I am using Windows XP home, fully up-to-date with all the latest updates from Microsoft. Every now and then I have defragged my hard disks, with little or no speed improvement. In fact, I haven't done so for a very long time, but I still keep reading advice that I really ought to do it, so recently I did it again. The defragger told me I didn't actually need to do it, but I decided to do it anyway. The diagram on the screen certainly showed that I had quite a number of fragmented files, so it seemed like a good idea. Eventually it was done, but the diagram still showed some fragmented files. There seemed no reason that it couldn't be done properly, which I might have expected for a nearly full disk, but it is far from full. I tried again, with some improvement, but still not completely defgragged and lots of spaces between blocks of files. I still can't detect any speed improvement, either. Before I retired, I worked on Digital Equipment Corp's machines (DEC), which had a function called "squeeze" or "squish", either of which would result in a disk with all files contiguous and all together at the front end of the disk with no spaces except one at the end. It never failed! It doesn't seem to be rocket science, so why can't Microsoft do it better? And is it worth doing anyway? I'd be very interested to have people's opinions.
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Posted: August 1st, 2009, 12:19pm
Hey AlanTurk, it's my opinion that defragging is essentially a part of the maintenance of any computer, along with cleaning the excess garbage out, especially if your surfing the "WORLD WIDE WEB" and trying new programs, as I do from [url]giveawayoftheday.com[/url]. I recieve a newsletter from them every morning just to see the new products coming about, and I find somethimes a program that I might use, most of them are usuable, some are not. I always read the reviews first... Anyway back to the subject> tons of cookies and excess garbage come with these programs and when you search they drop "malware" or "spyware" on you just for not just "sh__s & giggles" but for tracking your surfing. Anyway it all takes up space on your puter, every computer should have excellent cleaners first (Ray's A-1 Click Ultra PC Cleaner) and I use Comondo.com also) then reboot and defrag at least every 2-3 weeks depending on how active you're outside the inside.
LindaLou, many thanks for your thoughts on defragging. I do take some trouble over what I download from the web, and I also make a point of regularly using a firewall, virus checker and malware checker. Maybe that's why defragging doesn't seem to help me much. I'm not unduly troubled by a slow PC, I just get nagged from time to time about defragging (which, incidentally, doesn't actually clear out any rubbish, just tidies things up, including any rubbish I may have!). So I'm not concerned with too much rubbish, just puzzled as to why defragging doesn't seem to achieve anything.
If anyone else can offer an opinion, I'd still be interested to have it.
"I think defrag is an excellent tool for keeping your performance and the health of your drive up to par. So the larger these drives get the more data people are storing on them, and the more you store on them, you edit and save and pull it back up another day. It sort of gets spread out across the hard drive… so when you defrag you are pulling all of these files closer together. … he doesn't have to search over this 750G drive to find pieces of a file, they're all aligned…." - Joni Clark, Product Manager, Seagate (as heard on the Computer Outlook Radio Show)
You put up a very interesting subject as I have researched today about defragmentation...here's some sites I found that clued me in.
Thanks again, LindaLou. You've obviously been doing some homework on this! I've had a good read of the websites you quoted. Much of what is there I already knew, but there is clearly also a great deal of technical stuff to learn, and file storage is definitely not what it was! I've thought a little about it and have come to the conclusion that, even if, as in my case, there is not much speed advantage to be gained from defragging (despite the claimed "dramatic effects") there may well be some reliability aspects. A fragmented file must have pointers from the end of each segment to the place on the disk where the next one begins, and if that should become corrupted the rest of the file is lost, whereas, in a contiguous file, the chances of recovering a corrupted file are likely to be greater. Well, that's my thinking, anyway, which may admittedly be a bit faulty, but I guess you've persuaded me to defrag more often. One thing I do not intend to do, however, is to use one of the utilities that are about, to defrag during PC idle time. I did that once, with the result that every time I came back to my PC the software had to complete its current operation before I could do anything, which was slowing me down instead of speeding me up... Thanks again.
The advantages of defragging are way overblown. Once a month is plenty. I defrag once a year or less frequently. Fragmentation happens when you do a lot of writing to the harddrive and deleting from it. Newer versions of Windows are smarter when it comes to writing to the harddrive and so head off a lot of fragmentation. I wrote an article describing fragmentation at http://superwin.com/RaysComputerTips/Issue41.htm#qa6.
Hey Ray, I read your article in "Rays Computer Tips" on "What is Defrag?" you bring up a good reasoning on the side of "overblown defragmenting". My 4+ year old Toshiba Satelite Laptop has a whole 37GB with 16.6 left of free space. I write and save a multitude of documents then delete when I'm done with them as I also save tons of shortcuts to websites in my "Favorites" file. I use the "WordPad" quite often and then delete after they're no longer useful to me. I also experiment with new programs on the web. After I read all the reviews of that product I make a decision to or not to try them. Thus I've made it a habit to have a thorough cleaning day at least once a month. I've been using your "A1Click Ultra PC Cleaner", "Comodo", "AD-Aware", then "Smart Defrag"- http://www.iobit.com/iobitsmartdefrag.html recommended by CNET All in all I don't see much of speed improvements but my files are all in their appropriate segments, or so they say I have all my "ducks in a row". I suppose it comes down to is HOW & WHAT you do with your PC!!! and how important it is to keep up on Improving & Optimising a "TOOL" that is a huge part of our lives and intellect these days...LL
First it depends on your number and type of disks and what you use the for. As a general rule if there is plenty of disk space defragging is not important and only required on the boot drive. Use the Windows Defrag Tool (Accessories\System Tools\Disk Defragment and analyse to see if it is needed. Solid State Disks do not need defragging at all. More important is to clean regularly temporary files, INTERNET cache and, if you use it system restore. Make sure that folders to which temporary and INTERNET files are frequently written are located on a disk with the fastest write sped i.e. do not use a Solid State Disk for this purpose.