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  1. #1
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    Worthwhile to defrag huge files (over 100 GB)?

    My backup files (from Easeus and from WIndow 7's own backup facility) are so large that they never actually get defragged - in the case of Auslogics defrag I simply tell it to ignore those files, but I wonder if it is worthwhile or even desirable to find something that actually might succeed in defragging such files (given that there is plenty of space available on the drive for them to be placed in contiguous blocks).
    Opinions?
    Thanks
    David
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Since all that happens with backup files is that they get written once and never read (one hopes!), then you could just leave them alone.

    However, if they cause problems for other files...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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  4. #3
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    Keeping the backup files on their own disk or partition is a good idea. Then "normal" files do not find themselves fragmented across multi GB sections of disk, with obvious performance implications.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I defrag mine using MyDefrag. Yes they are on a drive all to themselves. Yes it is a large drive with plenty of room. I also like to burn archive copies to DVD, and I don't like making coasters. I don't recall ever burning a coaster of a defragged multi-gig file.

    I had a house fire in January; my external backup drive did not survive (nor did two PC"s and two laptops), but my DVD's did.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Thanks to all.
    bbearen - are you saying that, in your experience, a fragmented large file is more likely to cause a DVD to fail (than a defragmented on) if you try to burn that file to it? If that's the only reason for defragmenting a huge backup file I suspect it wouldn't be worth it for files over 100 GB, since they would require ages to burn and a large number of DVDs. (?)
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    David,
    I take it your using Windows Backup. Mine are made using Acronis 2010, saved to an external hdd. I defragged them once and that made them unusable, so never did it again.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

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    Hi Roderunner
    Yes Windows and Easeus. Your experience confirms my suspicions. I think I'll leave well alone.
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  12. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwsolo View Post
    Thanks to all.
    bbearen - are you saying that, in your experience, a fragmented large file is more likely to cause a DVD to fail (than a defragmented on) if you try to burn that file to it? If that's the only reason for defragmenting a huge backup file I suspect it wouldn't be worth it for files over 100 GB, since they would require ages to burn and a large number of DVDs. (?)
    I guess it all depends on what one calls "worth it"...
    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    I had a house fire in January; my external backup drive did not survive (nor did two PC"s and two laptops), but my DVD's did.
    I lost two PC"s and two laptops, and an external hard drive with several iterations of backups on it. But I didn't lose any files, photos, music, video, etc. etc. thanks to my DVD's. A regular on another help fourm has as his signature, "any file that you don't have at least two backups for is a file that you don't want to keep."

    BootIt lets me allocate whatever file size I choose. I can choose 2GB or 4GB, etc. and BootIt will parse the backups into the correct number of files, which makes it quite simple to burn to DVD. Yes, it takes several DVD's, but in my case it is very well worth it.

    If I'm doing a backup in preparation to a major update, or a significant software installation, I'll use a single very large file; it's not for archive, it's just for going back in case of a foul-up. That's what I did before installing Service Pack 1. As it turned out, that update finished without a hitch, so I didn't really need that backup after I was sure that I had no glitches.

    But the backup I did after Service Pack 1 I wanted to save as an archive, so, 4GB segments. And I have never had a problem whatsoever with defragging a BootIt backup file with MyDefrag.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  13. #9
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roderunner View Post
    David,
    I take it your using Windows Backup. Mine are made using Acronis 2010, saved to an external hdd. I defragged them once and that made them unusable, so never did it again.
    If it was a branded drive, some have auto-installing software which could have been at the root of the problem.

  14. #10
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    Consider using Blu-ray

    Have you considered Blu-ray as your backup media? It's still somewhat pricey ($100 for a drive, $50 for a 50GB disk) but I find it is worth it: I make copies of my data files about twice a year and keep them in my safety deposit box at the bank. That way I only need two physical disks for 100GB rather than bundles of CDs or DVDs. Also note that I keep COPIES rather than images created by backup software. It has happened to me in the past that I tried to recover files from a backup but was unable to do so, as newer versions of the backup software could not read the old images or else the backup software maker had gone out of business and no current versions were available. (I do use imaging software for my systems drive)
    Update: Prices for 50GB BD-RE rewritable dual layer blu-ray discs have apparently dropped to about $25 since I last bought some. This technology has now been around for about 5 years and, as it gets more widely adopted, prices are expected to drop even further.
    Last edited by TheAncient; 2011-06-17 at 20:39. Reason: Price update

  15. #11
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    Hi TheAncient
    Last time I asked I was told recordable BluRay disks were not yet reliable enough, but maybe improvements have been made since then....
    I'll look into it anyway, thanks.
    David
    Kind regards
    David
    dwsolo

  16. #12
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    $100 for a drive, $50 for a 50GB disk
    I'd buy a couple of large SATA disks and an eSata card first. That's just silly money for new and unproven technology.

    cheers, Paul

  17. #13
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    Hmm, has anyone suggested defragging your Windows setup (C: drive) before you create a backup image?

  18. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    One might also invest in a couple of 1 TB passport drives for secure data storage and move them offsite.
    If you have just copied data to the drives & filled them, then there would be no need to defragment, ever.

    DVDs are highly reliable in my opinion, and I use both +(above). But if your starting from scratch and have 2 or 3 TB worth of files needing backup, your gonna be burning DVDs untill doomsday.

    To the original poster; If your laying down new large files to a drive you rarely manipulate data on, defraging should rarely be needed, if at all.
    But defragmenting will not be detrimental either. It does not matter if files that are heavily fragmented on a hard drive are burned to DVDs.
    Fragmentation does not get translated to "burned DVDs" they would just be reorganized to fill the DVD.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
    Hmm, has anyone suggested defragging your Windows setup (C: drive) before you create a backup image?
    Always; that's my standard practice, cleanup and defrag before imaging.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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