Defrag of server drive taking painfully long.

techitch2
techitch2 used Ask the Experts™
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I am in the process of prepping my servers to add hard drives and then adding that space to my existing partitions.  I am using a software package called partition manager 10.0.  Prior to adding drives and  repartitioning the instructions call for a chkdsk to be run on all current partitions.  I completed that last night.  I ended up taking a couple hours but no bad sectors were found so far so good.  I have a C and D drive set up in RAID 5.  (c being 25 gb and d being roughly 200gb).  The second step in their instructions is to run a defragment on both drives.  At midnight last night i turned off the screen saver and started a defragment on the d drive and went home.  I woke at 7 am today drove back into work expecting this volume to be complete.  When i arrived it was sitting at 9%.  Are you kidding 6 hours and some change to get to 9%?  How can i expedite this process?  Can i run at startup or something?
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Shreedhar EtteTechnical Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Hi,

What is the percentage of Free Disk space on the Drive where you're performing the Defrag.

It should have 15% free disk space, for the defrag to run.

Also it depends on the file fragmentation level and Avg. File size. If it is highly fragmented, more time.

Hope this helps,
Shree
techitch2Network Admin

Author

Commented:
30% free on D....only 8% on C.  I believe the drive are highly fragmented.  Can i do a defrag at boot so various services aren't running......i'm thinking that may be faster?
It's recomment that a windows Systempartition should have at least 10% of free Space, otherwise M$ says, the the OS could run into trouble....

Try to delete or move Files from that system before defragmenting.
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
the best way to solve your defrag problem would be to offload some files from your C drive onto an external hard drive and then defrag your drive. Make sure that you have at least 15% free or your defrag might be slow again. Also disable any service that might be using some of your larger files so that they can be moved during your defrag process.
One of the main things that could be causing issues is online databases and virus protection software. If you have databases on that server you should take them offline and disable your virus protection software and make sure no backups are running. Defrag triggers 100% change on your volume which will cause snapshots and virus protection to backup and scan your entire volume all at once.
techitch2Network Admin

Author

Commented:
this server has SQL and exchange running on it.  I did turn kaspersky off while running the defrag.  I have contacted the paragon partition manager to ask if it is in fact "necessary" to defrag before i add disks and allot the new drive space to these two volumes.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
it is not necessary to defrag if you run chk disk. make sure you backup your server before you continue. I would also stop all the services especially exchange (that is if it's not mission critical out of hours). How big are your exchange stores?
techitch2Network Admin

Author

Commented:
I have one store at 28 GB.....i think?  Private store.....consists of two files.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
stopping your exchange services will allow your defrag process to move and arrange those files on your hard drive. Again you don't have to defrag before partitioning it. if check disk doesn't report any error you are good to go. (take backup first)
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
It could actually take days, but you are going about it incorrectly.

0.  Best practice .. always have full, current backup before doing anything with the hardware.

1. Run the RAID_level parity check/rebuild.  This insures that there are no errors and unreadable blocks.  This tests 100% of the disk, and if you attempt a migration/update of the RAID config, and have bad blocks, then you could very well end up with unrecoverable data loss.   You must do this first.  This gets 100% of the physical disks, and obviously 100% of logical blocks.  (This will run much faster if you do it from the BIOS while system is not running your O/S).

2. Update all RAID firmware & drivers  READ RELEASE NOTES FIRST.   You never know if an update necessitates a full backup.

3. then, do the windows based scandisk/chkdsk, to clean up any filesystem errors.

4. Then defrag.


One reason it takes so long is that you could very well have some parity errors that are being corrected higher up in the food chain, via windows, and this is much less efficient then letting the RAID hardware do it.

DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
P.S.  windows will neither detect nor correct 100% of the RAID.  Only the embedded RAID firmware can do this.
I am pretty sure that if you take the databases offline (like the exchange store) you will be able to run a defrag.

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