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Defraggler Increases Fragmentation


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On my home office box, my son, a pilot, temporarily copied some FlightSim files to one of my SSHD data drives which was then backed up to our backup drive.   After realizing that these were not excluded from the backup, I removed it from the backup drive and deleted the files (some 200 GB) from the backup drive.   As it's a AutoCAD data drive, I wanted to keep the files as close to the outer (faster) edge of the platters as possible so defragged it.

It got to a point where it had one large defragmented file in 3 fragments with "1 minute" left and then continued to run for an hour.  Had to reboot so I stopped the defrag and after doing some system maintenance, tried defraggler again and let it run overnight.   The drive now has:

203 Fragmented files / 6,931 fragments / is 51% fragmented while using only 20% of the drive space (80% free)  ?  What gives ?

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No edit button ?

Just did a windows defrag .... reduced to 9 fragmented files /44 fragments  / 11% defragmentation (26.5 GB) with the empty space (white boxes) between file locations equal to about 40% of the filled space (red and blue boxes)

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'Defragging' can actually increase FILE fragmentation in some cases.

That's because what Defraggler (and most other defragmenters) do by default is not just file defragmenting, they do an 'Consolidation' of the disc as well - and that consolidation is what can fragment files.

When Defraggler reports a percentage fragmented that is the File fragmentation, not the whole disc fragmentation.
Yes it can be confusing if you are not aware that 2 different things are going on.

It gets further confused by the fact that consolidation can also legitimately be called 'disc defragmenting' (as opposed to 'file defragmenting').

What most people think of as 'defragmenting' is actually 'disc defragmenting' ie. just the consolidation bit.
That's because they are used to seeing the little boxes flash colours and move about on the drive map when defragmenting, that is actually the consolidation part.
(PS. You may have noticed that the built in Windows defragmenter no longer shows a drive map, that's to try and avoid that confusion).

'Defragmentation' proper is 'file defragmenting' and means getting you files into one piece each, so they can be read slightly faster.
'Consolidation' is also commonly called 'drive defragmenting' and means getting your files into the smallest possible space on the disc, which may (will) actually fragment the files themselves to 'fit them in' to the smallest space.

By default Defraggler does some of both, - which will be why your FILE fragmentation went up as it split up the files to optimise the disc space.

But you can tell it to do either/or depending on just what you are looking to do.

Mayny of us these days tell it to do a 'Files only' defrag, (see below), it's much quicker and it's what is usually wanted with todays larger drives.

In your case you want to get your AutoCAD files into one piece each, and at the start of the drive.

You may be happy with what you have now got it down to, but could get it down more, and try and get rid of some of those white boxes between the files.
I'd tackle that in two stages by doing the following.

First do a 'Files only' defrag:
Analyze as usual then select either 'View files' or the 'Files list' tab.
You will see a list of the fragmented files with checkboxes next to them, click the very top box (next to 'Filename') to check all of them.
Now click on 'Defrag Checked' and let it defrag the selected files.
(Don't worry if it finishes with a messages that some files couldn't be defragmented, that's pretty normal, they are usually system files which have been used again since you analyzed so Defragler knows to leave them alone because they may have changed, the rest have still been done).

Next to move them closer together and try to get rid of the white spaces, (an optimisation but without fragmenting them again).
Go to the top menu and select Actions>Advanced>Defrag Freespace
DONT select 'Defrag Freespace (allow fragmentation)' that will fragment the files again to try and fit them into the smallest space.

Once that has finished, and it may take some time if it's a TB sized backup drive, then your files should be in one piece each and as close together as defraggler can get them without fragmenting them.

*** Out of Beer Error ->->-> Recovering Memory ***

Worried about 'Tracking Files'? Worried about why some files come back after cleaning? See this link:


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Yes, I have used defraggler before .... and that's exactly what I did.

1.  Used FBackup to make a copy of Drive R ... was surprised that it left the target drive fragmented... Our previous software when conducting a backup operation took one file at a time and left 0 degragmentation, was surprised to see this happen.

2.  I ran the normal defragmentation and I wound up with one fragmented file, as I recall is was a large game install file ... as I said, it showed 1 minute left for several hours so I stopped it.

3.  Then I ran the  normal defragmentation again and got the 203 Fragmented files / 6,931 fragments / is 51% fragmented while using only 20% of the drive space (80% free).

4.  I then did a Defrag free space (not allowing defragmentation) and I had over 2,000 files fragmented.

5.  Finally I did the Windows defrag and got to the 9 fragmented files /44 fragments  / 11% defragmentation (26.5 GB).   The SSHD drive is only 20% full.... it has plenty of room to  move large files wherever it needs to ... don't understand why 40% of space between the 1st and last file is free space

6.  When we used Diskeeper, the post defrag results was always "tight"

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I've just realised that you are refering to this drive as "SSHD".


The SSHD drive is only 20% full

Is this is a Solid State Drive?
If so then that could explain some of what you are reporting.

Or is this actually a SSHD - a Hybrid Drive? (A HDD with a smaller SSD 'cache' built in).
Indeed that would better explain what you are reporting.

To be sure can you give the make and model of the drive in question?

You should not (normally) defrag an SSD.
SSDs work diferently to spinning drives, they generally look after themselves with just the help of an occasional 'Trim' needed.
They spread files all over the place on the drive to increase their lifetime, 'wear leveling'.

If you do defrag an SSD the wear leveling will usually just undo the work again.

'Moving files to the end of the drive' is also meaningless for a SSD, the wear leveling will simply spread them out again.

Windows (or Defraggler) shouldn't normally let you defragment a SSD only 'optimise' (trim) it - but Windows (and so Defraggler)  will sometimes incorrectly identify a SSD as a HDD, or vice-versa.

With a Hybrid drive the question of defragging or not becomes more of a grey area.
One problem is that most of the discussion you see about it can be 4 or 5 years old, and the technology changes fast so it may not still be relevant.

It's mainly a HDD so can be defragged, but that will affect the SSD portion and so may impact the performance of the drive overall.

Then there can be the problem of the defragging tool reporting the normal wear leveling of the SSD portion as 'fragmentation'.
(Again that could explain some of what you are seeing/reporting).

It's probably best to refer to the manufacturers website/information for the particular hybrid drive and follow their recommendations regarding whether to defrag it or not.
Personally I'd leave it alone, see below.

General (Personal Opinion)
Since I've been answering questions here, and so thinking more about what defragmenting is actually doing, I've come to the conclusion that defragmenting is not realy required with todays drives, whether HHD, SSD, or Hybrid.
In fact it's not been necessary for the past 20 years or so, and certainly not since FAT was generally replaced by NTFS.

Yes it's nice to see lots of blue blocks packed together in a drive map display - but if you never looked at a drive map so never saw those blocks then would you notice any difference in your computers performance? I doubt it very much.

"Look our tool can show you a chart that looks untidy, and after moving things about it can show you one that looks tidier"
But has moving things about changed anything performance wise? Nothing that you'd normally notice
Maybe if your drive had had very, very, heavy write/delete/write-new operations and was in a mess, but for most of us I doubt it very much.
You are spending time making a tidy looking drive map simply for the sake of making a tidy looking drive map.
Again that's one reason why Windows no longer shows you a drive map -  if you can't see it then it can't bother you.

Moving files to the 'start' of the disc so they can load faster?
Years ago with slow spinning drives (maybe even floppys) and slow CPUs that could be important, these days you won't notice any practical difference.

Defragging is just something that over the years we have all become 'programmed' to do without really thinking about if it's actually needed.
The time you spend doing it is thousands of times more than any time it will save you loading files.
If you still want to do it then fair enough that's your choice.

I see defragging dissapearing altogether in the next few years, at least for home users.
Spinning HDDs are going the way of floppys and it won't be long before we are all using SSDs, except for a few die hards with vintage/vetran setups.

Sorry, that turned out a lot longer than I had intended.


*** Out of Beer Error ->->-> Recovering Memory ***

Worried about 'Tracking Files'? Worried about why some files come back after cleaning? See this link:


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