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Thread: MFT Defrag

  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I have a logical drive (E which has a problem MFT. It shows [currently] 471! fragments (it used ot be over 800).

    Most freeware program don't do MFT defrags. The only one I have found that claims to do so is the Puran defrag:

    http://www.puransoftware.com/Puran-Defrag-Download.html

    Some months ago, I the Puran program. It worked to cut the MFT fragments on this disc from over 800 to 450 or so. While better than before, still not solved.

    I had some back and forth with the developers of this program but got nowhere. Frankly, I was not impressed that these guys actually know much of anything about how "their" program does what it does.

    So after a while, I stumbled on an offer to download the prior release of O&O's defragger. V12 is the current release and V11 was free for testing and non-commercial use. I had heard that O&O software was good.

    Unfortunately, their defragger was also incapable of rectifying the problem with the excessive fragmentation of this drive. But what really annoyed me was the poor level of support I received when I queried them as to why their defrag program could not repair the excessive fragmentation on this drive.

    However, all I received were nonsense replies from a Brigitte Nill whose title is Senior Technical Support Engineer, who told me that:

    > > > In some cases it is not possible to defragment the MFT entirely, eg. Windows keeps a small part of the MFT (its first 16 records) locked and we cannot move these records.

    then when I replied that was not a very helpful answer

    > > this is just a behaviour of Windows itself.


    Which again was a useless reply and I asked for the question to be escalated

    > I have told you before that it is not always possible to defragment the MFT entirely. We have no influence on that. Send me your license key please and I will escalate the ticket to our development team.


    and finally, after sending the license key

    I already explained to you that it is not always possible to defragment the MFT. If you have additionally run the offline defragmentation method for your drive E: it won't be possible to defragment the MFT.

    Because you are using a free version of O&O Defrag 11 I cannot escalate your support request to our development team because extended technical support is available exclusively to registered users who purchased their licenses of O&O Software products.


    Had the folks at O&O Software been flexible enough to bend their protocol (I know, flexibility is often an oxymoron with German people) to escalate my problem, I would have given serious consideration to paying for the current version. Instead, this person left me with a sour taste in my mouth for the whole company Based on the replies I received from this person, I have no confidence in their technical support capabilities nor their willingness to bend their rules on occasion where it might result in an additional sale. It is said that the real value of a product is in the support you receive. Based on the experiences above, I would not recommend nor ever consider purchase anything from O&O Software.

    This all being said, are there any other free programs that can defrag the MFT of a hard drive?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    How practical would it be to back up all data on the drive, run CHKDSK /F on the disk and then reformat it, then restore the data back?
    Cheaper than any program...!

    Worth a read is How NTFS reserves space for its Master File Table
    From elsewhere, in relation to the value put into the value, I get the following information, which may or may not be correct:
    Value: 1 12% of free space, default
    Value: 2 25% of free space
    Value: 3 37 of free space
    Value: 4 50% of free space
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I've tried a CHKDSK /Fix but while it fixed some things, it did not fix the problem with the MFT fragmentation or what caused it to become so fragmented.

    So, yes, I was thinking of copying out the files on the drive, deleting the partition and then building a new one.

    But now I need a way to copy ONLY files from this disk. I tried using Acronis True Image CLONE function but that didn't fix the problem. I need to be able to copy just the files and not the old MFT.

    Adding to the complexity, this disk has many files/programmers that are used regularly, so I may have to do this from Safe Mode or DOS or with a program that can lock the disk first. Maybe Windows backup with shadow copy?

    I am running WinXP Pro SP3.

    Any ideas on how best to go about this?

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, Diskeeper may have the capability to defragment the MFT on boot, but it's not free. I remember
    using it to resize the MFT in XP on a few occasions. Something to look into if you havn't already.
    I'm currently using Vopt and have had no need or reason to look into MFT issues.
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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibe98765 View Post
    But now I need a way to copy ONLY files from this disk. I tried using Acronis True Image CLONE function but that didn't fix the problem. I need to be able to copy just the files and not the old MFT.
    There must be numerous choices for copying files, from XCOPY to backup programs that copy file by file. Would one of those work, or is it essential to clone the drive?

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I am not sure that xcopy, ycopy, etc. will copy open files. Cloning won't work because that will copy the MFT. I need to build a new partition with a new MFT and drop the files into the partition. That is why Windows Backup with shadow copy might work best (all open files will be copied).

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