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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Can Piriform Defraggler reclaim 11 GB of space?

    After defragging my wife's HP550 laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium O/S our freespace increased from 15% to 26% on a drive with 102 gig available.

    I paid $14 to 'The Answer' guy just to find out 'it's not possible'.

    Just so you won't think I am crazy, I am a retired 30-year mainframe Cobol programmer who knows how to read a report.

    Background: I ran CCleaner (Piriform) before defrag.
    I then ran Defraggler (Piriform) analysis; reported 15% freespace.
    I then ran Defraggler complete defrag; took about 2 hours.
    Defraggler then reported 26% freespace; ie. we gained about 11 gig of freespace!

    Any suggestions appreciated. I am seriously considering a system restore if we find things missing. Hindsight is 20/20 but I REALLY wish I had printed before and after reports; maybe Piriform stores defrag reports? Piriform wont talk to me unless I have an account; but that is another story.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Your more likely to have CCleaner as the cause for the extra freespace. Defragmenting doesn't remove any files, it just moves them around.
    CCleaner has been known to remove a considerable amount of "stuff", especially if your computer's operating system has been around for a long time without much cleaning being done previously.

  4. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    CLiNT is right,

    Both applications from Piriform doing very respectable work within their given parameters. If you read what CCleaner's objective is then you'll find your answer to the free space conundrum.

  5. #4
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    I think it may depend on how fragmented the drive was initially. The details of how many files had multiple fragments might give a clue. The cluster size of the drive is important too. For each cluster reclaimed you'd increase free space by that much.

    Joe

  6. #5
    Gold Lounger
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    I don't agree, a fragmented cluster is more than likely to be full, only the last portion of a file will occupy a small proportion of a sector and this occurs with every file regardless of fragmentation. If you have very large sectors - 64k - then this may be possible. If you have standard 4k sectors you will gain very little space from a defrag.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #6
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    That's fine. I think it depends on how Vista handles each fragment that gets created and how large the disk drive is. I freely admit I don't know for sure but am just guessing. Based the OPs stated order of events there is no way Ccleaner could account for the difference.

    Joe

  8. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There may be other factors at work here as well, we just don't have enough information. If the laptop owner is a novice she might not know to adjust things like the recycle bin size or browser cache size, etc.(as an example) The default sizes in many cases could potentially add up to alot of uneeded bloat.
    I'll admit that 11 GB is alot of space to gain after a routine run of CCleaner, so there could also be other issues we're not aware of here. But I would very seriously doubt that a defragmentation alone could account for anywhere near a sizable chunk of space.

  9. #8
    New Lounger
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    Most likely, the gained space is the result of Windows deleting restore points/shadow copies. The Windows VSS mechanism can not handle
    all the extra disk activity generated by defrag programs, and responds by deleting the sometimes very sizable restore point files.

  10. #9
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    I’ve used both Ccleaner and Defraggler since their introduction and can vouch for their safety and reliability – they are among the first applications I put onto any system I get in to my repair shop and I have never seen either of them cause the mayhem that other tune-up tools often do.

    I would guess, as others have implied, that we are not getting the full story here and would agree that it is Ccleaner that has reclaimed most of the space. Later versions have lots of tools other than the basic junk file cleaner options – although I did recently see a system with 5gb of just junk! Under ‘Tools’ it is possible to remove all but the last Restore Point and that could easily account for such a large increase in free space.

    For any poor soul stuck with the Abdominal Vista I would recommend they reduce the size available to System Restore, turn off Hibernation - and switch off Automatic Back Up, which I recently saw gobble up a whole Data partition without the owner having any inkling why the space was disappearing!

    There are many useful tips on getting the most out of Vista’s bad job here:
    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2238

    Cheers, Chris

  11. #10
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    In the previous post, I agree with paragraph #3. It's basically what I myself do, when setting up or tuning up a PC that has either Vista or win-7.
    But my own experience with both CCleaner and the Defraggler is 100% different.
    Maybe because we're half a world apart, but both of those programs have rendered my PC unbootable.
    I was forced to restore a Ghost Backup Image, to get my computer working again. If that could happen
    to me, it could possibly happen to anyone. I do understand that many people have run those two programs
    with no adverse reactions.

    So my only admonition is for anyone to make sure their PC is backed up, before running a new program,
    that's going to mess around with the registry or the file structure on the hard drive.

    Being in the computer business myself, for the past 30 years, I do download and test a lot of software,
    but before I test any new program, I make sure my backups are all up to date.

    After my unsatisfactory experiences with defragmenters in general, I went back to a technique I used years ago, when
    I was the only operator of a large main frame computer at the county Data Processing Center. I was probably the eighth
    or tenth operator on that computer and none of the other operators had ever done anything to clean up the hard drive or
    perform a defrag.
    Can you imagine running a PC for ten years with no cleanup and no defrag?

    The age old technique I used was to identify all the files on the HD that were not needed, and then to delete them.
    Then to make a backup of the HD, reformat the HD and then do a restore.
    I do the same thing, minus the reformat, on my own PC, just as a part of my weekly maintenance. The end result is a
    very clean, lean and mean HD, with NO spaces between files and NO fragmentation.

    First I run the windows Disk Cleanup program, in extended mode, to remove junk common to every Windows Installation.
    Then I run my own Cleanup batch file, to remove junk files, peculiar to the programs I run on my PC.
    When I run my Ghost backup program, I run it from a DOS boot disk. Before I actually run Ghost, I run a series of batch
    files to clean out junk files, delete old restore points and delete the pagefile. Then I run Ghost and back up my C: drive,
    minus about 4+gigabytes of unnecessary files.

    What I do is really very OLD Technology, not something new and earth shattering. Anyone can do it.
    Sorry, I didn't mean for this post to run so long.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  12. #11
    New Lounger
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    Used both without issues

    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    But my own experience with both CCleaner and the Defraggler is 100% different.
    Maybe because we're half a world apart, but both of those programs have rendered my PC unbootable.
    Using the default settings of both CCleaner and DeFraggler have never caused me any trouble of the kind quoted by DrWho. Because CCleaner does make changes to the Registry IF you let it, and because it deletes files and can change the Startup options in the Registry, it does have the potential to kill a PC, but only if you tamper with the default settings.

  13. #12
    New Lounger
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    I use CCleaner regularly, and it TELLS you how much space it is going to free up. This is probably where the space came from and you missed it.

  14. #13
    4 Star Lounger
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    Defragmenting a drive frees up no space at all

    - because it only shuffles the clusters being used by files into contiguity without changing their contents. So if you had 5,223,602 full clusters and 1, 547,856 partially-filled clusters on the disk to begin with, you'll have exactly the same numbers after defragmenting. At least to a first (and second and third) approximation, anyway. Making severely fragmented large files contiguous does free up BYTES of space here and there in NTFS's index structure, because it can represent contiguous ranges of clusters within a file more efficiently than it can represent isolated individual clusters within the file. Though whether you'd be likely to consolidate such pointers to the degree that you'd reclaim even a single cluster on the disk is debatable.

  15. #14
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Defragmenting with Piriform Defraggler on 64-bit Windows7 Home Premium always EXPANDS the disk space used on my Toshiba Satellite laptop. Sometimes considerably.

    Using CCleaner, the only large decreases in disk space used come from deleting obsolete Restore Points.

    DrWho's method of reimaging a partition writes all the data sequentially, which is likely to have an even larger effect than defragmenting. All the available space in each block and each sector would be used in this method, and orphaned fragments and shadow copies would be eliminated. The space used by Virtual Memory or Page Files could also be drastically reduced in this method, provided the Windows Prefetch Directory is cleaned before reimaging. In 64-bit Windows, there are also changes to WoW, SysWoW, WinSxS and other stores of duplicated Windows resources, associated with reimaging. Sometimes the regained Hard Drive space is shocking -- several to tens of Gigabytes in a few cases I've seen.

    Another thing which constrains the expansion of used disk space is simply to shrink the main Windows partition to under 60GB, assuming your Data are on a separate partition ( Partition D ) . I've never had a partition of this size fill up with programs or system data.

    But if a C:Windows Partition has never been cleaned up in several months or even years of use, it is amazing how much "Windows Sludge" CCleaner finds and removes. I would point to this as the cause of the OP's experience.

    With all due respect to The Doctor, I have never had CCleaner or Defraggler render a computer not usable. But then, I do not tweak my computers the way DrWho does.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-06-28 at 01:06.
    -- Bob Primak --

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