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Author Topic: does anyone of you believe in defragmentation programs?  (Read 13768 times)
masu
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« on: January 22, 2006, 02:30:57 PM »

does anyone of you believe in defragmentation programs and their benefits for speed improvement?
is it worth to spend 30-40$ for a defragmentation program?
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2006, 03:07:51 PM »

Yes, I do - but the market is a bit rotten. Some of the products look like they don't do much more than the built-in defrag, except look prettier.

I personally use Raxco PerfectDisk, which works pretty well, and has reordering as well as just defragmentation - infrequently modified data will be grouped together, making frequently modified data easier to defragment.

And defragmentation DOES help a lot - especially if you've used p2p downloaders that don't reserve space for your download. A linux ISO I downloaded was in more than thousand fragments, which would have resulted in a lot of buffer underruns if I hadn't defragged it before burning (sure, burnproof is nice, but lowers CD quality somewhat).

So yes, defragmentation tools are nice. Some of them.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2006, 03:30:32 PM »

Ditto - same reasons I use PerfectDisc too. Yes it does make a difference - use CrapCleaner too before you defrag.
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2006, 04:30:53 PM »

The difference is small when you have NTFS partitions and you don't use your PC as a server.  Wink
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brotherS
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2006, 04:34:30 PM »

The difference is small when you have NTFS partitions and you don't use your PC as a server.  Wink
Not really...

I can only copy what f0dder and Carol said - and I'm using NTFS partitions and my PC is *not* a server cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2006, 06:07:31 PM »

Mine isn't a server either - and I use NTFS.

If you defrag regularly the difference is marginal, if youleave it for months I have found a significant difference in speed and disk thrashing.
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2006, 06:15:50 PM »

NTFS, non server, main PC, BIG difference after defrag'ing (Although I do tend to create a lot of files).
NTFS, server, dedicated, BIG difference after defrag'ing (Those 500MB logs arn't nice Wink).
NTFS, non server, spare PC, Never done anything too heavy after the last defrag, so, no real effect...

I stick to the Windows defrag'er, it works...

If you only use your PC for web browsing, text editing etc, chances are you won't notice the effects, but, games, heavy file I/O apps, server applications etc will Wink

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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2006, 06:50:44 PM »

If you download, move or otherwise manipulate files in quantity then yes periodic disk deframentation is necessary.
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2006, 07:54:37 PM »

not worth spending any money, get the free one:

The Best Free Disk De-fragmenter
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2006, 10:30:58 PM »

I am a believer in defragging, though I agree that it really does not need to be done very often.  My personal favorite tool is sysinternals contig.  I recently discovered a wonderful GUI for it, called Power Defragmenter http://www.excessive-software.eu.tt/.  This is a lightning fast defragmenter that allows you to defrag individual files or folders, so that you can periodically defrag the places you happen to be working most.  I am really delighted with the combination. 
Certainly don't buy any expensive tools.  Instead, send some money to sysinternals.
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2006, 03:23:28 AM »

I am a believer in defragging, though I agree that it really does not need to be done very often.
Well, that depends on the way you use your PC... and if you tend to have little free HD space all the time that makes defragging even more important.

Thanks for the hint, http://www.excessive-software.eu.tt really IS a nice GUI for http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Contig.html !

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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2006, 08:34:45 AM »

I recently read an article in Brian Livingston's "Windows Secrets Newsletter".  It was written by Woody Leonhard, author of " Windows XP Hacks & Mods For Dummies".  He maintains that the speed of today's drives make defragging pretty much a waste of time for the vast majority of users.

He says that data recovery might be more reliable with a defragged drive, and that IT people tell him backups are faster when unfragmented.

I defrag occasionally because old habits die hard, but can't really say I notice much of a difference in performance.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2006, 08:37:00 AM by mrainey » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2006, 08:52:45 AM »

NTFS, non-server. Lots of various disk activity, and yes defragging makes a BIG difference. Also, there's big difference between built-in defrag and PerfectDisk - it built-in defrag "gives up too early", kinda.

Sysinternals contig is *great* when you just need to defrag a single file, say an .iso before burning it. Not a replacement for a defrag tool, though.

mrainey, sounds like that Woody Leonhard guy doesn't know what he's talking about, then. Should't come as a surprise, though, seeing that he's the author of a "For Dummies" book.
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2006, 09:39:28 AM »

Actually Woody is highly respected in most areas - particularly around Microsoft Office applications. I think he is wrong on this one though. Having said that he is probably correct for the majority of users who only use MS Office in a work setting. Fles will be small enough not to become significantly fragmented anyway. Defragging makes a lot of difference when you deal with large files - such as ISO files already mentioned, but also large image files, video files, audio files etc.

It is just common sense that if a file is split into over 500 fragments (as one of mine was recently) it is going to take longer to load/process and re-save than a file stored as a single contiguous block on the disk.

The built in defragger won't defrag system files either whereas PerfectDisc and DiskKeeper do. One of the significant ways to slow down your system is to have a fragmented PageFil.SYS - which on default Windows systems is guaranteed as by default windows resizes the file dynamically all the time. Using a fixed sized PageFil.SYS and a defragger like PerfectDisc means your paging file will be in a fixed, permanent location and guaranteed to not get fragmented again.

If you don't want to defrag you can acheive the same result by making a separate empty partition (preferably on a different physical drive) just for your page file and moving it there.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2006, 11:04:38 AM »

Here are some snips from an article in the February 2006 issue of Smart Computing magazine.  They were using the Windows XP defragmenter for their testing.  The general conclusion is that the benefits of defragmenting are highly variable.


"Our general system tasks included a WinXP startup, Word launch, and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 launch. When we tested Disk Defragmenter’s effects on a specific fragmented file, we used a WMV (Windows Media Video) file that was broken into about 32,000 fragments.

As the results in our chart indicate, Disk Defragmenter does improve a drive’s performance, but it seemed like only files that were fragmented tended to benefit from Disk Defragmenter. For example, our first PC (with 41% fragmentation) averaged 24.55 seconds to load WinXP, but we only shaved 0.44 seconds off the average time when Disk Defragmenter reduced the level of fragmentation to 10%. Our second PC (with 15% fragmentation) averaged 33.81 seconds to start WinXP but then slowed to a 34.49-second average after we defragmented its hard drive.

Defragmenting specific files yielded more promising results. Our fragmented WMV file, located on a 60GB partition with 49% total fragmentation, loaded in an average of 1.81 seconds before defragmentation. After we ran Disk Defragmenter, the file opened in an average of 1.09 seconds.

The help Disk Defragmenter provides can vary according to which files are fragmented.

Defragmentation affects each PC differently. Variations in hardware (primarily the CPU and memory) can yield wide-ranging results, even if both drives have identical fragmentation levels."
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2006, 01:23:40 PM »

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Here at work, I am chained to a NT4 workstation that I use to scan and print large architectural drawings and let me tell you, that drive gets frag.ment.ed. If you remember, NT4 did not come with a defragger, so I need one. I heartily second the motion on Contig, fast and effective, and it stays out of my way. For that reason, I don't like Power Defragmenter. After it's done, it pops back up... in my way. There's no option to run and exit. So for further convenience, I use an AutoHotKey script to automate it. Here's an example from my script:
[copy or print]
RunWait,[Path]\contig.exe -s [drive letter]:\*.*
ExitApp
To script it yourself, just replace [Path] with wherever your contig folder is and [drive letter] with, well, guess.
And you can also add lines for as many drive letters as you have, like so:
[copy or print]
RunWait,E:\Progra~1\sysinternals\contig\contig.exe -s C:\*.*
RunWait,E:\Progra~1\sysinternals\contig\contig.exe -s D:\*.*
RunWait,E:\Progra~1\sysinternals\contig\contig.exe -s E:\*.*
RunWait,E:\Progra~1\sysinternals\contig\contig.exe -s Z:\*.*
ExitApp

Quote
but it seemed like only files that were fragmented tended to benefit from Disk Defragmenter.
can someone spell "Duh"?
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2006, 01:38:33 PM »

As the results in our chart indicate, Disk Defragmenter does improve a drive’s performance, but it seemed like only files that were fragmented tended to benefit from Disk Defragmenter.

How could unfragmented files benefit from a defragremtation run??? I suppose it is possible if a sequence of files need to be loaded and they are all optimised to the fastest part of the disk. I don't know of any defrag program that can do this - and it would need real-time monitoring to assess which files would benefit and that in itself would probably negate some of the gains.

The point is that fragmented files do benefit.
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2006, 01:59:14 PM »

Some more discussions.  I don't know enough about the topic to have a strong opinion.


http://www.networkcomputi...jhtml?articleID=170702532

"I'm still not wild about defragging. Although some server configurations benefit from the increase in data integrity, reliability and performance defragging brings, today's faster drives and large volumes don't see a huge increase in speed from defragging."


http://www.techbuilder.org/recipes/59201471

"While it was true that defragmenting helped older PCs, it no longer applies. Today we have 7200-RPM (rotations per minute) hard-disk drives with improved seek and latency times; many also contain an 8-MB cache buffer. Let's not forget Windows XP's ultra-efficient NTFS (NT File System). For PCs, servers, and workstations equipped with these innovations, defragmenting no longer makes much improvement, if any, to system performance."


http://www.pcworld.com/re...e/0,aid,86934,pg,8,00.asp

"The PC World Test Center's tests reveal that defraggers don't actually improve performance. And Steve Gibson, president of PC consulting firm Gibson Research Corporation, confirmed our findings."

"The only reason we can see to use a defragger other than Windows' own is to make scheduling easier. (Windows' Disk Defragmenter has no built-in scheduler.)"
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2006, 04:39:59 AM »

heh wow, i can't believe some of you think defragmenting is unnecessary, but i suppose for some tasks it would not make much difference. loading windows, browsing websites, and many other things would not benefit much from a defragmented drive. Anything that involves working with large files does. Any time you create a large file on a drive that is close to full (extracting a movie, installing a game, etc) there is a good chance of it being scattered across your hard drive in a thousand peices. If you then try to do anything with this file (play the game, watch the movie) it's going to require much more disk activity. If you are burning a heavily fragmented file at high speed to a disk it may not be slow enough to cause the burn speed to drop, but if you try to do ANYTHING else at the same time that requires access to the same disk, it will probably take about 10x as long.
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2006, 10:08:06 AM »

I've always been a fan of BuzzSaw -- it runs as a process, degragmenting as you go -- essentially keeping a hard drive defragged  -- assuming you run it on a hard drive defragged to begin with Wink
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2006, 12:06:41 PM »

Steve Gibson says defragmenting isn't necessary... that should be enough proof that it's good to defragment Wink
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2006, 12:08:59 PM »

hmm you guys sure use a lot of programs, i'll have to check some of these out
myself, i only use Executive Software Diskeeper. It's the full version of the defrag that comes with windows xp, so you know it has to be good if microsoft licensed it. full versions aren't cheap but i love the "set it and forget it scheduling"
i tell it to run between 3 and 6 am, and enable smart scheduling. then it only runs on whichever drives it needs to and only at those times.
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2006, 12:20:43 PM »

Back when I first started using dirms/buzzsaw, I was certain my computer ran better -- especially in long stretches.  I haven't not used it in so long, though, I don't actually have any perception of what the benchmark change might be.  Computers are so much better these days, the difference might be negligible . . . but I feel better knowing (or at least assuming) my computer is constantly being defragged as I work.

(You should see the queue of files to work through after I import/export a big mail base . . .)
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2006, 02:59:57 PM »

XP has some boot optimization and prefeteching that may have affected some of their benchmarks. Maybe not though, who knows.

Just because hardware is faster doesn't mean you shouldn't defragment. If you don't defragment your drive will eventually get to a state of severe fragmentation, and as they acknowledge, severe defragmentation does affect performance substantially (their 44% fragmented drive test).

Its a good idea to keep your page file and registry hives defragmented as well, something PerfectDisk's offline defragementation can do.

Nobody in their right mind will say defragmenting hurts performance. That says it all.

p.s. I'm a little teacup.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2006, 03:09:01 PM by db90h » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2006, 03:27:47 PM »

But, speed aside, what about harddisk thrashing?  It just doesn't seem like it's a good thing to make the harddrive heads slam around all the time.  Speed is a secondary concern to me... I care about the life of my harddrive!  Is this a valid reason to defragment?

Kevin
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