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Does defrag actually do anything?


benny's Avatar
benny benny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
30-Oct-2001, 12:04 PM #1
Does defrag actually do anything?
For ages I've used the windows defrag option after installing or uninstalling software. I have now come to the conclusion that it doesn't actually do anything !!! what are your thoughts people?

Mike C UK's Avatar
Mike C UK Mike C UK is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: of the Grand and Distinguished Order of Lame Ducks (English Paddling).
30-Oct-2001, 12:21 PM #2
Hi Beny, and welcome to TSG

Here's a quotation from that gives a brief summary of Defrag.
When a file is too large to store in a single location on a hard disk, it is stored on the disk in discontiguous (not adjacent) parts or fragments. This fragmentation is "invisible" to the user; however. The locations of the fragments are kept track of by the system. Over time, disk access time can be slowed by fragmentation since each fragmented file is likely to require multiple drive head repositionings and accesses. (There's nothing you can do to prevent fragmentation, by the way.)
A disk defragmenter is a utility that rearranges your fragmented files and the free space on your computer so that files are stored in contiguous units and free space is consolidated in one contiguous block. This also improves access time to files that are now contiguous.
I am curious as to why you think it is useless. If you are getting no problems on your pc after numerous installs and uninstalls then patently the defrag operation is doing its job.
Personally I only do a defrag about once every fortnight depending on usage etc.
If your comment is because you ARE getting problems, let us know what they are.
slipe's Avatar
Member with 6,832 posts.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Tampa Bay
30-Oct-2001, 12:28 PM #3
Hi – welcome to the board.

It just keeps things together on the HD so they can be accessed easily. Anything new you add will find little holes to put things in so the head on the HD has to access several places just to retrieve a single file. The defrag puts everything together for faster access. If you defrag often you won’t see much difference, but if you let it go for a long time you will notice some improvement with a defrag.

If you have Task Monitor checked in your msconfig/startup it will also put your most used stuff on the fastest part of the HD. With today’s HDs you wouldn’t notice much improvement and it takes longer for the defrag since it has to move stuff around. I don’t use it.

You can have problems writing from the HD to a CD writer at high speeds if your HD is highly fragmented.

I think some people defrag more often than necessary, but better too often than not often enough.
$teve's Avatar
Member with 9,397 posts.
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: 25 miles from Manchester/Engla
Experience: Tweedle-Dee
30-Oct-2001, 03:53 PM #4
hello benny,imagine you ahd a filing cabinet........all your files kept in order(alphabetical/numerical)and when you accessed these files,you put them back in any order,just throwing them in all over the place.............things would get a tad slow wouldnt they?
so once a month you spend all weekend re-organizing your files.
thats what defrag does.
depending on the size of your hdd and how fragmented it was it can take from an hour to all night with the windows defagger.
if you want a faster 3rd party app,VOPT is probably the quickest and best.20 mins to defrag my 17gig seagate.
and i apologise if i seem to be talking to you like your stupid,i dont mean to,but there may be people reading this who will understand better this way.
good luck.
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