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#131719 - 02/23/04 01:07 AM Disk Defrag?
Trumpy Offline


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Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I've just done the second Defrag in the time that I have owned a Computer at home here.
But here is a question.
How often should this be done?.
What I am talking about is the defragmentation of your Hard Drive.
What do you actually gain by doing this?.
Just wondering.
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#131720 - 02/23/04 03:26 AM Re: Disk Defrag?
Big Jim Offline
Member
Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 394
Loc: Denver, CO USA
I have mine set to defrag automatically once a month in the wee hours when I'm not home. You gain two things. First, a small increase in reliability. With sequential files, there is a little less chance that the drive will get lost reading the whole file. The second gain is the important one - SPEED. If a file is fragmented, the system has to push the read head all over the disk to read the fragments. Each move takes a definite amount of time. With contiguous files, the head only has to move 1 track each revolution. I have delt with computers that have become dog slow. A defrag session usually brings them back to normal.
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#131721 - 05/05/04 11:30 PM Re: Disk Defrag?
Gloria Offline
Member
Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 364
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
This is a very important topic, thank you Trumpy, dear!
Defrag was my problem in the late years. I mostly use win98, and a problem came up very often. Defragging starts again and again every ten seconds. That is very annoying. The problem is that some programs alwasy savs itself and the cause is the desktop. I try to find the correct description in my archive mails, I'll be back. The main thing is that you have to load defrag.exe before the desktop loads in, you have to chnge an ini file, I'll find it I promise. Anyway my problem isn't solved, cause my winch is only 1.19 MB big, and would not survive such thing. I usually do it by format c:, and set the windows up again. Maybe sometime I'll have a bigger winch.
Defragging IS important, altogether with scandisk.
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#131722 - 05/05/04 11:38 PM Re: Disk Defrag?
Gloria Offline
Member
Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 364
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
You asked what you gain by this, I can tell how it works.
When you save something to a disk it is a file which consists of many clusters. These are saved beautiffully by each other. The problem starts when you erase something. It leaves a clean space like the clock on the wall when removed, and your winchester will fill that hole on thenext saving. If the hole is smaller than your newly saved file, it will fil the hole and searches for the next free space on the fragment table. Like this the file will be saved on your disk in three-four-five or more pieces. Also your files can damage. You know when the head reads the information it spins like crazy, for it has to collect information from different parts of the disk (you see the fragment table full of holes and as colorful as a toy pony). You help your winch by defraging to find your files easier, quicker so the lifetime of the hard disk will increase.
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#131723 - 05/06/04 02:28 AM Re: Disk Defrag?
Ever Ready Offline
Member
Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 39
Loc: Scotland
Defragging helps to make your pc run more smoothly, as Gloria says the problems really start when you delete small files and leave "holes" in the hard drive, the problem is made worse if you use the NTFS type of file system as opposed to the fat/fat 32 system. I use diskeeper on auto defrag and it works very well and is not a resource hog, defragging runs in the background and is generally not a problem.
The bigger the drive you have the longer the process takes unfortunately but in my opinion the time is well worth it.

[This message has been edited by Ever Ready (edited 05-06-2004).]
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#131724 - 08/02/04 03:41 AM Re: Disk Defrag?
Gloria Offline
Member
Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 364
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
I have found a program that U can use for hdd-s called www.powerdefrag.com
This is good, cause it still starts again and again, but you can make defrag and scanning, but be careful, my C was a bit shocked after the defragging, it has forgot a few things. Like how to contact to the internet server. So check your programs.
Maybe better not to use defragging if it starts all over again every 10 seconds. I surely will buy another hdd.
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#131725 - 01/29/05 11:21 PM Re: Disk Defrag?
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Just as a little question.
How on earth do the files get fragmented in the first place?.
With any library, (at least the one's I've been in) the librarians don't just put the books in any old where, they have a numbered system, so why should a computer system not have one, or is a cheap Bill Gates short cut?.
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#131726 - 01/30/05 06:33 AM Re: Disk Defrag?
Indcom Offline
Member
Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 34
Loc: Katy, TX USA
Your computer fragments when you delete files leaving gaps or spaces in the memory. This causes the computer to slow down. Defrag realigns all programs to the "Front" of the hard drive.

I defrag every week with my task mgr set for 02:00 AM Sunday.
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#131727 - 01/30/05 07:42 AM Re: Disk Defrag?
jdadamo Offline
Member
Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 37
Loc: Calgary, AB, Canada
I realize this post is going to be met with tons of controversy... I'm not here to start anything. This is just my opinion:

I never defrag because I simply can't detect a single performance improvement on modern hardware. i don't believe it has had an impact since the days of the 486s. Honestly.

My work PC was some 66% fragmented and running like garbage (and it has no spyware or anything to bog it down abnormally). Anyways, I defragged it and it went down to about 2% fragmentation. At this point, I didn't feel it was any faster than it was before.

Not only that, but you need to be careful because NTFS formatted disks run the risk of fragmenting the MFT (Master File Table) the more that files are moved around, and if this is fragmented you will notice a performance drop.

There's a whole thing about drive interleaving, and logical-to-physical translation that I won't really get into. But usually the way that the OS thinks the data is laid onto the disk isn't acutally how the drive winds up doing it anyways.
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#131728 - 01/31/05 02:35 AM Re: Disk Defrag?
pdh Offline
Member
Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
Defragmenting generally has only a limited level of performance improvement. In the past it was a good idea because RAM was so small and disk data blocks were not cached. Now days, they get cached in special RAM in the drive, sometimes in the controllers, too, if you're using SCSI, and in the OS itself (AIX, BSD, Linux, OS/X, Solaris, and modern flavors of Windows). I work most extensively with Linux and Unix, and defragmenting is just not really done (some tools exist, but no one really uses them). The only times where it might really matter are files that never get rewritten anyway, or very large databases (4 to 400 terabytes) which can be dealt with by skipping filesystems and running the databases directly on the disks.

For NT, W2000, W2003, and XP (or any Unix like system), I just wouldn't worry about it as long as you have sufficient RAM.
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