Defragmenting 'System'


O

OREALLY

I have defragged all my drives. They read 0% Fragmented. However,the
'system' drive or folder, reads 8% ....but when I highlight it to analyze or
defrag it, just flashes and does nothing.

Why is this?

Thanks

Oreally
 
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W

Wolf K

I have defragged all my drives. They read 0% Fragmented. However,the
'system' drive or folder, reads 8% ....but when I highlight it to
analyze or defrag it, just flashes and does nothing.

Why is this?

Thanks

Oreally
Some of the files are locked while in use. Locked files cannot be
defragmented. AFAIK, the only way to defrag these files is to boot from
a DVD (Linux, for example), and use a 3rd party utility to do the job.
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

Some of the files are locked while in use. Locked files cannot be
defragmented. AFAIK, the only way to defrag these files is to boot from
a DVD (Linux, for example), and use a 3rd party utility to do the job.
I've never seen the slightest speed increase by defragging a drive. Don't worry about it.

--
http://petersparrots.com
http://petersphotos.com

A woman storms into her boss's office with this complaint:
"All the other women in the office are suing you for sexual harassment.
"Since you haven't sexually harassed me, I'm suing you for discrimination."
 
P

Paul

OREALLY said:
I have defragged all my drives. They read 0% Fragmented. However,the
'system' drive or folder, reads 8% ....but when I highlight it to
analyze or defrag it, just flashes and does nothing.

Why is this?

Thanks

Oreally
There may be a log somewhere. You can see
the "pass count" the defragmenter uses.
Operating it from the command line, may give more
details, than using the GUI. If the reason it is
completing quickly, is because it got an error,
then you'd want to know about that. You might
even check Event Viewer. A good defragmenter will
run some version of CHKDSK, before defragmenting - a
damaged file system should not be defragmented, and
should be repaired first.

The Windows 7 defragmenter is not supposed to defragment files which
are larger than 50MB. If you download a 7GB DVD from the Internet,
the writes to disk are interrupted occasionally by other file system
writes, the file ends up fragmented. When the defragmenter sees that
file, the level of fragmentation likely gets totaled up (part of
the 8%), but on the other hand, the defragmenter won't fix it.
This helps exclude large data files, and speeds up the defragmentation
operation.

A third-party defragmenter, goes to greater lengths to:

1) Show a graphical display with defragmentation details.
2) Defragment everything, so that the graph in (1) looks "beautiful".
And that's what customers pay for, in a defragmenter.

*******

In terms of looking for a third party defragmenter, a large part
of what they do is called "optimization" and not "defragmentation".
The purest defragmenter is Sysinternals "contig", which stops as
soon as all blocks in a file are next to one another. Using contig,
if you defragmented everything, all the files might be defragmented,
but the files end up randomly distributed over the partition.

On the WinXP defragmenter (which is actually a commercial defragmenter),
they "push the files to the left". That is not part of defragmentation.
That is an optimization policy. In addition to the simple-minded "push
all the files to the left", it also uses the prefetch hints the OS
collects. If I run my copy of Firefox right now, Windows keeps prefetch
info that says "Paul likes to use Firefox". After a few days of using
my favorite apps, the OS has a pretty good picture of "what Paul likes".
Now, the opportunity to do something about it, comes when defragmenting.
The programs I like, can be moved to the front of the disk. Even if
all the files were perfectly defragmented, files might still get moved
around so "Firefox is near the front, and Firefox is defragged".

Other defragmenters have even more elaborate policies. JKDefrag
(a freebie), moves all the big files to the back of the partition.
They're called "hogs". The author of JKDefrag has his reasons
for doing that. In some cases, the policy can be tuned, such as
not sorting things into piles like that. If you don't want your
"hogs in the back", you can still adjust JKDefrag.

Before selecting any defragmenter, make sure it is compatible with
all the OSes you plan to own. Just so the defragmenter doesn't make
a mess. Modern defragmenters, can use the API in Windows for moving
files around, so for the most part, what they're doing is safe. But
still, if the optimization policy one of these tools, doesn't
match your lifestyle, I consider what it does to be making a mess.
Shop carefully.

I don't specifically recommend using the defragmenter from an older
version of Windows, on a newer Windows. For example, using the
Win2K defragmenter to process a WinXP C:, makes a mess. The result
is actually non-optimal. If you use the WinXP defragmenter on a
Windows 7 partition, that could make a mess as well. So even if
you "like the appearance" of what an older OS defragmenter does,
that doesn't necessarily mean it will do a good job, avoid
damage, on a newer OS.

If the author of a defragmenter writes code for the newer OSes,
at least you have some assurance he researched the differences,
and you're not "letting a monster loose on your computer".

If you're testing a defragmenter for the first time, make
a backup copy of the partition first. For example, say I wrote
a defragmenter program, and sent it to you. The prudent thing
to do, would be to back up C:, before trying my program. There
are some free commercial defragmenters, which should be
treated with equal skepticism.

Maybe I'm running JKDefrag for the first time. I trust
the author not to break my disk, but by accident I
"move the hogs to the back". If I have a backup, I
can restore from that backup, and learn from my
lesson. And the next time, be more careful in building
a command line to run the program. So even a "finger problem",
could require rectification with a restore from backup.

HTH,
Paul
 
J

Jolly polly

Lieutenant Scott said:
I've never seen the slightest speed increase by defragging a drive. Don't
worry about it.
How would a Windows user defrag a drive in Linux? not easy at all

you will see a difference with a badly fragmented drive if you defrag and
optimize
 
W

Wolf K

On 14/11/2012 3:00 AM, Jolly polly wrote:
[...]
How would a Windows user defrag a drive in Linux? not easy at all
Boot Linux from a live CD/DVD, and use a defrag utility made to defrag
Windows system drive.

Search on "windows defragment from Linux live CD" for more.
you will see a difference with a badly fragmented drive if you defrag
and optimize
True. Not as much with NTFS as with FAT, though.
 
M

Mr Pounder

Lieutenant Scott said:
I've never seen the slightest speed increase by defragging a drive. Don't
worry about it.
More bollocks.
I have seen plenty of speed increases.
 
G

Gordonbp

More bollocks.
I have seen plenty of speed increases.
No you haven't - the speed "increase" has been due to something else.
I've been using Windows ever since 3.1 and /I've/ never noticed any
speed increase...
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

More bollocks.
I have seen plenty of speed increases.
It might have been true back in the days of drives with stepper motors. But not in the last 2 decades.
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

How would a Windows user defrag a drive in Linux? not easy at all

you will see a difference with a badly fragmented drive if you defrag and
optimize
Maybe it gets worse if the drive is very full, but I tend to have drives with at least one third free, so files tend to get written in empty contiguous spaces more often.

I've tried defragmenting drives several times on vastly differnt specs of machine, and not once could I tell it was any faster afterwards.

I even recently defragmented specifically a 20GB database which was written to very regularly (hence was extremely fragmented) - no change at all.
 
Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

It might have been true back in the days of drives with stepper motors. But not in the last 2 decades.
Depends on how full the drive is and how badly fragmented it has
become. I had to service a secretary's PC recently that was 5+ years
old, drive had less than 10% free space and was very, very heavily
fragmented - probably hadn't been defragmented since purchase, and had
been updated, patched, etc. so many times the analyze graph didn't have
any blue in it that I can remember seeing, it was all red with a little
green. PowerPoint presentation she was working on took something close
to 5 minutes to open before defragmenting, and took less than 20
seconds to open afterward.
 
Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Maybe it gets worse if the drive is very full,
It does.
but I tend to have
drives with at least one third free, so files tend to get written in
empty contiguous spaces more often.

I've tried defragmenting drives several times on vastly differnt
specs of machine, and not once could I tell it was any faster
afterwards.
I do, regularly. Not on my own machines because I maintain them, but
on PCs that I service for others I see noticeable speed improvements
after defragmenting the drive all the time.
I even recently defragmented specifically a 20GB database which was
written to very regularly (hence was extremely fragmented) - no
change at all.
If there is enough contiguous free drive space for the database, it
won't fragment no matter how often you write to it. Besides that,
databases are a very different animal - often the database engine does
a remarkable job of caching reads so that file system fragmentation and
other OS level incidentals have little effect on performance.

--
Zaphod

Adventurer, ex-hippie, good-timer (crook? quite possibly),
manic self-publicist, terrible bad at personal relationships,
often thought to be completely out to lunch.
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

It does.


I do, regularly. Not on my own machines because I maintain them, but
on PCs that I service for others I see noticeable speed improvements
after defragmenting the drive all the time.
I've not noticed it on machines belonging to other people either. If the disk is full, it's probably a machine that's pushed beyond its limit in other ways anyway and is long overdue an upgrade, so everything is slow whether you defrag it or not.
If there is enough contiguous free drive space for the database, it
won't fragment no matter how often you write to it. Besides that,
databases are a very different animal - often the database engine does
a remarkable job of caching reads so that file system fragmentation and
other OS level incidentals have little effect on performance.
Oh.
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

Depends on how full the drive is and how badly fragmented it has
become. I had to service a secretary's PC recently that was 5+ years
old, drive had less than 10% free space and was very, very heavily
fragmented - probably hadn't been defragmented since purchase, and had
been updated, patched, etc. so many times the analyze graph didn't have
any blue in it that I can remember seeing, it was all red with a little
green. PowerPoint presentation she was working on took something close
to 5 minutes to open before defragmenting, and took less than 20
seconds to open afterward.
Strange, I've never come across anything like that. Mind you if the drive is 90% full it oughta be changed for a bigger one anyway, which is what I usually do. It's very inconvenient to get your work interrupted to have to delete stuff.

--
http://petersparrots.com
http://petersphotos.com

"Why do the birds fly south to Africa in the autumn?"
"Because it's too far for them to walk."
 
P

Philip Herlihy

....

Depends on how full the drive is and how badly fragmented it has
become. I had to service a secretary's PC recently that was 5+ years
old, drive had less than 10% free space and was very, very heavily
fragmented - probably hadn't been defragmented since purchase, and had
been updated, patched, etc. so many times the analyze graph didn't have
any blue in it that I can remember seeing, it was all red with a little
green. PowerPoint presentation she was working on took something close
to 5 minutes to open before defragmenting, and took less than 20
seconds to open afterward.
I've had similar experiences. Defragging disks with plenty of empty
space doesn't do much, but the difference in a disk which has been very
full for a long time can be enormous. I've also seen differences in
defragmenting pagefile and registry hives. Pagedfrg.exe (sysinternals)
can do this for XP, and Defraggler (piriform) has an option to do this.
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

I've had similar experiences. Defragging disks with plenty of empty
space doesn't do much, but the difference in a disk which has been very
full for a long time can be enormous. I've also seen differences in
defragmenting pagefile and registry hives. Pagedfrg.exe (sysinternals)
can do this for XP, and Defraggler (piriform) has an option to do this.
How can a disk be full for a long time? You can only delete so much before you really have to get a bigger one.
 
J

John Williamson

Lieutenant said:
How can a disk be full for a long time? You can only delete so much
before you really have to get a bigger one.
Most of my system discs are pretty full shortly after I install the OS,
then stay that way until the system falls over, requiring a re-install.

It's the data discs that gradually fill up.
 
L

Lieutenant Scott

Most of my system discs are pretty full shortly after I install the OS,
then stay that way until the system falls over, requiring a re-install.
Then you should have bought a bigger disk to start with.
It's the data discs that gradually fill up.
Indeed.
 
J

John Williamson

Lieutenant said:
Then you should have bought a bigger disk to start with.
Why? It doesn't fall over because the system disc is too small. It falls
over because the way I use it can cause bits of the system to become
corrupted. Occasionally, it's the HD failing that causes the problems.

I normally leave between 15 and 20% free space on the system disc, and
I've not noticed any greater stability by leaving more free space.
 
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Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

How can a disk be full for a long time? You can only delete so much
before you really have to get a bigger one.
Have you ever worked in a small business where you were not the owner /
guy who has the power to buy newer computer equipment? It is common in
small business environments to wring every last bit of usefulness out
of a given piece of equipment before upgrading or replacing it. Lower-
level employees especially learn to "make do" with what they have,
deleting the oldest files to make room for the new, learning when to
start a particular long-running process so that they take a coffee
break / lunch break or even leave for the day so it is done when they
return. Not everyone has the luxury of upgrading or replacing computer
equipment on demand, in fact, few in the business world do.


BTW, you should consider setting the line length on your newsreader to
something shorter, say 72 characters, so that it breaks lines in your
posts at more reasonable length.
 

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