing any changes it is recommended that you must understand what is the prefetch folder (C: \ WINDOWS \ Prefetch). You can force a boot optimization by doing the following. Click on Start > Run > type cmd > OK. Then in the command prompt type defrag c: -boot and hit Enter. Also there is a Disk Layout that can be manually forced by cmd command Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    Here is how prefetch works. At first launch the program, Windows will scan (10 seconds) which files the program accesses, and notes in one file in the prefetch. Subsequent launches during the treatment phases of the program, Windows will take the opportunity to get ahead of the files the program will need. A launch programs faster. 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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    In addition, the prefetch system is also active when Windows starts, to chart loading files at startup (and optimize the Windows startup). 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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    There is no need to purge this file, because Windows limits it to 128 files anyway.Delete the contents of this folder will therefore only reduce the performance of Windows. Disable the prefetch will deprive you also made performance improvements. 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. The first is using a third party disk defragmenter. That app should take care of it and the second is 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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: What is the way to clean layout.ini file in Windows

    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).

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