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Why won't certain programs defrag on XP?

Discussion in 'Video - Software discussion' started by jdsnake, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. jdsnake

    jdsnake Member

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    Hi guys! Is it my turn again? Just a quick question about the fundamentals of defragging. I think I understand the overall concept of "to frag" or "not to frag" but one thing really has my brain locked up. When I defrag, (and I defrag frequently) why is it that: (A) my "C" drive never defrags completely the first time around? And: (B) Why is it always the same things that are not defragging? The list in the report of items not defragged always remain the same after every boot. That doesn't seem right, does it?
     
  2. itguru

    itguru Member

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    Windows is using some of the files, and they are locked. If the files are locked by windows (like your swapfile), it will not be able to copy it to another location on the disk. For example, if you are running media player, and watching a 500 MB MPEG while you defrag, that mpeg file cannot be moved by windows, because it is exclusively locked by media player. This prevents corruption of your valuable data. It is a good practice to reboot before defragging, as a reboot releases all file locks. (usually)

    Cheers,

     
  3. cleft

    cleft Member

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    There are some other places defrag isn't going to go. Windows products have always and still do make records of where you have been, what you have d/led to your computer, what you have d/led from drives, what you have installed, ect. While you have some files you can delete or remove there are others that are hidden. Over a period of time, windows takes more time to sort through these files to see if it needs to add something. As a result you see a slow down in computer operation speed while it looks for these files. Either use a program that cleans these up or reformat your OS every-so-often.

    One such program that does this kind of clean up is called Evidence Eliminator.
     
  4. itguru

    itguru Member

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    Ummm, here is my report for my c: drive, and my machine runs fine.

    Volume (C:)
    Volume size = 18.61 GB
    Cluster size = 4 KB
    Used space = 17.19 GB
    Free space = 1.42 GB
    Percent free space = 7 %

    Volume fragmentation
    Total fragmentation = 32 %
    File fragmentation = 52 %
    Free space fragmentation = 13 %

    File fragmentation
    Total files = 102,475
    Average file size = 235 KB
    Total fragmented files = 9,003
    Total excess fragments = 150,297
    Average fragments per file = 2.46

    Pagefile fragmentation
    Pagefile size = 384 MB
    Total fragments = 1

    Folder fragmentation
    Total folders = 8,883
    Fragmented folders = 284
    Excess folder fragments = 961

    Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
    Total MFT size = 115 MB
    MFT record count = 112,058
    Percent MFT in use = 94 %
    Total MFT fragments = 356

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fragments File Size Most fragmented files
    15,513 638 MB \Documents and Settings\paul.adams\Desktop\snortfiles\shrike-i386-disc1.iso
    10,405 646 MB \Documents and Settings\paul.adams\Desktop\snortfiles\shrike-i386-disc2.iso
    7,665 485 MB \RECYCLER\S-1-5-21-1775481898-3595730138-3361012445-9570\Dc2813.iso
    1,336 48 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\04 Bottom.wma
    1,308 64 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\69.wma
    1,294 27 MB \music\Deftones\Adrenaline\07 7 Words.wma
    1,193 37 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\06 Swamp Song.wma
    1,160 39 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\04 Furious Angels [Instrumental].wma
    1,066 36 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\05 Crawl Away.wma
    1,004 32 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\03 Reload.wma
    943 31 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\02 This Is the New Sh--.wma
    848 26 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\05 Lucky You.wma
    820 32 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\01 Intolerance.wma
    808 24 MB \music\Korn\Korn\12 Daddy.wma
    799 32 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\02 Prison Sex.wma
    798 37 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\09 Calm Like a Bomb.wma
    760 36 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\10 Dread Rock.wma
    736 96 MB \music\Deftones\Around the Fur\10 MX.wma
    618 37 MB \music\Tool\Undertow\07 Undertow.wma
    607 33 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\12 When the World Ends [Oakenfold Remix].wma
    607 42 MB \music\Deftones\Adrenaline\10 Fireal.wma
    589 19 MB \music\Matrix Reloaded- The Album Disc 1\08 Bruises.wma
    585 33 MB \music\Deftones\Adrenaline\05 Lifter.wma
     
  5. itguru

    itguru Member

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    Defrag is marginally effective in speeding up your system. Many people put way too much emphasis on the medicinal effects of defragging their systems. I was guilty of this at one point too, but I have since learned that the benefit is marginal at best. You can experience a 2-8% increase in throughput of your drive.

    When windows defrags, it moves your most often accessed files to the beginning of the disk so that seek times are better. For example, if you use MS Word and excel 10 times per day, and you have never used internet explorer, then word & excel gets moved to the front of the line, and IE gets moved back. This is way more important than the few files that are left over after defragging.

    I personally, have not run defrag in years. I just buy better equipment...

    Cheers,

    Paul Adams, MCSE, CCNA
    Senior Systems Engineer
     
  6. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    Personally, I've found that the biggest issue with fragmentation is the swap file, not programs or data files. My solution is to make a separate partition for the swap file, which I find makes a much bigger difference than defragging. I still defrag once in a while, just because I've seen PCs get strange problems that a defrag seems to (but shouldn't) fix, but I don't think it improves performance noticeably on modern equipment.
     
  7. jdsnake

    jdsnake Member

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    Wow! Lots of wisdom there, for sure. Thanks guys, I had no idea. I just assumed if something wasn't defraggin' all the way, there must be issues. Now that you mention it, the most often times I hear; "have you defragged?" is when I'm talking to some game manufacturer that hasn't the slightest idea what else to tell me when I complain his game won't work on my computer. So, in an effort to have all my bases covered before I start asking stupid questions, I'll run a defrag, update all my drivers, and reinstall the game atleast once. But inevitably, the first things they say to me are, "run a defrag, update your drivers and try re-installing." I swear, nobody listens to you when you tell them you've just done those things. It's like they're just buying time or hoping and praying that will somehow do it so they don't have to work at finding at a proper solution. This is "good to know" stuff, thanks again!
     
  8. itguru

    itguru Member

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    Yes, putting the swap file on a different drive will boost your performance more than defragging. Just be sure to not put it on the same drive as the drive where you store your movie files. If you do, you will see a performance [bold]decrease[/bold] when burning, ripping, or encoding!.

    Have fun,

    Paul
     
  9. jdsnake

    jdsnake Member

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    Thanks itguru, I really appreciate the input. Let me know the next time you intend to buy some "better equipment," I'd kill for some of your "hand-me-downs" :)


    jdsnake
     

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