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Defragging Server 2003 - Any Issues with using Built-in Defrag?

Posted on 2006-06-23
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Last Modified: 2010-02-08
These are pretty broad questions.

I have a Server 2003 Standard that has these roles:  FS, DC, GC, DNS, DHCP, RRAS, WSUS, WINS, IIS, FTP, Tape Backup - Veritas. (I know its a lot) Hardware RAID-1.
I also have a Server 2003 Standard that has these roles:  FS, DC, GC, EXC, DNS, IIS, FTP.  Hardware RAID-1.

I would like to use the built-in defragmenter in Server 2003 Standard to defrag both the C: (SYS) and D: (DATA) drives, and schedule it in Task Scheduler if I can.

1.  Are there any issues with doing this while the Servers are fully operational?
2.  Should I stop any services before I do this?
3.  Do I need to dismount the Exchange Store on Server 2 before I do this?
4.  Can / Should I do this in Safe Mode?

Thanks for your time!
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Question by:ES13Raven
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16970185
only that you will slow the system down immensely if you run it live, you don't need to do this in safe mode...and i never stop any services - probably lazy but i havent had problems
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Darwinian999 earned 250 total points
ID: 16971647
1. One issue related to the performance one that Jay_Jay70 mentioned - you don't want a defrag to be running when you take a manual or scheduled snapshot of a drive, because there will be so much IO that the snapshot won't complete in a timely fashion and so will be cancelled. The defrag API is designed for defragging files on a live system, so it's generally fine.

2. No need to stop any services, unless you want to defrag files that are held open by a service. Eg to defrag the files containing the Exchange databases, you'd need to stop the Exchange Information Store service.

3. Refer to 2.

4. You can, but there's no need to.

I set up windows defrag to run as a recurring scheduled task on all of the customer systems that I set up, unless they've got something better (eg Diskeeper or PerfectDisk).
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