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Placement On Synced-To Hard Drive Of Copied Files-Folders By FreeFileSync And SyncBack


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#1 LouieChuckyMerry

LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:07 AM

Hello and thanks in advance for any help; I appreciate it. Also, this is strictly a question to quench my curiosity and NOT an emergency, so please help those more needy first. To make a long story short(er), I've recently used the freeware sync-backup programs SyncBack 3.2.26 and FreeFileSync 3.14 on my Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit laptop to copy the same 674 GB of data from one WD Passport My Essentials 1 TB external hard drive to a second, freshly formatted WD Passport My Essentials 1 TB external hard drive. While both operations took roughly the same amount of time to complete, there was a major difference between the placement of the copied files on the copied-to (freshly formatted) hard drive. After using SyncBack, I then used MyDefrag 4.31 to view a Diskmap of the freshly copied data: the newly copied folders were all placed alphabetically by directory from the inside of the disk to the outside of the disk, and were perfectly defragmented and contiguous. After using FreeFileSync, then using MyDefrag to view a Diskmap of the (same) freshly copied data, I was surprised to see that, while the files were also placed alphabetically by directory, they were NOT in one contiguous block from the inside of the disk to the outside of the disk but instead were in two (2) contiguous and defragmented blocks, one (1) that started from the inside of the disk and one (1) that started from the outside of the disk (thus leaving a massive ring of contiguous empty space in the middle of the disk and requiring the additional {re}movement of around 400 GB of data to "defragment" the data into a single contiguous ring from the inside of the drive to the outside of the drive). Now, hoping that there was a way to make FreeFileSync copy the data in one (1) contiguous chunk from the inside of the disk to the outside of the disk--as SyncBack had done--I went to the FreeFileSync Forum at SourcrForge and asked just that question. The following reply I received is what piqued my curiosity and is why I'm here typing this:


"Physical placement of files is completely and automatically managed by internals of the Operating System. From an application point of view there is not much that could (and should) be done about it. Consequently Windows practically offers no way to configure this behavior.
(For the record, there is indeed device specific low-level hackery that allows addressing physical blocks, but it's certainly not for use in a standard file copy scenario.)


My question for those more knowledgable than I: is the above reply true with regards to the Operating System managing the placement? And, if it is true, then why do SyncBack and FreeFileSync have the OS use them so differently with regards to file placement? I guess what I don't understand is why the OS would think that two (2) contiguous rings (with a ring of empty space in between) would be a good way to arrange the copied data when it seems pretty obvious (at least to me) that one (1) contiguous ring from the inside-out is surely the best option? Anyway, if you've made it this far thanks again for giving of your time.

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#2 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 05:56 AM

After wracking what's left of my brain I decided to run a couple of tests. Syncing 90 GB of data from an external hard drive to a second, freshly formatted external hard drive with FreeFileSync resulted in perfectly defragmented, alphabetical by directory files that were placed from the inside to the outside of the synced-to disk. Repeating the test and using MyDefrag to create a Diskmap while FreeFileSync was running (as I remembered I'd done during the process that was the reason for my original post), the files were--yep--in two (2) defragmented, and alphabetical by directory rings, one (1) starting from the inside of the disk and one (1) starting from the outside of the disk (and leaving a large swath of empty space in between). Seems that I'm to blame, but at least a major brain itch has been scratched. Sorry for bumping this post to the front of the queue, but I wanted to post a solution in the (probably unlikely) event that somebody else experiences the same thing and searches for an answer. Apologies for any time wasted by others.




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