Defrag hard disk partitions to speed up file operations

1 January 2000 by Snakefoot | Comment » | Trackback Off
A partition consist of a long chain of clusters. When a new file is created, then Windows searches the partition to find a subchain of free clusters, which is large enough to contain the entire file. If no cluster-chain is large enough, then the file is fragmented over several smaller chains of clusters.

It will take longer time to read a whole file when it is fragmented, because the HDD has to make several seeks to read all the cluster-chains that contains the file. Defragmentation Tools will try to rearrange the data of the fragmented files so the file is contained in a single cluster-chain.

Checks before starting defragmentation of a partition :
  • Scan the partition for errors (Using Scandisk or Chkdsk /f).
  • Empty directory with temporary files which might reside on the partition (Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files, TMP).
  • Make sure there is enough free space on the partition to move files around (15 %).
  • Stop any unnecessary programs that writes to the partition (Ex. filesharing programs).
  • Disable any screen saver which might take all the resources from the defrag process.
Note after a defragmentation of a partition, some files might still be fragmented. This is usual either very large files or files which are changing in size constantly, so the gain of defragmenting these types of files completely is minimal.

Note a new feature was added with Windows 98/Windows XP, which monitors the launch of applications. The defragmenter uses this information to group the files used by the application close together to minimize seek time.

Updated: 23 September 2007

Comments:

Comment by john gladman - 25 March 2003 @ 15:21 Reply

Although I have performed defrag many times in past I am now getting following message if I try defrag on any of my drives (windows 2000).

Heading: Microsoft Management Console.

Message: Temporary Directory is not found or there is not enough disk space.

I have lots of disc space on all drives. Have just installed/removed a Ramdisk product from Cenatek.

Anyone have any ideas??

Comment by snakefoot - 25 March 2003 @ 15:23 Reply

john gladman
Although I have performed defrag many times in past I am now getting following message if I try defrag on any of my drives (windows 2000).

Heading: Microsoft Management Console.

Message: Temporary Directory is not found or there is not enough disk space.

According to Microsoft you need to check that:

1. The temp environment variables exists
2. The temp folder exists
3. You have setup proper permissions to the temp folder

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/228141

If all that fail try to do a SFC /SCANNOW and have the Win2k CD Ready.

Comment by Michael - 9 November 2007 @ 16:48 Reply

When I try to defrag I get the message “paused for shadow copy”. What do I do?

Comment by snakefoot - 9 November 2007 @ 20:56 Reply

Michael
When I try to defrag I get the message “paused for shadow copy”. What do I do?

Don’t know why the Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS) gets into a state where it blocks defrag from working. The solution seems to disable VSS momentarily while doing defrag and enable it again, or disable the service VSS for good if not using it.

Comment by datiswous - 8 February 2008 @ 0:47 Reply

Windows ME has a much improved version of the defragmenter program (of win98). you can simply download the windows ME version on some website (search for one) and then copy the file to the windows (98) directory.

Comment by snakefoot - 8 February 2008 @ 9:53 Reply

datiswous
Windows ME has a much improved version of the defragmenter program (of win98).

You don’t have to go that far away to find it, as it can be downloaded here.

Leave a comment


NB! Use the Forum for computer help and off-topic questions.

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>