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Copying of files is a better alternative to defragging?

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January 8, 2012 2:57:27 AM

Hello,
I have read somewhere that defragging the hd will make it faster and more efficient but at the cost of decreasing it's life span.
However i had read that when a single file,of say,2GB is transferred from one partition to another within the same hd,the process requiries the collection of the required files (which may be scattered all over),prep for the transfer and the transfer itself to the new location.
That means in the new location,all the files are assembled in an orderly and efficient manner.
At the same time in the old location,the old files were alll assembled and organised prior to the transfe.Since i do not need the old files in old location,i will delete that and the space that is left behind is an organized chunk of excellent hd space.

Basically, i am getting the benefits of defragging without reducing the lifespan of the hd and this is achieved just by copying the files from location to location.

Is this logic true or are there leaks in my theory?
a c 263 G Storage
January 8, 2012 3:06:13 AM

There are leaks in that theory, for example depending on how much data is on the new location there is no guarantee that the file will end up in one piece.
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January 8, 2012 10:29:11 PM

Thanks rolli59,
I have a number of partitions in my hd..each one is a standard 100GB and whenever it is full,i burn the info into a dvd disc.
Whenever i notice that my C drive is slow or freezing and i look into it using the windows program to check and repair and later,analyze whether to defrag or not, i notice lots of red sectors in the bar diagram.Now i have a choice to defrag or copy.
In any case,i still need to create space for my C drive anyway and i thought if i transfer whatever is on my c drive to another clean,empty and unused drive it serves 2 purpose.My c drive is free again by organising and transferring data out and the same time it is more efficient during the organization of data.
Makes sense or ????
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a c 168 G Storage
January 8, 2012 11:31:24 PM

I think you are micromanaging to no great benefit.

Whenever you have multiple partitions on a hard drive, you force the access arm to do more movement than necessary.

Also, if you are concerned about "C" drive performance, buy a SSD. It is 50x faster in small random i/o which is what the OS mostly does.

For backups, by all means use an external device. Backup data will be compressed so it will not take up the same space as the original.
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a b G Storage
January 9, 2012 12:23:24 AM

Geofelt is right about multiple partitions. But I wonder about the info you have about defragging over transfering files. Esentially, defragging consists of taking all of the files on a HDD and re-locating them on the HDD in unfragmented form. Yes, it does decrease the life span of a HDD, but only marginally. If your HDD is rated 100,000 hrs MTBF then a defrag may reduce that by a couple of hours. It also helps to diagnose and shut out bad sectors.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about the reduction in the lifespan of the drive over reliability and writing to bad sectore unelss I could never replace the HDD. A HDD with a rating of 100,000 MTBF has a lifespan of over 12 years of constant running.
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a c 263 G Storage
January 9, 2012 12:43:52 AM

Agree about the partitioning, there was a time that it was needed because the OS had a size limit.
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January 9, 2012 10:40:58 PM

I am using win xp and i was told that 137gb is the max on each partition. Is that true?
While we are talking of hd,i read somewhere that win xp cannot handle past 2TB and so,there is no point buying those 3TB HDs.
Are these myths or founded on scientific logic?
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a c 263 G Storage
January 9, 2012 10:54:40 PM

The 137GB disappeared with one of the service packs I think 1. NTFS file system has a 2TB limit so a 3TB drive can be partitioned to be 2 drives and still work!
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a c 415 G Storage
January 9, 2012 11:22:20 PM

boh88ca said:
I am using win xp and i was told that 137gb is the max on each partition. Is that true?
While we are talking of hd,i read somewhere that win xp cannot handle past 2TB and so,there is no point buying those 3TB HDs. Are these myths or founded on scientific logic?


The 137GB-limit for Windows XP was removed with Service Pack 1. You'll only have a problem with larger drives under Windows XP if you try to install using a pre-SP1 version.

The 32-bit version of Windows XP won't be able to use anything beyond the first 2TB of a 3TB drive because it doesn't support GPT partitions (see below). You can't get around this by partitioning the drive into 2TB and 1TB partitions.


rolli59 said:
NTFS file system has a 2TB limit so a 3TB drive can be partitioned to be 2 drives and still work!
No, NTFS has no 2TB limit. The 2TB limit is imposed by the MBR partitioning scheme. If you partition a drive using GPT then the 2TB limit is gone and you can create an NTFS volume as large as you want.

The only problem with GPT is that some older OS's (including Windows XP) don't support it, and you can't boot from it unless you have a motherboard with an EFI-compliant BIOS.


There is a separate 2TB limitation for USB-connected drives because the USB protocol only allows for 4 billion sectors. If your USB drive uses 512-byte sectors then this limits it to 2TB of data. USB chipset manufacturers work around this in two different ways: (1) by presenting, for example, a 3TB drive as two virtual drives of 1TB and 2TB, or (2) by making the drive appear as if it has 4096-byte sectors, which ups the limitation to 16TB.

Neither of these solutions is very good since the drive data will appear to be scrambled if you take a drive formatted via a USB connection and then try to connect it directly to a motherboard SATA port. Hopefully we'll start moving to drives that really do have larger sector sizes, which will eliminate many of the problems. Now would also be a good time to come out with an updated version of the USB protocol which eliminates the 32-bit sector number issue.
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January 10, 2012 3:13:30 PM

>> sminlal and rolli59 ,
Thanks guys..i think i will stick to the 2TB version.I bought a few hitachi 2TB hds when it was on sale last year at a a good price and so far,it is working fine.
At that time,i was new to this info and was cautios to configure the partitions to 100gb as a round figure.I do not want to take chances later if the partitions have problems and lead to bad sectors and all those really complicated stuff.
I agree that i need to understand more of computers and how they work but short of going to university etc..i will stick to the forums and get your advice and try to make sense of all this hd specifications and limitatons.
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January 23, 2012 12:15:53 AM

Best answer selected by boh88ca.
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January 23, 2012 8:21:38 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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