Disk Defragmenter

Posted on 2000-04-18
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
If Linux and Windows are installed on a computer in different disk partitions, what happens if I run the Windows Disk Defragmenter on the Windows Partition?  How should I defragment my Windows partition if I can't use disk defragmenter in the future?

Laminamia :)
Question by:Laminamia063099
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Expert Comment

ID: 2727536
if you are running Linux off of a Linux native partition, windows should not be able to touch it on its own.
defragmenting your windows partition will have no effect on your linux system, since the defragmenter will not get off the selected partition (vfat)

Author Comment

ID: 2727773
When you say "running Linux off of a Linux native partition", what do you mean?  i.e. Is it possible to install Linux on a partition that is not native, and if so, what do I do to avoid that?

Expert Comment

ID: 2728271
Well, there are some versions of linux hat can be installed on DOS partitions.

Windows in totally unable to read Linux partitions so you can run it no problem...

Author Comment

ID: 2728308
Gooberis already left that answer.  If I find out that that is the correct answer (that no problem will arise if I run the disk defragmenter) then I would have to give him the points.

However, I have overheard in other questions that problems will arise if you run disk defragmenter when you have both OS installed on different partitions.  Can either confirm or deny this with certainty?


Laminamia :)
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Expert Comment

ID: 2728309
boot up into linux and run the command
fdisk -l
this will give you a list of all the partitions eg:
fdisk -l
Disk /dev/hdc: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 525 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes
   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hdc1             1       379   3044286   1b  Unknown
/dev/hdc2           510       525    128520   82  Linux swap
/dev/hdc3   *       380       509   1044225   83  Linux    

I am running a 4.3GB hdd and my first partition is a W98 partition of about 3GB
the second partition is a linux swap partition and the third is a linux native partition of about 1GB
if you have a similar setup where your linux and linux swap partitions are identified by these types, your windows defrag will not touch your linux files.

Linux can be installed to a dos partition but certain procedures have to be followed. even then your linux should be safe (defragmented but safe)

Accepted Solution

andrewljohn70 earned 50 total points
ID: 2729362
Hi Laminamia,
All is said and done
but more is said than done.
All the above arguments are great and valid.
However, please be sure of which distribution of linux you are using.
I have faced this problem the HARD way.
I did know that defraging the windows would foil my linux partition.
Everytime i did the defrag i invariably got a Kernel Panic could not mount VFS during the boot process.
I am using Red Hat 6.2.
Whatever you do and whoever you give the points to - please take a backup of your critical work on your linux partition BEFORE trying to defrag the WIN9x partition and the ext2fs (linux partition) does not really need to be defragmented.
Because I have learnt this the hard way (i guess all of us do!).
Smiles and happy defraging! :))

Author Comment

ID: 2730383
Adjusted points from 25 to 50

Expert Comment

ID: 2731103
Hi Laminamia,
Thanks a lot for the points.
That was a generous offer.
Hope you enjoy your journey through linux.
Would be glad to help anytime.
Smiles :))))

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