Whenever a folder is opened from an NTFS volume on a Windows NT server, the system takes the time to update a timestamp field on each listed folder, called the last access time. On a heavily used NTFS volume, this can affect performance—although Microsoft claims it would take tens of thousands of folders to create a problem.
If you'd like to get a little extra performance out of your disk volumes, or if you have a large number of folders, you can disable this process and make directory lists more nimble. Follow these steps:
- Open the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
- Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem.
- Look for NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate. If it doesn't exist, add this DWORD and set its value to 1, which will disable the process.
- Close the Registry Editor, and reboot the server.
Note: Editing the registry is risky, so make sure you have a verified backup before saving any changes.