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WinXP Tips

Do It Yourself Bootvis.exe by bcastner
Posted: 1 Dec 03

I like the utility Bootvis.exe, but Microsoft no longer offers it for download.

No matter, you can do your own Bootvis-style optomization even without the software.

An odd discovery I explored, (and much thanks to David Candy), shows that you can force a bootvis optomization in the background of XP.  I created a shortcut with this target:

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

In the background this will take about 10-15 minutes to complete.  This is the core of the Bootvis.exe optomization tool, and you can call it directly or schedule it.

To call it directly, copy the line above and then Start, Run, and paste the line into the window.

If you schedule it note that XP essentially does this incrementally every three days with sufficient idle time.  For the serious fanatics, I include below the MSDN description of the process.  I note only to the curious that the process rebuilds your prefetch cache, and if this is something you have wanted to do you might as well accomplish the prefetch optomization along with the physical defragmentation/location feature of your Startup files at the same time.

Kinda cool, I think.

Technical Details

Idle Task Scheduling: The ProcessIdleTask API

The file placement optimization, which is done no more often than once every three days, is an example of a task that is carried out when the system is deemed to be idle. System Restore and other features of Windows XP also attempt to defer some work until the system is deemed to be idle. There are also some done-once-after-setup work items that also operate under the Idle Task Scheduling mechanisms.

All of these "idle tasks" are controllable by a system API in advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks. The API s sole purpose is to allow benchmarks a simple way to force any pending idle tasks to be executed immediately, without having to wait a lengthy period of time.

The API ProcessIdleTasks can be called in one of two ways, from the command line or synchronously from a program.  To call ProcessIdleTasks from the command line, use this syntax:

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

When called from the command line, the ProcessIdleTasks work is done in the background asynchronously. It can take 10 to 15 minutes for idle tasks to complete. Task Manager will report processes running, and the disk will likely be active during this time.

The ProcessIdleTasks API takes no arguments and returns a standard Win32 error code. The definition is:


The API itself is synchronous, so it won t return until the idle tasks have completed.

Back to Microsoft: Windows FAQ Index
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