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jasoncollege24

Defraggler free making fragmentation worse

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Windows 10 pro 64-bit
32GB RAM
SSDs 2
HDDs 4
Externals 3 (2 connected)

Attempted to defrag a single 1TB volume, which has close to 50% free space. Before the process began, there were roughly 120 fragmented files, and DF claimed 25% fragmentation.

I stopped defrag, when I noticed every file being copied to the front of the disk was being fragmented by DF, and DF was now claiming 4% fragmented, after 4 hours, even though most of the drive map was red now. (Note that these files were moved to the front of the drive, but not defragmented. This was not a quick defrag, or free space defrag)

On a second analysis, fragmented files, and the number of fragments were nearly doubled, confirming my suspicions that defraggler was creating more fragments, instead of removing them. Multiple attempts had similar results.

Antivirus is Comodo (disabling had no effect)
System restore is not enabled for that drive.
Drive is used only for game installs (Such as games from Steam)

Grabbed another defragmenting program from the internet, and it is actually defragmenting the disk properly, and extremely fast. This immediately leads me to believe that the entire problem is defraggler, and that I should probably just uninstall it.

 

Edit: The other defrag software managed to finish defragging the same drive in less than 30 minutes, successfully leaving 0% fragmentation. I'd say this is definitely a problem with Defraggler.

Edited by jasoncollege24
Adding more info

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Defragmenting will always be contentious, because different defragmenters work in different ways.
Some will 'compact/consolidate' (not compress) files on the disc, to put the free space all in one block. (But you have to Fragment files to do that).
Others will defragment the files themselves, but leave them spread on the disc with freespace between. (It's faster to do that).

So it's a choice between having all the free space together with some files fragmented, or having each file in one piece with the free space fragmented. You can't have both.
Defraggler itself can do either, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Now that discs have got to 1TB and larger defragging the whole disc, ie. 'compacting/consolidating', can take time to do, and it's debatable whether it's worth it anyway.
Firstly- With drives of 1TB or larger that's not as much of a problem as it was in the past with smaller drives.
Secondly- It doesn't really save space. It just moves all the free space together. (Fragmenting files as it does it)
Users of large drives usually content themselves with defragmenting the files only and letting them have space between.

In the end it's your choice of what you want to achieve, and which defragmentation utility you prefer using to achieve it.

Here's a post about the diffrence between defragging files and comapcting files:
https://forum.piriform.com/topic/52009-defrag-with-many-holes-normal/?tab=comments#comment-296519

Here's one about Defraggler working in two of the different way that it can do:
https://forum.piriform.com/topic/56605-defrag/?tab=comments#comment-314363

Here's one about using a different defragmenter after already using Defraggler:
https://forum.piriform.com/topic/55852-defraggler-time-taken-to-defrag/?tab=comments#comment-311733

 

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I 100% apologize, if this comes off as arrogant, (I swear it's not meant to be), but no sorry, I'll have to disagree here. I watched defraggler take one very large file, and wrap it around several other smaller files, during a Defrag. this was totally confirmed, when I saw that same file (literally by name) in the other software get moved out from where defraggler had put it near the front of the drive, immediately leaving several blocks of *fragmented free space* where that one file used to be.

I'm well aware of how hard drives, and fragmentation/defragmentation work, as I've been providing support for windows based PCs for more than 20 years. I tried switching to Defraggler because the program I preferred no longer has a free version, since the last time I needed to defragment. That program had a feature called "Optimize" which would not only defragment files, but it defragmented free space as well, all in one shot.

The program I used in place of Defraggler today only has options to defragment the files, not consolidate them, which is perfectly fine, but it was also moving files a LOT faster! That one large file took more than 2 hours to move just once with Defraggler, and 5 minutes with this other program.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I've used Defraggler, and it has performed very badly in all cases. I'm not trying to free up space. Defragmentation doesn't free up space. I'm trying to (hopefully) increase the RW performance of the drive, because the fragmentation was causing performance hits during file access in some games.

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You don't say if you were defragging the whole disc or just the files when using Defraggler, or what other settings you were using; you also don't say if it was one of your SSDs or HDDs.
('Optimise' is a term more often used with SSDs, defraggler can do that as well - But it does sometimes have problems recognising which is which type of drive).

Not to worry, if you've found a defragmenter that you prefer then keep using it and get rid of Defraggler.

As I said above:

Quote

In the end it's your choice of what you want to achieve, and which defragmentation utility you prefer using to achieve it.

 

TBH I'm coming to the opinion that defragmenting (like Registry Cleaning) is something that may have been useful in the past with older OS's but is much less important now unless you are trying to cure a particular issue such as the gaming lag that you are trying to eliminate.

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Hi Folks,

 

I have CCleaner Pro Plus with Defragger Pro.  Tried Defragger for first time on 256Gb SSD C drive with almost 100 GB free space and reported 15% fragmentation.  Expected some space use to write fragments, clear some blocks and write whole unfragmented blocks back.  Checked status after some run time and saw 80% complete (14% fragmentation remaining) and 4 GB space remaining which quickly diminished to ZERO space by 84% complete.  The defrag backed out its work I guess because I now have the space back but also 22% fragmentation of the SSD.  You need to look at your algorithms and stop this practice of seemingly writing the entire drive to free space before completing the defrag or at least warn users that they will need at least as much free space available than currently in use.  Better to work in chunks of blocks and show progress on the block map.

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Firstly you shouldn't realy be defragging an SSD.

Second just what was it you did?

Was it a defrag of files or a defrag of free space?

One puts files together for quicker loading, (not realy a problem with a SSD), the other puts free space together at the cost of fragmenting some files.

So which were you trying to do?

See my answer above from Jan 24.

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@RIPper You should never run any defragmentation software on an SSD... ever. Doing so can quickly shorten the life of your SSD. SSDs have a finite lifecycle. The more you write to the drive, (eg moving files via defrag) the shorter it's life span. Under normal use, today's SSD will last a while, and defragmenting SSDs provides zero speed benefits of any kind, so there is no need to defrag them at all.

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@jasoncollege24

That was true a few years ago, but SSDs have moved on since then.

Read/write lifecyles have improved by at least an order of magnitude from early SSDs, so it's not the same concern as it used to be.

Whilst defragging an SSD  is still pretty pointless it's not going to significantly reduce the life unless you do it every day.

Windows itself will occasionaly defrag an SSD as part of the optimise process.

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@nukecad that behavior in Windows must've started recently, because as far as I'm aware, all it does is trim SSDs, not defrag them. I know they've improved, so the worry is not as bad, but it is still there.

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What I've read about is that occasionally (not all the time) Optimize Drives in Windows 10 at least will do an actual defrag process. To what degree who knows if it's just dealing only with for example a heavily fragmented file which can become an issue even for an SSD. Supposedly fragmentation can get to the point were accessing such a heavily fragmented file could potentially be impossible so it has to be defragmented.

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ok that makes more sense, but still not the same as a full on defrag of the entire drive. I think I've only ever defragged an entire SSD twice. It was my C drive,  and it really made no difference at all in system performance, so I've never done it again.

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17 hours ago, jasoncollege24 said:

that behavior in Windows must've started recently,


It's been doing it since at least 2014, and yes it surprises a lot of people when they first find out that Windows does this.

This Scott Hanselman blog is worth a read for more about it:
https://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealAndCompleteStoryDoesWindowsDefragmentYourSSD.aspx

I still wouldn't use a 3rd party tool to defrag an SSD though.

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2 hours ago, jasoncollege24 said:

I think I've only ever defragged an entire SSD twice.

 

That's why in the defrag tool I use (it isn't Defraggler and I won't mention it) I have it set to exclude all of my internal and external/portable SSDs. That way if one is accidentally selected in the defrag tool it will just skip them.

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I don't use defraggler either, but I skip SSDs, unless the defrag app has SSD specific optimizations, such as trim; something I've only see in one or two so far.

@nukecad I read the link. Thanks for that! Now I can provide updated information for those who ask. Also gives me reason to ensure that system restore is enabled on all SSDs... a feature that has never worked for me, but the occasional optimization is worth turning it on, after that read. I do a lot of IT related stuff, and kinda surprised this info hasn't passed by me before.

So I stand corrected, but you really don't need to run defrag on an SSD, unless windows SSD optimizations are not enough... though they should be.

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it picks up HDD seagate barracuda 2TB as SSD - it defrags for hours and gets worse or 2% better

HOW are sites saying THIS is the best FREE defrag out there. its the worst?

PERFECTDISK - IT COSTS BUT ITS THE BEST

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HDD Wesern Digital HDD 2TB-cpicked up as HDD  - takes several hours to defrag and resukt is same or worse or fractionaly better 1-4%

SSD Samsung EVO 860 250GB picked up as a SSD - takes h=a ehile to optimize andmakes no difference to stateof drive

HDD Sagate Barracuda 2TB (256Mb cache) picked up as an SSD tkes for ever to defrag n never changes or gets worse

this windows install is only 2 weeks old Win10Prox64 / 12GB DDR3 @ 1600Mhz / Intel Motherboard / nVidia GTX 650 / Intel 3470 @ 3.6Ghz

 

all drives are on SATA3 (600Gps) ports one of which is a red eSATA port

 

can anyone please explain why this is and why defraggler comes out trumps on most sites - almost like they were paid!

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@1bit

It depends on whether you are using Defraggler to defrag file or to consolidate files.

Defraggler can do either depending on just how it is used. (and confusingly Defraggler, like many other defraggers, calls them both defragmenting).

See this for an explanation of the difference and how to use Defraggler to do either one:

 

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