Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Shoreline, Washington, USA
    Posts
    147
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post



    LANGALIST PLUS

    Hard-drive defragmentation is still worthwhile


    By Fred Langa

    Today's hard drives are 10 times faster than the drives of old — is defragging really still worth the bother?

    One reader wonders whether the time has come to challenge the conventional wisdom about defragging.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/05/13/05 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 18:50.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Laurium, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Fred, this is in regard to the BSOD in Win7 ... for me the tip off was the 1TB Seagate Freeagent drive. You are likely right on that the issue is a USB port - but from experience, it is the mini-port on the drive, not the PC's USB port. I had to replace an identical drive under warranty for this reason.
    Jim Johnson
    Michigan's Lake Superior region
    How much snow do we have now?
    Visit Agate Reef

  3. #3
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    22312
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I'd like to echo this, and generalize. USB port malfunction has been my favorite method of causing Blue Screens all the way back to Windows XP initial release. As a hardware issue, the OS has little it can do. My personal method is faulty USB external hubs. I favor machines with a large number of built in ones. I use the Shorty USB cables to decrease damage to the physical port on the machines as well, and avoid hubs, but nothing is certain in computing (or life in general).

  4. #4
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I had a somewhat similar problem with a WD MyBook 1TB drive. In my case the resolution was corrected when I ran Windows (7) update which in turn updated the drvers and eliminated the problem.

    Zepe

  5. #5
    New Lounger keysailor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    As for defragging a hard drive, I'd really like it if the Windows server functionality 'refresh' could be applied to desktops. Refreshing a hard drive simply means rewriting all the data on it. Magnetic media does degrade, and bits on a hard drive that haven't changed in a long time will degrade, eventually becoming corrupted.

    One added bonus to defragging your personal computer's hard drive is that it does refresh parts of your magnetic media. But since it doesn't move everything, it doesn't refresh everything.

    MTBF (mean time between failure) for hard drives is so high now, that you don't need to worry about them wearing out from a physical perspective - you'll likely get a new computer first. But your data can and does degrade over time, esp. the stuff that doesn't get rewritten often (such as your photo, video and music files). Once they've been defragmented, they become likely candidates for future degradation. For personal computer users, this is often some of the most critical stuff they want to preserve.

    Of course, backing up your data to an external disk is so basic, but 98% of users don't. So that makes taking care of your hard drive more important. I like to use a replacement hard drive and cheap cloning software every 3 years or so myself, it can take less than an hour to do (most of it is just the computer working, not you), and gives me peace of mind that the primary moving part subject to failure is dependable once again. Even with new computers, I find that replacing the hard drive can be a worthwhile investment - the manufacturers put the cheapest device in that they can to keep the system cost low. A replacement hard drive is usually less than $100, and you can keep the original to swap out later.

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Edison, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    89
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    A few months ago I began running MyDefrag on a daily basis (MyDefrag provides scripts for daily, weekly, and monthly defrags). This seemed to work well until I had a problem that had me attempt to do a 'System Restore' on my hard drive. I was not able to restore to any of the past 3 restore points (I did not try any more than that). While scratching my head over this, I remembered reading somewhere that defrags can interfere with being able to use Window's System Restore function. I have since retreated to a weekly defrag schedule. Do you know what the latest scoop is on this issue?

  7. #7
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Just as background, I've been using defragmentation software for nearly 30 years, beginning with Raxco's R7 (now called PerfectDisk) on a I/O intensive database on a DEC RSTS/e system. When FastTrax came out for MS-DOS I was all over it, and in the days of 40ms seek times it made dramatic improvements. Less so today, although I believe there are some special cases. I've also been involved in music for more than 40 years (yeah I'm old) and my home recording studio PC can processes a typical song with 20 tracks using far less CPU if the files are contiguous, which translates into less likelihood for the audio engine to shut down unexpectedly. This is even more important if the PC is using standard drives that occasionally perform a thermal calibration. So for intensive audio or video production, I believe a defragmented drive to be a benefit. The other benefit I see is in the corporate world, at least in my environment. Most of the files stored on our servers are engineering drawings, referenced throughout the day, but not really I/O intensive. Defragmentation doesn't really help when the load is light, however, we have terabytes of data that needs to be backed up onto tape within a window of a specific number of hours. My testing shows a significant reduction in the backup times when the files are contiguous. Anyway, that's my 2 cents, and as an aside, my recommendation regarding software continues to be Raxco's PerfectDisk. The first run will take a long time as it moves infrequently used files away from the MFT, but after that it's efficient, and I actually leave it running on my Windows file servers 24/7, for nearly 6 years now without incident. It works for me, your mileage may vary.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Vallejo, California, USA
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    If the blue screen is not the USB port. I have experienced a Windows 7 blue screen from a corrupted NTFS partition. Running chkdsk fixed the problem once I figured out a way to boot a computer without blue screening it.

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia, New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    251
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Just a reminder that on a new SSD, defrag should be turned OFF as it actually slows the drive down.
    Peter

  10. #10
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North Eastern Arizona, USA
    Posts
    35
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    In Vista and perhaps Windows7, defrag has the nasty habit of shutting off hibernate. So there is at least one bad side of defrag.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •