JoeGons

Excessive / high Fragmentation when copying files . XP

22 posts in this topic

Hi,

I copied one external drive to another new external

USB 2.0, NTFS XP SP3

It took over 12 hours!!! 298GB of data with some very large files.

When I was finished the drive was 40% fragmented. ..

One 3.6GB file had over 1200 fragments.

I tried to de-fragment it with Auslogics and really messed it up.

The drive became unreadable and check disk “aborted” trying to fix it.

I did it over and got the same fragmentation.

Checkdisk found no problems before de-fragmenting.

I am reluctant to try and de-fragment it now.

Is this normal?

Will Windows 8 do this?

Joe

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Perhaps you should try with the Windows XP built-in defragmentation utility? From my long experience using it I can say that you can rely on it.

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The actual EXACT method you used to copy the files may be involved in the fragmentation level in the target.

More than that, the effectiveness of defragmenting a drive may be affected by how much it is "full".

jaclaz

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I just select all and copy on old drive and paste on new drive.

Lots of extra space on new drive. 200GB.

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Windows likes at least 15% free space per drive. 200GB of 500GB is fine. 200GB of 2TB is not. ;)

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using a 500GB drive. that's 40% free. I should have no problems there.

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It is very possible that the Explorer copy/paste is not sequential or not strictly sequential (like multithreading or something like that), which may cause higher fragmentation in the target.

In any case with that such large amount of free space defragmentation should not be a problem. :unsure:

Can you try running on that single 1200 extents file Wincontig (and report what happens)?:

http://wincontig.mdtzone.it/en/

jaclaz

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Make sure drive caching is enabled (optimized for better performance, not for quick removal, can't remember where that is in XP), it should go faster than those 7M/s.

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Make sure drive caching is enabled (optimized for better performance, not for quick removal, can't remember where that is in XP), it should go faster than those 7M/s.

That's a good point.

That is exactly how I have my externals setup.

I'll try it again with disk caching.

Thanks

Joe

And for the Finder;

I have downloaded Wincontig and will have a look.

Auslogics does allow single file defrag.

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Unfortunately Windows XP by default has no mechanism to prevent file fragmentation when copying files. So if you move a lot of files most of them will become fragmented. You can defrag your drives often as a workaround for this problem.

To prevent fragmentation there is AFAIK only one software solution on the market, called OptiWrite which is part of recent PerfectDisk versions. If you select this option in PerfectDisk it activates a file system filter driver which controls file placement when files are being copied. This does come with a cost. When this OptiWrite feature was first introduced in PerfectDisk 12 it was affecting system performance negatively. I recently tested PerfectDisk 13 performance. The general defragging speed of PerfectDisk 13 is still very slow, but the OptiWrite feature has improved. It is not perfect at preventing fragments, but it has some effect.

Edited by Acheron
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That sounds very interesting.

I'm working on an idea.

Will post results.

Joe

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You could also try using another app to do the actual copying, such as perhaps TeraCopy or something similar.

Cheers and Regards

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This report is suprising. I wonder if it occurs only on USB drives, or maybe on multi-core CPUs. Not long ago I did defragment my FAT32 "applications" partition connected via SATA by moving files out of it and back in, and got the expected result: got rid of unmovable directory entries and general fragmentation. I used Mini-XP to move the files out and Total Commander (in it's own buffered copy mode) to move the files back in. I haven't noticed slow performance when doing copying in Explorer either.

The slow speed and any seeking noise might be an indication that the process is multi threaded for some reason, when it shouldn't be.

I would follow Bphlpt's advice and use other programs to see if they make a difference.

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Deactivating the antivirus might improve speed as well. All in all, 24Gig an hour is not that bad anyway. It might also depend on the type of data (small files vs. big files).

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