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Help with defragmenting...

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by alphacat, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. alphacat

    alphacat account deleted

    Jul 16, 2003
    I just tried to defragment my system, MS using XP Pro, and got lots and I mean lots of files that can not be defragmented (25 to be exact).... What do I do now??

  2. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Apr 14, 2004
    Mucus City, USA
    Run defrag repeatedly until it only takes a couple of seconds to respond that it’s finished. That’s as good as it’s gonna get with Windblow’s native defragger.

    Defrag is an old product that hasn’t much changed since introduced in Win95, except that it ‘understands’ newer files systems. There are newer, third-party utilities that offer functionality that MS-Defrag doesn’t; you might want to try one of them. I use Executive Software’s Diskkeeper because it also will defrag the master file table (MS-Defrag will not). I also think Diskkeeper does a better job in general of defragmenting my HDDs. YMMV.

  3. alphacat

    alphacat account deleted

    Jul 16, 2003
    Thanks I'll do that..
  4. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    Re defragging....

    Does it actually do anything?? I mean, really? If it cuts a nanosecond off doing something, is it worth it?

    I asked this question a few years ago, and the only responses were basically "of course it does something, stupid!". But no one actually answered my question. What does it do? People talk about it rearranging files so the computer is faster, but how much?

    Just curious.

    (P.S. I'm probably going to set my computer to defrag when I leave after
  5. ronin_asano


    Apr 13, 2004
    files are not stored in contiguous space on your hard drive. they get spread around to different areas. the further apart the pieces are, the longer it takes the hd to grab them and manipulate them into the 'whole' file you work with.

    running defrag allows the machine to rearrange those pieces so they are closer together, and hence accessed more quickly.

    as you know from watching defrag run, or reading the report, some files cannot be moved, and defrag cannot always operate on a file. for instance, the native program cannot defrag your swap space.
  6. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Apr 14, 2004
    Mucus City, USA
    How much it affects you depends on how disk intensive your applications are. If you are editing video, the impact can be profound. If all you do is surf the web and play mine sweeper, you might never notice.
  7. Halo

    Halo Millennium Member

    Nov 2, 1999
    Charlotte, NC
    Nanosecond delays here and there seem trivial, but keep in mind that file operations can be the sum of many thousands of iterations. That delay quickly increases by orders of magnitude.

    There's a free program called Buzzsaw that runs in the background, and defrags whenever your computer is idle. I haven't used it long enough to give an honest assessment of how well it works, but you might want to give it a try. You can find it at
  8. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Apr 14, 2004
    Mucus City, USA
    That is an intersting prospect. That's the way *NIX OSes work (and why there's no great market for 3rd-party *NIX defraggers).
  9. SamBuca


    Aug 9, 2002
    Carlisle, PA
    Are the unmoveable files really large files? There might not be enough free disk space to reassemble them.
  10. alphacat

    alphacat account deleted

    Jul 16, 2003
    SamBuca, No, the files aren't big ones and I've got lots of hard drive space left.

    I did like Tennessee Slim told me to do and after about 4 times running the defrag everything was back in order.....

  11. younggenious


    Jun 29, 2001
    Southern TX
    I would recommend a third party defragmenter. I use Executive Software's Diskeeper Professional. It's extremely thorough, very fast, and just overall an excellent product.
  12. alphacat

    alphacat account deleted

    Jul 16, 2003
    Thanks, But I did finley get this thing working...

  13. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    I see others have answered this as well. I've found one visual really worthwile. The numbers used are not real, they're for visual purposes.

    Imagine a vinyl record. It's got one groove per side, right?

    That's what your hard drive looks like after it's formatted but before you actually put anything on it.

    Now, each of your blocks take up a 1 degree arc of that record (blocks is what a hard drive actually uses) Each block can hold 1K of data.

    How many 1K or less files do you have? Very few.

    Every time you open a document and edit it, it has to be rewritten to the disk. It starts writing as close to the spindle as possible. It writes in 1K blocks and then leaves a "Go to block 1024" marker at the end so it knows where to pick up the next block. Next block has a "Go to block 2048" marker, and so on.

    Your document is 10 Meg in size (goodly size document or program, or file, or DLL, or whatever), how many blocks does it take to write it? 10240 blocks (1K per block, 1024 K in a meg)

    Now, watch the needle on the record player as it tries to find each block that has the next 1K piece of the 10Meg file. WOW, it jumps all over the place. Each time it has to come off the record and go to another place, that takes time.

    When you defrag, you put all the files into consecutive blocks so the needle does not have to leave the record to get the entire file. It goes down at the beginning of the file and only comes back up at the end.

    How much time did you just save? That was one file. The computer has a few dozen files open at any given time, even if you're not doing anything.

    Think about it.