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paulecoyote

How do you write a boot-time utility for Windows 2k / XP?

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How do you write a boot-time utility for Windows 2k / XP? By this I mean tools like chkdisk, partition magic and some defragmentation tools – that appear in a console-style window before the logon screen, allowing them to move around system files and do things without the system having many locks on files. I’ve hunted around a bit and can’t find any guides, set of apis or anything open-source that would help. It would make great fodder for an article if anyone could see there way to writing one. Specifically I think it would be quite an interesting exercise (!) to be able to write a defragmenter that runs at this time. Really I would like to know how to write this kind of utility because I believe it would be a useful thing to know really! I thought I would post this here, because from what I know of you guys alot of you are business application developers by day and game developers by night. So with any luck one of you will know something :-)

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Quote:
Specifically I think it would be quite an interesting exercise (!) to be able to write a defragmenter that runs at this time.
You need to be intimately familiar with the FAT filesystem (assuming that's what you use), and from there it's a matter of working with whatever low-level disk I/O that Windows provides. Documentation on NTFS is much less prolific or complete, so you're pretty much SOL. However, if you're interested in learning how a modern filesystem works, Ext3, ReiserFS, and XFS are all open source.

I also remember hearing somewhere that file fragmentation actually speeds up access on modern drives, because sometimes the fragments can be read in parallel.

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Ah! That's what I needed - to know the right terminology. And you gave me a couple of specific links too. Rated you as high as I could, thanks!

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