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  1. #1
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    Hard disc defragging

    I subscribe to a PC magazine in the UK (PC Pro) which like many magazines offers "free" software, usually not the latest version but given away to tempt an upgrade. This months issues offers O&O Defrag Professional 16 (latest version seems to be 18!). However Windows 7 has built in defrag and mine is set to run automatically once a week so is there any benefit or risk in running a third party defrag program?

    TIA

    Peter

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    No benefit in my opinion. Third party programs use the Microsoft defrag APIs. The only difference usually is how the algorithm they use to handle free space. On today's disk drives Windows defrag is usually sufficient.

    Joe

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Benefits might range from slim to none, risks depend to some extent on luck and other installed software/drivers.

    If you have ~25% of free space on your drive(s)/partitions, W7's defragger should be fine.

  4. #4
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    This thread may offer some additional information.
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...-Defragmenting

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Not a whole lot of difference, you might get a tad bit more fine tuning with a third party application, but it's usually immaterial.
    I've had the 3rd party app Vopt for a long time now and I primarily use it for making a tighter packing of my large TB storage drives.

    It seems to do a better job than Windows default does, at least aesthetically, but those small differences you are just not going to notice
    performance-wise.

    When it comes to guys looking for a defrag tool outside of the Windows default utility, it's usually an OCD thing.
    It's that itch that just HAS to be scratched. I know.


    I recently defragmented my mother's laptop with Windows 8.1 default utility, she doesn't know what defragmenting is,
    and the once per week schedule wasn't getting done due to the nature of her sporadic usage. (She turns it off when not using)
    So Windows defrag/optimize took an hour to go through and made a total of 8 passes, after it was done I booted the machine
    and it was noticeably faster/more responsive. I changed her schedule to daily so that there was little chance of her missing it.
    That's just an extreme example, but Windows defrag is more than good enough.

    It does a better job by not going 100% OCD style. It can run in the back ground and be un-noticeable, provided it's doing so rather frequently.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-02-12 at 14:11.
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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    My Pc is always off when defrag is supposed to run but there's an option in task scheduler to run as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed. I can't say I've ever noticed it (probably runs when I'm not at the PC), but it still runs. The option is on the settings tab in task scheduler.

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    Defragging isn't only to improve performance; it's also to reduce wear & tear on the drive. Trouble is, defragging itself gives the drive a good ol' workout, so doing it too often causes more trouble than it solves. And of course, doing it too seldom is no good, either. So where's the "goldilocks" point? Well, that depends on how you use your computer - weekly seems excessive unless you're a heavy user. I'd suggest just doing it manually for a while - Windows will tell you whether it needs doing or not, and that will tell you how to set your schedule.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    My Pc is always off when defrag is supposed to run but there's an option in task scheduler to run as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed. I can't say I've ever noticed it (probably runs when I'm not at the PC), but it still runs. The option is on the settings tab in task scheduler.
    A further condition is that the Windows defrag runs only while the computer is idle.

    I detect that it has run because the next Macrium Reflect incremental backup produces a much larger file than the ones either side of it, because the cluster structure of the C: drive has been significantly disturbed.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Trouble is, defragging itself gives the drive a good ol' workout, so doing it too often causes more trouble than it solves.
    Not necessarily, when it comes to the default Windows defrag or optimization, more frequent running means LESS work on the drive.
    Less work because the drive is being maintained on a schedule and not being allowed to fragment to the point of needing a heavier defrag.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  10. #10
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    I agree with at least part of Tonyl's reply: although it is rare, defragmenting can really screw up your PC if it is interrupted for any reason.

    It's a matter of judgement when you do it, but I saw some research suggesting that in typical use about every 2 months is a sensible compromise for NTFS systems AND always backup before defragmenting. There's another compromise at work here - rare screw-ups vs catastrophic corruption.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The default tool in Windows (Vista and greater) very rarely has an issue if interrupted, there might be an exception if the interruption
    occurs with a seriously fragmented drive while the utility is in a critical stage, say near the beginning of the drive,...maybe but I highly doubt it.

    It'll be 3rd party tools you'll have the most issues with if anything.

    Windows defrag is somewhere between "overly safe" and somewhat less than 100% defragmentation.
    You just do not need to be 100% defragged on a primary drive.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  12. #12
    5 Star Lounger
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    That's a sound compromise

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