Defragging 2-TB 80%-Used Disc?

  • Thread starter (PeteCresswell)
  • Start date

P

(PeteCresswell)

My media server is recording TV to a couple of 2-TB onboard
discs.

In trying to track down some weirdnesses in playback, I noticed
that both discs were heavily fragmented:
http://tinyurl.com/d4r7v84

Each pass of defragging only consolidates a very small percentage
of the space. It seems insignificant for a given pass.

Assuming that defragging is warranted, I'm thinking two
possibilities:

- Some sort of .Bat or .Cmd file to iteratively defrag on the
assumption that eventually a disc's data can be mostly
consolidated.

- Buy another 2-TB disc and, instead of de-fragging a disc,
copy it's contents to the third disc and then replace it with
the third disc.


The Questions:

- Could defragging actually have a perceptible effect? Or is it
one of those things that sounds good in theory but has limited
practicality - at least in the situation of media playback?

- Given that several large new files (seems like about six gigs
for an hour of HD) are being created each day and a like number
deleted on a per-day average over each week, might
fragmentation just be a fact of life and trying to stay on top
of it be something of a fool's errand?

- Is there any hope for the iterative approach? Or is there some
inherent limit determined by % usage?
 
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P

Paul

(PeteCresswell) said:
My media server is recording TV to a couple of 2-TB onboard
discs.

In trying to track down some weirdnesses in playback, I noticed
that both discs were heavily fragmented:
http://tinyurl.com/d4r7v84

Each pass of defragging only consolidates a very small percentage
of the space. It seems insignificant for a given pass.

Assuming that defragging is warranted, I'm thinking two
possibilities:

- Some sort of .Bat or .Cmd file to iteratively defrag on the
assumption that eventually a disc's data can be mostly
consolidated.

- Buy another 2-TB disc and, instead of de-fragging a disc,
copy it's contents to the third disc and then replace it with
the third disc.


The Questions:

- Could defragging actually have a perceptible effect? Or is it
one of those things that sounds good in theory but has limited
practicality - at least in the situation of media playback?

- Given that several large new files (seems like about six gigs
for an hour of HD) are being created each day and a like number
deleted on a per-day average over each week, might
fragmentation just be a fact of life and trying to stay on top
of it be something of a fool's errand?

- Is there any hope for the iterative approach? Or is there some
inherent limit determined by % usage?

Disable System Restore on the data volume. In
Control Panels : System : System Restore you have per-partition
control. There is no point in having System Restore on a videos disc.
Each time a new disk is plugged in, it gets enabled in there. The
only thing that should really be enabled in there, is C:. Doing it
for other partitions is a waste (more disk activity for nothing).

You could change the volume from using 4K to 64K storage. If
you're only storing large files, that might work better.
Note that certain features become disabled when you move away
from the default 4K choice for NTFS (compression, ability to
defrag perhaps...).

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/format.mspx?mfr=true

If more than one writer-process is at work on the disk, then
it's going to get fragmented. So two tuners dumping to one disk,
is going to fill the disk with red.

Even the MFT can become fragmented. I don't know if there
is a way to make it bigger before using the storage on
there or not.

The drive will probably still be "filled with red", but
you can try to make things better.

Comparing defrag to copying the entire disk, it depends
on what the performance monitor shows for read/write rate
while you defrag. When my computer is fixing fragmentation,
I generally see about 3MB/sec transfer rate. How long
would it take to process a 2,000,000 MB disk ? If the whole
disk is fragmented, copying it might be faster. I'm not sure
I see a point though. I don't defragment data volumes.
Takes too long.

*******

For video playback, if a disk were heavily fragmented, it might only
manage around 1-3MB/sec playback rate, which might not match
the requirements for some HD video format. Maybe the 64K
size change, would be enough to improve that. You can time the
time it takes to copy one (fragmented) video file, from one disk
to another empty disk, and use that copy time as an estimate of
the average read rate achievable during playback. If the video
format happened to need 8MB/sec playback rate, you could compare
the result to that number. If the copy happened much faster than
that, you might not need to change anything.

Having multiple tuners dumping to the same disk, is as likely
to be a source of trouble, as any other. Having a real-time
defragmenter, might fix it, but again, I don't know what
impact that's going to have on the disk. Just more thrashing.

During movie playback, an AV program could be scanning the
video stream, at the same time as you're viewing it. That's
probably not a big deal. An little more processor perhaps.

Paul
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per Paul:
Control Panels : System : System Restore you have per-partition
control. There is no point in having System Restore on a videos disc.

I already had it turned off for "All Drives".

I think my reasoning at the time was that if the sys goes South,
I am going to re-image from a known good image..... and if
there's a problem with data, it's going tb restored from backup.

Am I missing anything by not including C:?
 
A

Ammammata

Il giorno Wed 04 Jul 2012 07:59:46p, *(PeteCresswell)* inviava su
microsoft.public.windowsxp.general il messaggio
Vediamo cosa scrisse:
In trying to track down some weirdnesses in playback, I noticed
that both discs were heavily fragmented:
http://tinyurl.com/d4r7v84

Each pass of defragging only consolidates a very small percentage
of the space. It seems insignificant for a given pass.

consider a software that first packs all files to the end of the disk, then
optimize it to the start: i.e. jkdefrag (I still use version 3.36), there
are several options to make it
 
N

none

(PeteCresswell) said:
The Questions:

- Could defragging actually have a perceptible effect? Or is it
one of those things that sounds good in theory but has limited
practicality - at least in the situation of media playback?

Not an simple question to answer, however, LARGE files which are highly
fragmented MIGHT cause the issue you describe. If you rely on MS Defrag,
forget it. Try this freeware I've been using for years
http://www.kessels.biz/JKDefrag/

It's highly customizable and can be configured to run whenever with a
scheduler.

- Given that several large new files (seems like about six gigs
for an hour of HD) are being created each day and a like number
deleted on a per-day average over each week, might
fragmentation just be a fact of life and trying to stay on top
of it be something of a fool's errand?

Some things in life can only be determined by doing. I think this is one of
them! Personally I defrag OFTEN. Some say it's a waste of time, some say
they don't know what they're talking about. I'm of the latter opinion.
- Is there any hope for the iterative approach? Or is there some
inherent limit determined by % usage?

Speaking of CPU usage; with your system at idle what is the CPU usage?
Ideally it will be below 5%. Any CPU HOGS running? (Ctrl-Alt-Del, Task
Manager, Processes -- look at System Idle Process -- Looking at mine on a
laptop right and it shows 99%, further below CPU Usage varies showing 1-3%)
A CPU hog could sure explain, jerky, choppy, awful video playback!
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per none:
http://www.kessels.biz/JKDefrag/

It's highly customizable and can be configured to run whenever with a

"...it's ready to run and will automatically process ***all***
the mounted, writable, fixed volumes on your computer..."

Snowflakes added by Yours Truly.

Sounds like you are using the command-line version, right?
 
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N

none

(PeteCresswell) said:
Sounds like you are using the command-line version, right?

Well, when you say 'command-line version' ... not really. I *DO* use command
line parameters in shortcuts. For example, to defrag my DVD partition I
create a shortcut to JKDefrag.exe and use the following syntax:

K: -a 7 -q -f 0 -l "" -u "DisableDefaults"

K: is the drive letter
-a 7 sorts files by folder + filename (keeps associated files in their
respective folder, which keeps them close together on the disk -- should
minimize access time file to file as you view video)
-q closes out defrag window when operation is complete
-f 0 leaves 'free spaces' to a minimum
-l this is an 'L' lower case, disables the log file (I see no point in
having that log)
-u "DisableDefaults" this defrag program has a built-in list of 'space
hogs' which it wants to separate from most frequently used files and place
them on a slower section of the disk. For our specific use (dedicated
logical drive with video files) there no point using his default
optimization routines.

Works for me! Good luck.
 
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