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windows disk defrag

Posted on 2013-01-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-09
I work with someone who was defragging a WinXP box the other day. He showed me the defrag visual representation of the fragmented disk, and the system files ( shown as green in the graph ) were fragmented. He was saying that when he would load windows from a CD, the system files were never fragmented, but recently where I work they started rolling out windows by using images created at a different facility, and at my facility, we boot the pc with a USB drive and load windows over the network.
I have never noticed what he was talking about with the system files, mainly because I would just defrag drives when it seemed necessary, but wouldn't really pay attention to what he was saying.
So does what he is saying, that the image is bad because it's fragmenting the system files sound likely?
Also, out of curiosity I tried looking at the disk on my win7 pc, but couldn't find the graph that xp used to have, does anyone know where that is in win7?
Question by:JeffBeall
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Assisted Solution

by:Thomas Grassi
Thomas Grassi earned 336 total points
ID: 38751204
in control panel

Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Performance Information and Tools\Advanced Tools

Defrag tool for windows 7

Yes when cloning drives if they did not defrag the drive before they made the image then you will have defrag disks.

Also When you install an OS from CD it will defrag the disk most installs copy files to the drive first then expands the files after the install the files are then removed now you drive is defragged.
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Thommy earned 332 total points
ID: 38751230
This may probably help you further...
Defragment Your Windows 7 Computer

Author Comment

ID: 38751619
"Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Performance Information and Tools\Advanced Tools

Defrag tool for windows 7"

This is where I went originally, it doesn't have the graph that represents the fragmentation that WinXP used to.
I was wondering if there is something like the WinXp graph thing for defragging the drive.
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Expert Comment

ID: 38751809
1)  Today's larger drives require less frequent defragmentation
2)  Win 7 allows scheduling the defragmentation so less manual defragmentation is necessary
3)  Perhaps because of 2) defragmentation is often done when you are not present, so the pretty building block graphic is no longer available.

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by:Joseph OLoughlin
Joseph OLoughlin earned 332 total points
ID: 38751816
Not native to Win7
Auslogics Disk Defrag, for example, will show a similar detailed colour coded block grid.
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Expert Comment

ID: 38751826
JeffBeall--And MS offers DiskView
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BlueCompute earned 332 total points
ID: 38752083
No defrag chart in Windows 7, it seems.

The green sections are actually labelled as 'unmovable files' rather than 'system files'.  Obvious candidates for being unmovable are page file, the master file table and files in use.

If you view the disk defrag report it gives more information abouthow fragmented the page file and MFT are,


File fragmentation
Total files = 17,900
Average file size = 325 KB
Total fragmented files = 1
Total excess fragments = 17
Average fragments per file = 1.00

Pagefile fragmentation
Pagefile size = 479 MB
Total fragments = 1

Folder fragmentation
Total folders = 1,544
Fragmented folders = 1
Excess folder fragments = 0

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 32 MB
MFT record count = 19,467
Percent MFT in use = 59 %
Total MFT fragments = 2
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ID: 38752113
Here's a screen shot of the free, open source, UltraDefrag (click for full size).UltraDefrag 6.0.0 beta2Beta version (6.0.0 beta2 is in the screen shot)
Latest stable release (5.1.2)

I have been using Windows Defrag on a weekly basis (scheduled to run at 3am on Wednesdays), so there's not much existing fragmentation in that report, but when I chose Full Optimization from the Actions menu it started moving files right from the beginning of the disk.  There's no estimated time before it finishes, but I'm guestimating several hours... I'll post another screen grab when it's done.  :-)

Author Comment

ID: 38753263
I hate to admit it jcimarron, but I like having the " pretty building block graphic". I get that not having the graph doesn't equal not defragging the drive. But it's my security blanket!
Anyhow, thank you all for the alternative suggestions to get my beloved graph back.
I'll try them out, but so far I tried DiskView, on my home laptop. The thing is, I very recently ( about 2 weeks ago ) wiped and reloaded my drive on my laptop using the dvd's that I created when I first got the laptop ( since manufacturers don't like to include the dvds any more)  and DiskView showed the "unmovable" files separated in the graph

So I'm surprised that the unmoveable files would be fragmented. And my laptop runs beautifully.
Going with this topic, reading your responses made me think. I don't remember the exact explanation for how files get fragmented in the first place. Anybody have a nice explanation?

Also, is an effective way to defrag the page file, is to delete the file by going to system properties and in the advanced tab going to the performance settings button, then in the virtual memory section, turning off the page file. as an extra step, I turn on the view hidden and system files, and make sure there isn't a pagefile.sys file. then I reboot, and turn the page file back on.
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Darr247 earned 332 total points
ID: 38753590
Well, it doesn't tell how long it took, but it was done when I got back.
UltraDefrag 6.0.0 beta2 - done
Files typically get fragmented when they're laid down on fragmented free space.

To defragment the hibernation and page files, turn off Hibernation and set the Virtual memory to No paging file, reboot and defrag.  When defrag is complete, turn Hibernation back on (if you want to use Hibernation), then set the paging file initial/max to 1.5x RAM size (5GB max), click Set. OK and reboot again.
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Accepted Solution

jcimarron earned 336 total points
ID: 38755714
"I don't remember the exact explanation for how files get fragmented in the first place. Anybody have a nice explanation?"

Fragmentation occurs when the file system cannot or will not allocate enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a unit, but instead puts parts of it in gaps between other files (usually those gaps exist because they formerly held a file that the operating system has subsequently deleted or because the file system allocated excess space for the file in the first place). Larger files and greater numbers of files also contribute to fragmentation and consequent performance loss. Defragmentation attempts to alleviate these problems.

that comes from

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38755865
thanks for the help, this was a good topic!
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Expert Comment

ID: 38759865
Good question and good answers :)

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