If you’ve formatted your hard disk using NT File System (NTFS) format, there is a registry setting you might want to know about – NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate.  If it exists, you can find it under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem registry key.

 

In essence, if the setting is missing or is set to REG_DWORD zero (0x0000000), then every time you access a file, the operating system updates the date/time stamp on that file, the directory the file is located in and all parent directories.  If you’re not interested in logging this type of information, then set the NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate to 1.

 

NOTE: ”last accessed” is different from “last modified”…

 

Interestingly, Vista has it set to 1 by default…

 

There are a few folks talking about this “trick” -- http://tweakxp.com/article37011.aspx is one of many...  I, regretfully, only learned about it a few days ago; so, hopefully, this post will not be too late for those of you out there using XP…

 

For information about this setting, visit

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/regentry/46656.mspx?mfr=true