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kesgardner
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Since: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files
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I have a Disk Defragmenter question. When defragmenting a hard drive,
it sometimes reports that it is "compacting" files. Here are my
questions:

1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?

2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
by eliminating wasted space?

Thanks
Ken
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anonymous3760
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Since: Nov 09, 2004
Posts: 78



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question548.htm

"Ken Gardner" wrote in message

 >I have a Disk Defragmenter question. When defragmenting a hard drive,
 > it sometimes reports that it is "compacting" files. Here are my
 > questions:
 >
 > 1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
 > the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
 > mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?
 >
 > 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
 > compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
 > by eliminating wasted space?
 >
 > Thanks
 > Ken
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kesgardner
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Since: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:44 am    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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Michael T wrote:

 >http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question548.htm

  >>I have a Disk Defragmenter question. When defragmenting a hard drive,
  >> it sometimes reports that it is "compacting" files. Here are my
  >> questions:

  >> 1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
  >> the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
  >> mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?

  >> 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
  >> compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
  >> by eliminating wasted space?

Thanks. The problem is that the weblink talks about the Windows 98
defragger. My questions pertain to the XP defragger.

Ken
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user969
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Since: Nov 08, 2004
Posts: 205



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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Ken Gardner wrote:
 > I have a Disk Defragmenter question. When defragmenting a hard drive,
 > it sometimes reports that it is "compacting" files. Here are my
 > questions:
 >
 > 1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
 > the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
 > mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?

Your last assumption is correct. Unfragmented files are moved for the sake
of consolidating free space.

 > 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
 > compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
 > by eliminating wasted space?

No.
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JerryMouse
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Since: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 101



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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Ken Gardner wrote:
 > 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
 > compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
 > by eliminating wasted space?

No. But NTFS can. See "Compressed" files, for example:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307987
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the_stan_brown
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Since: Jan 16, 2005
Posts: 1570



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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"Michael T" wrote in microsoft.public.windowsxp.general:



  >>I have a Disk Defragmenter question. When defragmenting a hard drive,
  >> it sometimes reports that it is "compacting" files. Here are my
  >> questions:
  >>
  >> 1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
  >> the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
  >> mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?
  >>
  >> 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
  >> compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
  >> by eliminating wasted space?

 >http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question548.htm

It's a lovely article, but it doesn't answer his question.

1. "Compacting" means taking a file that was in fragments and
putting the fragments together sequentially. The wasted space
before and after is unchanged: it's whatever's left over at the end
of the last cluster of the file.

2. Sorry, I don't know. But I doubt it. The only ways to take a
file and make it smaller without losing inormation are

a. Reformat the disk in smaller clusters, so that the slack
space at the end of the last cluster per file is less, on average.
I'm sure those products don't do that, at least not without telling
you.

b. D some sort of compression, e.g. ZIPping. It's unlikely
those products do that either.

--

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
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kesgardner
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Since: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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Stan Brown wrote:

   >>> 1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
   >>> the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
   >>> mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?

   >>> 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
   >>> compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
   >>> by eliminating wasted space?

  >>http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question548.htm

 >It's a lovely article, but it doesn't answer his question.

That's okay. Smile It was a very interesting article in its own right,
especially its description about how some hard drives actually work,
as well as why files on the outside rings of the disk are read faster
than files on the inside rings. To make a long story short, it has to
do with some fancy math that, IIRC, goes all the way back to Galileo.
Smile

 >1. "Compacting" means taking a file that was in fragments and
 >putting the fragments together sequentially. The wasted space
 >before and after is unchanged: it's whatever's left over at the end
 >of the last cluster of the file.

Okay, this makes sense. "Compacting" = defragmenting the file. I
already knew that no more than one file could reside on the same
cluster -- which, incidentally, is a major reason why NFTS is a better
file system than FAT32 for large hard drives.

 >2. Sorry, I don't know. But I doubt it.

I do, too. In fact, in re-reading my own question, I may have
confused compacting with compressing (which hurts disk performance --
the very opposite of what a good disk defragmentation program is
supposed to do).

 >The only ways to take a
 >file and make it smaller without losing inormation are

 > a. Reformat the disk in smaller clusters, so that the slack
 >space at the end of the last cluster per file is less, on average.
 >I'm sure those products don't do that, at least not without telling
 >you.

Right, although the Partition Magic software does do this job.

 > b. D some sort of compression, e.g. ZIPping. It's unlikely
 >those products do that either.

Right, for the reason I mentioned above.

Thanks
Ken
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Al Dykes
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Since: Feb 28, 2004
Posts: 395



PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

In article ,
Ken Gardner wrote:
 >Stan Brown wrote:
 >
   >>>> 1. What exactly does this mean? For example, is the program reducing
   >>>> the size of files by eliminating wasted space? Or does the program
   >>>> mean something else, e.g. consolidating free space?
 >
   >>>> 2. Do major third party defraggers, such as Diskeeper or PerfectDisk,
   >>>> compact files in the first sense, i.e. by reducing the size of files
   >>>> by eliminating wasted space?
 >
   >>>http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question548.htm
 >
  >>It's a lovely article, but it doesn't answer his question.
 >
 >That's okay. Smile It was a very interesting article in its own right,
 >especially its description about how some hard drives actually work,
 >as well as why files on the outside rings of the disk are read faster
 >than files on the inside rings. To make a long story short, it has to
 >do with some fancy math that, IIRC, goes all the way back to Galileo.
 >Smile
 >
  >>1. "Compacting" means taking a file that was in fragments and
  >>putting the fragments together sequentially. The wasted space
  >>before and after is unchanged: it's whatever's left over at the end
  >>of the last cluster of the file.
 >
 >Okay, this makes sense. "Compacting" = defragmenting the file. I
 >already knew that no more than one file could reside on the same
 >cluster -- which, incidentally, is a major reason why NFTS is a better
 >file system than FAT32 for large hard drives.
 >
  >>2. Sorry, I don't know. But I doubt it.
 >
 >I do, too. In fact, in re-reading my own question, I may have
 >confused compacting with compressing (which hurts disk performance --
 >the very opposite of what a good disk defragmentation program is
 >supposed to do).
 >
  >>The only ways to take a
  >>file and make it smaller without losing inormation are
 >
  >> a. Reformat the disk in smaller clusters, so that the slack
  >>space at the end of the last cluster per file is less, on average.
  >>I'm sure those products don't do that, at least not without telling
  >>you.
 >
 >Right, although the Partition Magic software does do this job.
 >
  >> b. D some sort of compression, e.g. ZIPping. It's unlikely
  >>those products do that either.
 >
 >Right, for the reason I mentioned above.
 >
 >Thanks
 >Ken


NTFS file systems can put a "compression" property on any file or
folder (except things like pagefile and hibernate).

In Explorer;

right mouse click on a file or folder then

-> Properties/Advanced

Check "compress" and OK. Select all subfolders.

It may take awhile.

It makes sense to defrag after a major compression.

I've coompressed the entire C drive on countless machines in the day
when disk drives wern't as big as we wished. The only place where
this is discrecommded is for apps wthat update files in place, like
datbases. It'll work but it might be dog slow. It doesn't do anything
for MP3s or JPGs, but it doesn't hurt, either.






--

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
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NobodyMan
External


Since: Jun 14, 2004
Posts: 1228



PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: Disk Defragmenter question: compacting files [Login to view extended thread Info.]
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On 19 Feb 2005 15:15:56 -0500, adykes@panix.com (Al Dykes) wrote:

 >I've coompressed the entire C drive on countless machines in the day
 >when disk drives wern't as big as we wished. The only place where
 >this is discrecommded is for apps wthat update files in place, like
 >datbases. It'll work but it might be dog slow. It doesn't do anything
 >for MP3s or JPGs, but it doesn't hurt, either.

Not always true. Most of the time, if your try to compress an MP3 or
JPG file (which are already compressed by their nature) you will end
up with a file a little bigger than before you started. So it does
hurt in the terms of trying to increase free drive space.
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