Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/97723/htg-explains-do-you-really-need-to-defrag-your-pc/
Ask any PC tech person how to make your computer faster, and almost every one of them will tell you to defrag your PC. But do you really need to manually trigger a defrag these days?
In Windows 8.1, not sure if the WIndows 8 also, Optimize Drives, previously called Disk Defragmenter, optimizes SSD applying trim e unmap only and so is enabled on schedule too and should not be disabled.
Window$'s defrag completely sucks. It was in WinME last time it actually could do shit, which is why I always make sure I disable that piece of shit and install Auslogics Disk Defrag, a completely free, really simple, powerful defrag.
With all my personal experience with microsoft products i turn off every possible automatic or scheduled event. I prefer to do things manually so I can follow the results. Half the time these schedules do not work. In the work environment using a proxy you cannot access automatic updates. I too would never even use microsoft's junky defrag I'd rather install a third party for that.
I find that CCleaner and MalWareBYTES in Safe Mode are much better 1st options for a slow PC.
There is a far more insidious problem with modern drives and the windows NTFS file management system -
NTFS holds all the file entries, descriptors, ownership and allocation details in 1 big 'heap', and includes the data from small files.
Using FAT - the entries for files in a 'Folder' were held in a 'Directory file' that had the same name as the Folder, so getting all files in a folder meant finding the 'Directory file' and reading that.
In NTFS it means having the file management part of the OS search through the MFT looking for file entries that are marked as being in the 'Folder'(s) you specified.
No problem as long as the OS has enough (real) memory to allocate to hold all the MFT.
Then, one day, you will create a new entry and suddenly the real memory available is not enough to hold all the MFT
Now the OS will begin looking for the least-recently-used memory block so it can re-allocate that to the bit of the MFT that needs to be read in.
And then - the next bit of the MFT to be used was in the bit of memory that was previously least-recently-used - so find a bit of memory to re-allocate for that data to be read from the drive
(no - it won't be in the drive cache as that did the same thing as the OS did with it's cache.
Repeat for every block of the MFT down to the entry for each and every file you wanted - or that is in the folder you wanted to get a file from.
That can cause hundreds of milliseconds of disk access for every one of the - say 1000 files in the folder you want to open a file from.
So - more important than defrag may be to remove the redundant temporary Internet files - maybe 2000 for every day's browsing.
NOW - does anybody know of a utility to defrag and reorganise the MFT - please, pretty please!
I have windows 8.1 on a 65 GB NTFS partition. I have a 1 TB disk with one NTFS partition for my data files. I access the data NTFS partition from Linux mostly and the few times I am in Windows. I also have Windows 7 on a 65GB partition on an SSD which also has my linux OS partitions.
I have not had to defrag the 1 TB data NTFS partition ever. I am hardly booted into 8.1 so no need to even check that.
My backup 1 TB disk is one EXT 4 partition. I use rsync from linux to back up files to it from the NTFS data partition, and obviously that needs no defragmenting either.
For me at least defragging is a thing of the past.
If Windows 7 automatically disables defrag on SSDs, it must do so behind the scenes. Every time I've installed Windows 7 on an SSD, the task is still in Task Scheduler as active. I've always had to go in and either disable, or delete, the scheduled task. Same goes for Windows 8.
with today's disks now in TB range, data is written sequentially until the disk is 'full'. the only reason defrag is needed at all is when the file is fragmented. since most people never reach the capacity of the drive, there is no advantage to defrag. old drives used to rewrite space that was allocated as free when a file was deleted. nowadays that is not the case until the capacity of the drive is reached. this also allows for easier recovery of deleted files.if the capacity is reached then defrag is certainly needed.
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