|Thank you all for your responses. Regarding defrag, I can see your point. Post defrag, one of my drives still has several gigs of video file fragments but there is no problem in playback.|
Re the reserved block, I have three USB drives, two I bought new which have it and a 100G drive from a Hewlett-Packard laptop which doesn't.
Looking at the defrag analysis the first two have a small block of complete files at the left then a block of unused space after which files start. The 100 gigger has all of the files in one block starting at the far left with unused space from there to the right end. I ASSuME 8~) all three have the Master File Tables as the very first files.
The 100 gigger came with HP's proprietary version of XP plus applications and a 10G Restore partition which could be used to reinstall the original setup. I deleted the partition then formatted to NTFS as one drive.
Looking at the above my thought is, maybe I should remove/restore the partitions on the first two and see what happens. However that requires still more drives to save the data on these.
I think I'll take a break on this and come back to it later.