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Thread: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

  1. #1
    Strelok's Avatar Civitate
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    Default Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    I'm nerdgasming!

    Open Command Prompt
    (XP: Start Menu > Run, type cmd.exe
    (Vista: Start Menu > Accessories > Right-click Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator"

    Type this in:

    fsutil usn deletejournal /d C:

    Replace C: with the drive letter you want to delete it on. It should only be on C: anyways.

    Thanks to This article

  2. #2
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    I figured it should be possible somehow. You should turn off access times, too.

    Hope your system doesn't crash, though. Make sure to power it down normally. Checks of 80 GB disks without a journal aren't fun. Of course you can skip them, and usually your computer won't blow up . . .
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    Just to prevent people from asking later on, I'll throw this one up for the other people...

    What is NTFS Change Journal?
    RIP Calvin, you won't be forgotten.

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    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    When your computer crashes, it's possible for the filesystem to be in an inconsistent state. For instance, if the operating system was in the middle of deleting a file, the file might be half-deleted somehow: e.g., references to it might be removed, but the space it took up not marked as free. Therefore, when the computer starts back up, if the operating system notices that it crashed instead of being properly shut back down, it has to make sure that the filesystem is consistent to avoid weird behavior. (In the example I gave, the file would be inaccessible, but it would still be taking up space on the disk.)

    In the old days, filesystems like FAT would take the approach of just doing a full scan of the filesystem to ensure consistency. For instance, they would look at every single file and directory and see which parts of the disk each one was using. Then if there was some space that was marked as used but with nothing actually using it, they would mark it as unused. They would do similar things for other possible half-complete states the system could be in.

    Of course, it's extremely slow to check the whole filesystem. You may recall the old "disk is being checked for errors" complaints that would come up on boot after an unclean shutdown, which would take forever and which everyone always skipped. That's what was happening.

    Journaled filesystems take a different approach. If a journaled filesystem deletes a file, first it writes a record to a special hidden log file saying "I'm going to delete file X". Only once that's on disk will it actually delete the file. Then, if the system crashes and the file is half-deleted, all it has to do is look at the journal and "replay" it. If the journal says a file is supposed to be deleted, it just has to delete it, or finish the job if it's already partly done. This is very fast and avoids the need for a filesystem check. So you no longer get the "disk being checked" error messages. In Windows, FAT was unjournaled and NTFS is (normally) journaled. Similarly, in Linux, ext2 is unjournaled and ext3 (inter alia) is journaled; in OS X, HFS+ has been journaled by default since Panther.

    Of course, journaling adds some extra disk writes. The OS has to first write metadata changes to the journal, then do them for real. So if you really want to avoid disk writes, you can disable journaling. But you should be careful not to crash your computer in that case. Most people should stick with journaling.
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  5. #5
    Strelok's Avatar Civitate
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    If I have a system crash then I fail at using my PC, in my opinion. A stable system never crashes or shows any odd behaviours on you and as such a PC like that should have no use for journaling.

    My next upgrade rig will never be overclocked and will be carefully put in (I.E, surge protectors, wearing a grounding band) and I will ensure my best to keep it running even cooler than my current system. I then to aim to have a Windows OS install last around 3+ years without a single hickup or crash and fast as when I first installed it. This has already been done by people who responsibly optimize their systems and avoid overclocking. The process would be this:

    *Do lots of research on your components, buy the most reputable brands possible and make sure you do not do things like SLI/Crossfire to ensure maximum compatibility and stability. Make sure everything works together and your PSU feeds clean power to them.

    *After building your system with the utmost caution and minimum physical harm or bumping done to the hardware, you will want to carefully set it up and make sure the BOS posts. You want to have the latest BIOS version for your motherboard handy via floppy/usb/cd-rom. After (hopefully successfully) updating the BIOS, make sure you have another computer with internet or a hardbook copy of the Definitive BIOS Optimization Guide. Carefully examine and go through all your BIOS optimization features, look them up in the guide and do what it recommends or helps you to decide what to disable/enable, etc. After thoroughly going through all of your BIOS you will need to use your OS of choice (such as Windows Vista x64) ready to be installed via USB or CD-ROM.

    *Install said OS on the hard disk, configuring any options you like that are given pre-install. If you are using Windows you will (want) to optimize and maintain your install with TGTC. This is a long process but is worth it and can be fun to do. I am rather vague in this but this is the most crucial step. Also make regular file, registry and whole system backups so if anything goes wrong you are sure you can restore it.

    *Make sure you have the latest Audio/Chipset/Ethernet/Video drivers and Windows Updates (which are already recommended and given advice on TweakGuides and the TGTC)

    *Never overclock or otherwise physically modify your system. Hope that your choices and caution has ensured a trouble free experience.

    Why did I not do this myself? I do not know. I'm in an endless loops of testing overclocks, trying out beta OS"S, linux distributions, etc.

  6. #6
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    How are you going to prevent component failure? Even with good components, you stand a decent chance of failure within three years. What if there's a blackout? What about a fluke kernel problem? You can't prevent all failures, it's not possible.
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    How are you going to prevent component failure? Even with good components, you stand a decent chance of failure within three years. What if there's a blackout? What about a fluke kernel problem? You can't prevent all failures, it's not possible.
    I don't think you get how much of a difference a good brand makes.

    My ASUS 8800GT is on the verge of dieing, that was getting it June of 2008.
    A friend got his EVGA 8800GT on release date and it is still running now (insanely overclocked), running very cool without a single issue.

    The case I would get (most likely CoolerMaster HAF 932) has *very* good cooling and I would probably get some extra cooling for specific components (such as a better heatsink than the stock CPU cooling, same with the graphics card), the extra cooling would help life span. Plus it not being overclocked helps even more.

    For blackout, that's why I talked about surge protectors and a possible UPS, however my system has survived many power outages. (By no stability issues or crashes, I mean things not related to nature )

    "A fluke" kernal problem, I guess. I've never had an OS fail on me for no reason, it's always intentional and I always know exactly what I did to cause it.

    The dude on TweakGuides bought his system in early-mid-2005. The system was this:

    It lasted without replacements or faults till he upgraded in late January 2009. He did replace the 7800GTX with an 8800GTS 640 (G80 core version) in mid-2007 for performance enhancing reasons.
    Last edited by Strelok; March 23, 2009 at 01:35 PM.

  8. #8
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    There's always a risk. You can't pretend that your components are perfect. If you don't care about the risk, that's your decision, but to say it's nonexistent if you plan carefully is absurd. The only machines you can say that for are heavy-iron boxes that have multiple everythings and backup generators, and even then a software bug is always theoretically possible.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    I would have to agree with Sim, I can almost guarantee something will fail in 3 years; i had an old apple which worked for 18 years without a fault (still works now) but all that has in it is a couple of springs at 64k of memory, there is like nothing in there to go wrong. Ive had pcs die over the years without being overclocked or anything (think iMac G3) which died after about 2 years because the logic board fried (you couldnt get into the old iMacs to do anything) and i still had to reinstall the OS on that machine like 4 times becuase of software bugs and glitches.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    and i still had to reinstall the OS on that machine like 4 times becuase of software bugs and glitches
    That is under normal conditions. My Windows OS'S are *always* highly tweaked and maintained. Even after 10 years I can gaurantee you it would always be as fast as when I first installed it. No one reads the TGTC that I link so that's your loss. (Take my PIII Windows XP install for example, it is 6 years old, oh, and the PC itself is 8 years old and it runs blazing fast).

    ]I would have to agree with Sim, I can almost guarantee something will fail in 3 years
    That is why you buy the premium brands, clear it out from dust weekly, buy the best case with the best protection and cooling possible, never overclock your system, and apply aftermarket heatsinks for your GPU, RAM and CPU for maximum cooling. It is possible and it is not a "long shot". OS failure is due to the user not maintaining it, hardware failure is due to overclocking, bad brands and again not maintaining it physically (dust).

    The only machines you can say that for are heavy-iron boxes that have multiple everythings and backup generators, and even then a software bug is always theoretically possible.
    Right. The only faults I ever get are due to hardware and never are software related. I'm not an average user who bloats his/her install with Limewire, MSN utilities and a thousand toolbars in their browser and a million things at bootup.

    Here is half of what a tweaking process would look like, not in order:

    Optimize my BIOS to disable all un-used features and devices
    Get the latest Windows Updates
    Disable NTFS Last Access Update timestamps
    Disable NTFS Change Journal
    Diasble NTFS 8Bit Name Creation
    Disable NTFS Encryption & Compression
    Set page file from System to Managed to 2056 initial and maximum.
    Turn off remove assistance.
    Enable write caching on all my hard & flash disks.
    Disable quick-launch, all system tray icons, most recently use apps & documents list
    Disable Language Bar
    Disable Clock
    Disable Sidebar
    Disable Welcome Center
    Tweak IE7 in the Internet Options (such as clear private data on exit)
    Install Mozilla Firefox and tweak it with this guide: http://www.tweakguides.com/Firefox_1.html
    Disable WMI Logging
    Show hidden files & folders and known extensions
    Disable balloon tips and size & information tips.
    Disable Windows Defender real-time protection & automatics scans
    Disable search indexing along with it's service
    Customize shutdown speeds (WaitToKillAppTimeOut from 20 seconds to 8 seconds)
    Disable pointer acceleration & shadow
    Configure Regional & Language options
    Disable: QoS, Microsoft Clients, LinkLayer & I/O driver, IPV6, file and printer sharing
    Disable system error beeps
    Disable all unused sound devices after updating audio drivers (such as SPDIF)
    Disable all Windows sounds (such as the UAC prompt sound)
    DO NOT TURN OFF UAC (This is a tweak in itself because many people turn it off )
    Do all GUI tweaks such as add and remove context-menu entries that I do not feel like listing
    Tweak NVIDIA Forceware Drivers with this guide: http://www.tweakguides.com/NVFORCE_1.html
    Defragment my mechanical drives
    Configure Disk Cleanup (Run > Cleanmgr /sageset:1) and check everything. Create DIsk Cleanup shortcut (New > Shortcut > Cleanmgr /sagerun:1)
    Use Windows Service Pack 1 Cleanup Tool (comes with SP1, named vsp1cln.exe)
    Install and configure CCleaner
    Install and configure RegSupreme
    Install and configure to run on dual-core, RegCleaner
    Install and use NTREGOPT
    Download Autoruns, disable all un-needed related sound & video driver entries, and third party apps that might be starting up. Also disable all un-used shell extension entries
    Command Prompt > Set devmgmr_show_non_presentdevices=1, devmgmt.msc, View > Show Hidden, expand everything and right-click and click "Uninstall" on anything that is greyed out
    Make sure no IRQ's are being shared (View Resource by Type > Interrupt Request (IRQ)
    Enable ReadyBoost on my 2GB USB Flash drive
    Make sure the swap file is on the VelociRaptor, not the Patriot SSD
    Apply "fix incorrect folder settings" tweak from here: http://www.tweakguides.com/VA_4.html
    Change Resolution to 1280x1024, use RefreshForce to make sure all games and apps use my 75HZ refresh rate instead of 60HZ.
    Enable Windows Aero (after installing and tweaking NVIDIA display drivers)
    Shrink System Restore point size to 900MB
    Shrink System File protection to 50MB (\Windows\System32\DllCacheEnable Structured Exception Handling Overwrite Protection (SEHOP) by this: http://forums.tweakguides.com/showthread.php?t=8016
    Eanble ECN
    Disable Nagle's Algorithm
    Disable Auto-Tuning of RWIN Parameters
    Disabling system memory dump
    Run Check Disk
    Kill myself trying to remember all this crap
    Configure services:

    Disabled:

    Computer Browser (Network)
    Funtion Discovery Resource Publication (Network)
    Infared Monitor Service (If you need this set back to Auto)
    IPSec Policy Agent (Network)
    KtmRM for Distributed Transaction Coordinator (Network)
    Offline Files
    Print Spooler (If you use a Printer, set to Automatic)
    Remote Registry (Security Risk)
    Security Center (Annoyance)
    Tablet PC Input Service (IF you are not using a Tablet PC)
    TC/IP Net BIOS Helper (Not even needed for a normal Network)
    Terminal Services (Network and also a security risk)
    WebClient (Network)

    NVIDIA Display Driver Service (Un-needed NVIDA GFX card service)

    Manual:

    Secondary Logon
    Portable Device Enumerator Service
    IKE and AuthIP IPSec Keying Modules
    Windows Update
    Last edited by Strelok; March 24, 2009 at 02:51 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    stupid question but why goto that much effort?

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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jvlivs View Post
    stupid question but why goto that much effort?
    To get the best experience possible out of your PC.

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    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    That's not a reasonable justification for most people. The amount of effort isn't remotely commensurate with the gain in actual computing experience. You just like doing stuff like that.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    Quote Originally Posted by Simetrical View Post
    That's not a reasonable justification for most people. The amount of effort isn't remotely commensurate with the gain in actual computing experience. You just like doing stuff like that.
    It literally takes me just a couple minutes to do that list and more, since I remember it all by feeling. It's odd. Since I reinstall weekly I'm used to just customizing it without thought.

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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    what do you as a job? you have way to much time; im at uni and i barely get any time for that stuff. it usually gets put off till the end of a semester.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Disabling NTFS Change Journal (HowTo)

    what do you as a job? you have way to much time; im at uni and i barely get any time for that stuff. it usually gets put off till the end of a semester.
    Let's just leave it at that I'm not a conformist.

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