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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

By beck17 ·
I'm trying to troubleshoot a Win98 pc that becomes fragmented to the point that Windows will start only in safe mode until Defrag is run. This happens every 10-14 days, and defrag runs for 3 hours or so. The pc has plenty of available hard drive space. After running defrag, I test restarting several times and no problems, however, 10 days later, the user calls with the recurring problem. Thanks....

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by Ann777 In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

I suggest that you boot to DOS, run a scandisk (without any switches) and do a surface scan when prompted. If that finds bad spots on the drive, then replace the hdd.

If not, then find out what the user is doing.

How large is the drive? A defrag that needs to run every two weeks and takes 3 hours to run, seems a tad bit excessive to me. You might want to do the defrag in safe mode and make sure screen savers and anything else running in background is disabled.

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by beck17 In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

The only way I can run defrag when this happens is in safe mode. I agree that this is excessive in frequency and the amount of time it takes to run. This is a 20GB hard drive.

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by maxwell edison In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

The defragmentation operation is the solution to the fragmentation problem: Every time you delete a file or folder, you create a gap on the drive. The next time you copy or save anything, as much of it as possible goes into the first gap on the drive. If the first gap isn't large enough for the whole copied or saved file, as much of it as will fit gets put in that gap, and what's left over gets put in the next gap, and so on. Over time, this means that parts of your files can be located far from each other, and files that function together in sets can be far from each other, too. The defragmentation operation finds all of your fragmented files and reunites their parts, then it finds all of your disjointed filesets and brings them together,and it eliminates the gaps on your disk. That's why you'll almost always notice a little improvement in performance after you defrag your disk. The new Win 98 Defragmenter introduced another step, though: It re-orders your programs "so [they] start faster."

The Windows 98 version of Disk Defragmenter (set to its default settings) suffers from an acute logical flaw that involves time gained and time lost. The program's aim is noble: to save you (the user) time (in seconds, presumably) by re-arranging all of your programs and all of their supporting files in the most efficient order, given your latest usage of programs.

(continued..)

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by maxwell edison In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

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However, there's a MAJOR conceptual problem with that: Few of us consistently use the same programs in any particular order of frequency. So when you run the Defragmenter, it's probably going to re-order your programs. And a lot of time is wasted as you wait for the new order to be achieved. You can't USE your computer during a defrag operation. So, what's wrong with that? Isn't the re-ordering worth the time it takes? Well, the time it takes your computer to run over your hard drive's platters and access ANY file it's looking for is measured in milliseconds usually; seconds, tops. Think about that. The default setting of the Win 98 Defragmenter takes at least thirty minutes, probably forty-five minutes, and maybe even an hour or more to rearrange files and folders to save you – at most – a few seconds in a week of computing. Why would anyone want give up so much time for so little saved time – and maybe for no saved time at all?

If you just want a good, complete, quick defrag that puts all of your fragmented files together and each of your programs' filesets together and gets rid of your gaps, here's what you do:

Click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. You'll see a panel open, and you'll see a Settings button on the panel. Click the Settings button and UNcheck the boxes next to "Check" (that's what Scandisk does for you: you don't want the Defragmenter to do it, too) and "Rearrange." Leave the dot beside "Every." Now run the Disk Defragmenter, and note that it takes a LOT less time than it used to take. If you run it once a week or so, it will probably take less than five minutes to defragment your main drive completely.

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The preceding tip was obtained from a much larger article at the following site:

http://www.editorsdesktop.com/maintain.html

It also discusses additional Windows 98 maintenance tips.

Good lu

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by beck17 In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by TheChas In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

Make sure that the user isn't "playing" with the virtual memory settings. This could be at the root of the problem.

Another user problem could be frequent adding and removing of files or programs.

Make sure you run defrag with every background program turned off.
It doesn't take me 2 hours to defrag 50GB of hard drive partitioned into 7 drives.

Other possabilities:
A corrupt or missing IDE buss driver for the MB.
Bad real memory.
Corrupt vxd driver files.
Automatic backup of large documents and image files.
General registry corruption.

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by TheChas In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

I had another thought on what could be the root cause.

Make sure that the user is shutting down Windows, and not just turning off the power to the PC. Improper shut downs would explain everything, especially if the HD was in the middle of a write operation when power was removed.

Aslo, make sure there are no start-up or shut down problems with the PC.

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by beck17 In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by P.Loines In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

On some of the early windows 98 disks there was a flour in the defrag there is a patch for it on www.technet.com if it isn’t that I would virus check it.

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Win98 pc frequent fragmentation

by beck17 In reply to Win98 pc frequent fragmen ...

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