Windows 7 forum


Windows 7 Defrag Quirk?

by SlamX / May 30, 2012 3:11 AM PDT

I have windows 7. I got a brand new external USB 2 Terabyte drive for backing up.

After I backed up about 50 gigs I ran defrag analysis. It said I need to defrag the drive.

I got a 3rd party defrag utility and it says the drive does not need to be defraged.

So which program is right?

Are these super large hard drive more sensitive to defragmentation than the smaller drives?

I am a little confused which defrag program to believe.

Please help me figure this out.

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All Answers

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 30, 2012 3:46 AM PDT

Personally I wouldn't believe either.

I tend to agree with the 3rd party utility that the drive does not need to be defragged, but only because I see little need to defrag today's drives in today's OSes.

Today's systems and drives are much better at data management and the era of constantly or regularly defragging hard drives has long gone. I have had my Windows 7 system, (three separate 1 TB drives), for over two years and have never needed to consider defragmentation. In fact I haven't even checked the drives for that.

Windows own Defragmenter will advise that a disk needs defragmenting above a certain level of fragmentation. I believe that is 4% fragmentation. But that is easily reached if data is often read to and deleted from drives, but 4% is small and other defragmenter utilities may put the level higher. But in any case I see that Windows 7 runs defragmenting as part of a background process if the system is idle, so it is constantly doing this anyway.

There are myths about defragmenting, such as it makes seek and locate data quicker, but even if that is true, the benefit that we the user would see is minimal if at all.

As a test I ran a Google search for " Is defragmenting really necessary? ". it's a loaded question of course for a Google search, but the number of hits against defragmenting are interesting.


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Just wanted to second this
by Jimmy Greystone / May 30, 2012 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Personally?

Just wanted to second this post. Unless you're running a high availability web server or database server, the amount of time you spend defragmenting a drive will far and away exceed any gains from the process. Not to mention any of the other benefits people claim are probably, at best, negated when you factor in all the additional stress you're putting on the drive to defragment.

If you know for a fact you have several programs which have file access speeds as the major performance bottleneck, then go right ahead. Otherwise, it's really a waste of time. Your time and efforts would be better spend elsewhere.

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by KenHusveg / May 30, 2012 4:32 AM PDT

MyDefrag is the program I use. Whether you try it or not is up to you but the FAQ at the site is very informative about defragging in general. Definitely worth a look.

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Personally, I never defrag a backup disk.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 3, 2012 5:25 AM PDT

Why should I? I hardly ever access the files on it, only to restore one in case of emergencies. And then I really don't mind if it takes a second or two longer.


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