Defrag partitions or not?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TonyW, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    Seeing as UltimateDefrag claims you don't need partitions as their program is better managed with one single partition, it got me wondering whether it's ok to defrag any partition with any defragger.

    In other words, if you had two or three partitions, can you safely defrag each?
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Why not?
    It should be fine.
    Mrk
     
  3. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    They, UltimateDefrag, reckon having partitions makes each one slower than the one before it. As partitions are created in cylinders working their way inwards, the main partition is outwards and the others follow going inwards. They reckon each partition is about 10% slower than the previous one, and so don't recommend partitioning from a performance point of view.
     
  4. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    By the way, I use PerfectDisk, and was thinking of partitioning, but am wary of doing so because of the claims made by UltimateDefrag.
     
  5. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Yes you can defrag your partitions. So maybe youre asking if you should partition?

    I have two partitions, one for OS and programs and the second is just for images. For me it does not matter that my second partition will be slower because all its for is images. Also I dont defrag my second partition, again, because it only have images.

    Your situation may differ.
     
  6. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    Where do you keep your data? On the primary partition with the OS or somewhere else?

    I'm not asking if I should partition. The people at UltimateDefrag don't feel you need to as their product is cited as being able to move the least used and unused files to the inner tracks whilst putting the most used files to the outer tracks where performance is required regardless of what files they may be.

    They're suggesting it should all be on the one drive thereby eliminating "partition overhead" and using folders as what they were intended for then running UD to put them where you need them on the drive.

    I'm just wondering if this philosophy holds true for all defraggers hence my original question.
     
  7. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    I have my personal files on my external drive.

    Anyways because UltimateDefrag can organize data either at the beginning or end of teh drive, it appears to "separate" data like a partition does. Other defraggers would just group the data together iirc.
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Tony

    It's a very personal thing. Lots of people do partitions. I don't, and has never caused me any problems.

    There is some merit to Ultimate Defrags philsophy, but there approach doesn't really fit for me. The move unused stuff to the center of the disk. Since both my disks have one partition, and are between 5-10% full, Perfect Disk does a fine job for me and everything is at the rim.

    Pete
     
  9. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    I know of the whys and wherefores of partitioning. :)

    Some people have external hard drives so they can store stuff on, including backups/images. I think you maybe have one or two of those, Peter, which would explain your 5% full statement.

    I have 40GB hard drive, only used 5GB of it. What that is in percentages is I have no idea, but that 5GB is OS, applications and data all together. I don't have an external drive, but if I did, I suppose I could put my personal files on there or backups, FD-ISR archives even.

    My original question was really for those who DO partition as to whether it's safe to do so in the light of what UD says. I mean if you have PerfectDisk, would you defrag C: and D: for example? That's all I'm getting at.
     
  10. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    Sure it's safe. Each partition is effectively treated as a separate disk by Windows and the defraggers.

    EDIT: It's just that if C: is physically located on the outer part of the disk and D: is takes up the remainder of the space, when C is defragged the most recently used files (or the ones you want to be placed on the fastest part of the disk) will actually be placed to the outer part of the physical disk. However, when D is defragged the most recently used files (or the ones you want to be placed on the fastest part of the disk) will actually be placed to the outer part of the D partition (ie. the boundary between C: and D: ), rather than them actually being placed at the outer part of the disk. If that make sense o_O :D
     
  11. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Firstly, I partition not for performance but seperation of types of files, programs on one, data on another.

    Disk access is pretty random, when the disk is pretty empty the above might be true, as you disk fills this will have less and less of an effect, as the head will gradually need to move further and further to access files in a random fashion, of course you can argue that you can move ununsed files away from frequently used files, but then, if file placement bothers you that much, I would say, why put them on in the first place :D

    Then don't forget we have the drives own cache and the OS cache, which will reduce the negative impact of head movement far more for larger head seeks (10 head seeks for scattered files take 10ms each = 100ms, say half a cached we save 50ms, but say the files are close together - 10 head seeks takes 1ms each, say half are cached we only save 5ms).

    Has anyone got any real world benchmarks of normal usage to show that these different file placement strategies actually make a human noticable difference to performance ?

    In general usage, the real performance gains of file placement will be minimal (just like the difference between a averagely fragmented drive and a totall defragged drive).
    Of course there are extremes, eg video editting P2P file sharing where file placement and fragementation levels are highly important to performance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  12. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    I guess that if one did as WSFuser does and have the second partition for images/backups, you'd only need to defrag the primary partition i.e. the first one. I say this because the second partition would be archive files and it takes far too long to defrag such files I understand.
     
  13. Arkham

    Arkham Registered Member

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    Currently I have a total of about 7 partitions :p spread across 3 physical disks, with separate partitions for the OS, programs, personal data, a truecrypt volume, and swap file (small!).

    I've never noticed any performance deterioration from having the partitions towards the 'inside' of the platter. Infact, if anything, the system runs much smoother than my old install which was everything and it's brother in a single partition on a single drive. No hard comparitive performance numbers (even if it were possible) but it sure feels faster, and I am quite sensitive to my PC's speed....so I'd know if there was a steep fall in performance due to partitioning.

    As for defrag, I have automatic defrag enabled on 3 of the partitions that see the most I/O activity, while the others are regularly defragged manually. Automatic defrag is cool, and keeps the partitions well organized, and so far, I have not come across any trouble from defragging partitions. AFAIK, a defragger sees a partition just as it sees a physical disk volume, so it is safe to defrag.

    Did I mention, I like to partition :D
     
  14. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    The short answer is YES! I use Paragon tools for this type of work but it shouldn't matter. Whatever you do don't defrag the partition where the backup images are stored. It takes forever and MAY wreak your image integrity.

    Separating programs into one partition and user data, into another make a lot of sense for your backup strategy.

    One partition may be good for UlitimateDefrag but that is NOT IMO a good reason for keeping all your eggs in one partition.:D
     
  15. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    One thing I've learnt from all this is that we have people who set up their systems differently:

    • Users who clump everything on C: - most average users probably.
    • Users who have very little on C: with everything else on one or more external disks.
    • Users who partition with OS/applications on one and data on another.
    • Users who partition with OS/applications on one, data on one and backups/images on another.
    • Users who partition with OS/applications on one and backups/images on another with data on external drive.
    • Users who partition with OS/applications on one and data on another with backups/images on external drive.
    • Users who have several partitions across a few physical drives.
    And the list is endless!
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I have two internal harddisks :

    HDD#1 = System Partition [C:], containing two FDISR-snapshots : off-line and on-line snapshot.
    HDD#2 = Data Partition [D:], containing personal data (folders and files).

    I just didn't want my personal data in my system partition, which is the target of most malware and hackers, because EVERYONE has partition [C:].

    I defrag both harddisks with PerfectDisk, if it comes to my mind. I don't like defragging, too boring. :)
     
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