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Defrag Blues...HELP

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#1 mark4man


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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:38 AM


After reading an article in Sound On Sound magazine, I used Norton Speed Disk to configure my audio data to the "Files First" positioning on my audio drive (In my project studio’s workstation PC...I have both a local drive for the OS & programs & a dedicated audio drive for digital audio data.)

The optimization didn't seem to bring any performance benefits in SONAR (my recording software)...but...I couldn't just leave well enough alone, I guess.

So I surmised that...if the audio data streams more efficiently from a "Files First" audio disk location...the program files on the local drive should also; & I went about painstakingly entering folder paths for all my SONAR program files (operational files, graphic caches, plug-ins, etc., etc.)

After optimization, tho...the program’s operation has bogged down to near dropout level; & I've noticed in SONAR's CPU usage meter that a higher percentage is now present; & that the graphics are super slow.

So my questions are: 1) How do I at least get back to where I was, for god's sake ??? My stock defragger is the Windows XP defragger, which I'm told is a watered down version of Diskeeper...(the British program.) Is this true? The only reason I used Speed Disk is because I was also told that the XP defragger, although efficient...doesn't defrag the MFT, Directory & various other system files. Is this true?

2) Will it help if I go back & defrag my local drive with the XP defragger? (i.e., will it put the program files back where they were...or will it just organize what's already there?)

3) Should I go out & get the full version of Diskeeper; & configure it to perform a “typical” or “default” defrag (& in that way get the system files defragged...if the above is true?)

And finally...where exactly SHOULD high intensity programs (graphic art, photo editing, digital audio workstations) be located on the local drive FOR optimum performance ??? Did I do the right thing? ('cause it sure doesn't seem so.)

Thanks very much,


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#2 just_a_nobody


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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:14 PM

Hey mark4man, sounds like you have quite a dilemma on your hands. We could use more info about your systems, as this may help with a solution, and those who may have the same problem.

I am not sure I even understand your problem, as far as what you mean by "files first"? Was this an option for Norton, and is this hard drive a boot drive? You want your boot files, to be first, on your disk.

I am not familiar with SONAR, or what it does, so my advice may not be worth a plug nickle, to you, but I would try XP's defragger, before I would use any Norton product. I have Diskeeper, and I don't see anything special in it; I was happy with XP's defragger.

It sounds to me, when you wrote up all them file addresses, that this may be what is slowing down your system, or perhaps I am not understanding exactly what you are doing. Is there a way that you can burn all the SONAR files, to a CD, for backup, before you do anything?

This is only me, but I won't let any Norton product, on my computer, as they tend to be resource hogs.

I am gonna send another post, after I go look at something that may help.

#3 MartyGeek


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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:49 PM


I can only say what I would do in this situation, so here goes:

1. Strip out Norton, all Norton and anything Norton
2. Backup the Sonar files to CD, in case there are config files required
3. Make note of Sonar settings I may need to re-instate
4. Un-install Sonar
5. Re-install Sonar to the fastest disk on your computer
6. Defrag all hard drives using stock defrag or diskeeper

If you do want more speed, consider building a RAID array for your audio files, with at least two hard drives, plugged into a PCI RAID card, such as a Promise SATA pci.

The more hard drives you have in the array, the quicker it will be. Four is ideal, but may not fit in your case, and may cause cooling issues. Two SATA drives mirrored will be quicker, though. (2x80Gb, for example, to create one 80Gb drive). Hard drives should have a dedicated 80mm fan, to keep them as cool as possible, especially Western Digital.

After surviving a recent data disaster, I will never trust any of my critical files to:

1. A system partition (or the first partition on a drive)
2. A single hard drive

You said you have a separate drive for your Audio files. Ensure this drive is not on the same ATA channel as an optical drive such as CD ROM or DVD, at the very least.

As mentioned in the previous post, without much more known about your system, we cannot advise you further.

M :thumbsup:

#4 stidyup


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Posted 18 July 2005 - 02:56 AM

In my own experience I've found Perfect Disk and O&O defrag to be better than diskeeper especially when dealing with large files.

Diskeeper is a waste of money as you can get the inbuilt defragger to be automated by using a bat file. See here

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