Defragging files?



Hoping someone can help me with this,
After having learnt the hard way that hard drive must be defragged before copying DVDs and making 2 coasters, I was wondering what causes the files to fragment? It seems that every few days, I have to defrag my system, Is this normal?

Rez. :slight_smile:


I believe there are 2 events that causes fragmentation:

  1. When your computer writes to the hard drive while doing 2 or more tasks. Ex: Browsing the web and downloading a file. Your computer is writing the temp internet files as well as downloading a file to a folder. These files become fragmented since the computer does not calculate how much free space each task needs, and writes to the drive as the tasks are performed.

  2. When there is not enough continuous free space to write a file. Ex: You are downloading a 10Gb file with 15Gb free space. The 15Gb free space has fragmented files in and around it so the full 10Gb file cannot be written as one whole 10Gb file, therefore, it is broken up in between the free spaces causing fragmented files.

What happens with WinXP is that system restore runs in the background causing fragmented files as you perform other tasks. Other similar backup programs will also do this (Ex: writing to your systems information folder and recycle bin backup folder).


Also if you delete files it can leave gaps. Im pretty sure the driver trys to write one thing after another but if someone hasnt defragged in a will the it tryies to fill in those gaps. So it takes more time for the harddrive to find all the packets (or whatever you call it) that makeup the file. Thats why you should defrage before you burn. Also if you had your harddrive for a while there theres probably no real empty space but it make it posable for other programs/file to write over it when the space is needed.


fragmentation is the result of sequential writing of new files. files are written into the first empty space on a drive that’s available, whether or not that empty space can actually hold the entire file. as a result, a single file may be written into several empty spaces, fragmenting it.


I wish there were a tweak to make NTFS behave more like Novell in this regard. The drive should use the unbroken space at the end of the disc FIRST, and only THEN come back and fill in the gaps. That’d reduce fragmentation a LOT. I thought NTFS already had some anti-fragmentation mechanisms, but after a few days of ripping DVD’s and doing video work, your drive can reach 75% fragmentation!


Thanks to everyone who responded, as a newbie its very helpful to learn different things about the computer and the replies explained alot,


You ain’t kiddin. :iagree: