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Last post Author Topic: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?  (Read 15074 times)

siouxdax

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Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« on: April 09, 2009, 01:46:18 PM »
Anyone know about PageDefrag? Put out by Sysinternals, which, unfortunately was bought out by Microsoft. I swear by their ProcessExplorer; I use it as a task manager replacement.

I'm curious to know if it's worth anything...
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« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 02:16:01 PM by siouxdax »

Steven Avery

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 02:25:16 PM »
Hi Folks,

  Everybody says PageDefrag is excellent.  I loaded it and used the analysis and it said there was hardly any fragmentation anyway.

  In this pic:

http://technet.micro...ernals/bb897426.aspx
PageDefrag v2.32

  They show a lot of fragmentation.  However on my system everything is 1 fragment, except the page file which has been 2 or 3.  So any gain would be minimal. I doubt that cluster size changes much, if I am wrong then someone could indicate.

  Reports of difficulties are either zero or minimal (I think the rare difficulty I saw was in NTREGOPT, in both cases you can run ERUNT first).  The NTREGOPT author claimed that there would be refragmentation of something on the next boot anyway, this was interesting but sounded like an overstatement to me.  NTREGOPT does the internal compacting of the registry, a different function, so it wasn't just a competitive dismissal comment, I just think he did not think it through fully.

  As for Mark Russinovich, I have to consider that one of the better Evil Empire acquisitions. They took his expertise because .. he knew XP much better than they do ! :) .. (as shown in the famous Sony Rootkit disaster).  Sysinternals has taken the digestion by Microsoft without indigestion, the Sysinterals tools are readily available, the web-area remains fun to navigate and I have run into quite edgy stuff in the forums and Mark Russinovich maintains a rather amazing blog.   

http://blogs.technet...inovich/default.aspx
Mark Russinovich's technical blog covering topics such as Windows troubleshooting, technologies and security.

Was other impending creativeness from Sysinternals squashed ?  I can't say so.  The Microsoft acquisition was in a sense an acknowledgement that their view of the internals of Windows had gotten fuzzy, and they needed the best help.  Possibly their best acquisition.

(I am concerned though if they did in fact also partner or acquire with one of the Russian rootkit products .. one of those companies that can walk both sides of the street.  I was thinking of asking about that on the Sysinternals forums.)

  While Microsoft has botched dozens of acquisitions (how are the Foxpro programmer's doing btw ?)  Sysinternals may well have been their absolute best, and seems to have been handled extremely well.  To give credit where its due.

Shalom,
Steven

siouxdax

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 02:49:50 PM »
Thank you much for the abundant information!
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
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lanux128

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 09:20:35 PM »
yes, surprisingly Sysinternals' tools have been relevant even after its acquisitions by Microsoft. credit to them. :up:

justice

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 03:31:34 AM »
It's an excellent program that IMHO is not relevant for 95% of the people that use it or want to use it. I doubt you will see any practical benefit from using it as a home user. I'm of the opinion that defragmentation is something you shouldn't have to worry about or spend any time solving it. Just install JkDefrag in screensaver mode or Perfect Disk in StealthPatrol and your pc will be kept in excellent condition.

You're free to use the minutes and hours gained not fiddling with it by reading and rewarding independent content on this site and others.

I think the only need for PageDefrag is if you've got a very special need on a mision critical server or something. Most defragmentation utilities allow you to defrag on boot so that no files are in use and then you don't need this.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 03:36:06 AM by justice »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 03:36:18 AM »
Excellent tool but if you want to avoid fragmentation before you use it set your page file to a fixed size. By default Windows XP sets page file to have minumum and maximum values.

In WIndows Vista the default is 'let windows manage it' and there are no details of size. The good and the bad are that in Vista by default page file is deleted when Windows is shutdown or restarted which can lead to a lot of fragmentation (and means that page file defragmentation doesn't work because there is no page file to defragment. Change the page file to fixed size and then defrag it.

Steven Avery

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 07:32:58 AM »
Hi Folks,

Quote from: Carol Haynes
in Vista by default page file is deleted when Windows is shutdown or restarted which can lead to a lot of fragmentation
Wouldn't this reduce fragmentation ?  Surely when the new page file is built it is built in one contiguous piece, hopefully, thus it would be a defacto defrag (definitely a defiant defacto defrag .. say that five times fast).

On XP, has anybody used PageDefrag and seen a lot of fragmentation ? As in the picture on their web site. 

Also is there a utility to delete the page file in XP as in Vista ?  (e.g. on closing).  Since that is my only fragmented system file, I could do that rather than a defrag.

One utility would be to go to no page file, and then back to having one, would that take two reboots ?  I don't know if XP could do that without reboots.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 07:54:57 AM by Steven Avery »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 10:15:08 AM »
No - the Vista approach would cause more fragmentation.

You are assuming that there are large contiguous free spaces on your hard disk.

If you have 3Gb of memory then Vista will create a 3Gb page file initially - and there is absolutely no guarantee that there will be 3Gb of contiguous free space - and contiguous free space is not a requirement for the creation of a page file.

By setting a fixed page file size and then defragging it you will get a single page file that will be used every time you start Windows and so it shouldn't ever need to be defragged again as the same space will be used every time.

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 06:29:33 PM »
Get enough RAM and turn off the pagefile entirely - voila, problem solved :)
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mrainey

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 06:22:39 AM »
Quote
Get enough RAM and turn off the pagefile entirely - voila, problem solved

I did just that a year or two ago, based on info in several of your posts.  I've never had a problem (using XP Pro).
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cmpm

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 08:34:14 AM »
Not everyone can just buy more ram.
For some, that would mean another computer to build or buy.
The question here among other similar questions is, how can some of these programs help my computer as it is now.

cmpm

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 08:38:31 AM »
Just send everyone $999.00, and, voila, problem solved.

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 03:16:37 PM »
12GB of RAM? wish I could go for that.

I don't know, I never saw any noticeable benefit from defraging, either using Windows' own or paging files PageDefrag or a few years back on my old machine when I owned a legal copy of Diskeeper

Shades

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 03:55:40 PM »
Maybe because Diskeeper is not such a good defragger, which is especially true for the one included in Windows. But there are quite a lot of freeware and commercialware that do a good till excellent job.

See this thread for a discussion about this kind of software, reading through its post you will see the names of some good defraggers (both free and commercial).

There are several good reasons to defrag.
  • You should notice that your system feels faster, more responsive. If not, then you are using wrong configuration settings or a bad piece of software.
  • A defragmented hard drive will make less noise when reading/writing, reducing wear and tear in normal day-to-day use.
  • When you accidentally delete something on a defragmented drive, data retrieval software has a (far) better chance of actually getting your data back.

rgdot

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009, 06:40:24 PM »
For sure here and elsewhere have heard good things about JKDefrag, time to give it a try I guess.

As far as your points go I am not going to claim you are wrong, but barring Diskeeper I have used the other two tools on numerous pcs with vastly different configs and usage (for example mine is full of downloads, some others barely anything downloaded except Firefox and couple of IMs and so on)

Steven Avery

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2009, 09:00:06 PM »
Hi Folks,

Quote from: rgdot
, I never saw any noticeable benefit from defraging, either using Windows' own or paging files PageDefrag or a few years back on my old machine when I owned a legal copy of Diskeeper

 I do know that systems can fairly easily get to 25K or 50K of fragments.  (Yesterday I defragged a system with over 50K at work, and it is from a fairly lightly-used system of one of the managers, simply never had been defragged.)  Clearly that that causes a lot of extra disk access and also could complicate recovery procedures and possibly lead to data loss at times.  Thus even if  you don't get involved with any high-tech defrag, I think at the very least an occasional defrag lite (Auslogics, Defraggler from Piriform) in the background has to be a good idea. 

Shalom,
Steven

Midnight Rambler

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 10:21:10 AM »
PageDefrag doesn't function in Vista.  After trying it on Vista SP1 a few times and finding that it didn't work, searched web for explanation and found forums stating so.  Also apparently no developer plans for future functionality.  Works fine on XP SP3, however.

Regarding Sysinternal utilities as a whole, there is a suite and a nice manager available that I'd recommend.
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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2009, 06:34:40 PM »
Judging by the last post in this thread it does work under Vista?
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SchoolDaGeek

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2009, 01:31:44 PM »
12GB ha!  XP (32bit) can only use 3GB of Ram and most of the laptops I have seen with Vista pre-loaded only come with 3GB as well.

As mentioned, JKDefrag automatically downloads and uses PageDefrag from SysInternals very well by itself.

I use JKDefrag in this manner: 

1.  I first delete all the temp files I can by using the last page of the GUI and optimize the registry as well.  CCleaner style. 
2.  I also turn on "show hidden folders/system folders" in Tools/Folder Options and delete all the folders that are in BLUE and start with $NT (Service pack uninstall), as well as empty the recycle bin again.  I've never had to uninstall an sp or hotfix.
3.  I then set XP for "No page file" and reboot. 
4.  Then I run JKDefrag GUI and move everything to the END of the disk. 
5.  I then reset the Page file to whatever I feel is optimal based on the computer, typically the standard 1.5x Ram, accounting for any shared video cards, and reboot again.  This places the page file as close to the outside edge of the disk it is able to find in a contiguous space.  I have used 2x Ram sometimes when the computer has more HDD space than ram.
6.  I then re-run JKDefrag GUI in "last access" mode making sure I specify any additional space hogs such as the c:\windows\installer\* directory. 
7.  From that point forward you can leave JKDefrag Screen Saver in whatever mode you like best and set it to wait an Hour before it kicks in, and then only defrag if the last defrag was more than 24hours ago.

Works like a charm!

An interesting thing to note is if you have the time to sit there and watch JKDefrag, you can learn all sorts of things about your computer and usually run across several other large TEMP folders you never knew you had that can be deleted as well, such as MSO, various folders in the "all users" portion of Docs and Settings, and any folder with a hexidecimal name,   Just stop the GUI, wait for the screen to reappear, go into explorer (with hidden/system turned on) and delete that folder, empty the recycle bin, then restart JKDefrag.
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SchoolDaGeek

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2009, 01:47:37 PM »
Oh, one more quick note about older computers with not enough ram or DIMM slots to upgrade, they sell compact flash to IDE adapters for $5 on Ebay that you can buy and put a 1GB+ compact flash card in, then put that on your secondary IDE channel as slave below your CDROM then once formatted you could completely move your Page file to that disk and even though it is not going to be as fast as real RAM, it is definitely faster than a page file on your primary IDE mechanical drive since disk I/O operations per IDE channel is the hindrance.
My Karma just ran over your Dogma.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 01:50:05 PM by SchoolDaGeek »

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2009, 05:55:57 PM »
12GB ha!  XP (32bit) can only use 3GB of Ram and most of the laptops I have seen with Vista pre-loaded only come with 3GB as well.
32bit client Windows OSes can use 4GB physical addresses - because of memory mapped devices, this usually ends up at max ~3.5GB, though, depending on BIOS, chipset and the cards you've installed in your computer. Prior to SP1, XP supported 4GB of physical RAM, regardless of whether regions were above the 4GB physical mark - this has been possible ever since the Pentium Pro. The change was because of "driver incompatibilities" (sloppy driver coders using LowPart instead of QuadPart of the PHYSICALADDRESS datatype, I bet).

32bit server editions have no trouble accessing up to 64GB of physical ram through PAE, but even though XP uses PAE for per-page no-execute bit, client versions are artificially capped to the low 4GB physical addresses... partially for marketing reasons, partially because of those "buggy drivers".

CompactFlash->IDE is a bad idea for anything performance-sensitive, most of the adapters only support PIO (S-L-O-W, ├╝berhigh CPU usage), and unless you shell out for the high-end CF cards you're going to get miserable performance.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2009, 07:02:09 PM »
Two corrections:

32 bit windows is not limited to 3Gb but rather to 4Gb - you lose some of that because it has to include memory mapped devices such as a graphics card so if you have a 1Gb graphics card it is reduced to 3Gb for Windows. If you only have a 128Gb card (enough for Vista Aero interface) you can potentially have 3.875Gb of usable RAM for Windows - it doesn't make any difference if you have XP or Vista.

Re. using a flash card for you page file - bad idea. It will be slower than a fast SATA drive (by a large margin) because it effectively uses a USB bus and you will wear out your flash card rapidly.

Edit: Oops sorry fOdder I didn't see your post - but at least we agree ;)

siouxdax

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2009, 07:14:54 PM »
I use JKDefrag in this manner: 

1.  I first delete all the temp files I can by using the last page of the GUI and optimize the registry as well.  CCleaner style. 
2.  I also turn on "show hidden folders/system folders" in Tools/Folder Options and delete all the folders that are in BLUE and start with $NT (Service pack uninstall), as well as empty the recycle bin again.  I've never had to uninstall an sp or hotfix.
3.  I then set XP for "No page file" and reboot. 
4.  Then I run JKDefrag GUI and move everything to the END of the disk. 
5.  I then reset the Page file to whatever I feel is optimal based on the computer, typically the standard 1.5x Ram, accounting for any shared video cards, and reboot again.  This places the page file as close to the outside edge of the disk it is able to find in a contiguous space.  I have used 2x Ram sometimes when the computer has more HDD space than ram.
6.  I then re-run JKDefrag GUI in "last access" mode making sure I specify any additional space hogs such as the c:\windows\installer\* directory. 
7.  From that point forward you can leave JKDefrag Screen Saver in whatever mode you like best and set it to wait an Hour before it kicks in, and then only defrag if the last defrag was more than 24hours ago.

Wow. That's quite a protocol you've whipped up!
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mahesh2k

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2009, 07:47:03 PM »
How's Defraggler?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Sysinternals PageDefrag: Good, Bad?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2009, 08:47:51 PM »
How's Defraggler?

Very simple - give it a go. It is a tiny download and you don't have to install it (there is a portable version under Alternative downloads).