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Defrag actually increased fragmentation!


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#1 Putermoochinscum

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:38 PM

WTF!!? I ran windows defragmenter in safe-mode about a month ago and noticed it moving files much more aggressively than usual; and it ran for a good 6 hours (normally takes 30min max and is scheduled to run monthly). This wasnt the first time Ive run it from safe-mode. I occasionally (like once a year) do this in hopes of defragging system files that are normally in use by Windows.

I ran the defragmenter in normal windows mode and then restarted the puter and then analyzed: Which brings us to this screenshot. As you can see, it says that I DO NOT need to defrag, but I see an aweful lot of red in that graph! Ive never seen that much red on any computer ever before. So WTF is goin on here, and how do I fix it?

And also, it is obvious to me that the HD is as fragmented as the defragger says it is because I can hear the HD clicking like crazy when I open anything. And it takes about 2 times longer for most things to load than it used to. SMART is enabled and disk is healthy. Scandisk didnt find any bad sectors. HD is a Maxtor DiamondMax 200GB SATA1 7500rpm. WinXP partition is 140GB and there are 3 Linux partitions (2 journalised ext3, and 1 swap) that total 60GB.

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  • Attached File  WTF.JPG   177.88KB   14 downloads


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:58 PM

Well...I would interpret that as indicative of file system/partition or hard drive problems. Either would probably produce the graph you indicated.

Did you run chkdsk /r before attempting the defrag?

Why did you run it in safe mode?

Louis

#3 bludgard

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:26 PM

On my XP machine with partitions for virtual machines, ext fs, and whatnot, Windows sees red on any partition it cannot read or does not have access to. I have run Defraggler on a drive with several different file systems and it pretty much wrecked all operating systems. Luckily I image before I try such invasive techniques. :crazy:

#4 Putermoochinscum

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:59 AM

Hamluis: I ran it in safe mode so that more drivers and system files that might be fragmented could be accessed by the defragger. I don't know how much this helps, but I've read that it can make a slight improvement to system boot time (If any system boot files are fragmented).

Bludgard: WinXP can't see my Linux partitions and they are not a part of the graph. That graph shows the fragmentation for dsk1_vol1 only (My WindowsXP partition): You can see in the screenshot that it is 140GB. Once again, it is a 200GB disk and the Linux partitions are on that other 60GB. And PCLinuxOS still works great with no performance degradation after this happened in windows. And I do have Win7 as a virtual machine in Linux but the VM file exists in dsk1_vol3/home, not on its own partition.

I really dont think this has anything to do with my other partitions. Like I said, this is not the first time Ive run defrag in safe-mode. This puter has had the current configuration of WinXP and Linux for 3 years and its been defragged in safe-mode at least 3 times without issues.

One important thing I forgot to mention: When I ran the defrag in safe-mode, I only had 13% free disk space. The defrag help says it needs 15% minimum (it needs temporary space to put file pieces while running). I didn't realize I had that little free space when I ran it (and have since freed it up to 31%). But I would think that it shouldnt have run if it didnt have enough space to work: Microsoft support article says it should refuse to run if all the proper criteria aren't met.
:huh: Beats the heck outta me

#5 hamluis

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:02 AM

Well...have you run the defrag function since you tried it with insufficient space?

IMO...once a year is too infrequent a time period...to do proper system maintenance (defrag). I suggest running chkdsk /r before any attempt to defrag a partition/drive.

Louis

#6 Platypus

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:13 AM

I'd like to echo Hamluis' suggestion regarding chkdsk. It's a wise precaution if there's any question about the status of a drive. Defrag can do considerable harm to a volume with a file system that is damaged in some way, and whilst defrag should stop if it identifies a problem with drive integrity, its assessment of file system integrity simply can't be as penetrating as a chkdsk scan. And I have difficulty seeing 31% free space existing in the disk usage graphic - it could be that free space is being misreported, which chkdsk would pick up.

Have you examined the Analysis Report to see how it explains the fragmentation?

Top 5 things that never get done:

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#7 Putermoochinscum

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:15 PM

Hamluis: I did run defrag once after this happened. It ran for only a couple minutes and didn't really defrag anything; Thats when I decided to seek help from this forum. And I did run chkdsk before the defrag process that caused this. And please read more carefully: I stated in the first paragraph of my first post that it is scheduled to run once a month. I only run it from safe-mode about once per year to clear up fragmented drivers and files normally in use by the system.

But regardless, running chkdsk before every defrag is good advise and it fixed the problem!
After you mentioned chkdsk last night, I ran it. I didnt get to see the chkdsk report, but went ahead and ran defrag again this morning and heres the results.
Attached File  Thats better.JPG   123.77KB   1 downloads


Then, I restarted the computer and ran it again because I've read that running it twice is good common practice. That advise is true because here are the results after running it again.
Attached File  Thats even better.JPG   112.99KB   1 downloads


So, problem solved. Thanks for the advise. I'm gonna attribute this one to a "ghost in the machine" :alien2: ...er alien

#8 hamluis

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:37 PM

Glad you resolved it, happy computing :).

Louis




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