Disk Defragmenter


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I have recieved a lot of different opinions on this so i would really like some clarification. In Windows 7 i open Disk Defragmenter and ALL drives are selected by default, including Recovery Partition & System Reserved. Now, some people have told me that you should never defragment these partitions. If that is the case why has Windows checked these drives to defragment on schedule?

Please note. i am NOT talking about defragmenting these drives manually i simply mean leave them checked and allow Windows to defrag them as and when, if ever needed.

Please see screen shots attached.
 

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Nibiru2012

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Just uncheck the boxes for the drives you don't want as part of the defrag schedule. Your 2nd attachment shows all the boxes checked.

It's really not that hard.
 
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As to wether or not to defrag those particular partions; I can just give you my opinion. Yes, for the simple fact that they can get corrupted as well. I defrag and virus, malware check all my drives.
 
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Just uncheck the boxes for the drives you don't want as part of the defrag schedule. Your 2nd attachment shows all the boxes checked.

It's really not that hard.
Read my question again. I was not asking how to remove these from the defrag schedule i think that is pretty obvious and i do know how to check/uncheck boxes!

My question was if these partitions should not be defragmented why does Windows check them by default?

@bassfisher6522, Thanks for your advice :)
 

Nibiru2012

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if these partitions should not be defragmented why does Windows check them by default?
Because Windows is not a perfect OS, as none are. Don't worry about it and just uncheck the boxes if you wan to.

I wouldn't advise relying on Windows Defragmenter solely. It's not that good, very slow and incomplete defrag.
 
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Because Windows is not a perfect OS, as none are. Don't worry about it and just uncheck the boxes if you wan to.

I wouldn't advise relying on Windows Defragmenter solely. It's not that good, very slow and incomplete defrag.
Thanks :) Am i correct in saying that leaving them checked will not cause any harm?
 
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I agree with Nib's, windows defragmenters are substandered. There are some better free one's out there. Auslogics is good and is what I use.
 
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But is leaving them checked ok?
You know how computers are. An application works great for two years and then all of a sudden it is acting screwy. The more you tamper with files the faster they start to act up. This is why its best not to tamper with the recovery partition. Everything maybe fine for two years and then fail to work correctly. As for whether its safe to leave the boxes checked, the answer is yes but then you are gambling on how long your recovery partition will work. It is always safe to use the computer but then things start to go wrong. Who knows when that will be.
 
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You know how computers are. An application works great for two years and then all of a sudden it is acting screwy. The more you tamper with files the faster they start to act up. This is why its best not to tamper with the recovery partition. Everything maybe fine for two years and then fail to work correctly. As for whether its safe to leave the boxes checked, the answer is yes but then you are gambling on how long your recovery partition will work. It is always safe to use the computer but then things start to go wrong. Who knows when that will be.
I get your point. Ok, well i think i will leave them checked for the simple reason that if they were not meant to be i am sure Windows would be set up not to include them (Recovery Partition & System Reserved) in the list and definitely not have them pre-checked. Also, as they are hardly ever used i cannot imagine they will even get fragmented so when it comes to the schedule Windows should see they are 0% fragmented and just leave them alone. Should for whatever reason they ever become fragmented, and again i cannot see how, Windows will do what is needed and defragment them.

I always had them checked in the past and whenever i had to recover my system the Recovery Partition always worked fine.
 
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Windows would be set up not to include them (Recovery Partition & System Reserved).
One thing you should know, Microsoft is not the ones that setup the Recovery Partitions. Recovery Partitions are setup by third party vender's. If it is anyones responsibility to make sure the Recovery Partitions are not included within the De-Fragmentation progress, it would be the Third Party Vender's. Even then I'm not sure it would be possible as every drive that has read/write access is listed and checked by default.
 
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One thing you should know, Microsoft is not the ones that setup the Recovery Partitions. Recovery Partitions are setup by third party vender's. If it is anyones responsibility to make sure the Recovery Partitions are not included within the De-Fragmentation progress, it would be the Third Party Vender's. Even then I'm not sure it would be possible as every drive that has read/write access is listed and checked by default.
Ok, so if the 3rd party vendor thought it was not a good idea to leave the Recovery Partition checked by default then surely they would remove it, right?

In my household we have 2 Sony Vaios and a Samsung and they ALL have the Recovery Partition & System Reserved checked by default in the scheduler.
 

Digerati

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If that is the case why has Windows checked these drives to defragment on schedule?
It is not up to the OS to decide, it is up to the user. So Windows correctly selected them.

windows defragmenters are substandered
I disagree completely! Windows 7 built in defrag program is perfectly suited for the task at hand. The alternative defraggers are, at best, a waste of disk space, at worse, a waste of money too. It is important to note that if you need to defrag, then defragging is simply treating the symptom, and not the cause of the problem. The cause of the problem is the USER has failed to keep a sufficient amount of "free" disk space available. And the cure is to free up or buy more disk space.

Whenever you defrag a drive, the second, and I mean that literally, the second you start to use that drive again, fragmentation starts again. Temporary Internet files, cookies, OS temp files, revised documents and other files, now a different size, will be moved and/or split, starting the fragmentation process again. For this reason alone, it is pointless to use a more aggressive program to eke out one more percentage point of defragging. All that extra effort is lost, almost immediately.

The absolute best way to minimize the adverse affects of fragmentation is to ensure you have ample free space on the drive. If you are defragmenting because you are low on disk space, it is senseless, and counterproductive to download yet another program that takes up more space.

To optimize defragging, boot into Safe Mode, run Windows Disk Cleanup to purge your system of 1000s of cookies and temporary files. Reboot into Safe Mode again to delete any files Disk Cleanup (or CC) could not delete while running, then run defrag.

Note: Do NOT run any defragger (including Windows 7 defragger) automatically via a schedule. The scheduled defragging will be counterproductive due to the 1000s of temp files on the disk.

Note 2: I am not saying the alternative defraggers are no good, I am just saying they are not needed, and are a waste of disk space. Windows' own is just fine, and already there.
 
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@Digerati, ok since you sound like you know what you are talking about i shall ask you directly. Is leaving the Recovery Partition & System Reserved checked ok to do? Personally what have you done?
 

Digerati

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I don't buy pre-built computers so I don't have those partitions. That said, I would uncheck them just because those partitions should never be used, and therefore, should not become fragmented or in need of defragging. Defragging them is just simply a waste your time, and puts unneeded wear and tear on the drive.

I should also note that defragging is not risk free. Critical system files are often moved during this process. Although defraggers are designed to prevent corruption while defragging, a hardware or power failure at that critical moment could result in file corruption - certainly rare, but certainly possible. And a corrupt recovery partition is useless. Of course, everyone runs their computers through a good UPS with AVR, right? But a PSU or RAM failure could be just as catastrophic.
 

TrainableMan

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The purpose of defragging is to make as many of the sectors which make up a single file next in read order on the drive. This is done because harddrives read ahead in anticipation of what it expects the CPU to request and since sequential reads are the most frequent it will have that information ready in the buffer.

Your recovery and system reserved partitions are checked to be defragged because W7 checks ALL non-SSD drives. It has no idea what you intend to do with those drives so it assumes they will hold changing data and should be optimized.

Personally I don't think this is a huge issue because if the drive does not change then once it IS optimized it will stay optimized (unless a sector becomes unreliable and the system determines the data from that sector should be moved. In which case that sector is then flagged not to be reused). So it takes the optimization program at most a couple minutes to determine that the drive is already optimum and it skips over it.

That being said, you have more information than the OS because you know these partitions will almost never be changed or even read, so the reasons to have it optimized are near zero. That is why, knowing what you know, it is perfectly safe and even an improvement in CPU cycles saved to uncheck these.

No I would NOT leave them defragment regularly because there is no reason too and there is little to no value in doing so.

Is it Microsoft's fault or responsibility, I don't think so; it's doing what it was designed to do. Is it the manufacturer's responsibility, possibly a little but for the most part all they do is install W7 as is, add the appropriate drivers, then add in some software (much of which they get paid to dump on your machine). And so what if it causes a very little wear on your HD; it's relatively insignificant and besides they would be happy to sell you a replacement. Realize the whole reason they started using a recovery partition in the first place is because they were too cheap to include an actual OS disk + their driver/programs disk and instead they convince you to buy bigger HDs because 500GB ends up only being 425GB when they finish.
 
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davehc

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"Realize the whole reason they started using a recovery partition in the first place is because they were too cheap to include an actual OS disk + their driver/programs disk and instead they convince you to buy bigger HDs because 500GB ends up only being 425GB when they finish. "

I like that TM. I am very unpopular in a couple of our local shops for advising their customers to complain and ask for DVD's.
 

Nibiru2012

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Okay... this is one of the threads that is going nowhere quickly. Depending upon the defrag software involved, you may or may not notice an improvement. I have ALWAYS noticed improvements in speed and response times with Raxco's PerfectDisk, no ifs ands or buts about it. This I know to be a fact, not an opinion.

Digerati is entitled to his opinion, as we all are, his electronic knowledge is quite extensive and I have learned a few things from his post replies. His computer knowledge is vast too, but I do disagree with him regarding defrag software. It is true that the drive starts to frag as soon as the defrag is done, but its not nearly as bad as before using defrag software. Plus some such as PerfectDisk prevent fragmentation from occurring.

Basically, its each to their own on this issue, same as with AV/IS software. We could sit here and discuss (argue??) this point until the corrupt, crooked and dishonest Federal Reserve Banking system goes kaput and we would still be back to square one..
 

Digerati

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Digerati is entitled to his opinion, as we all are, his electronic knowledge is quite extensive and I have learned a few things from his post replies. His computer knowledge is vast too, but I do disagree with him regarding defrag software. It is true that the drive starts to frag as soon as the defrag is done, but its not nearly as bad as before using defrag software.
Whoa! Please go back and read what I said because I never said that. I appreciate your kinds words, but if you are going to disagree with MY opinion, use MY opinion.

Of course a defragged drive is "not nearly as bad as before". :( Sorry Nibiru, but that made no sense. I NEVER said or implied that defrag programs had no effect so "not nearly as bad as before" just does not apply.

My comment was in response to a comment that Windows Defragger was substandard. That is not true. It is perfectly suited for the task, much in part because fragmentation starts immediately, so the extra efficiency a 3rd party defragger may achieve is not worth the space the 3rd party defragger consumes. Also, fragmentation problems is a symptom of not enough free disk space. Downloading more files does not help.

So again, my comments had NOTHING to do with performance before or after defragging. And I never said or implied defragging is not needed. So I have no clue who you are disagreeing with, but it is not with an opinion I expressed.

I will also say this, the big need for defraggers came about during FAT16 and FAT32 days when a 300Mb hard drive with 512Kb buffer was a HUGE drive. Today, interfaces and hard drives have made significant performance advances. 300Gb is almost small today. 32Mb buffers are common, with 64Mb and even SSD buffers becoming more popular. Disk space is cheap and the best preventative measure to prevent disk performance problems due to fragmentation is to have lots of free disk space. Fragmentation is inevitable, and does NOT automatically suggest a problem. With plenty of free disk space, fragmentation will not become excessive, or become a problem.

"Realize the whole reason they started using a recovery partition in the first place is because they were too cheap to include an actual OS disk + their driver/programs disk and instead they convince you to buy bigger HDs because 500GB ends up only being 425GB when they finish. "
It is a cut throat industry. It cost about $5 to stamp and package a disk, plus more for the logistics/manhours to ensure a disk gets in every box. When HP and Dell sell between 60 and 80 million computers in 2010, that's a lot of DVDs that would end up in the land fills. Disk space is cheap, a recovery partition is a ready backup. The problem is, users continue to fail at making backups.

I personally think CD/DVD installation disks are pain. All my other programs are downloaded. Disks are something I have to store. And new computers now walk new users through creating recovery disks when they first fire up the machine.

Another problem with OEM disks is sadly, most users do not read their EULAs and they feel they own the disk, they can use it as they want - including installing on different computers. That is not true. They own the license, the disk is just the media.

Of course, if you build your own computer, you can buy an installation disk, and not create a recovery partition.
 
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Bill , in your post you mentioned if the user has sufficient free disk space then that is the cure to fragmenting issues. I have about 45% of my HDD free yet if I do not do a de-fragment every once in a while I will see there is a significant amount of fragmented files.
I've always thought that moveing/adding/deleting files is what causes the largest degree of file fragmentation are you of this opinion or do you feel the fragmentation is soley caused by low disk space. I can see how this would be an issue but my reading of your post has me feeling that you believe this to be the main or perhaps only cause.
 

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