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We have an IIS-7 server on Windows 2008. A custom web app writes files that clients upload to an NTFS partition. Each year we have between between 40,000-60,000 folders with 2-20 files in each. Trying to open a folder for the year in explorer is a problem and can take minutes to build the folder list. This got me wandering if this is a problem for the system in general?

I guess the simpler question is if our web app accesses files directly by the exact path would having tens of thousands of files still slow things down?

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Windows (NTFS) does not buffer the $MFT permanently - depending on memory, it may (very well given the size) be necessary to read it from disk which may take quite a while and stalls all volume access attempts.

I've been fighting with that for a while and the only solution is to reduce directory size. Instead of (flat) e.g. \2017-07-20.log and so on in a single, gigantic folder, use \2017\07\2017-07-20.log. That way no folder grows out of size and - assuming current folders are accessed more frequently - locality of folder accesses is greatly improved.

If you can't do that the only remedies is to reduce the $MFT size by stripping 8.3 names, not use excessively complex names, ACLs, Audits, ...

Another remedy is to add memory into the machine to improve caching.

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