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Thread: Defragmenting

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    Defragmenting

    Just downloaded and installed Defraggler 2.18 from www.piriform.com and got a feature I hadn't seen on the earlier versions I've used. There was a prompt on the program's window about Emptying the Recycle Bin first. The reason for this post is that some people [including a couple of my clients] will use the Recycle Bin for storage instead of creating a Folder on the HDD to save temporary items and could inadvertently lose them.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Sounds very much like those people who use the Deleted Items folder in Outlook to store messages!

    By the way, the "Empty the Recycle Bin" option at Defraggler startup has been in there for ages.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    The real question is "why use defraggler".
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...slogics-Defrag

    cheers, Paul

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    I use my TalkTalk e-mail's Trash to store messages but have found Windows Defragger to be the only one of a couple of others I've tried to be able to achieve 0% Fragmentation and can't understand why some prefer 3rd party programs, although say they are quicker than Windows....

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    As for the Recycle Bin, the extended Disk Cleanup run by Task Scheduler for me every night keeps it empty.

    As for email, both my ISP and my own web site have unlimited storage for email, giving me message backup "in the cloud". I only delete junk/spam email.

    As for "Why use (name of 3rd party tool here)", the vast majority of 3rd party defrag utilities use the Windows API to do the actual moving around of file segments on the drive. The differences are in the algorithms used in the placement of file types. Windows defrag algorithms are sort of "one-size-fits-all".

    I use a 3rd party utility, and have all the Windows Defrag tasks in Task Scheduler disabled and replaced with tasks scheduled for my 3rd party utility. I have daily defrag tasks, and monthly (more comprehensive) defrag tasks. The utility I use optimizes startup and per user Start Menu using Windows own cache files. It also has more granularity than the Windows Defrag algorithms, having scripts for different types of partitions (and I use lots of partitions), defragging data partitions much differently than it defrags system partitions.

    As always, YMMV.

    As for 0% fragmentation, it would be worse than not defragging at all. 0% fragmentation would cause every file one edits to have file segments written at the end of the used space on the disk. It would cause every temp file and cache file created by Windows, programs, apps and utilities to be written at the end of the used space on the disk. In other words, it would immediately start creating nothing but fragmentation on the disk.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    As for 0% fragmentation, it would be worse than not defragging at all.
    So how does your (name of 3rd party tool here) avoid 0%? Is it set to stop at some larger percentage?

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    If 0% fragmentation is worse than not defragging - what's the point of Defragging ?

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    So how does your (name of 3rd party tool here) avoid 0%? Is it set to stop at some larger percentage?
    For starters, when Windows Defrag reports "0% fragmentation", that's the algorithm talking. That in no way means that 100% of all files are contiguous and there are no file fragments and no gaps between files anywhere on the disk.

    There are very many files that are in use by Windows itself, programs, and services, and in-use files are unmovable. There are files being created even while defrag is working, and these files are in-use as well, and unmovable. Unmovable files can be anywhere on the disk, and can be fragmented into tiny segments scattered throughout the disk. If the space between unmovable file segments is too small for an existing file to be fitted into during defrag, those gaps are left empty.

    The algorithm ignores these unmovable file fragments (which can number into the thousands) and any empty gaps in between unmovable fragments when it reports "0% fragmentation", because there is nothing that the algorithm can do with those fragments and gaps; it's finished. Take that 0% with a grain of salt.

    I use MyDefrag. I started using it a few years ago when it was JKDefrag. MyDefrag v4.3.1 is going on 5 years old, but since it uses the Windows defrag API, Windows itself keeps MyDefrag updated. The algorithms are pretty much optimal. It inserts zones of free space between sections of files that are optimized by type/frequency of access (it imports Windows logs/caches for these determinations). System drives have 6 zones, data drives have 3 zones. It's also scriptable. For more than you wanted to know about 3rd party defrag utilities, there is The Big Windows 7 Defragmenter Test. I suggest one just skip directly to the Benchmarks. (disclaimer: the author is a fan of MyDefrag, but the testing seems to be pretty much straight up—make your own decisions)
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    If 0% fragmentation is worse than not defragging - what's the point of Defragging ?
    The reality is that 0% fragmentation cannot be achieved on a Windows system, but hard drives/SSD's can indeed be optimized.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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    The last 3rd party defrag program I tried (can't remember name now) at best could only report 4% fragmentation - are you saying that would be more accurate than what Windows reports ?

    Norton 360 pops up now and again to say my HDD needs Optimization and then reports as unnecessary because it finds it as 0% Fragmented.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Edited

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    The last 3rd party defrag program I tried (can't remember name now) at best could only report 4% fragmentation - are you saying that would be more accurate than what Windows reports ?

    Norton 360 pops up now and again to say my HDD needs Optimization and then reports as unnecessary because it finds it as 0% Fragmented.
    As I said in post #8, what Windows Defrag reports is the algorithm talking. "Percentage of fragmentation" means what? What part of a hard drive does that reference? The entire drive, or just from the first sector to the last sector with a file? MyDefrag doesn't use that particular notation; it presents a graphical interface or a statistical interface.

    MyDefrag Analyze.PNG MyDefrag Color Code.PNG

    MyDefrag Stats.PNG

    In the stats image, it shows a percentage (to 4 decimal places) of completion on zone 3 of 6. That percentage has nothing to do with fragmentation, just how far along MyDefrag is in that zone. But there will always be purposefully left gaps between zones via the algorithm being used, and there will always be some fragmented files, because files in use cannot be defragmented.

    The stats view is showing 828 fragmented items on that logical drive, and the majority of those are likely files in use, which can't be defragmented. So a report of 0% fragmentation can never be a true 0%, regardless of the defragger being used.

    I have a daily defrag run by Task Scheduler at 5:01 AM every day. I ran it manually to get those screen shots. My drives stay decently defragged and optimized, and I never have to worry about it.

    While the Windows defrag is good, MyDefrag has shown to provide noticeable improvement. It's the only defragger that uses Wrap-around fragmentation. "Wrap-around fragments are aligned fragments (back-to-front) with nothing but unmovable data in between. Fragments like this have a negligeable impact on performance because the harddisk heads do not have to move, so they do not need to be defragmented. Other defragmenters do not know about wrap-around fragments, it is a concept unique to MyDefrag. Wrapped-around files will show up in other defragmenters as fragmented files. If you optimize a disk with MyDefrag and then look at that disk with an different defragmenter then it will look as if there are many fragmented files."

    Or to explain that a little differently, when MyDefrag's algorithm is moving a file via the Windows API and comes to an unmovable file, it purposefully fragments the file it is moving so that the first fragment fills any gap in front of the unmovable file, and next fragment is placed immediately behind the unmovable file. The unmovable file becomes a chunk in the middle of another file, but the read/write head doesn't have to move to read the file as it spins beneath the head; it just stops the read at the end of the fragment, and restarts the read at the end of the unmovable file, the beginning of the next fragment of the file being read. It's a fragmented file, but at 7,200 RPM, hardly significant because of it's placement.

    And as always, we all have our reasons for doing the things that we do. YMMV
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-02-07 at 15:50. Reason: clarity
    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.
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