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M$ defrag (Read 3849 times)
ollie90680
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M$ defrag
Mar 11th, 2007 at 9:44pm
 
One of my pet peeves is the defrag command for HD's. Too many times I go to do a defrag and find that I get the error message that I don't have enough room to do a defrag.  What I can't figure out is if you have other drives with sufficient room why don't they use them or ask if they can use them for temporary storage while they clean up the C drive?

Is there a commercial program that doesn't have this fault and will use other drives as well?
 
 
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MrMagoo
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #1 - Mar 11th, 2007 at 10:41pm
 
Hard drives are pretty cheap these days.  Getting a bigger hard drive would probably be cheaper and easier than buy a commercial program to defrag your current drive.

Norton does make a program that defragments your computer, called Speeddisk.  Its a good program, but I don't know if it does what you are asking for.
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #2 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 11:20am
 
The Perfect Disk product claims that it “requires as little as 5% free space” to perform defragmentation, but I have not used it myself (since I prefer Diskeeper 2007 Pro Premier).

However, if you’re that tight on hard disk storage, it is time to consider an upgrade to a larger disk anyway….
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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John.
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #3 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 1:18pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Mar 12th, 2007 at 11:20am:
The Perfect Disk product claims that it “requires as little as 5% free space” to perform defragmentation, but I have not used it myself (since I prefer Diskeeper 2007 Pro Premier).


If you haven't used PerfectDisk yourself, how can you logically prefer something else?

I have used Diskeeper as well as PerfectDisk.  I prefer PerfectDisk and have used it for many years.  Not only is their product excellent, but the technical support and questions, if ever needed, is both quick and good.  How often have you had a vendor actually email you a pre-release patch or call you back with an answer?  PerfectDisk has done both of these.

However, both products are well respected.

Here's a comparison chart (obviously biased) on the PerfectDisk website:
http://www.raxco.com/products/perfectdisk2k/comparedk.cfm


 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #4 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 3:27pm
 
Ghost4me, it is true that I have never used a witchdoctor to cure an ailment, and yet I still nonetheless have a preference for modern medicine.  Isn’t that quite logical?  The basis of my preference is not necessarily founded on experience, but on knowledge.  In the specific case of Perfect Disk, I have completely read the user documentation, and that knowledge (combined with my actual usage of Diskeeper) is the basis on which my preference resides.  Your preference may be different.

Consider also that many on this forum have a preference for a DOS-based approach to image backup, even though they themselves have never experienced the benefits of using an alternative Windows-based solution (e.g., Norton Ghost 10).  Surely, you are not willing to label all of those individuals "illogical", too?  Wink

For a discussion of Diskeeper and Perfect Disk, please see this thread:  Intelligent File Access Acceleration Sequencing.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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ollie90680
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #5 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 4:27pm
 
MrMagoo, Actually it was the need to replace my 40GB HD with an 80GB that made me want to defrag my  HD. Starting it out and finding that I only had 11% free with M$ defrag not wanting to do the job preceeded my asking the question. I have had this situation before where I went to defrag and and ran into the problem with M$ not advising me to do so.

Given how I like to try out new programs, adding old games to my new Dell, adding genealogy files and taking info from my other computers to colesse on the Dell I tend to run out of space. Another reason for the external hds also. Then there are my iTunes, I just can't believe how much space I have devoted to those. Must be 12GB or more now.

Yeah, I think a good commercial defrag program would be a good investment if it doesn't refuse me like M$ defrag does.
 
 
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #6 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 4:48pm
 
Ghost4Me, Pleonasm, & MrMagoo

Well apparently there are some strong opinions about two disk optomising software programs.

It looks as though they are both beneficial and I need to find out if either one can make use of additional hd resources to do its job if necessary. I believe that M$ defrag warns when disk resources falls below 15% free space. If one of the programs will still do the job at 5% then that would be signmicantly better.

Looks like I can get a trial download of at least one of them and so will see what I experience.

I just can't resist one little jab, and that is in my linux experience I have never had to do a defrag on the hd as linux takes care of that for me. It does seem to beg the question why M$ can't do it also?


 
 
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John.
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #7 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 7:23pm
 
ollie90680 wrote on Mar 12th, 2007 at 4:48pm:
I just can't resist one little jab, and that is in my linux experience I have never had to do a defrag on the hd as linux takes care of that for me. It does seem to beg the question why M$ can't do it also?


Actually Microsoft XP can and does have a Built-in optimization.  It optimizes the hard drive and file placement using two techniques:  ProcessIdleTask API which runs when the pc is idle to defrag/move files around for optimization, and the PreFetch to speed up booting.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1149277,00.asp

Rather than try to monopolize the world (as many claim Microsoft has been guilty of), there are better mousetraps out there (PerfectDisk for one) which are geared specifically at this task.

Some people say that you never need to defrag a NTFS volume, but I believe from experience that it speeds up many of the operations, particularly if you defrag the MFT and ststem directories.  It just makes sense that XP doesn't have to issue 5 reads to read in the master directory when 1 will do.

When free space gets low, you can run into all kinds of problems (not only Ghost backups) because of the swap/paging file dynamic nature among many other expanding/contracting jobs.

When you are taking a "hot image backup" like Ghost 10, any changes in the system that occur during the backup (hopefully few) have to be stored somewhere, either memory and/or disk.  And then reconciled at the end of the image backup.

Before taking Ghost backup image,  I delete temporary internet files etc. with CCleaner.  I also run chkdsk c: /f and PerfectDisk defrag on a volume before I take a Ghost image backup.  Makes everything nice and neat and uncomplicated.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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ollie90680
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #8 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 11:05pm
 
I wasn't aware that M$ did have any file optimization software running in the background. I would say that they have a foot in the right direction and you make a point that there is 3rd party software which does the job. I just don't think that a user should have to think about it and run defrag at all.

It doesn't sound to me though that Prefetch is an HD optimization software. Sure it may speed up booting but does it actually change the place on the hd?

Sounds like you have the right plan about backing up. I take it that you do complete backups each and everytime and not incrimentals? I had not considered disk cleanup prior to defragging.

I defrag when XP tells me that the drive should be defragged. Sometimes I do it even when they say that it isn't necessary. I have not seen a Windows HD when it did not need defragging at some point.

PerfectDisk sounds like the one that most interests me because it allows defragging down to 5% of free space left. I know that no matter how big my HD gets I will certainly come to a point when it needs defrag and it will probably be very full eventually. I just don't want to have to uninstall programs.


 
 
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #9 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 11:34pm
 
I guess you can say that PreFetch is not technically a HD optimization feature, but an XP performance feature.

When you consider that the hard drive is the mechanically slowest link in the pc, then that is why there is often a lot of interest in tweaking hard drive performance.  That's another reason why adding memory is so often suggested--to avoid hard drive i/o and keep information in memory which is clearly faster than a mechanical disk drive.

I would expect the same theory to apply to linux.  

The built in Microsoft defragmentor is fine for the average pc user.  The pc enthusiasts are the ones that are looking for the technical challenge of optimizing performance.  To that goal, PerfectDisk and Diskeeper as well as other defragmentors are available.
 

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ollie90680
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #10 - Mar 13th, 2007 at 12:19pm
 
Ghost4Me,

I can see that. Tweaking the HD to provide maximum performance would be very helpful. I remember back a few years when I used to use Steve Gibsons program to set the interleave so that performance was maximized. Do we still do that? It used to be that interleave was setup for 3:1 but as the systems got faster eventually we went to 1:1. I assume that all drives are not at 1:1. We also have larger caches now which would help. I increased my ram to 2GB on this Dell when I took it away from my wife and gave her the new Powerbook G4. (I got tired of checking her and my daughter's machines for viruses so I got them both Mac's).  Haven't had to look back.

Of course these same theories apply to Linux.  Hardware is hardware.

I probably should have found you guys earlier and got PerfectDisk. I really tried to defrag that 40GB but with only 11% free and it warning me that it couldn't I just didn't want to risk continueing.  So I opted for cloning the hd onto a larger 80GB.

This has been a great experience and I hope that I can get many of my other questions explored here from time to time on the Windows system.

 
 
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #11 - Mar 13th, 2007 at 12:29pm
 
Ollie, I don't believe that interleave is used anymore, but as I recall it was early on so the rotation could be timed with retrieval.  With the advent of memory buffers on the hard drives themselves, I think that it disappeared.

There are many intelligent and knowledgeable people that frequent here and contribute (you included).  We sometimes have different opinions but reconcile and then approach a newer topic again with gusto.  We're after a common goal to solve problems and learn.  I've learned a lot from everyone, and appreciate all opinions.

Glad to hear yours as well.  I know there are several Linux advocates as well, so chime on in!
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #12 - Mar 13th, 2007 at 2:13pm
 
Ollie90680, one approach that has been adopted by some users is to create a backup image with Ghost 2003 (or Ghost 8.2) and then restore the image to the same partition.  The act of restoration performs a defragmentation in the process, because the original files are written to the partition one after another.  In theory, you could proceed in this way even if the amount of free space on the drive was negligible.

Note that the ‘defragmentation benefit’ does not occur when using Norton Ghost 10, since its image file format is based upon disk sectors (rather than disk files as is the case with Ghost 2003/Ghost 8.2).

Like Ghost4me, I too learn “a lot from everyone, and appreciate all opinions”, so please do add your voice and your experience to the mix of any thread that you find of interest.
 

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ollie90680
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #13 - Mar 13th, 2007 at 11:01pm
 
Ghost4Me

Thanks for those kind words. I am always happy to contribute if I have some experience that would be helpful to someone else. This is the great strength of our community and why I support Open Source with enthusiasm.

 
 
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ollie90680
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Re: M$ defrag
Reply #14 - Mar 13th, 2007 at 11:05pm
 
Pleonasm

Now that is an interesting ideas that I will want to hang onto. I had not considered that it was possible to defrag while doing recovery. One more tool for the toolbox!
 
 
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