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Windows 7: What is the best free defragger?

06 Jul 2009   #61
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victek View Post
Here's a real world scenario where a defragger with a disk map and boot time defrag capability was necessary:
I decided to install/dual boot Windows 7 on my Vista laptop, but when I tried to shrink the primary partition it would only allow a few hundred megabytes. I figured there must be data at the end of the partition preventing it from being re-sized, so I tried Disk Cleanup and deleted everything including shadow copies/restore points, but this didn't help. Then I loaded Perfectdisk to analyzed the drive and sure enough there was "locked" data at the end of the partition. I did a few repetitions of boot-time defrag and defragging in the GUI. Afterward there was still one file left that wouldn't move, but Perfectdisk identified it and Google produced instructions for deleting it. Then I was able to shrink the partition sufficiently to install Windows 7. Long story short; I wouldn't have been able to do this with the Vista or Win 7 defragger.
I can't disagree really, as there are times when the Windows defrag really needs to give users more options to customize the way it works, so there is a time where 3rd party tools are very needed. But after that I would allow the native defrag to maintain the disks.

It's not disk defrag'rs that are a waste of time, it's the reg defrag and cleaner apps that are, and also can be system fatal in many cases. Anyone who DOeS use these cleaners better have a good understanding of what each hive is used for, and what kind of key strings are important because these things throw up false positives all the time and if users simply "trust" the app and delete whatever it flags, they're in for surprises.


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06 Jul 2009   #62
DJG

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
Thank you for your example - But XP is not Win 7, so I'm a little confused why you chose that. I'm simply pointing out that the Windows Engineering Team are saying that for Win 7 the best practice is to do nothing.
While I don't disagree with the Win 7 Engineering Team, I do miss the visual aspect of the XP version. OTOH, maybe it's possible they may do certain things that make sense from the Windows 7 use of the filesystem, but may look odd to the normal user, so they save themselves a bunch of questions by not showing it ...
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06 Jul 2009   #63
Sven

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I have a different problem. I use a SSD as boot-disk and I'm adviced NOT to defrag it ever, because of the very fast seektimes in SSD's. But it seems like Windows 7 does not know that my drive is a SSD, and therefore I have manually to switch off scheduled defragmention. When I rightclick on the drive in Explorer, I can still choose "defragmention".
Other people with other SSD's, like the OCZ-ones write, that Windows 7 do know these drives as SSD's and therefore there is no scheduled defragmention in their setups, and when they rightclick the drive, they can't select Defragmentation in the tools-tab.

So is there anything else I should know to keep my SSD up and running? As Windows 7 does not know it as a SSD, the system can of course not implement anything to do maintenence.

About the different you write about between XP and Windows 7 ... well, it is the exactly the same filesystem, so same algorithm should properly be used. I do hope, that MS some day will give us WinFS, or something similar. Or at least a filesystem optimized for SSD's
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06 Jul 2009   #64
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Hi Sven

Hmm...I wonder if the system does recognize it as SSD, but doesn't grey out that option for some reason. I wonder if you clicked it, if it would actually do a defrag or tell you it can't do that for this device. Of course the problem is,if it actually started to defrag it would you be able to stop it quick enough...I can't say that I'd tell you to try it..
I haven't delved too deep into the defrag scheduler, I wonder if you can turn it off for selected drives, say your "F:" drive, if that's what your SSD is recognized as.

Edit - Sven, it seems that SSD recognition is in the works for a future W7 update

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Anandtech
First, a TRIM-supporting OS (e.g. Windows 7 will support TRIM at some point) queries the hard drive for its rotational speed. If the drive responds by saying 0, the OS knows it’s a SSD and turns off features like defrag. It also enables the use of the TRIM command
I guess with the popularity of SSD drives on the rise, they had to do something like this pretty soon, I wonder if it will be in the final RTM or maybe even a sooner leak build
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06 Jul 2009   #65
Charles Kane

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victek View Post
Then I loaded Perfectdisk to analyzed the drive and sure enough there was "locked" data at the end of the partition. and Google produced instructions for deleting it. AFAICT.
I'm interested as to how you actually were able to move the "locked data". Always wanted to know what that is and why it needs to be "locked" to a certain part of the disk and which programs do that?
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06 Jul 2009   #66
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DJG View Post
While I don't disagree with the Win 7 Engineering Team, I do miss the visual aspect of the XP version. OTOH, maybe it's possible they may do certain things that make sense from the Windows 7 use of the filesystem, but may look odd to the normal user, so they save themselves a bunch of questions by not showing it ...
I believe that is the case too, from what I've read they simply don't want users to mess with things as it's set up except for the scheduling aspect.
I too missed the visuals originally, but after awhile in Vista I didn't even think about it anymore, and now hardly ever. Now & then I look at the report and see a max of 1 or 2% fragmentation on a drive, which is bugger all really, so I'm very confident that the built in utility does what's best for the file system.
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06 Jul 2009   #67
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Charles Kane View Post
I'm interested as to how you actually were able to move the "locked data". Always wanted to know what that is and why it needs to be "locked" to a certain part of the disk and which programs do that?
System critical files and the MFT/MBR are usually the Locked data types.
Keeping critical files contiguous is pretty important as the system may not boot correctly otherwise.
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06 Jul 2009   #68
Charles Kane

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Thanx Chappy. Knew about the MBR which usually appears near the "front' of a disk - but often other locked files are in awkward positions as Victek reports. Also they seem unusually large blocks. They may well be system critical but they don't seem to be "system created". Not running PerfectDisk anymore or any other 3rd party defraggers so can't check to see whether I've got any locked files or what they are.
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06 Jul 2009   #69
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Quote:
They may well be system critical but they don't seem to be "system created"
They should be, remember in XP when they had a GUI to view fragmentation...all the green "Unmovable" stuff were system files & tagged critical. Immediately after an install, there they were, large blocks and many times in weird places, just like you remember . There never seemed to be any logic about their placement, I completely agree with you guys on that one...heheh.
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07 Jul 2009   #70
Charles Kane

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
They should be, remember in XP when they had a GUI to view fragmentation...all the green "Unmovable" stuff were system files & tagged critical. Immediately after an install, there they were, large blocks and many times in weird places, just like you remember . There never seemed to be any logic about their placement, I completely agree with you guys on that one...heheh.
Not kidding - dragged out Smart Defrag (image below) and as you can see MFT is where it should be - then the black boxes represent "Immovable" HA! WTF! SmartDefrag is too basic to tell me what files they are but it looks like 52 pickup!

What is the best free defragger?-immovable.png

(Didn't do a great job at "Eliminating blank space" either!)


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 What is the best free defragger?




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