Free space between contiguous files

July 8, 2010 at 02:03:24
Specs: Windows XP
Is there any way to get rid of large chunks of free space between my contiguous files when using the defrag tool - or am I worrying needlessly about having a really big one?

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#1
July 8, 2010 at 03:19:21
... click here then [press] <F11> <key>


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Grrrr... ...im


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#2
July 8, 2010 at 06:39:32
You are worrying needlessly.
The XP defrag tool does not do free-space consolidation but some third party tools will do this. While having a solid blue block in the defag tool might look good it really isn't good for performance. To become fragmented a file must grow in size. If there is no free space nearby the file extensions must be placed outside the large block of used space. This means more head movement and worse performance.

File fragmentation isn't nearly as serious a problem as many people believe. Even a moderate level of fragmentation will have a low influence on performance.


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#3
July 8, 2010 at 08:44:03
"To become fragmented a file must grow in size."
Not how it works. Just reading and rewriting to disk will fragment the file. This constantly happened with system files. It is one of the reasons why after a new install you have a fragmented system.

"File fragmentation isn't nearly as serious a problem as many people believe"

Moderate fragmentation is normal but a severely fragmented NTFS volume will cease to function. Only solution is wipe and reinstall. I have personally experienced this when a staff member didn't complete protocol with a group of communal computers.

I would agree its a needless worry about free space between files.

Windows defrag products are not like Netware which writes all files contigous to the disk.


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#4
July 8, 2010 at 09:19:52
Reading a file will never cause fragmentation no matter how many times it is done.
Neither will in place writes do this. Only when new extents are created will fragmentation occur.
This ignores the possibility of bad blocks that have been relocated but you can't do anything about that anyway.

I don't deny that fragmentation can be a problem, even a serious one. I only said that it isn't nearly as serious as many people believe.


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