Vista — svchost.exe Random Reads. SuperFetch?

UPDATE: I have since found out that the problem I mention below with the random reads was caused by something else, a certain Adobe CS3 program that was attempting to generate thumbnails by digging into 1.5gb Data images. Still, SuperFetch does account for some random reads. 


Turning off the indexing service was great. Finding out about SuperFetch was even better.


SuperFetch is a technology that pre-loads commonly used applications into the memory to reduce their load times. It’s based on the “prefetcher” function in Windows XP[7]

The intent is to improve performance in situations where running an anti-virus scan or back-up utility would result in otherwise recently-used information being paged out to disk, or disposed from in-memory caches, resulting in lengthy delays when a user comes back to their computer after a period of non-use.

SuperFetch also keeps track of what times of day that applications are used, which allows it to intelligently pre-load information that is expected to be used in the near future


I think the bottom line is that nothing can intelligently decide what is best for you. While “wasted CPU cycles” sounds, well, wasteful, I could care less if the alternative is some background process I have no idea about slowing down my computer when I need it the most. 


SuperFetch: “keeps track of what times of day that applications are used, which allows it to intelligently pre-load…” so this is why a completely random CD ISO on my desktop was being accessed at full read. The ‘last time’ it was accessed was upon installing the contents. Pre-loading that huge image would have done nothing for me. I think it might serve a cause if you are amazingly predictable and SuperFetch has a long time to get to know your patterns / determine what ISNT a pattern, like my single use ISO. With that disclaimer out of the way, I’ll still never use it again.

To disable SuperFetch, go to Start > type in services.msc > find SuperFetch, go to properties, change startup type to disable, then right click SuperFetch and click stop

It’s amazing having a quiet computer now. 

The main reason I invest in high end computers is: to save myself from the frustration of dealing with slow machines. The waiting game as you think; “really? more problems?” It is THE biggest productivity killer I have ever experienced. Becoming frustrated to the point that you simply can’t work. While I would recommend Linux to get rid of this issue (talk about screaming fast, you can tell down to the mouse clicks and windows opening that it is snappy fast), I’m using vista at the moment to hold on to my precious photoshop workflow. 

Let me know if anyone agrees, or wants to agree to disagree.


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