MFT & Defragmenting

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by razor0018, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. razor0018

    razor0018 Registered Member

    May 28, 2007
    I have read conflicting user opinions about whether or not it is safe to defragment mft or if there is any gain from doing so. Thoughts?
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    I just use Perfect Disk, and let it do an offline defrag. It seems to do fine. Not sure if it bothers with the MFT.

  3. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    PerfectDisk's offline defrag does defrag the MFT and I have had no problem with it.
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil Registered Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    I use both O&O Defrag and Paragon Total Defrag 2007. O&O is scheduled to do the routine defragmenting on a weekly basis if the degree of fragmentation on any drive exceeds 10%. But I noticed that occasionally the MFT got broken into multiple fragments and decided to use Paragon to defrag that (offline, which can be done with or without the boot CD). Defragging the MFT is perhaps the most dangerous thing you can do with a defragmenter since damage to it can cause you loss of access to all your files. So, as always before any defrag, you need to run a chkdsk since minor file system errors can be magnified by the defrag of a damaged partition.

    There is no doubt that a fragmented MFT slows system performance. It contains pointers to all your files, and for small files, even contains the file's entire contents itself. So fragmentation of the MFT not only slows access to other files, but slows access to those files whose contents can be gotten without accessing the file itself (small files).

    It should be one piece for best performance, but defragged with an app that uses some safety mechanism in case of a power failure or other act of God. Most defraggers have these mechanisms. In Paragon, it is optional and slows the process, but needed if you are not a big gambler.

    So, I'd say "Yes", defrag your MFT before it gets really broken up.
  5. Arkham

    Arkham Registered Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    I know for a fact that Diskeeper 2007 defrags the MFT. I've been using it and have not experienced any problems. If I am not wrong, it defrags the MFT, among other system files, during a boot-time defrag. In addition, the configuration settings has an option to manually pre-allocate space for the MFT so that it can grow contiguously in the future without fragmenting and causing fragmentation of other files around it.
  6. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    For me, PerfectDisk is the best for Offline defrag...

    It defrag the files and put them on the right place.

    EASTER Registered Member

    Jul 28, 2007
    U.S.A. (South)
    I remain quite content with Ultimate Defrag over on this end. I do agree as risky as it COULD be, it is imperative that the MFT not be allowed to fragment to a point of noticable performance loss.

    These Super-Defraggers are a welcome relief compared to reinstalls due to such congestion and the like.
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