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I'm having speed problems with a Windows software that is looking up files in several directories on a NTFS formatted HDD. In order to find out why and in which settings the problem is occurring I set up a test scenario at my local PC.

But this did not work as well as I expected. After the program did the first scan on all directories any additional scans on the same directories are done way faster than at the first scan. I assume that the directory names and there containing file names were cached by Windows.

Is it somehow possible to either disable or empty this cache, if it is even existing?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The NT "Cache Manager" is probably the culprit, as you've surmised. The cache manager and memory manager work closely to maximize the use of free physical memory to cache disk reads / writes (including both file data and filesystem metadata).

There's a SysInternals too, CacheSet that, amongst other features, will allow you to clear the cache manager's working set. I'd give that tool a go.

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