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Fragmented Paging File and Hibernation File

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#1 black069


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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:41 AM

My desktop computer (whose specs are listed at bottom) has performance issues, being markedly diminished versus its ideal and optimized state. Its overall processing speed, its many freezes, and excessive lags are a major hindrance. I have taken all of the normal steps, including the ones listed in the pinned topic, to address my speed issues, including running CCleaner, Defraggler, antivirus & antimalware programs, optimizing and defragging registry and boot files, etc.

I should mention here that when performing my latest OS (Windows XP Home SP3) reinstall a few months ago, I partitioned the hard drive such that my boot and program files are all located on one partition (C:), whereas all of my DATA files (music, photos, word documents, etc.) are located in a separate partition (E:) on my hard drive, for convenient backup.

The size of my operating system partition (C:) is 19.5 GB, with 72% used.

The size of my operating system partition (E:) is 92.2 GB, with 18% used.

When I run Defraggler on my C:\ drive (which, again, contains my boot & program files)...

Prior to defrag:

37 fragmented files (5.2 GB)

125 Total Fragments

37% Fragmentation


7 Fragmented Files (5.0 GB)

40 Total Fragments

35% Fragmentation

This excessive fragmentation problem appears to arise from 2 files (my paging file and my hibernation file):

1. C:\pagefile.sys 2 fragments 3,143,680 KB
2. C:\hiberfil.sys 2 fragments 2,096,200 KB

I briefed myself about defragmenting one's paging file and decided to download and run the following program from Mark Russinovich's Sysinternals Suite:

System File Defragmenter v2.32 (pagedfrg.exe)

When I run the above program (which I have done multiple times over the last couple of weeks), it informs me that all of my registry files are completely defragmented. However, the 2 files appear again as evil culprits:
C:\hiberfil.sys 524050 clusters & 2 fragments

C:\pagefile.sys 785920 clusters & 2 fragments

When I perform the function "Defragment at next boot" on Sysinternals' program, one would expect that the above 2 files would get defragmented. However, there is no change in the status info as per the info in System File Defragmenter or in Defraggler. In fact, the blue screen at bootup on System File Defragmenter states, "Hibernation File is as contiguous as possible." I cannot see any info on the blue screen regarding the Paging File as the text only appears briefly.

I should mention that I have indeed also performed Free Space Defragmentation with Defraggler on my partitions.

I should perhaps also mention that my laptop (also running XP) which performs smoothly, states that hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys each contain only 1 fragment. They have been successfully defragmented using Sysinternals in the past, though.

So, if anyone knows an alternate method to defragment the paging file and/or hiberfil.sys, or if there is an error in the way I am using System File Defragmenter and/or Defraggler, I would greatly appreciate any assistance you would be kind enough to offer.

My complete computer specs:
Dell Dimension 4550
Windows XP Home SP3
CPU: Intel Pentium 4

Video Card: ATI Radeon 9700 TX 128MB RAM
Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster Live! (WDM) Series
Firewall: Windows XP Firewall
Antivirus Software: AVG Free 9.0

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#2 ThunderZ


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Posted 25 November 2010 - 11:08 AM

I do not believe the page file is the problem with your speed. However, one way to eliminate a fragmented page file is to eliminate it then recreate it.

This article is about another problem but has an explanation of how to do it listed under WORKAROUND.

Regarding the hiberfil.sys files. These are part of the Hibernation function available in XP. If you never use Hibernation then it can be disabled. Control Panel > Power Options > Hibernate tab. Remove the check mark from Enable hibernation.
This should effectively remove those files from you system.

Again. I do not believe either are having a slowing effect on your machine.

Edited by ThunderZ, 25 November 2010 - 06:42 PM.

#3 speedbird76


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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:30 AM

I agree; two fragments is nothing to worry about.

AFAIK, there are no freeware defrag utilities (incl the windows default defragger) that can defrag most system files such as the page file, hiberfil.sys,MFT etc. Your only option is to go with good quality commercial defraggers. These will defrag everything; the good automatic defraggers will even process most files in the background when Windows is running. You can check out the free trial versions on their website.

Anyway, my advice is to pick one defragger and stick with it. Each utility reports fragmentation differently, defrags differently, sequences files differently etc, so running multiple defrag utilities can sometimes be counterproductive.

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