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Windows Thread, Defragmentation? in Technical; Do you bother with it? Does it make much difference? What software do you use to do it? Cheers, Norphy...
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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Defragmentation?

    Do you bother with it? Does it make much difference? What software do you use to do it?

    Cheers,

    Norphy

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    ChrisC's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmentation?

    On the network, no we don't, at home/standalone computers, yes,I do.

    I use windows defrag.

    It generally improves the file access time, seeing as all the little bits of file (literally) are all in the right places afterwards.

    Chris

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmentation?

    Defrag only orders the files on the filesystem level, it doesn't actually put them in a specific physical location on the hard disk. It will reduce the number of requests on the filesystem level if the files are seen a sequential to the os.

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    Chafftech's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmentation?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy
    Defrag only orders the files on the filesystem level, it doesn't actually put them in a specific physical location on the hard disk. It will reduce the number of requests on the filesystem level if the files are seen a sequential to the os.
    Hmm, first I have ever heard of this. I was always under the impression that it physically moves the files.

    Found this on the wikipedia:


    Defragmentation
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    In the context of administering computer systems, defragmentation (or defragging) is a process that eliminates fragmentation in file systems. It does this by physically reorganizing the contents of the disk in order to store the pieces of each file close together and in order (contiguously). It also attempts to create large regions of free space using compaction, to impede the return of fragmentation.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmentation?

    These are posts from one of the developers of Raxco Perfect disk

    Please remember that all defraggers work at the LOGICAL level - NOT the
    PHYSICAL level. The LOGICAL level is the file system view and the PHYSICAL
    level being at the sector level. If a file is LOGICALLY contigous, then
    only 1 request needs to be made to access the file. If a file is LOGICALLY
    fragmented, then multiple requests need to be made to access the file. The
    performance gain is the "difference" between performing 1 request vs
    multiple requests. Even if a file is LOGICALLY contiguous, there is no
    guarantee that it is PHYSICALLY contiguous. Please see my rather crude
    diagram below that attempts to visually show this difference. Another point
    to remember is that the defrag APIs require that all file moves be done in
    multiples of X clusters. Under NT4, X is 16 clusters. Under Win2k, it is
    derived from the page size and is either 8, 4, or 1 clusters.


    Appplications/Defraggers
    |
    Operating System
    |
    File System
    (logical view)
    ------------------------------------
    (physical view)
    |
    Hard Drive Controller
    |
    Hard Drive


    While defragging takes place at the logical level, when you "move" a file,
    it does translate into things happening at the physical level. However,
    there's not a good way to know what is going on as it is the hard drive
    controller that is doing the logical to physical translation. The HDD
    controller translates the logical requests to physical requests and directs
    the read/write heads to "do their thing". Even if a file is logically
    contiguous, there is no guarantee that it is physically contiguous and vice
    versa.

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    Re: Defragmentation?

    Defragging will prolong the life of your nice shiny SCSI hard drives on your server. Trust me- not defragging your server will have more of a negative effect than just causing pretty red blocks in your analysis screen!

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmentation?

    In the olden days (about 20 years ago) when I was doing big databases - we actually used to try and split the data up across the disk using some sort of normalised curve, because the slowest bit of accessing a file was the physical seek on the disk, so some genius had worked out the optimal spread of data across a disk to get the fastest continuous read of data. It used to knocka few milliseconds off.

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    tosca925's Avatar
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    Re: Defragmentation?

    I defrag all our server drives once a year, normally in the 6 weeks holiday. If no one is in i log in from home and set them all off.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Reviving this topic somewhat but only to give folks a heads up.

    Having use O&O defrag in the past and more recently (last 3 years) Diskeeper Pro I've been keeping my eye out for a decent server defragmenting util that didn't cost the earth just because it's on a server OS until today..

    Raxco PerfectDisk have their server version at $99 at present and if you have any licenses from their competitors, even just workstation licenses you can apply for a 20% discount via their trade-up form.

    .. but it actually gets better because they then send you an email which offers you a one day only 35% discount on all their PerfectDisk products (including the server, and exchange products).

    I decided to give it a go at home as my home server has suffered from a lack of consistent defrag for quite a while now and at less than 35 for a server license I figure it's a chance to test drive something for school...

    Anyways, thought I'd share that nugget as it caught me unawares.

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    I set our servers to defrag system and application partitions at the weekend after (typically one drive on Saturday, one on Sunday). Data partitions are defragged monthly*, after the end-of-month backup.

    *mainly because it's really handy to have a shadow copy of the file someone just deleted when the tape is off-site.

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    bizzel's Avatar
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    Once a month as a scheduled task. Happens over the weekend but only defrags C and the user areas.

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    Same here i defrag the system partition each weekend and the data partitions once a month at the weekend, as it's performed more frequently it only takes a few mins rather than leaving it untill it takes several hours. I found once i started this that performance seemed to pick up it's difficult to tell now i do it every week but the first time i ran a defrag there was a noticable improvement.

    On a sidenote are you sure that the Raxco Perfect disk comment is not refering to RAID/SAN/NAS devices as the physical layer which is represented as a logical drive to windows. This means that unnecessary calls are generated to the RAID controller if the logical table is fragmented. Is this the same with a standard IDE/SATA single disk though?
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 16th January 2008 at 09:45 AM.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    Same here i defrag the system partition each weekend and the data partitions once a month at the weekend, as it's performed more frequently it only takes a few mins rather than leaving it untill it takes several hours. I found once i started this that performance seemed to pick up it's difficult to tell now i do it every week but the first time i ran a defrag there was a noticable improvement.

    On a sidenote are you sure that the Raxco Perfect disk comment is not refering to RAID/SAN/NAS devices as the physical layer which is represented as a logical drive to windows. This means that unnecessary calls are generated to the RAID controller if the logical table is fragmented. Is this the same with a standard IDE/SATA single disk though?
    I believe this applies to all modern drives. It will still reduce the number of logical disk access requests to the filesystem, but only the disk controller knows where the sectors are physically located.

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    Someone mentioned before that defragging may actually do more damage if used on a data partition thats on a set of SCSI Raid Disks (which mine are).

    Ive got 4HDDS in Raid 5 cfg that I want to defrag but want to make sure that it works for you guys at the moment.

    Cheers

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    button_ripple's Avatar
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    i defrag the servers once a week because staff are always moving there files around and at the minute we are loading lots of software to the network.

    Defragmentation is important if you regularly access lots of files on your computers hard drive. it does physically move files on your hard drive as it will attempt to place them as close together as possible so that it hasn't got to go to the end of your disc to find one file. It doesn't affect files as you see them - this is what scares most people they think that there files are going to go missing because it is going to cut and paste them somewhere else.

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