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How to defrag a HDD properly

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Mussels, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    This is a work in progress - this first post will be edited a loooot in the coming hours.


    Briefly discuss what fragmentation is

    Think of files on your drive, as one big long string of words on pages. If those words were out of order (words if those order of out were), you can still get them right if you know where to find them and put them back in order/make sense of them, but it takes longer. Now imagine if the LETTERS were out of order too.

    Defragmenting is simply putting them back in order - but there are many ways of doing so.
    Below is a list of various methods that don't just defragment - they relocate the files for better performance, too.

    Describe various methods of HDD Defragmentation

    Fragmented files only
    This is making sure each file is in one piece. Instead of the words out of order analogy above, think of this as making sure the letters in each word are in the right order. Each word in a sentence may be in very different locations, but at least the words are in one piece. This is what most quick defraggers (and operating systems) use

    By name/Alphabetical order
    Simple really - this doesnt just defrag, it sorts the files too. ALl the files in C:\windows are physically near each other, so its quicker to load lots of them at once - less time is wasted moving between them (think all your pages are stapled together in order in a book, not just numbered in a random pile)

    Recently used
    an odd one, for servers only really. This method puts files most recently used at the start of your drive/partition (fastest area), and your least used ones at the back.
    This may work well in some situations, but it has two downsides: if your patterns of usage change, a defrag will have to move every file to its new location, taking a long time to defrag.
    I recommend this only for drives where the contents don't change often.


    High/Low performance mode (Ultimate defrag only)
    Labelled "performance" and "archive" in Ultimate defrag, its got a mode where you can choose files to go at the start of the drive (performance) and files to go at the back (archive) with everything else fitting in the middle.
    My MP3 collection doesnt need to load fast, but my 300GB of games does:
    (for reference, i use folder/file name (aka alphabetical order) + manually selecting low/high performance folders)

    [​IMG]

    purple is my games/steam folders, blue is random crap, green is my MP3's and installers/game patches. For those who dont know, the outer edges of a disk are faster than the inner edges - therefore, my games are now loading faster than my MP3's.

    *background/scheduled/idle defraggers

    Guide for how to set up ultimate defrag to defrag your files properly
    Select the drive you want to defrag at the top. hit the big yellow options button
    tick custom on high performance and archive, and pick the folders you want.
    [​IMG]

    Kinda obvious what i want sped up on my games partition. Follow the same procedure for your 'archive' folders.


    Select the method you want, hit the small blue 'options' button - set it as following.
    [​IMG]

    hit start and go... the more often you do it, the quicker subsequent times will take. If you dont change the files on the drive much, defrags will be very quick.


    discuss how often one should defrag

    This varies so much. i went 6 months without defragging and didnt even notice any slowdown, except on boot times. Once OS had booted, i didnt notice anything. Thats because in my case, only my C: drive fragments, and i keep very little on there.

    Discuss methods to reduce fragmentation

    Partition! your OS will fragment constantly, your games drives only when you install/delete stuff, and storage drives generally wont fragment ever.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  2. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    post reserved in case i need it.
  3. ObSo-1337

    ObSo-1337 New Member

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    Very nice, im trying this software as we speak ;D
  4. RaPiDo987

    RaPiDo987 New Member

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    Where is the software link?? LOL!
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if you mean ultimate defrag, google it. there is an outdated free version, and a trial/paid version of the full software.
  6. Altered

    Altered

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    Nice post Mussels.
  7. Hockster

    Hockster

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  8. RaPiDo987

    RaPiDo987 New Member

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    Oh, I thought it was a program you created... :toast:

    Thanks yor the post though!
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    naw, i cant program my way out of a paper bag.

    just occured to me that its an overlooked part of everyday PC use, and so many weird ideas/myths/misinformation floating around.
  10. Conflict0s

    Conflict0s

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    I will have a read of this later, looks interesting. Thanks for posting.
  11. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    nice one mussels i got the trial version to test it out it improved my loading times in Oblivion The Witcher and crysis by a decent amount
  12. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you suggest cheap(ie free) defragging tool that is better than the one supplied with Windows for El Cheapo like me? Thanks in advance for your time.
  13. copenhagen69

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    would be even better if it was free ... i may buy a lot of stuff .. but defragging software will not be one of them ;)
  14. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    read the OP you can get the older version FOR free and the new version is a 14 day trial now if your smart and use a 2ndary drive etc you can install all your data and then use the 14 day trial to organize it after that your set ;) its what im doing right now.
  15. copenhagen69

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    i read it .. why would you want old versions :nutkick:



    yes I know I am being difficult ;)

    Trying out the 14 day trial though ... and at least the GUI looks pretty sweet with the circle
  16. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    well i run about 90+ mods in oblivion saw my load times drop by around 12-13 seconds Crysis load times dropped around 20 seconds. granted apparently when installed my games were put on the inner edge of the disc but after configuring UD properly it was a very very nice increase hell my oblivion mods add about 9gigs of extra data to the Oblivion data folder so this was awesome for me it also helped raise my overall FPS surprisingly
  17. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, I see it now, I must have missed it due to the massive post.
  18. Delta6326

    Delta6326

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    yummmy purple pie, i will try out this prog
  19. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    there going release a new version soon accourding to a email i got 2 days ago. The payed version is for sure better than the free version.

    I believe they still have the offer that if you buy the older version they will update you to the newer version when it actually gets released.

    Might try the newer one out when it comes out but will not be much need for it after tomorrow as i should have my SSDs here and be running the other drives as storage.

    They BS'ed there way though the months with me kinda pissed that they still did not sort out the x64 issue out and just kept saying to me any day now BS.
  20. ASRockIQ

    ASRockIQ New Member

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    i use Defraggler more then anything people suggest me :nutkick:
  21. Dyno New Member

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  22. LifeOnMars

    LifeOnMars New Member

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    There you go Mussels, I knew this thread would be a roaring success :) Thanks for following up on it, will be invaluable for noobs and even a few experienced users I'm guessing.
  23. ShRoOmAlIsTiC

    ShRoOmAlIsTiC

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    I used mydefrag, its free and easy to use. it doesnt have all the options as ultimate defrag but it works great.

    http://www.mydefrag.com/
  24. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    στο άλφα έως ωμέγα
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
    Completely Bonkers says thanks.
  25. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    well i like UD it actually improved my loading times in games even tho auslogic fraggler etc said there was no defragmentation etc

    ran UD it said there was 25% defragmentation did some tweaking on locations and my system now runs faster then i ever remember it even after a fresh install

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