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Windows 7: How to move files to[wards] end of hard drive

21 Oct 2018   #1
leuce

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
How to move files to[wards] end of hard drive

Hello everyone

Do you know of an easy-to-use utility (or a web site with good explanations) for moving specific files to or towards the end of the hard drive. In particular I'd like to move files from near the start of the drive towards the end of the drive, to fee up space near the start of the drive so that I can copy files onto the drive faster.

Some defrag utilities have this feature, but only for defragmented files, or only for "large" files or files of a certain file type, and not for specific files or files in a specific location (e.g. "near the start of the drive").

The drive in question is an external drive used for films. Sometimes I'm not in a hurry when copying films to the drive (or moving files around), but sometimes I want the films to copy as fast as possible, and for that I would like to create large gaps near the start of the drive.

Of course, a simple, manual way of doing this is to simply make copies of files on the drive itself, and then deleting the old versions, which will create gaps nearer to the start of the drive, but then I would need a utility that can tell me which files are closer to the start of the hard drive (so that I can make copies of those files). I know I can use Defraggler for that, but I can only view the files from one block at the time in Defraggler (you can't select multiple blocks to see what files are in those blocks).

Any ideas?
Thanks
Samuel


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21 Oct 2018   #2
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Lets assume you have free space on the beginning of the drive so the write is faster than it wold be if the space were on the end.
Then you will spend much longer time to move the file, cluster by cluster, to the end to make free space for the next write
It doesn't make sense. You're going to spent more than twice the time (one to write and more than one to move).

Don't use external disks to store data you can't loose. External disks are the piece of hardware that fails most.
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21 Oct 2018   #3
leuce

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Then you will spend much longer time to move the file ... to the end to make free space for the next write. It doesn't make sense. You're going to spent more than twice the time (one to write and more than one to move).
Yes, but not all time spent copying files are of equal value. There are times when it doesn't matter if a file takes 1 hour to copy, and there are times when it is preferable that the file takes no longer than 10 minutes to copy.

I'm not talking about backups. I use this drive to give my television access to my downloaded movies (because it's too much trouble to set up a NAS). If I have a new movie on my computer and I want to watch it on the television immediately (or shortly after), then I would want that file to copy to the external drive as quickly as possible. If I don't want to watch the movie immediately, then it doesn't matter how long it takes to copy the file.
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21 Oct 2018   #4
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

1. The only way I can think of to achieve this, is to Partition the drive into two. You could keep the smaller partition near the front (lower order of GB), and larger Partition near the rear (next to the other partition).

Example, assume you have disk with 465GB free space. You could create a Partition of size 30 GB at front of disk, and then you would still have 435 GB remaining for a second partition for your bigger files.

2. Only the above does not work so well on modern disk drives. Modern disk drives often have more than one disk platter that can be accessed simultaneously. You would need divide the disk capacity by the number of platters to find where the "front" of each platter lies.

3. Consider purchasing a hybrid (SSHD) drive. These have HDD platters, and they also have a large Solid State Write Cache. The performance is much improved over normal HDD, yet they are not as expensive as SSD's. With one of these SSHDs, you would not notice the difference between writing to the beginning, middle or end of a platter.

These are my ideas, anyhow.
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21 Oct 2018   #5
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Good solution Iko.
External disks are normally very slow, much slower than the 60MB/sec of a USB2.0.
I would buy a 32G ultra fast USB flash disk to replace the external HDD.
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21 Oct 2018   #6
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

Once the disk head has got into position if the file isn't fragmented the speed isn't noticeable if it's front or back
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21 Oct 2018   #7
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
Once the disk head has got into position if the file isn't fragmented the speed isn't noticeable if it's front or back
I'm not a disk expert, but don't think so.
A track on the beginning of the disk has more clusters as it's longer (π.D) than at the end. On one rotation more clusters will be read than closer to the center where the diameter is smaller and has less clusters.
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21 Oct 2018   #8
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

It probably depends on where the head is in relation to the disc tracks when it receives the command to move, so I doubt if much would be gained by moving the files.

As an example, let's say the reading head was right at the inner track when it received the command & it then has to move to the outer track, which is probably equal to the reverse happening.
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21 Oct 2018   #9
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

Interleave will effect it but gains you could get are not worth problem as you keep having to do it
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21 Oct 2018   #10
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
Interleave will effect it but gains you could get are not worth problem as you keep having to do it
I agree. I think that the time difference of writing to the beginning or to the end don't justify the effort. But this is up to the OP to decide.
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 How to move files to[wards] end of hard drive




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