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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Disk Fragmentation under Win NT 4 SP6

    Can anybody shed any light on a curious pattern of disk fragmentation under Windows NT4?

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Disk Fragmentation under Win NT 4 SP6

    As no one else has come up with a good answer, I'll chip in with a few thoughts:

    1] Get the full version of Diskeeper. The difference is quite noticeable, plus you will be able to defrag the MFT and do a boot-time defrag which is much more effective. Its ability to schedule defrags may also help ease the load. Any defragger requires something in the region of 30% free space to be effective and efficient. (I believe you can download a 30 day trial version from here.)

    2] The sporadic striping of the data is something I do not find unusual using NTFS. There may be an advantage in using another filing system - I will leave that to be answered by more knowledgeable collegues.

    3] If the application is that critical, I suggest another drive - either literally or partion using Partition Magic - used exclusively for the data.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Disk Fragmentation under Win NT 4 SP6

    Thanks for your input, Leif.

    To take your points in order, the decision to buy the full version of DiskKeeper is a corporate one that I can request but not influence. I'll try, but I shan't hold my breath.

    Do I understand from point 2 that this data striping is an expected difference between the way that NTFS and the FAT32 and FAT 16 files systems work? That was the basis of my enquiry, really. I don't know enough about NTFS at this level, but find it unusual that a side effect of this could be the "choked" hard drive that's only half full, as in the last example above.

    As for your third point, all user data is stored on network server drives to promote easy central backup and restore. I used the term "Data" in the original post in it's broadest sense, not meaning the documents spreadsheets etc. created by the users. The only volatile data on the workstation hard drive is the contents of the swapfile itself, the User's NT Profile and the contents of the TEMP folder. The odd application update is delivered centrally from time to time, but these tend to be few and far between.

    I'm still puzzled...

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Disk Fragmentation under Win NT 4 SP6

    Always willing to speculate, me!

    I could explain the appearance of your second graphic by postulating that you are doing much the same thing about 60 times. "The same thing" would be to create a number of 'permanent' files and a number of 'temporary' files, each occupying getting on for 1/120th of the remaining free space on the disk. At the end of the program, all the 'temporary' files are deleted, leaving about 60 large free-space 'holes' where the temporary files had been allocated. Subsequent runs of the program would fill up parts of the remaining free space.

    Does this match with your experience? A good test would be to defragment the disk, then perform and save/print a Diskeeper 'Analyse' after each time your program was run. This should prove or disprove my theory.

    In any event, it looks like you should be defragmenting very frequently, as Leif says, because of the apparently-huge number of file creations/deletions. Couldn't you make out that you are a special case for the full version of Diskeeper, armed with the output from my suggestion?

    I wouldn't really think that changing to FAT-32 would do anything much, other than be somewhat more inefficient... Though if you have such a tiny disk as 4 GB, this could be arguable. I suggest you get another disk (hopefully SCSI!) of around 18 GB (or a small multiple of 18) for a few tens/hundreds of money units, format it as NTFS, and you'll extend the interval between required defrags.
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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