In general it is fair to say that Windows 7 disk I/O isn’t as fast as one would have hoped. [The slow USB transfer issue is a whole different ball of wax and let us not touch that in this post].
Yes, Windows 7’s background search indexing will exacerbate I/O sluggishness further, and unless you spent much of your time searching for files I recommend that you disable search indexing.
To be fair to Windows 7, it now has to deal with much bigger disks, with many more files, many of them larger, than XP. I used to have dual 60GB drives on my XP system. I now have dual 750GB Western Digital Caviar Black SATA drives. These aren’t the fastest disks that I could have got, but they are also not, by any means, slouches either. They are high-end, high-performance SATA drives.
I had noticed, from day one (i.e., October 23, 2009), that the INITIAL access to my non-system drive [i.e., drive D, as opposed to C] was unexpectedly slow. I think it is a caching issue. I think Windows 7 does some directory caching to speed up SUBSEQUENT I/O. But, it takes time to do the initial cache the first time you access a drive. You don’t see this on the C-drive because this most likely happens during system start-up.
Sometimes Windows 7 takes a few seconds to display the folder content thumbnails on drive D. Kind of amusing.
Yesterday, however, I discovered another small, but annoying, Windows 7 BUG. Yes, another one.
Succinctly stated, Windows 7 does not dynamically update the THUMBNAIL icon of files — in this case JPEG image files. Thus, the thumbnail does not reflect the updated image! Yes, YIKES.
Here is what I was doing.
It is my youngest daughters 4th birthday tomorrow. I was making her a 4 page booklet so that she will be familiar with the Chucke E. Cheese’s protocol on the day — though she is no stranger to that joint. I had moved half dozen or so of our pictures to this new folder … and I was then using PAINT.NET to takeout the background. I would then save the new JPEG without the background into the folder. The BASIC problem is that Windows 7 would NOT update the thumbnail image to show that I had removed the background. So my AFTER icon was same as my BEFORE icon! That is annoying.
Here … look at this folder view:
That was what I would see. Look at the TWO thumbnails in the middle of ROW 1. See how they look the same.
Now here is the same folder view, AFTER I increased the thumbnail icon size:
Look at the thumbnails on the TOP row and the last thumbnail. AGAIN, I STRESS, I didn’t change the files between these views. It is JUST a case of Windows 7 NOT updating the thumbnail icon to reflect what is in the file. So see the images … cropped and with background removed … in the 2nd view. But, if I hadn’t ENLARGED the icons I would have still seen thumbnails that showed me the BEFORE image.
Talk about NOT-WYSIWYG. Not good.