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disk defragment

When I try to do a disk defragment I get a warning that my E drive only has 12% free space, and I need 15% to do a defrag. Then it asks if I would like to continue. I have tried several times, but always cancel before running the defrag. Do I ahve anything to worry about, or should I just go ahead and run it?

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Why must you do this?

In reply to: disk defragment

It's something of a mystery why there is less payoff today but let's skip to why you need 15%.

Let's say the biggest file on the E drive is 15% of the volume. To defragment that file the MS Defrag program may need that much space to copy the file to. While some could argue a smarter defrag program could do with just spare cluster then we get to discuss why MS's defrag isn't so smart?

So why not forget about it and enjoy your machine?

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Re: disk defragment

In reply to: disk defragment

If you cant free up space and want to defrag anyway, you could download a free trial version of third party defraggers like Diskeeper which are said to defrag with lesser than 15% free space.

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No problem with it.

In reply to: disk defragment

There is no problem with attempting to defrag with less than 15% free space. Whether the XP defragger will do much under those conditions is a different issue.

Do a disk cleanup and you maybe able to recover some more free space. Disk cleanup can be accessed in My Computer by right clicking on the relevant drive.

The 15% free space requirement is probably due to the fact that the $MFT + allocated zone is approximately 15% of the disk partition. (Closer to 12.5% actually). The XP defragger is unable to move the fragments of a fragmented $MFT, although the API has the functionality. So, I am guessing that the 15% minimum was sort of an insurance against having to deal with the $MFT yet being able to attempt to defrag the other files.

If you want to reliably defrag in less than 15% free space, you'll need to look at one of the commercial defrag utilities such as Diskeeper 2008. It can move $MFT fragments as well as defrag in low space.

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In reply to: No problem with it.

er, incomplete sentence. I meant to say
"Disk cleanup can be accessed in My Computer by right clicking on the relevant drive and choosing Properties". There is an option for disk cleanup there.

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