Web sites have been buzzing about two problems that users report while running Windows Vista on mobile computers. A lot of users report much shorter battery life with Vista and recently some of them report the main culprits to be Aero Glass and the Windows Sidebar. The other problem, one that I’ve written about several times, is the system-stopping disk thrashing that occurs at inopportune times, practically stopping mobile systems. I’ve been living with this since upgrading to Vista, and of the two problems this has been the more serious one for me. My Fujitsu P1610 has been prone to practically stop as a result of this disk activity, particularly when going into and coming out of standby, or when changing screen orientation.
Kevin reported on a couple of registry edits that effectively turn off the Vista super fetch and paging. I have suspected both of these as potential causes of the dreaded disk thrashing for a while so yesterday I edited the registry to see what happened. What happened was beautiful to behold, my disk thrashing has practically stopped. It now only takes 5 seconds to go into standby and about the same to resume. Overall I’m finding the disk activity to be similar to Windows XP and I am very happy with the outcome.
Bear in mind that I’ve only been running this way for a day so it’s not conclusive. It’s dramatic enough that I felt it worth a mention but as always YMMV. Also be aware that editing the registry can be dangerous so be careful if you try this. I haven’t run long enough to see if this makes a noticeable difference on battery life but since disk activity hits the battery hard I’m certain it can’t hurt.