Defrag xp prior to windows booting-possible?

  dagwoood 22:06 24 May 2004

I have a new hard drive(40gb maxtor diamond plus8)and run a defrag on a daily basis.

My problem is that, for some reason, some directory files along with some contiguous files, have been positioned on my disk in a different location to all my other files.

Now I know that normal defrag s/w wont move files that are in use on NFTS drives, and as I want to move these files to the same area of my disk as all my other files, is it possible to defrag the h/d before windows install on boot up?

I found out that Diskeeper will perform a boot up defrag, but wandered whether there are any other options/utilities to get all my files on the same area of my h/d.

Since the errant directories/files have been positioned in this area, it has impacted on my disk performance(I visit pcpitstop to keep an eye on my system, and my hard disk score has changed from a score of 5mb uncached to 3mb uncached).


  hugh-265156 22:17 24 May 2004

pcpitstop scores like most benchmarks take with a pinch of salt.

yes diskeeper pro will defrag the swap file and the boot sector files etc.

the graphical representation displayed by defrag in windows where you see the files on the disc all nicely layed out is not really where they are stored physicly on the hard drive.

it may even look messy in the graphical representation but the drive itself should be tidy enough if you run defrag once every few weeks.

  hugh-265156 22:20 24 May 2004


if performance has slowed lately in the real world then run a check for spyware and update and run your AV maybe.

  dagwoood 23:44 24 May 2004

Hiya huggyg71.

I use Diskeeper lite, so would I be correct in assuming that the graphical representation of the files, like the xp defrag representation, also isn't a true reflection of how files are located on the disk?

The graphical representation doesn't look messy at all, all my other files/directories are shown to be in one continuous block, it's just the one set of directories and files that makes it look odd, stuck in an area all on its own.

As to virus/spyware problems, I run scans every day and check for updates every time I turn my pc on, so that wouldn't be an issue with regards to impacting on performance. I also defrag every day.

In use, I haven't noticed a big slow down, it's just I would have liked a new h/d drive to be as tidy as possible so as to gain the performance benefits. I only changed my drive, not because it was full or on the way out, but I realised that my old h/d was realy holding my system back.

Cheers, dagwoood.

  hugh-265156 23:54 24 May 2004

"While defragmenting directories can improve the performance of your computer, consolidating them into a single location provides no additional performance benefit"

"It is a common misconception that a defragmented disk should look very neat and tidy in the Drive Map pane, with solid blue bars all the way across the screen (representing fragmentation-free files) and the rest white space (representing consolidated space).

Clearly, the speed of the disk (meaning how fast you can access the data on it) is more important than the prettiness of the display or the consolidation of all the free space into one place. Free space consolidation might be important if the next file that you plan to create needs to be one gigantic contiguous file, but it has no effect on performance. Because of this, Diskeeper uses algorithms that achieve the highest speed from your drive regardless of the arrangement of the free spaces on the drive and on the screen—and it does so without wasting time on excessive consolidation of free space. We simply go for the fastest possible file access times and then stop.

Even so, you might ask why we don't continue and rearrange the files further to get a neat display? Because it takes computer power to do so. We long ago decided that it would be wrong for Diskeeper to consume more of your computer's performance than it gives back. So Diskeeper defragments until the disk is in top shape performance-wise and then stops. Any further work is a waste of your computer resources"

  woodchip 00:06 25 May 2004

For a fragmented drive to slow your comp, you would be getting crashes and goodness knows what. Although I do my drive on a regular basis, I may be paranoid like you. It would have to be very fragmented for the above to happen

  feb 00:07 25 May 2004

A defragmenter works out which files the pc accesses most and puts these where they can be found quickly and moves the other to the back, so if you start using another program more than you used to these files will be repositioned on the next defrag. Or did you just say that huggyg71!!

  dagwoood 01:54 25 May 2004

huggyg71, thank you for that, that was realy enlightening and informative.

I'd assumed that the defrag process was just to keep your files as contiguous(and unfragmented)as possible, because you would think this would impove disk access times. But, as per your posting, it seems that as the important factor is how fast your drive is, then I don't have anything to be concerned about(my drive runs at 7200rpm and has ATA/133 interface).

Woodchip, my drive is totally fragmentation free. It was just the position of a group of files/directories that I thought would impact on my performance. As per huggyg71's post, this isn't an issue I should be concerned about(I am paranoid).

Cheers everyone, dagwoood.

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