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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Defragmenting my mind

    Seasoned professionals (ahem!) who should know better, will spend hours passively watching Defrag do its thing, but wouldn't consider active involvement with something as taxing as a game of PacMan, for PacMan requires physical coordination, while watching Defrag requires little else that one hold a mug of coffee. Which is why I am pondering yet another great mystery of Defrag, (Win98, since you ask, but Win3.x and upwards and ever onwards is a pretty safe bet) on a gray Saturday morning.


    <pre><font color=red>Why are there always chunks of empty space up at the front of drive C:.</font color=red></pre>



    I have noticed with increasing curiousity that drive C always has space up front, and so Defrag is always compacting the early sectors of drive C:. Why is this? I would have thought that after a few months of defragmenting, twice each weekend, drive C should have settled down, and all the only-get-read (as distinct from Read Only) files, such as the EXEs, DLLs etc, would have gravitated to the front.

    What is it about Windows that it is changing files that are physically near the front of the file, and not getting to move/Defrag them towards the more volatile rear?



    I swear that if I ran this little job every time I shutdown the system (maybe four times a day), I'd still see chunks of empty space at the front of drive C:

    <pre>REM 98ShtDwn (ShutDown.bat) Christopher Greaves Saturday, February 16, 2002
    start /w c:windowsDefrag c: /u /f /noprompt /detailed
    c:windowsrundll32.exe shell32.dll,SHExitWindowsEx 13
    REM End of 98ShtDwn.bat
    </pre>





    For the curious, my daily backup procedures involve a second 20G drive (making 10x2G + 10x2G partitions). The drive D, which receives a copy of new and updated files from C, also exhibits this patch-of-space behaviour, although it is not as pronounced as the primary copy of c:. That tells me something, but I'm not yet sure what it tells me.


    I'd love a version of Defrag that logged the names of the files that required movement.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    >>I'd love a version of Defrag that logged the names of the files that required movement.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.diskeeper.com/diskeeper/diskeeper.asp>Diskeeper</A>

  3. #3
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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    Thanks. 15 minutes is not a bad response time, given that it's Saturday here. My 20x2G partition Defrag takes longer than that .....

    Now, when might I expect an answer to the first part of my enquiry? (grin!)

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    Now?
    I dunno.
    Maybe you need a fixed pagefile size? - but I wouldn't fiddle with it.
    How big are the chunks?
    I would be tempted to run Defrag immediately you start and before the pagefile gets to work.
    (Or does the pagefile show up separately in W98 defrag?)

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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    PageFile? That sounds like ICL-talk of the late '60s!

    I suspect it is not the page/swap/vm file, as the chunks tend to be single-cluster pieces, or maybe six clusters at a time.

    Typically, on the first ten lines of the display, a white space of about a dozen clusters appears, and then the PacMan-like chomping starts. The white (vacant) space migrates until it reaches about the 20th line, at which point large-scale defragmenting occurs.

    Significant portions of the drive C are unfragmented, so it's as if Win98 defrag is placing files which are changed/rebuilt regularly, up at the front of the drive. I'd expect such files to be placed towarsd the rear, or at least, preference be given to DLL, EXEs and the like.

  6. #6
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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    See what you started? <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=vb&Number=117460&page=0&vie w=collapsed&sb=5&o=0&fpart=&vc=>this post</A>

  7. #7
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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    >Defrag immediately you start

    OK. I've just had three passes of:
    1) Fire up the machine
    2) run my little defrag-shutdown batch job immediately

    There seems to be just a single small fragment right at the end of the drive. That's what I'd expect - maybe a Log file is being updated. No gaps at the front of the disk.

    I think I'll continue to use by Defrag-Shutdown batch job to turn off the machine, and over the next few days, see if a pattern develops.

  8. #8
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    Re: Defragmenting my mind

    applog is the answer, especially this post

    I have deleted c:windowsapplog and now no longer see those five or six lines of scurrying activity at the start of drive C:.

    I don't miss it.

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