From: welch on
while taking some rough disk performance measures on windows machines,
and snooping with FileMon, i've noticed some odd behavior

here's the little nul-writer i'm running:
def writeTest(nBlocks, blockSize):
"""write nBlocks*blockSize nuls to a file"""
f = open("writeTest.out", "wb")
nulBlock = '\0'*blockSize
while nBlocks:
nBlocks -= 1

when i invoke this with a blockSize of 64K or less, no surprises.
here's a row of FileMon output for the 64K block size:
2:44:48 PM python.exe:3064 WRITE C:\writeTest.out SUCCESS Offset:
214106112 Length: 65536

when i invoke this with larger blocksizes (say, 655360), FileMon output
looks like this:
2:37:46 PM python.exe:3064 WRITE C:\writeTest.out Offset: 140902400
Length: 655360
2:37:46 PM python.exe:3064 WRITE C:\$ReplaceAttribute2 SUCCESS Offset:
140902400 Length: 65536
....(the $ReplaceAttribute2 line repeats several times, writing 65536
and advancing the offset by 65536 each time)

sometimes, depending on the phase of the moon, instead of
$ReplaceAttribute2 the write goes to $ConvertToNonresident. within a
single run of writeTest the write always goes to the same one,
whichever one that is. these runs are always slower (sometimes greatly)
than writing the same with 64K blocks, even though many fewer
file.write()'s are being issued because of the larger block size.

finally, where you'd expect an even 10 of the WRITE
C:\$ReplaceAttribute2 lines per WRITE C:\writeTest.out lines in the
example above, instead FileMon reports 8 lines for the first, 6 for the
second, 8 for the third, 6 for the fourth, etc... i've no idea if this
means FileMon is missing messages, but this pattern is absolutely
consistent across every run i've made, on both xp and win2k3 server

a look at the python fileobject.c source shed no light for me, anyone
know what could be going on? the "equivalent" c version of writeTest
using fwrite() shows a succession of 1K blocks writing to the named
file (even when fwrite is given 64K blocks), and no mysterious
$ReplaceAttribute2 lines

-- w

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