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Old 14. Dec 2012, 03:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do you still defrag?

Here is a statement that may stir up at least a few of our readers
Quote:
I defragment every 2-3 years, whether my box needs it or not.
That's from an article What Is Disk Fragmentation and Do I Still Need to Defragment? at How-to Geek.
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Old 14. Dec 2012, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am reasonably computer literate but these articles always leave me more confused than before I read them. They go into more technicalities than I can deal with and I am still not sure (as an average Win7 32 user, gamer - but not online games) whether or not I would gain any advantage. I get plenty of slow down issues with some of my games and my browsers but, as usual, you can find dozens of suggestions online - none of which make any difference. There isn't usually any suggestion that defragging is needed to improve things so I have just left Win7 to do its own thing.
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Old 14. Dec 2012, 12:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hardly ever defragment because I configure my drives/partitions to reduce the impact of file fragmentation.

I use several partitions, even if I've only got one fixed disk, as they divide a physical disk into several logical disks. Effectively the physical disk is divided into bands so you can optimize the arrangement of your software and data files. Generally, the most frequently used/modified files will benefit the most from being located on the faster partitions (ie bands) of the disk:
  • install enough RAM in my PC - so I'm not so dependent upon paging and virtual memory - having to page out data from memory to disk can be a heavy load on the system
  • put paging and virtual memory on a dedicated disk/partition - no fragmentation of the paging file even if it is re-created each start-up.
  • have system software and files on the fastest disk/partition - to reduce the OS overhead for all applications
  • install less frequently used applications on a slower disk/partition - leave the faster partitions/disks for the frequently used programs
  • put less frequently used files on the slowest disk/partition, e.g. photographs
  • put large files that don't change much onto a separate disk/partition, e.g. videos
  • uninstall the applications I don't need
  • don't have large partitions that are mainly empty - as files are created they will become spread over the entire partition - that is one reason why people get a noticeable performance boost from defragmenting as it usually groups all the files together at the start of the partition
  • ensure that physical and logical boundaries align on disks that can have this problem

Wow, this was going to be a quick comment and I wrote a book... again.
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Old 14. Dec 2012, 02:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim View Post
I get plenty of slow down issues with some of my games and my browsers but, as usual, you can find dozens of suggestions online - none of which make any difference. There isn't usually any suggestion that defragging is needed to improve things so I have just left Win7 to do its own thing.
Windows XP and 7 come with a built in disk defragmenter that incorporates a disk analysis tool that tells you whether your disk needs to be defragged or not. I trust
this part of the Windows defrag service.

I have yet to find a 3rd party defragging utility that does a better job.
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Old 14. Dec 2012, 04:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Once I moved to Windows 7, I never saw the need for 3rd party (free or not) defraggers. Windows 7 does a fine job of keeping my HD de-defragmented. (That's probably not even a word?! Oh well! Maybe it should be un-defragmented?)
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Old 14. Dec 2012, 08:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I defragment only when I see that the fragmentation levels on a partition has gone above 30%
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Old 15. Dec 2012, 08:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I do about once every 1-3 months, it's about 15-20% fragmented, and it doesn't take long so I do it. It might be a supersition but I feel like it works better afterwards so I'll keep doing it.
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Old 15. Dec 2012, 11:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had forgotten that Win7 has an automatic built-in defrag system so I looked at mine. It showed the schedule set weekly at a middle-of-night time when the PC would never be on. I don't know if it automatically does the defrag as soon as I start up after that or not. I analysed the disks and they showed 0% fragmented so all I did was change the schedule time to a better one and left it at that.
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Old 15. Dec 2012, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have Win7 and I hardly defrag nowadays. Maybe once every 3-6 months and its never been above 5% fragmented when I've done it. Defragmenting is certainly becoming less frequently needed I feel. It only really makes a noticeably significant affect on performance once the disk gets to 70% full or so. Plus with the increasing use of modern SSD's, which it is completely unnecessary/detrimental to defragment, it will likely become less and less an issue for most people.
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Old 15. Dec 2012, 03:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On my own systems I defrag prior to doing a full system image backup or if I have uninstalled a lot of stuff like large video files or some very large applications. Nero Essentials was close to 2GB when I uninstalled it. Even though some apps start small they can grow like weeds over time. They occupy a lot more disk space than their download size.

I also look after friends and family computers (XP, Vista and W7). One friend had a PC that had never received any maintenance outside Windows updates. I ran CCleaner and there were 19 pages of Registry errors and when the analysis of what could be cleaned came back, over 40GB (cookies, logs, cache, XP hotfix files). I had to defrag this system after it was cleaned it.

This is a pretty extreme case, but I have found that the XP systems need more attention when it comes to maintenance.
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