How to relate physical disk block/segment to file name

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

I am running Windows XP Home Edition, with all of my partitions set to NTFS.
I'm looking for a way (preferably a graphical tool) to look at the physical
blocks on my disk (either individually, or on groups), and see what file(s)
are using those blocks.

Specifically, I'd love to see a graphical representation of my hard drive
partition layout -- much like what you might see when you analyze/defragment
a drive/partition. But somehow (probably through color, or some other
visual mechanism) show groups of blocks that are all within the same file
fragment. Then, when I either click on that fragment (or maybe even just
mouse over it), I could see the file that is using those blocks.

An initial response to this might be "Why?!?!?!?" And while I can think of
several different reasons I'd like to know this information, perhaps the
main one for me right now is that, when I do go to defragment a drive, I
often see "system files" taking large amounts of space on a given disk.
These are typically "unmovable" files -- but I'd like to know WHICH ones.
There are times when I know of NO "system file" on a particular partition --
yet the fragmentation map shows 1-2GB of space being taken up by a "system
file". So how to find out WHAT file?

Does anyone know of an existing utility that can do this? Or have any
suggestions on where to start looking?
-------------------------------------------------
Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
Mail@FrankNicodem.com
8 answers Last reply
More about relate physical disk block segment file name
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    Actually i used a utility that also,graphically displayed what parts of the OS
    xp used(s),nt,98,95,etc...The download was from http://www.downloads.com
    via techtv.com Probably 2 yrs ago..downloads.com has a ton of those
    utilitys,
    you might chk on the company(s) before you give it access to youre os
    first,but
    the majority of them are ok...

    "Frank D. Nicodem, Jr." wrote:

    > I am running Windows XP Home Edition, with all of my partitions set to NTFS.
    > I'm looking for a way (preferably a graphical tool) to look at the physical
    > blocks on my disk (either individually, or on groups), and see what file(s)
    > are using those blocks.
    >
    > Specifically, I'd love to see a graphical representation of my hard drive
    > partition layout -- much like what you might see when you analyze/defragment
    > a drive/partition. But somehow (probably through color, or some other
    > visual mechanism) show groups of blocks that are all within the same file
    > fragment. Then, when I either click on that fragment (or maybe even just
    > mouse over it), I could see the file that is using those blocks.
    >
    > An initial response to this might be "Why?!?!?!?" And while I can think of
    > several different reasons I'd like to know this information, perhaps the
    > main one for me right now is that, when I do go to defragment a drive, I
    > often see "system files" taking large amounts of space on a given disk.
    > These are typically "unmovable" files -- but I'd like to know WHICH ones.
    > There are times when I know of NO "system file" on a particular partition --
    > yet the fragmentation map shows 1-2GB of space being taken up by a "system
    > file". So how to find out WHAT file?
    >
    > Does anyone know of an existing utility that can do this? Or have any
    > suggestions on where to start looking?
    > -------------------------------------------------
    > Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
    > Mail@FrankNicodem.com
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    On Thu, 5 May 2005 15:49:49 -0400, "Frank D. Nicodem, Jr."
    <Mail@FrankNicodem.com> wrote:

    >I am running Windows XP Home Edition, with all of my partitions set to NTFS.
    >I'm looking for a way (preferably a graphical tool) to look at the physical
    >blocks on my disk (either individually, or on groups), and see what file(s)
    >are using those blocks.
    >
    >Specifically, I'd love to see a graphical representation of my hard drive
    >partition layout -- much like what you might see when you analyze/defragment
    >a drive/partition. But somehow (probably through color, or some other
    >visual mechanism) show groups of blocks that are all within the same file
    >fragment. Then, when I either click on that fragment (or maybe even just
    >mouse over it), I could see the file that is using those blocks.
    >
    >An initial response to this might be "Why?!?!?!?" And while I can think of
    >several different reasons I'd like to know this information, perhaps the
    >main one for me right now is that, when I do go to defragment a drive, I
    >often see "system files" taking large amounts of space on a given disk.
    >These are typically "unmovable" files -- but I'd like to know WHICH ones.
    >There are times when I know of NO "system file" on a particular partition --
    >yet the fragmentation map shows 1-2GB of space being taken up by a "system
    >file". So how to find out WHAT file?
    >
    >Does anyone know of an existing utility that can do this? Or have any
    >suggestions on where to start looking?
    >-------------------------------------------------
    >Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
    >Mail@FrankNicodem.com
    >
    Yes . There's a utility called diskview from sysinternals.com
    http://www.sysinternals.com/files/diskview.zip
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    "da_test" <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:2k8l715866h6t7dqtchjupcdfpp2rfkb3k@4ax.com...

    > Yes . There's a utility called diskview from sysinternals.com
    > http://www.sysinternals.com/files/diskview.zip

    Thanks for the reference. DiskView does, in fact, do precisely what I was
    asking for. (In fact, the entire SysInternals Web site looks like a great
    reference site.) That's the good news.

    The bad news is that I still haven't achieved the *purpose* for my search.
    The reason I was trying to find such a utility is that I have several disk
    partitions which, when I look at them in a disk defragmenter, show huge
    areas of the partition (sometimes as large as 1-2GB) that are allocated "for
    system use", or for "system files". The defragmenters won't touch that
    space. And I can find NOTHING on my system that is using that space.
    (These are not the system disk, for example; so it's not the hibernate file,
    or the virtual memory file.)

    And even when I use DiskView, I only see a "blank" area there (actually,
    it's lightly tinted a very pale lime green). No matter what I do, I cannot
    get any information from DiskView as to what's taking up that space! Even
    the hibernate file on my C: drive shows up in DiskView! But on these other
    partitions, I definitely see a "blank space" that mirrors the same space
    that my defragmenters show me... but with no file(s) associated with it.

    So a) why would I have huge areas of a disk partition that are completely
    "unavailable"? And b) is there any OTHER utility out there that can tell me
    what is using this space???

    Thanks again.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Frank D. Nicodem
    Mail@FrankNicodem.com
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    On Mon, 9 May 2005 13:14:09 -0400, "Frank D. Nicodem, Jr."
    <Mail@FrankNicodem.com> wrote:

    >
    >"da_test" <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
    >news:2k8l715866h6t7dqtchjupcdfpp2rfkb3k@4ax.com...
    >
    >> Yes . There's a utility called diskview from sysinternals.com
    >> http://www.sysinternals.com/files/diskview.zip
    >
    >Thanks for the reference. DiskView does, in fact, do precisely what I was
    >asking for. (In fact, the entire SysInternals Web site looks like a great
    >reference site.) That's the good news.
    >
    >The bad news is that I still haven't achieved the *purpose* for my search.
    >The reason I was trying to find such a utility is that I have several disk
    >partitions which, when I look at them in a disk defragmenter, show huge
    >areas of the partition (sometimes as large as 1-2GB) that are allocated "for
    >system use", or for "system files". The defragmenters won't touch that
    >space. And I can find NOTHING on my system that is using that space.
    >(These are not the system disk, for example; so it's not the hibernate file,
    >or the virtual memory file.)
    >
    >And even when I use DiskView, I only see a "blank" area there (actually,
    >it's lightly tinted a very pale lime green). No matter what I do, I cannot
    >get any information from DiskView as to what's taking up that space! Even
    >the hibernate file on my C: drive shows up in DiskView! But on these other
    >partitions, I definitely see a "blank space" that mirrors the same space
    >that my defragmenters show me... but with no file(s) associated with it.
    >
    >So a) why would I have huge areas of a disk partition that are completely
    >"unavailable"? And b) is there any OTHER utility out there that can tell me
    >what is using this space???
    >
    >Thanks again.
    >----------------------------------------------------------
    >Frank D. Nicodem
    >Mail@FrankNicodem.com
    >
    Download the trial of Raxco's perfectdisk - that may help identify it
    when it produces tt's defrag analysis.
    If it's NTFS, it may br the $MFT and associated NTFS files.
    Dave
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    "da_test" <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:067v719u9ji9fjof2fsvoouvfsoneub4kp@4ax.com...

    > Download the trial of Raxco's perfectdisk - that may help identify it
    > when it produces tt's defrag analysis.
    > If it's NTFS, it may br the $MFT and associated NTFS files.

    Great -- thanks for the suggestion. I'm in the process of downloading both
    their PerfectDisk application, as well as something they call DiskState.
    I'll let a note here if I find out anything relevant about either of them.
    (BTW, I'm not exactly sure what a disk defragmenter will tell me, because I
    already use the Professional version of DiskKeeper, and it doesn't seem to
    help in that area.) Hopefully, this utility will do something better.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
    Mail@FrankNicodem.com
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    "da_test" <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:067v719u9ji9fjof2fsvoouvfsoneub4kp@4ax.com...

    > Download the trial of Raxco's perfectdisk - that may help identify it
    > when it produces tt's defrag analysis.
    > If it's NTFS, it may br the $MFT and associated NTFS files.

    OK, Dave, here's what I found. PerfectDisk did, in fact, provide a bit more
    information that even DiskKeeper does. Rather than just saying "Reserved
    system space", it does, indeed, identify that space as "MFT space". Now,
    since I don't quite understand this, let me make a few more comments, and
    ask a question or two.

    Based on the Analysis phase of Perfect Disk, I went to one of my partitions
    where I know I'm seeing this "reserved space". In this case, the total
    partition is 14GB. Of this, there is a "reserved space" right near the
    beginning of the disk, consisting of 1.7GB of contiguous space, labeled by
    PerfectDisk as "Free space inside the MFT Reserved zone". Now, that's 12%
    of the total disk space! That's a pretty big chunk. So, continuing to use
    PerfectDisk's information, I selected the "Most Fragmented Files" tab in the
    Statistics window, and saw roughly 75 file names listed, ranging from 3
    fragments to (in the worst case) 177 fragments!! Yet on the Summary tab
    (still in Statistics), it says "Based on the above information, PerfectDisk
    recommends the following defragmentation pass: None."

    In other words, it seems to be saying that no defragmentation needs to be
    done! So now my questions start.

    1) Of the 14GB of space on this disk, I have 7GB free (according to
    Windows' Properties). The disk is almost exactly 50% empty. So why am I
    seeing *any* fragmentation at all???

    2) Most of the files listed in the "Most Fragmented Files" list are from a
    large game I installed recently. And I installed this game while there was
    still almost 8GB of free space -- mostly contiguous, since I had recently
    defragmented the drive. So why would the files from this game be, in any
    way of thinking, fragmented? There was PLENTY of space to install them
    whole.

    3) What the heck *is* the "MFT Reserved zone"?? What goes in there?? Who
    decides what to put there?? How do I NOT get files put there, but rather
    put in the normal disk free space (and whole, not fragmented)??

    4) Given this fragmentation within the MFT Reserved Zone, why would
    PerfectDisk say that I need take no defragmentation action? Wouldn't
    defragmenting once again help?

    5) Is there a way to reclaim all free space as contiguous? I seem to
    recall disk defragmenters used to do that all the time -- they'd move the
    defragmented files so that all free space was in one "lump". But they don't
    seem to do that any more -- they just defragment files "in place", as it
    were. Which does leave the files defragmented, but the *disk free space* is
    often fragmented, as a result -- meaning that NEW files will become
    fragmented more quickly. What can I do about that?

    6) Is there any other information I can gather from PerfectDisk (or
    elsewhere) to help me understand this "MFT Reserved Zone", or figure out why
    it is taking almost 2GB of my hard drive? Or how to restrict/eliminate it?
    ALL of my disk partitions are NTFS, but I do not see this happening on every
    one -- only on 2 or 3 of them. Why is that?

    Thanks in advance for any information you can provide, or any of the above
    questions you can answer. (BTW, this PerfectDisk looks like a great
    utility! Thanks for the tip.)
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
    Mail@FrankNicodem.com
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    On Tue, 10 May 2005 13:24:32 -0400, "Frank D. Nicodem, Jr."
    <Mail@FrankNicodem.com> wrote:

    >"da_test" <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
    >news:067v719u9ji9fjof2fsvoouvfsoneub4kp@4ax.com...
    >
    >> Download the trial of Raxco's perfectdisk - that may help identify it
    >> when it produces tt's defrag analysis.
    >> If it's NTFS, it may br the $MFT and associated NTFS files.
    >
    >OK, Dave, here's what I found. PerfectDisk did, in fact, provide a bit more
    >information that even DiskKeeper does. Rather than just saying "Reserved
    >system space", it does, indeed, identify that space as "MFT space". Now,
    >since I don't quite understand this, let me make a few more comments, and
    >ask a question or two.
    >
    >Based on the Analysis phase of Perfect Disk, I went to one of my partitions
    >where I know I'm seeing this "reserved space". In this case, the total
    >partition is 14GB. Of this, there is a "reserved space" right near the
    >beginning of the disk, consisting of 1.7GB of contiguous space, labeled by
    >PerfectDisk as "Free space inside the MFT Reserved zone". Now, that's 12%
    >of the total disk space! That's a pretty big chunk. So, continuing to use
    >PerfectDisk's information, I selected the "Most Fragmented Files" tab in the
    >Statistics window, and saw roughly 75 file names listed, ranging from 3
    >fragments to (in the worst case) 177 fragments!! Yet on the Summary tab
    >(still in Statistics), it says "Based on the above information, PerfectDisk
    >recommends the following defragmentation pass: None."
    >
    >In other words, it seems to be saying that no defragmentation needs to be
    >done! So now my questions start.
    >
    >1) Of the 14GB of space on this disk, I have 7GB free (according to
    >Windows' Properties). The disk is almost exactly 50% empty. So why am I
    >seeing *any* fragmentation at all???
    files get written asynchronously, not one after the other.
    This is normal operation. Because it works this way, fragmented files
    can be expected.
    >
    >2) Most of the files listed in the "Most Fragmented Files" list are from a
    >large game I installed recently. And I installed this game while there was
    >still almost 8GB of free space -- mostly contiguous, since I had recently
    >defragmented the drive. So why would the files from this game be, in any
    >way of thinking, fragmented? There was PLENTY of space to install them
    >whole.
    If the files are write once/read (such as exe or dll), then it may be
    due to what I mentioned above. If they're data files they're probaly
    changed during the game and rewritten many times, alsmost
    ensuring fragmentation.
    >
    >3) What the heck *is* the "MFT Reserved zone"?? What goes in there?? Who
    >decides what to put there?? How do I NOT get files put there, but rather
    >put in the normal disk free space (and whole, not fragmented)??
    See this
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prkc_fil_xhpo.asp
    >
    >4) Given this fragmentation within the MFT Reserved Zone, why would
    >PerfectDisk say that I need take no defragmentation action? Wouldn't
    >defragmenting once again help?
    The level of defragmentation is not high. NTFS works well anyway.
    >
    >5) Is there a way to reclaim all free space as contiguous? I seem to
    >recall disk defragmenters used to do that all the time -- they'd move the
    >defragmented files so that all free space was in one "lump". But they don't
    >seem to do that any more -- they just defragment files "in place", as it
    >were. Which does leave the files defragmented, but the *disk free space* is
    >often fragmented, as a result -- meaning that NEW files will become
    >fragmented more quickly. What can I do about that?
    Use PD to do an offline defrag and have it work on the system files.
    After it's done, do a "smart placement" defrag
    >
    >6) Is there any other information I can gather from PerfectDisk (or
    >elsewhere) to help me understand this "MFT Reserved Zone", or figure out why
    >it is taking almost 2GB of my hard drive? Or how to restrict/eliminate it?
    >ALL of my disk partitions are NTFS, but I do not see this happening on every
    >one -- only on 2 or 3 of them. Why is that?
    I think 12% is the default amount. See the above website.
    >
    >Thanks in advance for any information you can provide, or any of the above
    >questions you can answer. (BTW, this PerfectDisk looks like a great
    >utility! Thanks for the tip.)
    I really like it. One of the reasons I preferred it to DK is that I
    still maintain a FAT32 partition. DK is *very* slow with Fat32.
    Dave
    >-----------------------------------------------------------
    >Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
    >Mail@FrankNicodem.com
    >
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    "da_test" <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:ctu1815mpsoughcaebhvl2an2llhfrca97@4ax.com...

    > See this
    > http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prkc_fil_xhpo.asp

    Excellent reference -- thanks a lot. I guess I understand a *little* more.
    And I suppose I should just keep the disk as defragmented as I can, but let
    Windows handle this MFT Reserved Zone stuff, eh? :>) As someone who has
    always "controlled" all of my disk partitions, defragmentation, file
    placement, etc. for many years, I just always hate to "lose" a bit of that
    control. Anyway, thanks for the help.

    > I really like it. One of the reasons I preferred it to DK is that I
    > still maintain a FAT32 partition. DK is *very* slow with Fat32.
    > Dave

    And thanks again for the pointer -- and for the prompt reply. It looks like
    I may just replace my DiskKeeper with PerfectDisk!! (And their accompanying
    DiskState appears to be a cute little tool, as well. I may keep that one,
    too.)
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Frank D. Nicodem, Jr.
    Mail@FrankNicodem.com
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