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Everything posted by thm

  1. thm

    Defragging the MFT

    Ah, well it appears that you have to explicitly name the metafiles in order for contig to do its work, e.g. .... contig $Mft Wildcards just do not seem to work with metafiles [here]. If you just type "config" on its own it will give you a list of metafiles that it can [supposedly] defrag, but I find that [with Vista] a number of them don't work. I knocked up a trivial batch script to use contig to defrag metafiles on a nominated drive [or drives], and have commented out those that appear not to work [access denied]. [Yes: I did run it in admin mode !] - thm Excerpt below.... ============================================================================================== @echo off if "%1%" EQU "" goto Usage set DO=contig.exe REM note some metadata commented out, as these appear not to work ! :Loop %DO% %1$Mft :: %DO% %1$LogFile %DO% %1$Volume %DO% %1$AttrDef :: %DO% %1$Bitmap :: %DO% %1$Boot :: %DO% %1$BadClus %DO% %1$Secure %DO% %1$UpCase %DO% %1$Extend :LoopTest shift if "%1" NEQ "" (goto Loop) else (goto TheEnd) :Usage echo This utility will attempt to defrag the metadata of the designated drives. echo. echo USAGE... echo [Template] DefragMetaData drives... echo [Example ] DefragMetaData C: D: E: echo. :TheEnd exit/B :: Note that this requires the Sysinternals "contig.exe" utility :: to be on the path. === Edit === Apologies for the lack of formatting - the forum editor appears to have removed white space...
  2. I was recently most intrigued to see that Mark Russinovich has updated his "contig.exe" command line defragging tool to be able to defrag a number of metadata files, including the MFT. => See here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx Oddly enough, whilst this is mentioned [at the moment] on the Sysinternals home page, it isn't on contig's own webpage. Anyway, I downloaded it and tried it out, it did indeed defrag the MFT of one of my drives. I must admit, I always thought that this was infeasible [except possibly at boot time]. Anyway, I also recently tried out another well-known freeware defragger on a drive and noticed that it fragmented the MFT (as shown using Defraggler). So, then I tried to fix that using contig, and it worked. And then I refragmented it again using the other defragger, and upon a whim tried Defraggler on that drive to see if it could also defrag the MFT...and it did ! I've looked in the Defraggler history and can't find any reference to it becoming capable of defragging the MFT, so I am somewhat surprised at this ! Is this "for real", I wonder, or is Defraggler misreporting the status of the MFT ? Incidentally, I've tried Auslogics' DiskDefrag on the same drive when the MFT is fragmented, and it's not managed to fix it. So, over to the forum for comments.... - THM ------8<------------------- EDIT ------------------------->8---------- Well, I just googled about a bit and found this.... http://www.piriform.com/docs/defraggler/using-defraggler/understanding-the-drive-map Which explains that Defraggler can indeed defrag the MFT. Does anyone know when this capability was introduced ?
  3. thm

    Defraggler v1.16

    Good news re v1.16, but I note that v1.16 is not available yet on the alternative builds page [i like to put the Portable version on a USB Flash drive]. OK, I realise that now you have both 32 and 64 bit versions, you would need to distinguish these either within one archive or have separate archives for the portable version(s). Nevertheless, portable versions would be welcome (thanks) !
  4. ...I could be mistaken, but I think that the "problem" with the System Restore Files not being defragmented in Windows Vista is fundamentally a Vista issue, not an application issue. As I understand it, the access permissions on these files preclude them from being altered by defraggers. I don't know why Microsoft have done this, but I can hazard a guess at at least one of the reasons.... Their own Vista defragger will not normally defrag chunks of files bigger than 64MB, whereas System Restore files will typically be very much larger than this. I suppose in theory that one could change the access permissions on such files to explicitly grant yourself full control over them before running a defragging tool [presuming that said tool has not itself been deliberately coded to ignore these files], but I wouldn't recommend it ( ): there may be another reason that MS have protected these files of which I am unaware [e.g. some potential interaction with the Shadow Copy Service, which is used to create these files], and for all I know this could potentially trash your system or at least destroy the integrity of the restore points. See also the following pages for more background information... http://kessels.nl/JkDefrag/index.html https://blogs.technet.com/filecab/articles/440717.aspx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_Defragmenter_(Windows) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb897427.aspx
  5. ...Good news indeed, for those for whom 1.03.094 was slow [thanks due to MrRon &Piriform]. I am intrigued, though, that that version only appears to have been slow for some people [possibly a minority?] and not for others. I for one used this version on both a Pentium 4 machine with XP SP2 and a mere 40G disk, and an Athlon 64 x2 with Vista Home Premium and twin 280GB disks and found it to be just as fast as before, if not more so on both machines. So, now that a fix has been found, the problem must have been identified; was it something that can be explained on the forum [please] for the more technically curious amongst us ? -thm
  6. thm

    Feature request

    ...there isn't really any point in defragging a USB Flash drive, since it doesn't improve the performance and can only wear it out more quickly, as Flash drives have a limited number of write cycles. The main reason for defragging a hard disk is to bring the data close together in order to minimise the latencies introduced by having to move the read/write head (known as "seek time"). But Flash drives are all solid state: there are no moving parts to move, hence no associated latencies, hence defragging won't improve performance. As it happens, most Flash drives use a technique called "wear levelling" to deliberately remap the logical write locations to different physical locations in order to even out the wear on the drive. So, even if the drive "looks" defragmented (e.g. by looking at it with Defraggler), the actual file data may be scattered all over the place. -thm
  7. ...Yes, I concur: this is one of the main reasons that I too favour "portable apps". However, the window positions, sizes etc. may well need to be set per machine basis anyway, and Defraggler defaults to English [which I presume is your first language], so the only [slightly] significant things to consider are the update options. I can easily live with that! But [also] yes: it is nice when a "portable" app means *zero* use of the registry for maintaining information. It just feels clean and fresh ! Long live the .ini !
  8. ...True, although the only information stored in the registry relates to window position/size etc., whether to check for updates and how often, and what language to use. Very little information, and nothing that I would lose any sleep over: it's hardly sensitive information !
  9. Thanks for new features, especially the scheduler: that will be useful to many [but I've yet to get it to work at all under Vista...] There is just one [simple?] change that I would like to see made, and that is with respect to the "Defrag progress window that is displayed when defragging files (as opposed to whole drives or folders). The problem with this window is that it "locks" the GUI, such that the only thing that one can do with Defraggler when this window is shown is to Pause or Stop the defrag. This can be frustrating because one cannot minimise the main Defraggler window until the defragging is over... Previous versions (up until ~3 versions ago) used a simple borderless white window for showing progress, and this did not "block" the GUI. Could we return to that [please]? In the mean time, for anyone else who finds this blocking progress window a problem, a near workaround is to use the Action/Defrag Folder dialogue and select the appropriate drive. This is typically a bit slower than just defragging the files, but much quicker than a full drive defrag [i.e. including the freespace], and one can easily minimise the Defraggler window whilst it is working, so that you can use the PC for other stuff at the same time [and gain access to any desktop icons that might otherwise be covered by the Defraggler main window. Has anyone managed to get the Scheduler function to work under Vista ? -thm <Update> Ah, yes: the scheduling does work...it runs "df.exe" (the command-line version of Defraggler) under the scheduling service, so this is invisible (runs in the background). Can see that it is working from Task Manager (or better: Process Explorer), [Process Explorer available here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896653.aspx] </Update>
  10. I certainly do have ideas! Even better, an explanation...It all depends upon how you use it. Defragging files with Defraggler is very quick, much quicker than most of the competition. But it can do much more than that: it can defrag folders and whole disks too, and rearrange them to consolidate the freespace. Now that *does* take a lot of time if your disk is well fragmented, as it implies moving vast quantities of data. Auslogics' Defragger *only* defrags files. That's it. And to be fair, that is all you need to do most of the time if you defrag reasonably often. Now, a few words about using Defraggler [v1.02.085]... If you just select a drive and click on [Defrag], you will do a full defrag of the selected drive, i.e. files, folders and freespace. As I mentioned above, this can take a long time, particularly if it hasn't been done for a long time. This would be much the same for any defragger if it consolidates freespace. To defrag just the files (generally very much quicker), then do the following... Select the drive and click on [Analyze], then Defraggler will rapidly analyse the disk and tell you how many fragmented files it has found. The either click on the "File List" tab or the [View Files] button, and it will show you the files that are fragmented. Then click on the "tick box" above the file list on the left hand side and all files will be selected and the text in the [Defrag] button will change to [Defrag Checked]. If you click on that button then Defraggler will defrag all those files. Quickly too. There are other ways that you can do this, for example, clicking anywhere in the file-list and typing Control-A to highlight everything and then the [Defrag] button changes to [Defrag Highlighted] - you get the picture [i hope !]. You can also use the right-click context menu within the file-list as an alternative. If you use the "Actions" menu instead, you can choose to defrag a folder. Actually, this will defrag the chosen folder and all files and folders within it recursively. This can take longer than defragging just the files, much much quicker than defragging the whole drive & consolidating the freespace. With this latest version of defraggler, if you defrag files only, using one of the above methods from the file-list, then you will get a progress window that locks out the rest of the GUI (a bit of a pity because it didn't used to do that), which means that you won't be able to [for example] minimise the Defraggler window whilst it is doing its work. One [almost] workaround for this is to use the Actions menu instead (as also described above) to defrag a folder - and selecting the root of the drive that you want to defrag. Then you won't get a separate progress window (but progress is shown in the drives window) and you will be able to minimise the Defraggler window so that you can get on and use for PC for something else. I say "almost" a woraround, since this will defrag both files and folders, so it may take a little longer than just files alone, however, you should still find it nice and quick ! Now all this may *sound* complicated, but it isn't: just try it out a few times and you'll soon get the hang of it ! - thm [---edit ---] I took so long writing this that Andavari beat me to it ! The above was in answer to your first post in this thread !
  11. @sb2k You certainly *do* have a problem there. I wish you the best of luck in trying to fix it, but it looks like you might be out of luck, given the lack of available support. But I do have some advice for the future: no doubt you will still need to use encryption (for your stated reasons), so why not use TrueCrypt ? [ http://www.truecrypt.org/ ] ...This is widely respected open source freeware, and can be used in a number of ways, for example... 1) You can encrypt the entire hard disk (as you did with Safeboot) 2) You could reserve some space on your hard drive for a virtual encrypted disk 3) You can use it in "installed" or "portable" modes. Being FOSS, it is still well maintained, the most recent update being July 8th. [ Apologies if you already know all about it... ] -thm
  12. ...well, when it's called portable, I think they just mean that it needs no installer. AFAIK all the "portable" versions still write to the registry. However, this is pretty minimal stuff (like window position etc.). As for the GUI mockups and suggestions, well yes; I recall quite a few good suggestions (including at least one from you) in the following threads:- V1.02.077 RC1 http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=16186 v1.02.078 RC2 http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=16319 Let's hope that they're not forgotten -thm
  13. Well spotted ! Tried this under XP Pro, with same results [as expected].
  14. I cannot see any reason why you would need to uninstall the old one first, but I ask the development team [or anyone else who may know better] to confirm/deny this. The reason I believe this is that the standard installer can actually be opened as an archive by 7-Zip, and if you do so, you will find inside the "defraggler.exe" and "df.exe" executables that are installed if/when you run the installer. These files are identical to the "portable" version that Piriform have packaged here... http://www.defraggler.com/download/builds/downloading-zip So...given that these are identical, I do not see that any installer is actually necessary other than for showing you the licence agreement and placing the files in the Program Files area & creating shortcuts and an uninstaller utility. In other words, the installer is essentially just a convenience. That being said, I think in general that you should either use the installer verbatim or the "portable" file, as you should respect Piriform's obvious [and very reasonable] desire for you to read the licence agreement. If you have already read the licence agreement, and a copy of it is in your installation directory, then it should be reasonable for you to merely download the "portable" version and copy the new "defraggler.exe and "df.exe" files over the installed ones in place [iMHO]. -thm
  15. Hmm. Thanks for that. Presumable then, the reg files in the attached zip file could be used to enable or disable the automatic background updates feature... Updates.zip Updates.zip
  16. ...that would be the "background update" check mentioned in the release notes... -thm
  17. Good to see a new release (today ay 10:10 GDT !) I can't say that the changes cf. RC2 are that obvious to me, but given the list of items changed/fixed in the release notes, I'm not surprised ! I'm sure that much work has gone into the release anyway [thanks]. There is just one thing that I really hoped would be changed that has not been:- the Defrag Progress window that was introduced at RC2 when defragging a selection [checked or highlighted] still blocks the GUI, so that one can't even minimise Defraggler whilst it is doing its work. This may seem trivial, but given that the defragging could take some time, it is often important to be able to minimise the window in order to be able to have access to the desktop to do something else ! I would prefer the old non-blocking borderless window... Despite this, I actually rarely use Defraggler to defrag specific files. Or for that matter to effect a full defrag of files, folders and freespace - this only needs doing fairly rarely, which is just as well because it takes a lot of time. Nope, what I most commonly do with Defraggler is defrag all the files. And for this I've been using Analyse, followed by selecting all the files on the resulting frag-list and then selecting Defrag Checked. I suspect that many other users may do likewise, since used in this manner fairly often, Defraggler is [generally] very quick and keeps the disk in order with minimal fuss. However, there is the slightly niggling issue of the blocking progress window... BUT ! There is another way of doing something quite similar without having a blocking progress window... Instead of using the buttons, use the menu...for example, to defrag all the files on Drive D: (but not the freespace), Select Action/Defrag Folder/D/OK . Defraggler will then perform both the analysis and defragging of all the files on the selected drive, without any separate progress window, allowing the main window to be minimised with ease. The only drawback is that this way of defragging does take somewhat longer and I strongly suspect that this is because in this mode Defraggler is defragging both files *and* folders [=> comments please, design team ?] Anyway, my sincere thanks to the Piriform design team for an excellent product -thm
  18. ...you can use the "convert" utility from the command prompt to convert FAT32 partitions into NTFS ones. Takes some time, though. Here is an article all about it from the M$ website... http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library...echNet.10).aspx -thm
  19. @Tottel (post #8) & "anonymous user" (post #9)... Yup, I like both those alternative suggestions too, although they probably require a bit more screen space to keep a decent view of the file list. That's OK for me, as I'm lucky enough to have a nice *big* monitor !
  20. ...with the release of RC2, I suggest that we move onto the following thread... http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showtopic=16319
  21. Defraggler Version 1.02.078 RC2 The GUI on this new version [RC2] is much better than RC1 - thanks ! Having played about with it for a while, here are my observations and suggestions regarding RC2:- Pros:- 1) The drive list, drive map and the tabbed panel area [containing the drive status/properties or file list] are all resizeable and the settings are persisted between invocations of the program. - So, for example, I can set it do that all of my drives appear in the drive list without having to scroll: excellent ! 2) I like the fact that the "Defrag" button now shows "Defrag Checked" or "Defrag Highlighted" according to whether one has checked or highlighted fragmented files. Good ! 3) I note that when "re-analysing" a drive that has been previously analysed, that Defraggler just does it, without asking whether the user really wants to do it. That suits me, because it's one fewer click, and it's perfectly obvious on the "status" panel whether or not a drive has been previously analysed. Cons:- 1) I'm still not convinced of the need for the current tabbed panel. - At least not in it's current form [see "Suggestions" ;-) ] The Status/Properties information is of some use, but could be tucked away elsewhere on the display [more of this later...]. 2) I do not like the progress dialogue box when defragging selected files: I prefer the simple small white progress window that was used up to version 1.01.073 partly as a matter of style but mostly because the old progress window was updated in a separate thread, such that the file list could be scrolled whilst defragging was taking place. This is not possible with the new progress dialogue box. But much more important is the fact that the one can't even minimise the Defraggler window whilst it is defragging selected files ! 3) Whilst I welcome the way that the label on the "Defrag" button changes to "Defrag Checked" and "Defrag Highlighted" where appropriate, I believe that the default label should be "Defrag Drive", because that is what it would do ! Suggestions:- 1) Change the default label on the "Defrag" button to "Defrag Drive". 2) Reinstate the old simple progress window when defragging files. 3) Do away with the current Drive/File List tabbed panel and leave this area to always show the file list (as before RC1). 4) OK, so the above was trivial; this next bit may require a bit of concentration/imagination :- Trim down the information in the current "Status" and "Properties" panel and combine these two into a tabbed panel to the right of the "Drive List" window, where there is currently white space. This could be set (for example) to default to show the "Properties" information at startup for the drive selected in the Drive List. This would allow users to simply select other drives to view the disk usage if they so wish [most often they won't]. => But upon effecting an "Analyse" or defrag, this new tabbed panel should change over to show the "Status information" for the currently selected drive, which would be more useful to the user having effected such an action. And, of course, as this new panel would be tabbed, the user could flip between those if s/he so chooses. As for point (4), I've uploaded a couple of images (compressed in a ZIP archive) to demonstrate the sort of thing I'm suggesting. They're far from perfect, but should give the idea... Well then, all: what are your opinions on these observations and suggestions ? DefragglerImages.zip DefragglerImages.zip
  22. As yet, PageDefrag does not work on Vista, but I don't know why ! If you have plenty of memory, then you can set the page file to zero, reboot, defrag your disk [all of it: files, folders, freespace] and then recreate the page file. This can be risky if you do not have much memory, but should be fine otherwise. [see posts under: http://forum.piriform.com/index.php?showto...20&start=20 ] -thm
  23. Hmmm. IYNQSHO I suppose Well I'm certainly not trying to cast aspersions on the excellent Defraggler ! OK I'll try to explain why running a PC with no page file is a bit risky if you have little physical RAM... All programs will request VM from Windows when they run. Usually this is far more memory than they actually need, and Windows will typically allocate VM from the page file. However, if there is no page file available, then Windows will allocate physical RAM to these programs, and this can eat up a lot of memory, and leave little for the system to work with. For example, I've just run-up the following programs and used Process Explorer to see how much VM they request when they start up... MSIE:109 FireFox: 145 Word: 188 Outlook: 529 ...and yes: those are MB, not KB ! Big numbers indeed. OK, so you are not likely to have any of these autostart on boot, but you may have many other utilities set to autostart, and they too may be wasteful of VM. Of course, programs don't only request VM when they first run; they may well request more VM later according to their dynamic needs. For example, I've just run up Defraggler, and it needed 37 MB of VM ...then I did an "Analyze" on my C: drive, and noted that Defraggler's allocated VM went up to 110 MB. Perfectly normal. Now, most of the critical parts of the OS are "locked" into RAM, i.e. they are never paged out and are safe, but even the OS may require extra VM at some point, depending upon what's happening on the computer. And if this happens to a critical part of the OS [e.g. a device driver] and there is no VM and no more RAM available, then your computer can crash, with a nice blue screen. OK, this is fortunately a rare event; it just all depends upon the particular configuration of your machine, and luck (or the lack of it). Now, let's suppose that you have a machine that has no page file and after booting has only ~50 MB of free RAM. OK, you could run up Defraggler needing only ~37 MB of RAM, but what would happen if you then tried to do an actual defrag, and Defraggler needed [say] 100 MB ? Well, the most likely thing would be that Defraggler would fail when it couldn't allocate enough memory, but there remains the possibility that whilst Defraggler is requesting more memory, the OS itself may require more memory for some critical function, and if that failed, then this could crash the whole PC [=> blue screen]. And if you were in the middle of a defrag when this happens, then your drive could well be corrupted. This would be no fault of Defraggler [something similar might happen for any program writing to the disk], just that it could happen to be the "straw that breaks the camel's back". And of course, ANY defragging tool is likely to write to the disk extensively... So, it is indeed a rare scenario, but it can [and does] happen. One of the reasons I always make sure that any machine of mine has plenty of RAM. The following links explain things much better than I can, and may be worth a read ... Virtual Memory... ==> http://aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.htm Page File... ==> http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-...11-5071997.html ==> http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=185778 ==> http://www.theeldergeek.com/sizing_the_page_file.htm -thm
  24. A note of warning to those following the above advice: do not disable [set to zero] the virtual memory unless you have plenty of memory, otherwise your machine may not boot ! It's impossible to say definitively how much memory you need to be safe [as that depends upon your configuration], but you should be OK for Windows XP with 512 MB and above. Probably > 1GB for Vista. (?) If you do have plenty of memory, then sometimes it is a good thing to do a thorough defrag between scrapping the page file and recreating one. - thm
  25. Ah, well, if you are going to do that, then you could easily achieve this aim using the command-line version of defraggler "df.exe". For example, if you have two drives or partitions (C: and D:) then you could create a simple batch file DefragAll.bat containing just the following lines to completely defrag both logical/physical drives... df C: df D: Or if you just wanted to defrag the files only (but not the freespace), which is probably what you would want to do most of the time [as it's much quicker], then you could use the following instead... df C:\ /S df D:\ /S Put DefragAll.bat in the same folder as a copy of df.exe and a shortcut to the former on your desktop, and then just double-click that and walk away... It may not be pretty, but if you're not going to be hanging aroung to watch it, and it gets the job done, who cares ? [A bit off topic, but if you want all your drives to be defragged in one go, the simplest solution would be just to run JkDefrag with no options.]
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