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Can You Defragment Too Much...and What About The "d:" Drive?


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#1 1Bart

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 09:26 AM

Hello All.......

While performing a defragmentation in SAFE Mode seems to be the consensus....Can you damage your O/S or anything else by defragging TOO much????

Also, should you defrag the D: Drive.....

Too much of a good thing....Law of diminishing returns...or it really can't hurt????

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#2 Walkman

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:09 AM

I'm not sure why you would defragment in SAFE MODE, but I wouldn't do it.

Although you don't want any programs running while doing the defrag, doing it in SAFE MODE keeps some programs and files hidden from the system and being cleaned up a bit, and you may need some of them to be registered in the process for defragmentation to take full effect of said clusters, and so.

You should defrag your computer only if you have approximately 15%+ HD space left. Less than that, and it'll probably not defrag anyway. And it's advised to not do so if less than that.

Drive D: ?.... That could be any drive. Drive D could be a cd drive, or a dvd drive, or a virtual drive, and of course another physical hd or a partition of the drive C:\..

Drive D can be either a partition or a physical hd. But..... if it is either of the two, the same rules apply to that one too. Unless it's down to less than 15% hd space on it, then it's recommended that you don't defragment it.


As far as it hurting your computer, I've never had seen a case of that before. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I never saw of such a case in all my years working with computers. Besides, that's what is was designed for, right? But... if you don't need to defrag, don't do it, if you need to, do it. Just don't be doing it every other day or so, because defragging is similar to giving a hd a "burn-in"... and that simply means seeing how long you can make it run before it crashes, or until you tell it to quit.

#3 jgweed

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:50 AM

I take it to mean that your OS is on a D: drive. If so, then more likely than not, it would not require frequent defragging, since changes to it would be minimal.
Defragging should not seriously damage the files on your hard drive under normal circumstances. However, any time you move files around, there is always an extremely slight possibility of their becoming corrupted.
Now the purpose of defragging is to move related files physically closer together on the drive so that the read arm has less travelling and searching to do. Consequently, if you do not modify or move or delete many files over a period of time, defragging does not provide much benefit considering the wear on the arm, etc.. The law of diminishing returns does seem applicable here, especially if you defrag automatically on a frequent basis.
My own view is that defragging in Safe Mode is preferable, if for no other reason than fewer system resources are taken up by applications running in the background and consequently, especially with large amounts of data, does seem to speed up the process. Since fewer tasks are "touching" the raw data, one would think this would actually make the process smoother.
I generally defrag immediately after the installation of a large application (a new game, or OpenOffice2.0, for example) or a major cleanup of my stored files (.docs, .jpegs, etc.). Failing that, then at the most once a month.
Regards,
John
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#4 1Bart

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 01:59 PM

Hello Again!!!

OK Many points well taken. Thanks a GIG y'all.....As the type and amount of computer usage is apparently THE issue, then the "auto-defrag" concept seems to be an incorrect choice...I believe there is a program out there that will do it for you on a schedule. When I would do a Back-up, I must copy 3GB to the desktop, then to CD and ultimately delete.....THEN would be a good time to defrag. This would seem to make sense.

Ahhhh, the possibility of corruption...Now I don't want to add or delete anything.....lol Yeah, always THAT rolling around the back of your mind. Brings to mind the "Back-Up" concept once again...Use it or lose it!!!!

Safe Mode....I would think that would "allow" more files to be defragged...But that is just one of the finer points I suspect......The larger issue being the frequency and necessity......

#5 Philip Brampton

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 03:32 PM

This might help.





http://www.diskeepereurope.com/assets/whit...agmentation.pdf

#6 usasma

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 05:09 PM

Just my 2 - but any disk operation carried to an extreme also carries with it the risk of data corruption. But, it's been my experience that defragging is less likely to damage the data than most other file operations.

The technique of doing a defrag in Safe Mode was developed because Windows 98 couldn't ever finish a defrag in regular mode (for most people). Doing it in Safe Mode prevented the disk access requests ( from running programs) from stopping the defrag.

Defrag is not only a performance tool - it also "refreshes" your data. The hard drive stores your information as magnetic charges on the hard drive platters. Over time there's inevitably some "leakage" of the charge - so defragging actually helps by accessing and rewriting some of the files.
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#7 1Bart

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 06:07 PM

Hello All and many GREAT inputs....I'm soaking it up like ..uuummmm....SOME funny metaphor....lol

Well, some extra good news that defragging is LESS likely to corrupt than most other file functions...Score 1 for a little less stress is life. ALWAYS looking for those.....TY And, even on a more positive note..it refreshes the data.... Even MORE reason for it's use....

AND a White Paper...didn't some "bigwigs" get into trouble for them.....THAT could be the cherry on the top..Tremendous amount of info there.....

I'll tell you...Seek and ye shall find...At least around THESE parts anyway!!!!!!

#8 Grinler

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 06:39 PM

Although you don't want any programs running while doing the defrag, doing it in SAFE MODE keeps some programs and files hidden from the system and being cleaned up a bit, and you may need some of them to be registered in the process for defragmentation to take full effect of said clusters, and so.


Defragging in safe mode is completely safe and ok to do. Safe mode just stops certain programs from starting automatically on startup. It does not disable any access to the filesystem.

Why it is good to defrag in safe mode as there will be much less programs running that do disk access that could interfere with the defrag process.


Oops..saw usama wrote the same thing essentially :thumbsup:

#9 scratcher

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 06:53 PM

Hello All.......

...Can you damage your O/S or anything else by defragging TOO much????

Also, should you defrag the D: Drive...


Hi 1Bart:

Here's my two cents worth for what it's worth.

I use my D drive for storing data, music, backups, etc., and I defrag it regularly as the contents tend to change often.

As for defragging, I've seen various problems caused by defragging but I attribute them to the particular defragger I was using having done a sloppy job.

Defrag programs aren't all created equal; some are much better than others. The very best one I've found, after trying many others, is POWER DEFRAGMENTER and you might give it a try. It's a GUI that uses SysInternals CONTIG.exe as its engine.

Besides being free, its incredibly fast, great fun to watch, and an added bonus is that you get to see exactly which files needed defragmenting.

:thumbsup: Go to Major Geeks and download and install Power Defragmenter:

http://www.majorgeeks.com/Power_Defragmenter_GUI_d4647.html

:flowers: For SysInternals Contig v.1.53 go to:

http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Contig.html

:trumpet: Place Contig.exe in the Power Defragmenter folder with Power Defragmenter GUI.exe.

Then run Power Defrag and sit back and enjoy the show.

I defrag regularly (in regular and not safe mode) since it's my understanding that any sort of fragmentation is going to slow things down and increase wear and tear on the drive. But that's just me.

If you'd like to actually SEE the state of your files, folders, or drives both before and after a run you should also download and install Diskview from Sysinternals:

http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/DiskView.html

Comparing the two views will give you an idea of how efficient Contig is.

It's AWESOME!

Cheers,

scratcher.

Edited by scratcher, 04 November 2006 - 07:21 PM.

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#10 SpiritWind

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 08:19 PM

I, also, have the "Power Defragmenter GUI 2.0....", developed by "RejZor",
on my computer. However, I feel it is best to download it from the Author's site
at http://www.excessive-software.eu.tt .
It "includes" "Contig v1.53", so there is no need to go to the sysinternals site.

Edited by SpiritWind, 04 November 2006 - 08:29 PM.


#11 1Bart

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 09:08 PM

Torn between evils....errrrr sort of. This a Win XP-Home that came with a de-fragger. I don't know...Do ALL systems come with one?...ANYWAY, here above, are new(to me) defraggers that are just as good and possibly better.

What is your "slant" on the comparison for the one that came with WinXP-Home and the ones just above in the last 2 posts......

I suspect that all things are NOT created equal....

#12 Walkman

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:03 PM

Well,

Hearing this from all of you, I guess I'll start defragging my computer in SAFE MODE. I was always under the impression that SAFE MODE would prvent some files from being defragmented. It seems that's not the case. Thanks for making that clear for me and others too.

I just now learned something new. Thanks all for the input.

Edited by Walkman, 04 November 2006 - 11:05 PM.


#13 SpiritWind

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:32 PM

Hi Bart :

The one time I ran "Power Defragmenter" it took about 10 minutes; the built-in
Windows "program" takes about 30 minutes. I only have used it once because
when I access my "Disk Defragmenter", I click the "Analyse" tab in the lower
left - hand corner of its screen and the "result" is no defragmenting is advised.

So I recommend using that "Analyse" tab to see IF any "defraging" is advised .

#14 1Bart

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 09:22 AM

Yeah, we're ALL learning here...Some more than others...lol Hey, that's what this place is ALL about!!!!

With Windows built in defragger...I also get "No need to at this time" message often enough...And contrary to my MO, I do it anyway with the belief that you really cannot hurt the system with the defragging process. BTW, it will perform the defrag notwithstanding THAT message. I suspect you knew that already.

I really believe that Power Defragmenter would/could be faster. All things are NOT created equal...lol The REAL question being.....Who's getting it done correctly....??? If only one could equate effectiveness with the time it takes....AOL would be..... Ooohhh Nooooo. I mentioned it......

#15 jgweed

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 10:57 AM

If memory serves me, the Windows XP defragger was purchased from the company that made diskkeeperlight ( Executive Software) because it was, if somewhat less thorough than the original Windows defrag utility, by all measures far faster. For all practical purposes, this defragger works well enough to make installing another a questionable use of hard drive space, and its analyse function is certainly a useful guide in choosing whether to defrag or not.
Regards,
John
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