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Old 01-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Disk Defrag

Just looking for thoughts and opinions about this. Through a little googling this is what I've found:

First, you don't really need to defrag your hard drive at all or near as often as you did 5-10 years ago.

1. Vista and 7 have it scheduled to do so automatically anyway (go ahead and check if you have either and it should be for like Wed at 1:00AM and most likely the last time it ran it found 0% fragmentation - its under START>ALL PROGRAMS>ACCESSORIES>SYSTEM TOOLS)

2. The size of your hard drive also plays a role. The massive hard drives of today's time will allow windows to not need to fragment your files in order to store them.

3. SSD's DO NOT need to be defraged at all - Windows 7 actually auto-disables this feature on SSD hard drives. SSD's are fast enough that it's not worth the extra wear on the hard drive to defrag it.

With all that being said, I still read where a vast majority of people believe it's worth it and do it all the time. I haven't defaged a computer since Windows 98 (or early XP). I know it doens't take long and it's not hard and therefore it's not a big deal to do, but it's just not something I ever think about doing - until recently on a thread there was mention of defraging and it got me thinking about it. I have a feeling everyone here is going to shout DO IT! but I'm looking for valid reasons why, given my about points and how often.
Obviously Win7 and Vista still do it (and I guess techincally since I have Win7 I do it once a week) but this is something I just found out today. Is it something I should be doing on purpose on the computers I work on or is it just something Windows does just to do? Is the Windows version fine or if I am going to do it do I need to find a 3rd party program? Or is this a moot point since Win7 and Vista do it automatically and all new computers are on Win7 anyway.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

I use ultra defrag which has an optimization option that moves everything to the center of the drive for less seek time. I'm not sure if it really makes a difference but it feels good... Does that count?
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

Sure...but "it feels good" isn't really go to make me actively seek out a 3rd party app (or even the built-in one) and remember to do it on purpose.

I'm not rushing to turn off the scheduler, but 1 of my computers is off/sleeping when it's scheduled now and I'm not rushing to change the schedule either....
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

Lol I hear ya, that was just the only "legit" thing I could think of
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

DO IT!!

I read it on an article I found with Google ages ago so it must be true!!


...


To start off, it's worth thinking about what fragmentation (and thus defragging) is. OK, it might seem obvious, but it's where files get split up and chunks of them are dotted around the hard drive. So instead of a nice sequential read, the disk has to rotate all over the place to pull the different bits together.
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3. SSD's DO NOT need to be defraged at all - Windows 7 actually auto-disables this feature on SSD hard drives. SSD's are fast enough that it's not worth the extra wear on the hard drive to defrag it.
So based on the above - it's not because they're fast enough already so you don't notice the difference, it's because there is no difference between sequential and random reads / writes on an SSD - it doesn't have to spin anything in position, so there's no delay with anything like that. It makes no difference. The only reason I can think of for doing it on an SSD is if somehow the thing's destroyed and you need to recover what data you can, it increases the likelihood that a single chip holds a complete part of a usable file. But that's a heck of a long shot, and if you're resorting to that it means you're not paying enough attention to backups in the first place!


So SSDs aside, is it worth it? Fragmentation *can* slow your machine down considerably - if it gets to that level and happens to affect the files you work with most. But those, in this day and age are 2 rather big ifs. Firstly, as you pointed out hard drives are often rather big so allocating a bigger piece of sequential space isn't an issue; and then when it does outgrow that space, if there's enough free continuous space it can just put it on the end rather than fragmenting the file into bits and putting the bits on the end (which is what tended to happen when hard drives were smaller.) The only time this can't happen sensibly is when you're dealing with lots of files that start small and end up growing very big (rare these days, when they do happen it tends to be temporary files to store download information which are deleted as soon as the entire file is downloaded and verified) or when you're running low on hard drive space (when you've got bigger problems than fragmentation issues!)

It still happens of course, but the above (along with generally cleverer algorithms for this sort of thing) means it'll happen much less often than it would've 10 years ago, and when it does faster random seek times on hard drives mean it has less of a performance benefit. Generally when it gets noticeable you've got far bigger problems to worry about (such as a virus trashing your files or very low disk space.)

Having said that, it's no bad thing to keep the scheduled task - I do and my machine stays on 24/7, it might as well be doing something at 5 in the morning (that's right, I changed mine because I'm often still up at 1!) But for the main part it's gone from being an essential maintenance task to something that's often just run to generate a warm fuzzy feeling
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

Ok, so from the 2 posts I'm getting the idea that it's something that "techies" (and I use that term in the best possible sense to describe most of us here) do because it's something we've always done and because, as a whole, we are resistant to change and we, again as a whole, like to do things that the "normal" users aren't aware of or don't know you need to do, to reaffirm our status as "techies".


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Old 01-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

The big reason to defrag is to reline up your files back into complete sectors of your hdd. Like if you have a lot of files on you computer and your delete some. Then you have spaces here and there. A sector is 512mb and on some hard drives its 4kb. Now when you save a file it goes in these sectors and the left over bit is known as slop. If you look at the properties of your hdd and see that it is not as big as the box says its because of slop and the more you dont defrag the more it will grow. I use aslogics defrag
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

I understand what defag is and why it happens. But you have to also see my points on how it doesn't really apply anymore.

Regardless, it gets done on my machine automatically and I've decided to just go back to the way I was before and not worry about it.

Thanks for the descussion.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

Yea if you have it do it automatic then it the same thing. Some people like to do it them self to make sure it gets done and no matter what program you use you can get it to auto run in computer management.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Disk Defrag

something many haven't thought of it this way, it's short and simple, the more you defrag the more your harddrive becomes wear and tear

I only defrag if I'm fixing computers, other then that I run ccleaner every week and delete my prefetch log , and that's all I do, I delete downloaded material and keep it clean.. I rarely download, just music off youtube
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