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Windows 7: Question on defragging files

24 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
 
 
Question on defragging files

Using Defraggler for my system defrags. My main C drive reports that the System Volumn Information file is fragmented...but when I try to defrag this file...I get a "no files defagged" message from Defraggler ?

Is this an issue I should be concerned about...and will things just keep humming away with or without defragmenting this file ?

Thanks...TR

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24 Feb 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

There are certain files that Defraggler or any other defrag program will not touch. This is one of them.
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26 Feb 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

You might try Puran Defrag, it has a boot defrag option that may defrag your system files if they are not in use (during boot). A Guy
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01 Mar 2011   #4

Vista
 
 

Or try the demo version of any of the full fledged commercial defraggers which defrag files that the built in cannot.
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02 Mar 2011   #5

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

If you run defraggler as system (psexec works well for this), it can defrag these files. The problem is they're owned by SYSTEM, and unless you have full access to the folder and it's contents, you can't touch it with a user-initiated defrag of an online (running) system. The default Windows 7 scheduled defrag task can potentially do this (it runs as SYSTEM), as will any defragmentation app that is launched as SYSTEM.

***CAVEAT***
There's a reason most defrag apps do NOT touch this location while the system is online. You MUST beware of odd behaviors when defragmenting this location as SYSTEM on a running Windows installation, and take a very important precaution before doing so - you need to completely disable the paging file (and reboot) before defragmenting this folder, or you risk bugchecking the next time you reboot after the defrag is run (Vista is more susceptible to this than Windows 7, but it pays to be safe just in case). This location contains just what the name sounds like - System Volume Information - and that includes information about the paging file. If the paging file exists when this location is defragmented, the information about that paging file can become corrupt in the System Volume Information folder, causing a bugcheck after a reboot. To avoid this, disable the paging file, reboot, defragment the drive as SYSTEM via psexec and defraggler, and then reboot again. You can re-enable the paging file at this point if you so choose safely.
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02 Mar 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks, you learn something new every day. I suppose the real question is why would you want to, A few fragments here are not going to affect performance noticeably.
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02 Mar 2011   #7

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Actually, this is one location that gets hit... A LOT. This, like the paging file, is actually quite a good thing to defragment for performance reasons on mechanical drives . I do this on average about once a month, if it becomes fragmented (I don't run with a paging file, but that's a personal preference). I've started moving to SSDs as well, where fragmentation doesn't really mean anything, but mechanical drives are still going to be around for a long time unfortunately.
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02 Mar 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I've not tried it but would not turning paging off and back on again have the same effect?
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02 Mar 2011   #9

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
Actually, this is one location that gets hit... A LOT. This, like the paging file, is actually quite a good thing to defragment for performance reasons on mechanical drives . I do this on average about once a month, if it becomes fragmented (I don't run with a paging file, but that's a personal preference). I've started moving to SSDs as well, where fragmentation doesn't really mean anything, but mechanical drives are still going to be around for a long time unfortunately.
Hmm, on the last defrag, I believe that my System Volume Information was fragged into 25 pieces. Though I didn't care for the idea, I took it on face value that since the file was locked, that it should stay that way, but your statement regarding it's effect on performance got my attention. Would this be the reason that for many people, that the OS seems to bog down over time, and causes them to reinstall the OS as a means of restoring the original performance? I can imagine that there are other reasons also, but I'm wondering just how significant this is in the overall scenario?

EDIT: Correct that frag count to 114 pieces.
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02 Mar 2011   #10

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

cluberti,

You inspired me to run my first offline defrag. I had only tried that once before, long ago, because at that time O&O ran it's own video driver for that process, and it caused problems that forced me to reinstall the OS. I learned afterward that there was another solution, but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. It was surprising how much faster that the defrag was offline, that it is doing it from desktop. I haven't noticed any increase in performance, but it feels good that O&O now shows no fragmentation, including locked files. Thanks.
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