Defrag on hard drives with mutiple file systems


A

Andy

My hard drive has a Windows partition and two ext3 partitions.

Does a Windows defrag program defragment JUST the NTFS partition or all of them ?

I am thinking that it would defrag the whole hard drive.

Thanks,
Andy
 
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P

Paul

Andy said:
My hard drive has a Windows partition and two ext3 partitions.

Does a Windows defrag program defragment JUST the NTFS partition or all of them ?

I am thinking that it would defrag the whole hard drive.

Thanks,
Andy
It defragments partitions.

It defragments them one at a time.

It defragments NTFS and FAT32. EXT3 is not a Windows file system.

The WinXP defragmenter was written by a third-party company.

*******

Later fragmenters may have been written by Microsoft. I can
say that with some confidence, because of the user interface
and method. No "self respecting third party defrag company"
would do it the Microsoft way. Yet, the defragmenter on
modern Windows makes perfect sense from a user efficiency
point of view (only defragment things that need it). The
reason a modern Windows will not show you a "colored block"
display of fragmentation state, is you'd freak out if you
saw the state if left the partition in :) The modern Windows
OSes schedule defragmentation to run regularly, and the run time
is quite short. And it is quite short, because the defragmenter
does not defragment large files. If you have a DVD ISO file
(>50MB), it will not correct the fragmentation in it. A colored
block display would then have red bars in it, all over the place,
which would scare the crap out of "neat-freaks" :) That's why
there is no display.

The WinXP defragmenter on the other hand, is a traditional
"perfect" defragmenter. It attempts to defragment everything,
subject to having enough white space to move things around.
It makes a pretty colored block display for you. It doesn't
defragment white space, and tends to fragment faster than a
brand new partition would.

While the defragmenter is written by a third party, Microsoft
provides the API for block movement. Defragmenter operations
are kept small, to minimize the effects that powering off
in the middle of a defrag session might have. This results in
poor defragmentation speed (1MB/sec to 3MB/sec perhaps). It's
possible a caching controller could improve things a lot, but
the code probably tries to disable every cache it can see. You'd
need a file system cache which ignores attempts to disable it,
and then defragmentation would "fly". (However, if the power went
off, you'd lose all the data in that cache... You must have reliable
power in such a situation.)

At one time, there was a registry key available, which "lies" to
the OS and makes a claim the system has long term battery backup.
So then there is no need for disabling caches and using small
slow operations. But as far as I know, this feature is removed
from WinXP. Microsoft wants to make sure your data is safe (and
slow), no matter what.

Have fun,
Paul
 
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N

Nil

My hard drive has a Windows partition and two ext3 partitions.

Does a Windows defrag program defragment JUST the NTFS partition
or all of them ?
I guess you've never used a Windows defrag program, or you would know
that you have to choose the partion to operate on.
I am thinking that it would defrag the whole hard drive.
You are thinking wrongly.
 

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