So I got my spiffy (and shiny) new Dell XPS M1130 laptop. (2.1Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB mem, 250gig HD, LED backlit 13″ monitor… and Vista.) Each time I started the machine, or resume from hibernation, my hard drive thrashes like crazy for about 20 minutes. You’d think with 4GB of memory, the hard drive would almost never need to be accessed except when loading programs. You’d be wrong. Welcome to SuperFetch. This is a program that runs in the background and pre-loads from disk into memory to allow for faster load times for frequently-used programs. Well, it keeps trying to preload my 8GB virtual machine file (that I use to run Linux concurrently with Vista). Hence the hard drive thrashing. I can sort of see the logic of using a pre-fetch device… on a desktop. A note to Microsoft: I use a laptop, and I like to be able to suspend and re-awaken my laptop in a hurry so that I do things like… I don’t know… move it? When all of that stuff is pre-loaded into memory, before the computer can sleep or suspend, it has to either unload it, or write it out to a temporary disk file. Double the hard disk use, double the memory use, half the convenience.
Thankfully, this demon was pretty easy to exorcise from Vista with the right incantations.