Should you ever defrag "D" disk?

By ddenmgt ·
Is it ever necessary to defrag "D" disk. I was told that doing so would wipe out my computer. I'm running Window XP.

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Why defrag?.

Yes do a defrag.
Just a little info..

Windows comes with a collection of house cleaning tools, including ScanDisk, Disk Defragmenter and Disk Cleanup, to help keep your disk in peak working order.

Why should you bother with the housework? A couple of reasons. First, disks are hard working, mechanical devices and, like all mechanical devices, prone to failure. A little preventative maintenance can warn you of potential problems and fix minor glitches before they can do damage to your data.

Second, the way files are organised on your drive has a perceptible impact on the performance of your computer. If your files are stored neatly, end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk is speedier.

What is file fragmentation?

Sometimes when you install a program or create a data file, the file ends up chopped up into chunks and stored in multiple locations on the disk. This is called fragmentation.

What makes this happen?

When you first install your operating system and programs on your hard disk, they are written to the disk, for the most part, in one contiguous block without any gaps. The exceptions are certain system files that must be stored in specific locations. Over time, as you create and then delete documents or uninstall programs, once-filled locations are left empty and you end up with files dotted all over the disk.

Now, when Windows is writing a file to the disk, it looks for a suitable piece of free space in which to store it. What happens, then, when you copy a 40M database or audio file to the disk and the biggest slice of free space is only 30M? Or say you modify an existing file, appending a whole bunch of data so the file now takes up more space on the disk. To accommodate the files, Windows writes the first part of the file in one section of the disk and then scouts around for other places to store the rest of the file. The end result is that a single file may be stored in several chunks scattered about the disk.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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It depends

by nepenthe0 In reply to Should you ever defrag "D ...

If your D drive is a recovery partition, that should not require defragmenting. If your D drive is simply another partition of the hard drive, where you can store your data files, then periodically running defragmenting software will speed transfer rates from the hard drive when you wish to access these files.

If data files are important, back them up to an external hard drive or CD. I have never lost a data file to corruption running a defragmentation application, but there are many such applications available, and some might be capable of causing damage.

If you are satisfied with transfer rates, don't bother defragmenting the drive unless you're a compulsive housekeeper who always wants to keep everything ship shape.

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Utter rubbish - NAME a defragger that corrupts data !! ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to It depends

I dare you!!

"..don't bother defragmenting the drive unless you're a compulsive housekeeper.." - coming from the guy who runs with zero antivirus and then backs-up his entire disk image religiously - that's rich!!

Where do you get these crazy ideas from?

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Off Topic But You Asked...

by rkuhn In reply to Utter rubbish - NAME a de ...

Almost all defraggers will cause problems if you attempt to defrag a data store on a mail server if it isn't brought offline properly first.

I know, I know not pertinent to this discussion, but you did say "name a defragger that corrupts data". :)

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Sheesh !! Bet you enjoyed that. <NT>

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Off Topic But You Asked.. ...
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I Did!

by rkuhn In reply to Sheesh !! Bet you enjoyed ...

I learned a long time ago to never say "never" or "always".

There are few if any absolutes in life.


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Yah, but you couldn't...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Off Topic But You Asked.. ...

without a specific circumstance in place!

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Just to mention

by w2ktechman In reply to Utter rubbish - NAME a de ...

if the drive is working fine, and fragmentation is low, then the 'don't bother' attitude works fine.
In fact, the defragmentor program may even say that it is not needed.

Ok, but for the OP it probably wasnt, however I didnt see a problem with that post.

I do recommend defragmenting regularly. However, some things to consider when defragmenting

Some programs do not like being used while defragmentation is running. It is a good idea to close programs before running a defragmentor.

If you suspect any HDD issues, running a defragmentor may make things worse! In this case, opt NOT to run it, at least until a proper backup and disc scan are completed.

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I should've set some Ground Rules, like ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Utter rubbish - NAME a de ...

Do defrag but do it like I do it (not just as I say):

Every Saturday morning I sit down in front of SAL9000 and fire up episodes of Thunderbirds or Fireball XL5 and have a trip down memory lane. Being that I live in a Village, its Summer, with my windows open, invariably some passers-by hear the familiar sounds of the Gerry Anderson classics and stick their head in the window for a look-see.

While all this is going on, my gaming rig is locked into minimal boot, offline, running a set routine for clearing out all the usual detritus, then running Registry Mechanic on deepscan and then defragmenting the registry, then invoking PerfectDisk across all 1.25TB of hard drives.

That gives plenty of time for a chat, more coffees and more Thunderbirds / XL5.

Sundays is a different affair. ZEN-ORAC becomes the media centre for the day, while SAL9000 has a clean out.

I just assumed everyone would know the system was effectively down before defragmenting.

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by Jacky Howe In reply to Should you ever defrag "D ...

if you have Data on there that you periodically or constantly access. No if the Data is only a copy of your entire DVD collection.

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