Defragmentation

  • mas77
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi
does anybody know what is the use of "Defragmentation"
and one other thing, is it that u have to restart the computer before the process starts and then it should be restarted again after it is done.
thanks
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • jnacool
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Post 3+ Months Ago

DEfragging ur pc basically sorts all the data on your drive into a more organised mess. It means that files you use often are placed nearer the begining of the drive and files used less often are placed towards the back, decreasing acess time and incresing performance, ny1 feel free to correct me there but thats what i thought a Defrag does, the restart allows all temp files to find a proper home before they are sorted as well as preventing new files created after the defrag being place at the front of your disk.
  • ThATKiD
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Post 3+ Months Ago

defrag should be done with nothing running at the moment so that the defrag program in the only thing with acess to the drive at the time.

when you defrag you eliminate holes (empty random spaces usually caused by temporary files or deleted files). eliminate wholes helps with performance and system stability. some argue that a defrag can cause instability in the system due to misplaced data. Im not too familiar wit how it gets corrupted anyone wish to continue were i'm leaving off ?
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Basically Defraging is like smoothing out wet cement. Before you smooth it out, theres a bunch of lumps in it, that dont make it un-usable, but it doesnt work as well. When you smooth it out, it looks better and functions better. Kinda the same with the PC. When you defrag, it takes out all those unwanted lumps and spaces of unwanted information.
Hope this helps a bit! :)
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Many people defrag their drive once a month… I say no way! Defrag a drive puts stain on your hard drive and you will knacker it out quicker.

I think my way is a good way to do it:

1.Defrag DOES NOT defrag your swap file (virtual memory) so if you have a second hard disk (everyone should have one to store important data) then before you defrag your main drive I would move the swap file to this other drive and back again when finnished.

2. Defrag 2 times a year like me or 3 or 4 if you install and download a lot of crap using p2p.

Defrag will never work well as a re-format would :D
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

True, but neither will an anti virus, but if your smart you use one. Ive actually never heard of it damaging your hardrive(defraging). How does it hurt it?
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hard disk failed would never have been put down defragging as the cause but when you do defrag the hard disk it is working harder than ever before. This generates heat and as we all know changes in temperature make plastic shrink and metal expand shortening the HD life.

You may argue that server hard disks are running 24/7 and while this is true the temperature stays pretty much constant so this ok. This is why many work PC have always been left on (apart from reboots). This going off the topic of HD but switching PC’s on and off do cause a small power serge as well as changes in temperature that all add up to potential long term damage.

Basic physics.
  • DuckIT
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Not convinced that it can cause issues personally. Did some research and found nothing to say it can. Found this like where they say it can actually increase the life of a HDD:

http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0, ... g,2,00.asp

Quote:
In most cases, regular defragging actually reduces the wear and tear a drive suffers during normal use. After all, it's easier for the drive head to retrieve a file from one location than from eight. Consequently, a drive that's defragged every two to four weeks should last longer than one that's never defragged.


I've always done it every month or so and never lost a disk yet.

S
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hmmm never thought of that way but I guess it evens itself out... so its better to defrag for the increase in speed. I don't know maybe I will start doing once a month sounds good but not every week!
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There are really no 'hard and fast' rules concerning how often you should defragment your hard drive. It really depends on your use. Do you copy, move, delete many files. Do the programs you use read/write to the hardrive often? Do they use large amounts of temporary space on the drive which get deleted later?

You should check once a week. If your drive is heavily fragmented, then defrag your drive. If not, then check again the next week.

I've never had a drive fail due to defragging. I will say that if you defrag only twice a year, then your drive is going to be heavily, heavily fragmented. I would assume your drive would have to work even harder to defragment in this case.
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am going to clear up for you all what exactly a defragment does for all of you. If you get confused on terms just google them like so:

Define: track

Of course you do this in google and it will define them. Make sure you find the ones related to computing.

Your hard drive is made up of tracks, clusters, and sectors. Sectors are like peices of a pie, tracks are like rings around the pie/hdd, and clusters are small peices of data in all of the sectiors and tracks.

When you add data to your hdd, your computer finds the nearest available cluster for storing data. Cluster size is set up by your OS most of the time and avg. 1 KB on modern drives. Most files you store are more than 1 KB so they take up multiple clusters. If you have a file that is going to take up 5 clusters and the first cluster your comp finds only has 2 consecutive clusters, your computer will place data in the first 2 clusters and continue scanning for the next nearset available cluster. When it finds the next it will place the data there also. We will keep it simple and say that this newer empty cluster had 3+ consecutive clusters so the rest of the file is written to these clusters. Now you have what is called a fragmented file. This just means that the file is not all together but rather fragmented across your hdd.

When you go to open this file, your computer will open up the first 2 clusters into memory, and then move to the next set of 3+ where it wrote the other part. Then it will read all of the file into memory and do what it needs to. With a small file like this, you need not worry too much about the length it will take to open; but when you go to open say photoshop, which may be fragmented over 35 sectors and 12 tracks to make up 12,867 clusters, you can count on getting a bowl of ice creame and watching your favorite movie. (maybe not really that long but you get the point.)

Now over time, especially with people who like to download 100 things and then install them all at the same time, and then throw 98 if them out, the drive gets cluttered all up. Reading files becomes a chore for your hdd which must go all over the place running in circles to get your programs.

Defragmenting is going to do a lot for you. First off, it is going to check frequency of use of your files. More recent files will take priority over all of your other less used files. Once your comp has decided the waiting list of files and ranked everyone on that list, it begins to perform surgery.

First off, it will move your files on the inside of your hdd to the outside to allow consecutive write clusters on the inside of the drive. (why the inside you may ask: the inside requires the drive to spin less believe it or not. Usually the opposte is true but hdd are very complex)

Second, it will take your most often used files, like your OS, your favorite game, and that love letter your girlfriend wrote you that you still cant get over, and it will place them in the first section. It will continue moving closer files to the outside of the drive to allow consecutive clusters. It will also continue moving those files from the outside into organised clumps on the inside. This way all of your files are together on the inside of your drive.

Now that the hdd has a bunch of files on the outside it must move everything into the middle again and leave all of the space on the outside open to help make the drive stay cleaner longer.

That unfolds why it takes so long! It is like trying to clean out 5 filing cabinets at a time and never taking more than one file out at a time. (Im talking the 4 drawer high ones that are crammed with stuff).

Now for why this improves your life and your hdd's: Well it is pretty obvious that it is going to make your hdd work faster for retrieving files into memory for you. But doesnt it seem like you will run your hdd out faster by making it work so hard? It Doesnt!!!! Microsoft isnt totally stupid and I dont think they would do that. Especially considering they dont sell hdds! The amount of work your hdd does behind your back is amazing. Between opening and closing files, using temp files, running your OS, even letting your computer idle!!! (That uses your swap file like mad!)

I hope this has explained a little better as to what a defragment does. Sorry for any unclarities but it is 1:30 Am and i am not a night person.

Email me with any comments at corey@truceco.com .

This post copyright (c) 2004 Truce Co. and Corey Ward.

(Makes sure nobody copies it to other forums to get more hits. Its all about Ozzu!)


PS: I do go after copyright violators!!!! COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL PROTECTED IS BY FEDERAL LAW AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES!!!
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One more note, I do not reccomend installing more than 1 app at once!!! This fragments file like a granade fragments people!!! I have to degrag once a month and sometimes more!
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is it true that defrag does not defrag your virtual memory area and would you recommended setting up virtual memory on your second drive during the process?
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Honestly I haven't ever looked into that but using logic it would make sense that the computer leaves your virtual memory alone. If you use the default Windows XP defragmenter you will see a varying amount of unmoveable files. This is usually represented in green and I do believe this may be partially virtual memory.

Note on this: Your hdd must be used for running disk defragmenter also to allow your OS and your defrag utility as well as any other running apps. These programs are what usually takes up this "green" space represented in Windows XP defrag utility.
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here's a interesting method for defragging your Hard Drive :lol:

http://www.datadocktorn.nu/us_frag1.php
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That is calleds erasing your hard drive , not defragmenting it. They do not know what they are really doing apparently.

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