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  1. #1
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    A Windows system that never needs defragging?




    LANGALIST PLUS

    A Windows system that never needs defragging?


    By Fred Langa

    Windows' defragging tool usually works quietly in the background, but sometimes it messes up.
    When you suspect the tool is misbehaving, there are easy ways to verify whether it's working as it should.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/a-windows-system-that-never-needs-defragging/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    RESTORING OLD DRIVERS


    One more reason to occasionally update some older drivers is that they are OEM (manufacturer modfied) drivers. When manufacturers include OEM drivers, MS Updates sometimes cannot appply security patches which want to replace or modify these files. This is by design, as you never know what will happen if you replace an OEM driver with a generic driver or apply a generic patch to one of these special drivers. I have found at least for my WinBook and Toshiba Satellite laptops, carefully selected drivers from DriverMax (free or paid) have helped in these rare MS Patch reoffer or failed patching scenarios. Also, when I applied SP3 to Windows XP and SP1 to Wndows 7, both upgrade readiness tools advised updating certain Intel and NVidia drivers. I did so using DriverMax, and never looked back. Both SP upgrades went smoothly. Just make sure you select updated drivers which closely match your laptop or desktop manufacturer, not the generic Intel or NVidia drivers (although these generic drivers work for me).


    ZONE ALARM FIREWALL IS OK


    However, Zone Alarm Extreme Security does try to protect your browser in ways that the pure Firewall and the basic Security Suite do not. And therein may lie the issue here.


    It's great to have added protections when we browse, but there is always the risk that a browser feature, plugin or update may run afoul of the security suite's browser shields. Before throwing out all of Zone Alarm, I would have disabled the browser shields (all of them) and then turned them on one by one until the borwser again slows down. Just leave the offfending protections switched off. Zone Alarm is very flexible that way -- you can disable features and shields pretty selectively, last I looked at their web site. Details on what shields there are and how to control them should be available in the online Help or the User Forums at the Zone Alarm Support site.


    Anti-phishing and browser virtualization are the most likely offenders here.


    Also, NOTE WELL that while Zone Alarm Extreme Security doesn't say under System Requirements for Windows XP that you need 2GB of RAM for the suite to operate properly, RAM is possibly an issue here. More system RAM could solve the issue, but that is itself a bit "extreme" for this issue.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-06-07 at 15:37.
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  3. #3
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    Fred, You stated "Oddly, Microsoft doesn't specify what percentage of fragmentation it deems worth fixing." Microsoft DOES say how much fragmentation you should reach to be worth fixing: Over 10%. You can find this in Help by entering Defrag and selecting the top item about halfway down the first screen.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swyork View Post
    Fred, You stated "Oddly, Microsoft doesn't specify what percentage of fragmentation it deems worth fixing." Microsoft DOES say how much fragmentation you should reach to be worth fixing: Over 10%. You can find this in Help by entering Defrag and selecting the top item about halfway down the first screen.
    On today's large hard drives, even 5% fragmentation can in some cases cause significant application slowdowns, in my experience. I defragment even at as little as 2%, and it doesn't harm the drives.
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    I agree and defragment my computers with almost no fragmentation. It really does help speed. I was only saying that Microsoft DOES have a recommendation of 10% even though that is, as you say, pretty high. Thanks for you comments.

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    Interesting article Fred. It would be useful if you included reference to SSDs.

    I use Windows 7 64 bit and never run defrag. I just ran defrag c: -a which is my SSD boot drive. This shows 26% fragmentation; however, I have assumed this does not matter on a SSD drive?

    Another related item is the SSD TRIM command. I'm not sure whether I need to run it. My understanding is that it was needed on earlier SSD drives, but is no longer required?

    Finally, what is the impact on running defrag on disks which are mirrored (RAID 1 configuration)?

    Keep up the good work

    Peter
    Last edited by fstop; 2012-06-22 at 11:48.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swyork View Post
    I agree and defragment my computers with almost no fragmentation. It really does help speed. I was only saying that Microsoft DOES have a recommendation of 10% even though that is, as you say, pretty high. Thanks for you comments.
    Let's make sure anyone reading our comments understands that we are not necessarily just referring to File Fragmentation, which is not much of an issue with today's fast hard drives. What my favorite defragmenters do goes beyond File Defragmentation. They also move frequently used files to the locations on the drive where they can be accessed with minimal head movement. That's called Optimizing, and it does improve access times from some programs.

    @fstop -- SSDs have no moving parts, so access times are not improved by defragmenting and optimizing. TRIM is still useful, but I think the function is automatically invoked on some of the newer SSDs. Is this true?
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-07-01 at 04:43.
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