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Why is Windows defragger so slow?


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09-Sep-2011, 10:39 AM #1
Why is Windows defragger so slow?
Can somebody explain to me why Windows defragger on both my XP desktop and my Win 7 laptop take so much longer to defrag drives that have (a) approximately 90% free space and (b) very few fragmented files when the defragmenter is started? Both computers have 500GB, 5400rpm HDD. Windows defrag takes 25 minutes on the XP machine, 21 minutes on the laptop. By contrast, the defragger I use regularly is Auslogics. It does the same defragmenting job (defrag only, not optimize) in slightly less than 1 minute. And lest you think that Auslogics isn't doing what it claims, after running it, if I run Windows' defragger, it finds no fragmented files. Also have done the opposite: Run Windows defragger, then tell Auslogics to analyze the disk, and it reports 0 defragmentation. So Auslogics and Windows defraggers appear to use the same logic.

'Nother question: Windows 7 defragger goes thru multiple "passes"; last time I used it, it did 10 "passes". Sometimes is says it's defragging, other times "consolidating". What's up with the multiple passes?
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09-Sep-2011, 11:09 AM #2
Windows 7 defrags itself. If you're running another application, then you're just continually shuffling bits and bytes around and wearing out the drive.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2...rovements.aspx
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09-Sep-2011, 12:33 PM #3
Interesting question.
Windows Is always far slower than something like Smart Defrag or Defraggler.
And Windows doesn't give the option for turn off when done, that I know of.
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09-Sep-2011, 01:22 PM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
Windows 7 defrags itself. If you're running another application, then you're just continually shuffling bits and bytes around and wearing out the drive.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2...rovements.aspx
The article still left me confused. At the end, it says that with Win 7, you don't have to do anything; Win 7 automatically takes care of fragmentation. But it also indicates that if you turn your computer off at night, it will never run the defragger, apparently because the defragger waits until it detects no activity (for how long?) before running. If you're active on it all day and power down at the end of the day, it never runs.

Second question: If "you don't have to do anything" about fragmentation, why does Win 7 have a defrag scheduler? And if Win 7 automatically takes care of fragments (without setting up a schedule), why when I ran the defragger manually today did it take 10 passes and 21 minutes to finish? Is it because I have the laptop turned off most of the day?

Also, is there someplace in Win 7 where you can confirm that the defragger is set to automatically defrag -- or is that just built into Win 7 with no user ability to turn it off?
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09-Sep-2011, 01:31 PM #5
You may be having all these issues because you're running multiple defrag utilities. They each have their own algorithm for optimizing the files. So one undoes what the other just did.

I put my computer in stand by every night, and my drives are always at 0% or 1% fragmentation. It just works.
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09-Sep-2011, 02:15 PM #6
For the record, the defragger that is in Windows 7 is what was formally called Diskeeper Lite. It automatically runs a defragmentation when it detects little or no use on your drives AND there is at least 15% space available. The average user never needs to run a separate defragmentation utility despite the fear mongering advertised. (In the same genre as "that" company that says that if it takes more than 3 seconds for your email to start, it's the sign of a virus.)
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09-Sep-2011, 03:28 PM #7
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Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
You may be having all these issues because you're running multiple defrag utilities. They each have their own algorithm for optimizing the files. So one undoes what the other just did. . .
Except that I am not using multiple defrag utilities; I always use Auslogics. I ran Windows' defragger today only out of curiosity to see (a) how long it would take vs. the <1 minute that Auslogics took, and (b) are their algorithms different. If they are, running Auslogics AFTER having completed a Windows defragger run would cause Auslogics to say that I had fragmented files. It doesn't; it tells me that 0 files are fragmented.

BTW, for several years, I used SmartDefrag. I dumped it when I discovered that IOBit is a Chinese company, and they had stolen code from Malwarebytes for some of their software. But I was about to dump it anyway because it was obvious that Windows defragger and SmartDefrag used substantially different algorithms. Running the test described above, SmartDefrag would show hordes of fragmented files after running the Windows defragger.
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09-Sep-2011, 03:31 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Courtneyc View Post
For the record, the defragger that is in Windows 7 is what was formally called Diskeeper Lite. It automatically runs a defragmentation when it detects little or no use on your drives AND there is at least 15% space available. The average user never needs to run a separate defragmentation utility . . .
So, I ask the question again: If Win 7 automatically defrags, why does it include a defrag scheduler?
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09-Sep-2011, 05:26 PM #9
You are using multiple programs. Unless you somehow disabled Windows 7's defrag utility, you're running Auslogics, and then Windows 7 comes along and runs its own defrag.

It really sounds to me like you're looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. I don't know why Windows 7 includes a defrag scheduler. Maybe someone in the Windows 7 development department made a mistake.

Uninstall Auslogics. Let Windows 7 do its own thing. See what happens. If you then open Windows 7 defrag and find it significantly defragmented, I'd say there's a problem with your Windows 7 install.
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09-Sep-2011, 08:18 PM #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
You are using multiple programs. Unless you somehow disabled Windows 7's defrag utility, you're running Auslogics, and then Windows 7 comes along and runs its own defrag.

It really sounds to me like you're looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. I don't know why Windows 7 includes a defrag scheduler. Maybe someone in the Windows 7 development department made a mistake.

Uninstall Auslogics. Let Windows 7 do its own thing. See what happens. If you then open Windows 7 defrag and find it significantly defragmented, I'd say there's a problem with your Windows 7 install.
Well, I'll go part way. I won't use Auslogics for, say, 6 mos., then check for fragments. If it's few to none, I'll zap Auslogics.

I'm still puzzled by a manual running of the Win 7 defragger taking 21 minutes and apparently finding a lot of fragments. But it's hard to tell whether it really did or it's just the (slow) way it works.
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09-Sep-2011, 09:08 PM #11
It's possible that the Windows defragger is just running at idle priority. But whatever the reason, use just one as DoubleHelix has suggested. The algorithms used for defragging between different ones can be very different, though just as efficient and effective.

If you use Auslogices, then disable the Windows one in Task Scheduler. It runs "automatically" because it is scheduled to run.

Not sure about Auslogics, but the Windows defragger and many others use the layout.ini file to determine optimal placement of files according to how you use the machine. The file needs data to work, so defragging too often is just a waste of time and drive. Once a month is almost certainly enough and allows for optimal placement.
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13-Sep-2011, 09:52 AM #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvandil View Post
. . .If you use Auslogics, then disable the Windows one in Task Scheduler. It runs "automatically" because it is scheduled to run. . .
Having never opened Task Scheduler, I did that today just to see what was there. To my surprise, as soon as it opened, I got an error message "Task Uploader: The task image is corrupt or has been tampered with." When I click [OK], it says, "The selected task "(0)" no longer exists. To see the current tasks, click Refresh." So I click Action and Refresh, and the same error messages pop up.

So what's that all about?
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13-Sep-2011, 10:50 AM #13
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13-Sep-2011, 02:44 PM #14
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Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
I had already found this site via a Google search of the error message. It's not applicable because it tells you to "delete related corrupted image in this folder". My error messages do not identify which task is corrupted, so I don't know which image to delete. I can, of course, delete the entire folder IF. . .IF it's one of the folders that Windows recreates upon boot if it's missing. Does it?
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13-Sep-2011, 04:17 PM #15
I sure did learn something from reading these posts . I had no idea that WIndows 7 would defrag by itself. Shows that u can learn something every day
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