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Defrag won't complete task

My original question "Defrag won't work" was solved by disabling NAV. This seemed to allow Defrag to run freely without restarting (ie there was not one "drive's contents changed - restarting" message).

Perhaps because of recent uncompleted runs, Defrag breezed through until about 88% complete when it seemed to stick on a couple of clusters. At this point it had been running about 15 minutes and it took another 15 minutes before these clusters showed as optimized. For the next two hours (!) it seemed to pause on a cluster or two every line and took between 10 and 15 minutes to 'resolve' these, show them as optimized and move on only to immediately 'stall' on another cluster. During this time the % scale varied between 85% and 91% complete and the rhythm of the drive noises seemed constant. I eventually shut it down, worried in case it was putting strain on the drive/processor.    What's wrong?

Responses as comments please ...... and no, its not a screensaver - none are running.
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enquirer
Asked:
enquirer
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1 Solution
 
sorgieCommented:
Have you run scandisk in the thorough mode to look for bad sectors??
Also try ctrl alt del and end task on everything except systray and explorer
then run defrag

Good Luck


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maneshrCommented:
i think it could be because of the past failed attempt to defrag your H/D was in a badly fragmented state. so now it takes a long time to complete the process. i would suggest that you let it complete the ENTIRE process at least once, no matter how long it takes.

as far as the noise is concerned it could be due to the constant read write that is happening, since the virtual memory might also be on your hard disk. its a bit tricky as defrag has to re arrange the contents of your drive without losing anything and any reads done from the H/D have to be stored temporarily in the virtual mamory causing a lot of memory swapping.
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hewittgCommented:
Enquirer,
I would be concerned and start backing up your files.  This may be an indication that the drive is going bad.  Even if this is not the case, I would back up to be sure.  This has happened to me in the past and I have one now that is doing the same thing.  It has been running for three weeks like that and still working.  The bad thig is, you never know.  Hope it helps.

Glenn
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compmaniaCommented:
Like I said in the other question try restarting the computer in safe mode (hit f8 when the computer says "Starting Windows 95" and choose safe mode).
Then try running scandisk (normal), then defrag. If that still doesn't work try running scandisk (through) then defrag (all from safe mode)
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morbiusxCommented:
incase you have the same problem with scan disk in windows boot in dos and then type the command for scandisk and run it from dos
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bchewCommented:
Defrag can take a VERY LONG TIME to optimize a large disk, especially if it is very full and very fragmented.  Give it time to finish.  Future defrags will run much quicker once you get it done right the first time.

Bert
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edinoCommented:
Take compmania words, defrag using DOS it surely works! trust me
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DaveMonCommented:
Sometimes   my  rig  takes   eons  to complete  with  lots  of  hang -up  and  restarts...but  I've  found  that once  it  completes  a defrag,  they  seem  to return  to a reasonable  amount  of  time  after  going  through it once......I suppose it is possible   that  you may have impending hardware failure....but  its  been my  experience that  defrag is basically an old glorified dos program that usually works fine but has its little quirks.  The tip suggested by everyone here are accurate as far as I know.....but you should have all valueable data backed up regardless......my suggestion run a few defrags, even if it takes ages to complete,  your  CPU  and drives  are designed for high performance without ever getting tired..dont feel bad  if they have to work hard.


DaveMon
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
Your comment was somewhat re-assuring DaveMon - especially after the predictions of impending doom for my hard drive!

Here are the reasons I don't understand the current problems with Defrag. I run Scandisk and Defrag together every month (3GB disk with 800MB free). Scandisk has never found any bad sectors and I've never seen the drive more than 1% fragmented - nearly always 0% but I run it anyway. Until recently Defrag always ran smoothly and completed in 1 to 1 1/2 hours. NAV didn't seem to interfere with it at all but did cause some restarts with Scandisk.

Since asking this question I managed to get Defrag to complete yesterday using Safe Mode - (Is that the same/similar to running it from DOS?) -and thanks compmania, this seems to be the best way to run both of these programs. It raced through to 85% and then took four hours to finish with the scale going back and forth from 85% to 90%. The "Finished" window pops up at about the 92% mark where there is a large block of "Immoveable" data.

Today I ran Defrag again hoping it would speed right through but it bogged down again, this time at 76% and went back and forth to 80%. After 5 (five) hours it was still on 80% so I stopped it. The rest of my system appears to be working perfectly.

Any further comments, anyone?
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compmaniaCommented:
Safe mode normally works because it doesn't load all the programs you normally have running. Running it in Dos would maybe work too, to do it you have to do the f8 thing but select command prompt and type scandisk? (correct me if I am wrong, have not tried it in a while)

It probably slowed down if you installed any new programs.
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lhoward3hCommented:
Think about what defrag is really doing and how and when the original software was installed.  Defrag moves information forward by putting it in order (contiguous) and removing spaces.  All disk write functions look at the first open space on the drive and utilize it before preceeding to the next open space.  

When the original PC software was installed, it too was installed to the front of the drive.  That software normally stays put.  The only direction it could move would be forward and the only reason would be if you delete something in front of it.

All new stuff gets placed at the back of the drive because the front is already taken.

With todays web activity, drives fill up quickly with cached files, downloads, email, etc. with part of the constant updating process involves file deletes so you end up with most of the activity at the tail of the drive.  This will be where most of your fragmentation is because the basic software the you use was installed first and therefore on the front of the drive and it stays there.
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DaveMonCommented:

I have noticed that defrag has 0 error messages to speak of....and  it seems to have a few,  should I say "bugs"  .  To me,  those bugs are this...largely fragmented discs will be reported as 0 % or 1 % percent fragged..( you can notice all the fragments  if you chose to defrag the drive that supposedly doesnt need it )  also  no one has been able to explain why defrag can move 3-4 "lines"  of clusters for a majority of the task  then  will spend hours moving a few individual blocks?  I mean data is data right?  why would the speed diminish regardless of where or what the data is?  I have done tech support for a while now and have heard techs telling clients a wide variety of things regarding defrag  but I think the workings are still a mystery to most people.  Did you you know that even after a pefect install of 98 on a fully formated drive will produce a fairly fragmented drive upon first boot up?  What's up with that?   Anyway  Enquirer,  I dont have the answer and I dont know where to tell you to look for it.  I guess  i could  suggest the standard " Call Microsoft "  but I never  get  any help from them regardless of the situiation it seems.    Diskeeper lite  seems  to work well on NT, and  they claim  its  awesome on 95/98  you may  want to check that  out  they are at http://www.execsoft.com/downloads/menu.asp
their trial version  is pretty good....at least for NT
hope you find the answers  you  need.

DaveMon
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 300
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
Excuse delay in responding ....... (work ! )

To lhoward3h

Your comment was worth waiting a week for. THANK YOU for a lucid explanation of Defrag and how it works. Coupled with DaveMon's comment, I am now much the wiser about Defrag. - just still not sure why until recently it never took much longer than an hour to complete.

also see below .....

To DaveMon     thanks also - both your comments on this question were very helpful. ( Are you also Netmon? ) I was holding high hopes for your suggestion of Diskeeper. I followed your link and d/l the program but came to a dead halt during install which informed me I didn't have IE 4.01 or later on my system. ( I do - version 4.4 or to be exact, "Version 2.0  4.40.516") Setup offered a choice to d/l some components which would make Diskeeper work without installing IE but after connecting I got an error message from Netcenter that Smart Browsing was unable to match my request ...... due to some bug with the browser.

I never use IE and do not plan to upgrade it. I will try to get Diskeeper another time or maybe try to find other Defrag programs.

I feel that since my question has been largely answered, I should close the thread but I increased the points hoping to fairly split them between DaveMon, lhoward3h and compmania. Do any of you know how I can do this??? If EE is not set up to do this then perhaps a change should be considered.
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compmaniaCommented:
Drop the points down some and make 2 new questions. Then the points would be split.
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maneshrCommented:
post your query to Community Support at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Customer_Service/Experts_Exchange/ 

& they will do the rest.

i have seen it work more than once in the past
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DaveMonCommented:

Enquirer,  no  I am  not  Netmon.  thanks  for  your  comments,  sorry  about DiskKeeper  not  being  up to the task...maybe  soon  you  can  try  it.

DaveMon
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
OOoops!
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
compmania,

OK  I'll try it. Please respond for your points and thanks for your help.

I tried to reduce points to 100 for you - hope it worked!

DaveMon and lhoward3h, please look for new question and collect your points.
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
....... Oh well ......cannot lower points .........

I'll get back to you tomorrow.
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compmaniaCommented:
You should have a points box near the edit and delete question links. Just change it to a lower number then make 2 new questions in the W95 topic area.
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
went there..... did that......... got a 'Sorry' message saying saying points could not be lowered. I'll try maneshr's idea.
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compmaniaCommented:
Wow, never heard of it not letting you lower the points, must be another bug...
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darinwCommented:
Community Support has reduced points from 300 to 100
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darinwCommented:
I have lowered the points on this question to 100 as requested. By the way, the customer has never been able to reduce the amount of points assigned to a question once it has been posted. Perhaps in the very early days of the site a few years ago, but not since then.

darinw
Customer Service
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compmaniaCommented:
Why don't you change it?
Maybe I thought you could but never tried it...
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darinwCommented:
hehe, would you appreciate it if a customer changed the 100 point question to 10 points just before accepting your answer?
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enquirerAuthor Commented:
Thanks compmania, here are your points. It seems we have both learned something from this question. I will be checking the Suggestions area to find out more about point splitting.

DaveMon and lhoward3h, please look for new questions in the Win 95 General area and respond to collect your points.
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compmaniaCommented:
I just think that maybe you could change it but it would be like the delete function and someone like you checked the question to see if the point change is alright before it does happen.
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