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Running Disk Defragmenter has freed up over 30GB of free space!


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#1 Kodika

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:13 AM

I recently checked how much free space I had remaining on my "C" drive and found that I only had 9.68GB left out of a total capacity of 222GB. I ran Windows Disk Defragmenter but after 18 hours it was still running so I cancelled it.  On re-checking my hard drive I found to my amazement that  I now had 42.8GB of free space!  I then downloaded the free Auslogics disk defragmenter and ran that.  It completed in a few minutes and showed that the Windows defrag had done most of the work but for some reason had failed to finish. 

 

I am very surprised that the process of defragging freed up so much space.  On consulting various forums, most peoples' experience seems to have been the exact opposite.  The common consensus seems to be that defragging reduces the amount of free space on a disk rather than increasing it. Why was my experience so different?

 

I suspect it may be because I had used up too much of my free space than I should have.  I was down to just over 4% before I defragged.  Was that too little?  How much free space should I leave unused to ensure my pc is running properly?

 

I would be grateful for any assistance that members of this forum can give me.



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#2 Angoid

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:16 AM

Are you sure it was the disk defragmenter that you ran, and not the disk cleanup tool?

 

All defragmenting, (aka 'defragging') does is to re-organise your files into contiguous blocks so they can be loaded faster.  That's contiguous from a disk drive point of view, so they can be loaded quicker.  As an aside, never run defrag on an SSD: it will not improve matters at all but will waste precious write cycles of your SSD, resulting in it wearing out sooner.

 

Because defragging only re-organises files, it will not free up disk space.  It will require some space to do its work, resulting in higher disk usage until it has finished.

 

The only thing I would suggest is running disk cleanup (or another good cleanup tool such as Ccleaner) prior to running defrag, as defrag will otherwise waste time re-organising your temporary files as well as your permanent ones.

 

Freeing up 30GB is a heck of a lot of disk space ... are you sure nothing you need has been removed somehow?  I only ever get that kind of space back if I move a barge full of stuff to another drive or perform maintenance on a large database that has shrunk massively without freeing up the space it occupies.


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#3 TsVk!

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:31 AM

10% free space is really pushing it for a Windows system to function correctly. You are better off with %20.



#4 bludgard

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:14 PM

Need more drives! lol

#5 Kodika

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:39 AM

Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my posts.  I can confirm that I definitely did run disk defragmenter.  Both the Windows Vista version and Auslogics.  However, before defragging I also ran Vista's disk cleanup tool but that only cleared a few files, as I regularly run CCleaner to clear my pc of temporary files, cookies and internet history etc. 

 

Someone on another forum suggested that the increase in free space I experienced could be due to the fact that, because I had so little free space left on my hard drive before I commenced the defrag, the Windows defrag unintentionally caused restore points to be deleted.  Do you think this is the likely cause for my dramatic increase in free space?

 

Why does Windows require up to 20% of free space to function.  And does this only apply to Vista.  For example, does Windows 8 also require the same percentage of free space?



#6 Willy22

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:02 AM

- Perhaps Windows somehow noticed that there was too little free disk space when it automatically installed a new update for e.g. Windows Update. When that's the case then Windows automatically starts to delete one or more System Restore Points (SRPs).

- Windows needs a certain amount of free space to make e.g. System Restore Points and to have room for expanding the pagefile. With very little disk space Windows the fragmentation of files will increase sharply. And reading/writing fragmented files simply takes more time and leads to more "wear & tear" on your HDD.

- The build-in "Disk Clean-up" tool doesn't remove any SRPs. If you want to remove SRPs then I would recommend using Piriform's Ccleaner.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/ccleaner/


Edited by Willy22, 18 February 2015 - 09:38 AM.


#7 Kodika

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:46 AM

Thanks for your reply Willy22.  As I mentioned in my last post, I already use CCleaner, but I was not aware I could use it remove SRPs. Does Vista create more SRPs than one needs?  How many SRPs do you advise that I keep. What % of the disk would you advise I leave unused. 20% seems rather high to me?



#8 Willy22

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:33 AM

- There's another reason why Windows will remove SRPs. When needed Windows will increase the size of the pagefile and when needed it will remove one or more SRPs as well.

- Don't know what the best amount of SRPs is. Just "play around" a little. It's a trade off between more free disk space (speed) & more SRPs.

- I would remove as much files/programs from your HDD to e.g. an USB stick.

- Use Piriform's Defraggler to list fragmented files and only defragment those files. I only would run Windows Defragmentation only every now & then.

- Free space: the more the better. There're a number of tricks than can help to free up more diskspace:

    - If you're using MS Internet Explorer then you can configure IE to delete all the temporary files when IE closes.

    - Delete "C:\SoftwareDistribution". It grows & grows with every Windows Update. Windows will recreate that folder when needed.

    - Does the "Disk Cleanup" tool in Vista have an option called "Clean System file" ? If so that option deletes obsolete archived system files.


Edited by Willy22, 18 February 2015 - 10:37 AM.


#9 Kodika

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the further advice.  I am not very tech savy and do not know what files/programs I can remove to an USB stick and what must remain in situ.  Presumably, program files must remain in place.  What files are you referring to?



#10 Willy22

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:06 AM

Things like videos, documents & pictures you rarely use or see.


Edited by Willy22, 18 February 2015 - 11:17 AM.


#11 Kodika

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:48 AM

Okay, get the picture.  Many thanks.



#12 Willy22

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 12:36 PM

Also keep - whenever possible - copies of the programs you've installed on that USB stick.



#13 TsVk!

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 04:08 PM

Thanks for your reply Willy22.  As I mentioned in my last post, I already use CCleaner, but I was not aware I could use it remove SRPs. Does Vista create more SRPs than one needs?  How many SRPs do you advise that I keep. What % of the disk would you advise I leave unused. 20% seems rather high to me?

20% is the optimal minimum space allocation advised by Microsoft, not me. This space is used for functions like defragging, utilizing temp files, moving data around, and installing updates. These are all functions that you use all the time. (well not necessarily defragging) and your computer will function below its potential speed if the hdd space is low.



#14 Kodika

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 04:14 AM

Thanks for the tip re keeping programs on a stick Willy22 and for the amount of minimum space to leave free on my disk TsVk!  It is much appreciated.



#15 TsVk!

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 05:17 AM

:thumbup2:






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