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Author Topic: Make Firefox startup faster.  (Read 15929 times)
dantheman
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« on: December 28, 2009, 05:31:00 PM »

Is it just me?

I found this tweak that seems to work at making Firefox load a bit faster.
Simply add a space and /Prefetch:1 to the target in program properties.

Can someone confirm i'm not hallucinating?
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 09:23:45 PM »

I don't think this refers to OS prefetch but to browser prefetch.  In the old FasterFox AddOn one of the settings was to prefetch all the links in the page.  Seemed like kind of a dangerous tweak to me.
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4wd
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 10:04:10 PM »

Actually it's for the OS Prefetcher, it's a, (generally), little known switch which, (IIRC - been a few years since I played with it), specifically loads the executable into the Prefetch data directory instead of relying on Windows' usage algorythmns to preload it.  Wikipedia mentions it under Incorrect tweaking of the prefetcher in the Prefetcherw article.

The prefetcher for Firefox is (dis|en)abled under the about:config screen.

The value required is network.prefetch-next which is set to a default of True.
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dantheman
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 04:27:25 AM »

It's impressive to see real geeks at work!

So, from what i can make of what you said.
It's something that could possibly help some folks.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 12:10:35 PM »

4wd How have you tested it? I've seen all kinds of conflicting info on this including that /prefetch:1 was supposed to be a param to differentiate content when using Windows Media Player(load different .dlls according to one blog, but that seems specious too because wouldn't you just go by the media file extension?)

In any case I've heard there was supposed to be some tweak to manually insert apps into the prefetch folder, but supposedly it doesn't work in any OS later than XP.  Then again, I've also seen stuff about putting a "Superfetch" registry key in XP to do something similar.  With MS you never know.  They even had "undocumented" APIs, so just about anything could be true on one of their OS. I don't know how many Windows programming books I bought with "undocumented" in the title.




edit: btw this is an article similar to what I mentioned if not the same one on another page:

http://blogs.msdn.com/rya...ve/2005/05/25/421882.aspx

« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 12:22:22 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 12:20:44 PM »

It's impressive to see real geeks at work!

So, from what i can make of what you said.
It's something that could possibly help some folks.

What OS are you running?  If you use Vista or W7 and use FF all the time, Superfetch should have that in its stats anyway.

The other trick is to load it on bootup.  Perhaps with a delay.  I was doing this for awhile on my secondary machine.  Only thing is I tend to forget about it and start typing only to have FF come up in the middle of what I'm doing.

Isn't someone on here loading it from a ram disk?  That's another approach.
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dantheman
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 12:25:51 PM »

Still hanging in with XP Home.

I know it takes time on initial start up but generally speaking, i do find it speedier afterward.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2009, 12:29:44 PM »

Still hanging in with XP Home.

I know it takes time on initial start up but generally speaking, i do find it speedier afterward.

If you're not going to go with a ramdisk or running it off some solid state or USB drive then the trick would be to have a program run it, then kill it.  That way it's in the file system cache.  Also you can play around with fsutil settings for NTFS file system.  See this geek tip.  I have mine set to 2 on all my OS.

http://www.howtogeek.com/...mory-cache-size-in-vista/

The tweak should also work on XP. It's an NTFS thing rather than an OS thing.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2009, 12:52:54 PM »

Firefox starts incredibly fast if you don't install hundreds of add-ons and purge your databases sometimes.
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dantheman
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2009, 01:39:09 PM »

Milesahead,

I tried that cmd tweak but nothing would change so i then tried the more "direct" registry one without any success.
Here's a snapshot:



The section seems to be none existent.

BTW, i'm not complaining about Firefox, it's just that i was wondering if i was the only one noticing an increase in startup speed with the addition as initially stated.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 05:36:35 PM by dantheman » Logged
f0dder
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 05:53:09 PM »

Adding "/prefetch:x" doesn't generally make things faster - and it doesn't en/disable the Windows Prefetcher, as the urban legends have it.

It was included for big multi-purpose applications, where operating in different "modes" cause different codepaths to be taken and thus needs data from different sections in the executable. It's explained here, and the specific example given is media player... playing a CD is different from playing a DVD is different from playing an MP3 is different from playing an AVI file, et cetera.

I dunno if it's used at all for Vista and Win7, where the XP prefetcher was replaced in favor of the more aggressive SuperFetch.

Be very very wary when reading those various performance tweak sites - most of it is based on misinformation and urband legends, and usually the authors are either passing on bad information verbatim, or are making misguided guessed based on something they saw in the registry and don't understand.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 05:56:47 PM by f0dder » Logged

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dantheman
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 07:05:26 PM »

Thanks F0dder.

The link with explanations are too technical for me but your warning is a good reminder to being careful when dabbing with certain tweaks that may seem okay.

Did remove the /Prefetch:1 bit and restarted Firefox a few times without any noticeable change (although still good).
So, i guess i may have been just a tinsy bit too hyper about this possibility.
Seeing that i recently re-installed my notebook, that may had some impact too right?

It reminds me of days when the web is faster than others.
We tend to think the browser is the main reason (which can happen), but most of the time, it's just our phone line, traffic on the network and perhaps less "spurts" from the sun. 
So many things can have an impact. It's not always easy to discern which is which.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 08:39:52 PM »

I don't know why you are going into the registry.  The fsutil memoryusage tweak I suggested just allocates more memory for NTFS file system buffers.  What it will do for you there's no guarantee.

btw- Fodder just posted a link to the same article I already posted.



« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 08:46:58 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 08:55:26 PM »

btw the other issue could be disk maintenance.  Are you a stickler for keeping your HD defragged?  No matter what you do if the HD is scrambled then the first load off the disk is bound to be slow.  The 2nd time around then the file system has cached much of it, be it in the prefetch or no prefetch.
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4wd
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 09:26:04 PM »

4wd How have you tested it?

Like I said, it was a few years ago but from memory, once a program was cached in prefetch then it didn't make much difference - a couple of seconds - I think I can wait smiley

But I bow to f0dder's more extensive knowledge as for me it was just one of those urban legend tweak things back when I cared about speed over stability tongue
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2009, 12:46:48 AM »

I use this - it works!

http://www.crystalidea.com/speedyfox
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Curt
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2009, 02:19:35 AM »

Thank you, Tuxman and CleverCat; Yes, SpeedyFox works!!
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2009, 02:58:38 AM »

If you use CCleaner this compacting has been added. Don't know when but it is there now. Works on all sqlite files.


* 2009-12-30_095625.png (8.41 KB, 206x316 - viewed 467 times.)
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f0dder
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2009, 05:48:41 AM »

btw- Fodder just posted a link to the same article I already posted.
Yeah, I wrote my post before seeing new replys to the thread.

Btw, I'm one of those running my firefox profile from a ramdisk - extensions as well as internet cache etc. It does help a fair amount wrt. speed smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2009, 07:53:18 AM »

Thank you, Tuxman and CleverCat; Yes, SpeedyFox works!!
Great to know that. smiley
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dantheman
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2009, 09:32:06 AM »

Bis to Tuxman, CleverCat and Curt!

Don't want to get too excited but...
although i didn't notice any improvement on startup, it seems to improve page rendering.
Time will tell.



BTW, did they tell you about the new movie called "Constipation"?



Yep. It's in the works but it won't be out for a while...  Wink
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f0dder
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2009, 09:55:03 AM »

Does SpeedyFox do anything that sqlite's "VACUUM" statement doesn't?
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2009, 09:58:56 AM »

No, but it takes less effort to click a button.
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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2009, 10:55:08 AM »

No button at all must be fantastic then http://code.google.com/p/placescleaner/

Speedyfox does the same as other Firefox tweaking programs.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2009, 11:09:35 AM »

Yep, but I find it useless to have an extra extension to make Firefox faster.
(And SpeedyFox can clean databases which cannot be cleaned by extensions while they are actually used.)
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