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Excess file fragments

Posted on 2002-06-05
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Dual boot XP/2000. NTFS on both. 533 Celeron.  Have always Defragged at least once a week. Just recently the system (Win 2000 Pro) has become extremely slow. Ran defrag and now there are a tremendous amount of excess file fragments and fragmented files.
     1) What is the primary cause of these files to become fragmented?
     2) Do these cause the system to slow down?
     3) Where do I find these fragmented files and excess file fragments?
     4) How do I get rid of these?
     5) Should I convert to a FAT32 file system?
Thank you very much for all your help (now and in the past).
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Question by:cactusdr
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jhance earned 400 total points
ID: 7056789
   1) What is the primary cause of these files to become fragmented?

Applications and Windows opening, writing, deleting, copying, and closing files.  It's normal.

    2) Do these cause the system to slow down?

Only if they become excessive OR you have a relatively SMALL amount of free space on the drive.  If your free space is below about 10%, then you will have a constant performance problem.  Get a larger HDD.

    3) Where do I find these fragmented files and excess file fragments?

You don't really find them as they are just "left over" pieces of files on the disk.  Only a defragger or other filesystem-level application can "see" them.

    4) How do I get rid of these?

Defrag or FORMAT.

    5) Should I cnvert to a FAT32 file system?

Definitely NOT!  FAT32 is MORE prone to performance problems with this than NTFS.

I think that you are overdoing it by defragging weekly.  Unless there is something wrong (or as I noted, your disk is really FULL) you should rarely have to defrag.  The only exception would be that your system is extraordinarily busy with very FILE INTENSIVE applications.  You didn't really say what goes on with this system but for normal desktop systems/application I think you could go the lifetime of the machine (3 years) and NEVER need to defrag.
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by:cactusdr
ID: 7058395
Good enough!
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