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Defragment & Consolidate Free Space


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#1 melmitts

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:07 AM

Can any one recommend a good hard disk defragmentation tool that will consolidate the free space like PCTools/Norton did many, many many years ago?
Thanks.

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#2 Layback Bear

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:23 AM

Good morning melmitts. Two that I think will do this are Auslogics Disc Defrag, (free) and Diskeeper 10 Pro which is for sale. Keep in mind Windows 7 has a very good defrag built right in.
:huh:

#3 Platypus

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:13 AM

Layback Bear is correct in observing that Windows 7 already has a capable defragmenter.

Also remember that drive optimization with NTFS is more sophisticated than many years ago with the FAT file system. Compaction was important with FAT, as the allocation table is at the start of the drive and has a fixed location and size. Crowding all the files as close as possible to the start and leaving the rest of the drive completely empty was the best way to secure performance.

NTFS locates the MFT (Master File Table) part-way into the drive to enhance performance, and its size is dynamic. There is an area ahead of it that files will not move into (to allow the MFT to expand), so this will often appear to be non-contiguous free space. Also, as the drive fills, the MFT may be expanded into more than one piece (a fragmented MFT). If this happens, the defragmenter will place the files closest to the fragment of the MFT they reference, so head movements will be smaller in accessing those files. This can actually improve performance compared with if those file locations were recorded in the original more remote MFT location, but the drive will look as though it needs defragmenting.

Edited by Platypus, 28 March 2010 - 09:16 AM.

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#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:32 AM

I use Defraggler, myself. :huh:
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#5 speedbird76

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:41 AM

Yeah, Diskeeper 2010 pro does it on auto defrag mode, but if you enable it's fragmentation prevention feature called 'intelliwrite', then it will not consolidate all of the free space, instead it will optimize file distribution to minimize future file fragmentation from file modification. Full free space consolidation is not of much help in real-world usage scenarios since frequently modified files will have no space to expand contiguously.

So, I never bother about free space consolidation, I just let DK do what it feels is best, and that strategy works fine.

#6 melmitts

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 07:53 AM

Thanks all for your replies. I have Raxco PerfectDisk on my own computers. I have been ask to "clean up" 5-6 computers that were upgraded to Windows 7 instead of a clean install. The individual that was taking care of them did not believe in anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware or preventive maintenance. They had Windows XP and ran until the crashed then he reformatted the hard disk and reinstalled Windows XP. I am considering either "clean up" or a format and fresh install of Windows 7 (The owner wants just a clean up).

Again, thanks for the input...
Mel




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