General discussion

Quick question about defragmentation.

Hello Forum.

I defragment about every month or so. Well, In the past three months every time I defrag it will come back with a message that says " Some files on this volume could not be defragmented". Blah Blah Blah. So, Naturally, I click view Report. And in the Files that did not defragment category, there is nothing there. I don't know what could cause this. Any ideas or solutions?


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Reply to: Quick question about defragmentation.
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Don't worry about it

It's probably hidden files that are critical to system operation, or otherwise locked for good reason.

But you really don't need to defragment. While it's true the hard drive is the slowest component of your computer, its fragmentation level isn't the problem. The rate at which your hard drive can communicate with the rest of your system has remained constant, while every other component has gotten faster. Even with perfect fragmentation -- where every bit of data is directly opposite the next bit in the sequence on the drive platter, which is impossible without intentional intervention -- your drive's performance is limited more by this slow link to the rest of your system.

Defragmenting is kind of like overfilling your car tires to improve gas mileage. It works, but the thing that effects fuel economy the most is the aerodynamics of the car design, something you have no real control over. And just like air will naturally leak out of a tire over time, so will the negligible performance gains from defragmenting, which never amount to anything close to the amount of time you spent defragmenting.

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I will take your advise. I appreciate the quick response.


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I would agree

With Mike, but for one reason, technology has increased disk capacity, yes I agree. Basically though the modern disk is just an "overgrown" version of one manufactured years agoe.

However each and every disk has some circuitry in it, this drives the heads and the more a disk is fragmented, the harder the circuitry - and the heads - have to work. This will result in poor performance and the disk dying much sooner than would be the norm.

Therefore, please Mike a disk DOES need defragging, but it's best to get a good defrag utiliity, the Windows one is not too good. I use Diskeeper 10 registered version, and believe me, it's fast and does indeed defrag the files.

It's a shareware product, so you can see how it works for you, before you even have to buy it!

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I've tried Diskkeeper 9. It was ok. I may consider buying Diskkeeper 10. Thanks for the advise.


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Academic at best

You could make an argument that the amount of stress put on a drive to do the defragmenting causes more harm than "normal" fragmentation levels.

Besides, the thing that usually is the first to go in a HDD is the ball bearings that keep the platters spinning. Yes you could say that it takes an extra couple of rotations to get all the data, but those platters are going to be spinning whether you're reading/writing data or not. In fact, unless you set up your power saving profile to do so, those disk platters are spinning, constantly, so long as the computer is switched on. Then you get into the argument of whether the process of spinning those platters up is more of a strain than just letting them run continuously, which is more into the realm of mechanical engineering than I care to venture.

Also, solid state circuitry is so nice because it doesn't tend to break down until the molecular bonds of the materials that compose it start to give way. Assuming the absence of external stimuli like power surges.

There is no real need or reason, outside of psychological satisfaction, to bother defragmenting a drive. It's not a performance limiter, and the effect it may have on the most common point of mechanical failure is inconclusive at best. And this isn't Bush Admin. global warming sort of inconclusive, this is inconclusive in the sense that there's no way to separate the effect of fragmentation from the effect of normal wear and tear.

It will be nice once solid state storage arrives. It will put this issue to rest once and for all. Not to mention improve performance, use less power, longer lasting, and be totally silent due to a lack of any moving parts.

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Why would anyone....

be so adamantly against performing a normal mainenance task?? If defragged weekly, the process only takes a few minutes.

A weekly virus scan is far harder on a hard drive than a 2 minute defrag(I defrag weekly & that's the time!)

A virus scan can take 45 minutes or more depending on how many files it has to scan, during which time the HD is "working" non-stop, just as in a defrag.

As I've stated in prior posts, opinions vary. I undestand the HD is the weak link & with the fast seek times of modern HD's defragging won't show much of a performance gain.........Until your system crashes!

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It's not necessary

The more you learn about how HDDs ACTUALLY work, the more you come to realize just how pointless a lot of the supposed maintenance tasks are. Virtually all pro-defragmentation arguments are based on misconceptions about how HDDs work, or outdated information that is no longer valid. Often times, information that became invalid before the person repeating it even owned a computer.

I'm all for things that have merit to them, but defragmenting isn't one of them. Even at 2 minutes spent defragmenting, it's incredibly unlikely that your performance was boosted sufficiently that you saved a total over 2 minutes in other operations. It's unlikely you saved more than 1-2 seconds over the course of the entire week. So you essentially LOSE 1:58 every week to defragmenting, and you just waste more time if you go to every 2 weeks, every month, etc. Time saved will always be some very very small fraction of time spent. Accept it and move on.

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So I Take it Your a Ford Man (??)

My message wasn't argumentative, just my opinion to which I am entitled.
Telling someone to accept their viewpoint and "move on" is argumentative.

So I'll continue to "waste" 2 minutes a week & you can use those 2 minutes doing something you enjoy.

Not looking for an argument here - just passing along a different viewpoint.

There is no right or wrong to argue about anyway, just Fords & Chevy's.

You get down the road either way. Thanks for your time.

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Not quite

I'm stating what is reality, not passing judgment. If that's how you choose to perceive it, then there's not a lot I can do. You might want to ask yourself why you see this as a confrontation between the two of us, as opposed to a somewhat spirited, but amicable, debate. That's all it ever was to me, but you seem to view it as more of a personal affront. Finding the reason why could help prevent such misinterpretations of people's intentions in the future.

When you get down to it, I just don't have the ability to surrender myself to the little lies and fantasies that most people use to escape things they don't want to face. At times, I envy those that can. But none of that changes what is a cold hard reality. I know that little to nothing is gained by defragmenting, and that's just all there is to it for me. Even though from a technical standpoint there's no point in defragmenting, if it satiates your obsessive compulsive disposition towards order and tidiness, that alone can be reason enough.

And in the end, I'm not exactly in a position to stop you in any way. Even if you want to defragment your system just to try and spite me, I can't stop you. Do what you want. So long as it doesn't affect me, or anyone I care about, in a negative way, I'm pretty easy going about things.

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Sounds Cool to Me..........

As far as I'm concerned it's all good between us!

Hopefully through this forum, we can learn from each other!

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you dont need to defrag that much.

unless you are constantly installing-uninstalling,
alot of programs.

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In conclusion.

Case solved. I've drawn my own conclusion.

I appreciate all of your opinions and suggestions. I respect your believe that defragmentation is virtually pointless mike_omally. But, I'm going to have to disagree with you, Please understand. I believe that csrjohn and Themisive points and their hypothesis is much more valid. I agree that defragmentation doesn't help the drive physically. It's not like a defrag is changing the oil out of a car. But, Fragmented files tend to run slower so, That tells me something right there (I'm sure you have drawn your conclusion mike_omally, and I have too).

Thanks again for your advises.


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You can read for yourself..

As it may help you form your own opinion...This taken from a site but under will be the whole link...

Still, defragmenting remains an important task. Why? For one, power consumption and heat can be directly related to a fragmented hard drive. When the computer's operating system requests data, if a file is not contiguous, then extra seeking on the disk may be required. But a more important consideration is disk failure. Should a hard drive fail, the likelihood of successfully recovering data from the dead or damaged drive improves significantly if the data is contiguous rather than randomly scattered about the drive platters.

Hope this helps.


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Sorry, but...

That little snippet is a complete load of... Some form of solid bodily waste.

The amount of additional power consumption, and resulting radiated heat, is so small, it's insignificant compared to the power consumed, and heat radiated, from the normal operations of the drive. At best, you'd probably be talking about very tiny fractions of a watt and even smaller fractions of a degree celsius.

As far as data recovery goes... Contiguous files don't magically improve the odds of successful data recovery. A shattered platter is going to have about zero chance of successful recovery, no matter how fragmented the drive was or wasn't, for example. Contiguous files just makes recovering the files easier, assuming recovery is even possible. But only in the sense that all the bits of the file are in one place, and you don't have to hunt them down. Of course if the file is randomly distributed across the entire platter, it's less likely that all, or most, of the pieces were on a damaged section of the platter. Put another way, your eggs weren't all in the same basket.

The author of that article seems to be operating under the same basic misconceptions as most people. They probably would agree that defragmenting, which simply moves files around, will somehow cure file corruption, or help spread a virus more quickly, or a bunch of the other myths floating about.

If a physicist or some other sort of research scientist submitted a grant proposal that was this sloppy, based on conjecture and misinterpreted bits of isolated and unrelated information, you can bet the request would be passed around to EVERYONE just for the chuckle factor before being rejected. But since there are very few people who really understand the inner workings of a computer, it's easier for people to get away with this sort of thing.

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And for you...

Mike , I do grow completely sick and tired of your cocky remarks, you ignorance, thinking you have "the right answer" because you can't shut your blow hole. All you do is argue with people , make snide remarks, and it's tiring, you don't make a point , you write a whole book on how wrong you think others are. You are the most insufferable type for sure. The day you are GONE from Cnet will be when I try to come back here and enjoy it............You should have you rear banned!!

Sorry Cnet, after being a member for a couple, until these completely rude people are gone, i'm gone. I know that won't happen so it's been fun for a couple of years. Bob, Mark,Lee, take care hope all goes well for yous.

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Don't leave comicfan

I really have enjoyed reading your posts since I've been a member. You are very helpful to the people that frequent these boards. Please reconsider!!!

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I agree with sharree

Paul, please do reconsider, it's as you said though, mike_omally ruins it for all. He seems to enjoy jumping on a remark that is designed to be helpful to other people, and if anyone is the one to leave it should be him.

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It's called making an argument

Have you not ever been instructed in proper essay writing? It's not enough to just say, "I think this is right, so it must be!" You have to back it up with something.

I make an argument, and then back it up. It requires a certain amount of verbiage, which apparently upsets you. It's too bad too, reading is such a wonderful thing. It improves your spelling, grammar, logical reasoning abilities, it can improve your oratory skills, your vocabulary... It's like one stop shopping to personal improvement, and it can be fun. It's too bad that so few people seem to share this view with me.

It seems to me that maybe you're projecting hostility onto me that's coming from another source in your life. I can't even begin to fathom what that source is, but it's hardly fair to blame me for it. It's not my fault I remind you of whatever fount of stress is in your life, and it's completely selfish and unfair of you to try and blame me for it and guilt me into changing just to make your life easier. We all have our own problems in life, and if you're having difficulty dealing with yours, I suggest you find a qualified therapist in your area. Lashing out at others in these anti-social tirades like a spoiled toddler isn't going to help.

Or maybe it's something else. A lot of times frustration over our inability to do something that comes so easily to others, causes us to perceive those others as arrogant. For example, I have a very difficult time performing even basic mental math. It would be very easy for me to perceive someone as arrogant who is good at mental math, and applies it whenever the opportunity arises. Rather than be envious of them, I choose to be happy for them. I think it's good that they recognize, take pride in, and seek to improve their abilities. Rather than take the easy way out, and dismiss them as arrogant, I look for ways I can learn from them. Even if they are ultimately arrogant ********, it doesn't mean there isn't something I couldn't learn from them. I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure don't know everything.

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Paul, please don't go...

Whenever you find something offensive and contradictory to the forum policies just submit an alert. Justice will prevail.


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Quick question about defragmentation.

you need first to clean the computer then to defrag it good luck...(disk clean up before a disk defrag)

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Locking thread -- with a friendly reminder ...

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Our goal here is to maintain a friendly and helpful community forum, so that we can all help each other out and learn from one another. If you can't be constructive, then it's best that you find another community that will tolerate your presence.

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