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SuperFetch is a performance enhancement introduced in Microsoft Windows Vista to reduce the time necessary to launch applications. SuperFetch works with the memory manager service in Windows to analyze memory usage patterns over time to determine the optimal memory content for a given user for a date or time of day. This differs from the Prefetch technique used in Microsoft Windows XP, which preloads data into memory without analyzing usage patterns.


Because SuperFetch appears to leave a system with no available memory, some users turn it off to create the appearance of having more free memory. The feature can be configured by changing the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnableSuperfetch Registry key [1]. A value of zero disables SuperFetch, one enables it for booting only, two for applications, and three for both applications and boot. This setting can also be changed using the Services console, services.msc [2].

File Formats

Data for SuperFetch is gathered by the %SystemRoot%\System32\Sysmain.dll, part of the Service Host process, %SystemRoot%\System32\Svchost.exe, and stored in a series of files in the %SystemRoot%\Prefetch directory [3]. These files appear to start with the prefix Ag and have a .db extension. The format of these files is not fully known, there is available unofficial partial specification [4] and open source (GPL) dumper for .db files [5]. Some information can be gleaned from these files by searching for Unicode strings in them.

The SuperFetch feature is seeded with some basic usage patterns when the operating system is installed [6].

See Also

External Links


Open Source