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Is it necessary to do a diskcheck every few years + Vopt defragmenter is free

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c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
SSDs are very much upon us, but here are a couple of mechanical drive questions. When you right click on a drive in Windows and go to Properties and Tools to do a disk check, modern Windows very quickly (usually) tells you that there's nothing wrong with your disk, but

• is it good practice to do a disk check every few years?

Rather than going the long way to DOS and force doing a long check,

• is there a program that could perform a quick check with a single click, or is the best way to install every manufacturer's software and use it to do a long and extended test on your old multi TB drives which have not been checked in a few years?


I mean, it's been a while for some of them and I kind of expect them to go out, so maybe by doing these checks you could kind of get a semblance of warning before they really go out?


Speaking of mechanical drives, we do not need to defragment SSDs of course but for mechanical drives,
The cofounder of Golden Bow Systems - Author of Vopt:
In accordance with Barry's wish, Vopt is his bequest to Windows PC users
www.goldenbow.com

This was one of the best defragmenting programs we looked at years ago... and it is now free. Not a stellar user interface but a great program!


On a related question, when I do a search, people say other solutions are better than native Windows defragmenter, why is Windows 10 defragmenter not better than old freeware, if that is so? After all these years, how hard is it for Microsoft to make their native defragmenter be as good as all the freeware out there...
 
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RollingThunder

Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
SSDs are very much upon us, but here rare a couple of mechanical drive questions.

When you right click on a drive in Windows and go to Properties and Tools to do a disk check, modern Windows very quickly (usually) tells you that there's nothing wrong with your disk, but

• is it good practice to do a disk check every few years?

Rather than going the long way to DOS and force doing a long check,

• is there a program that could perform a quick check with a single click, or is the best way to install every manufacturer's software and use it to do a long and extended test on your old multi TB drives which have not been checked in a few years?


I mean, it's been a while for some of them and I kind of expect them to go out, so maybe by doing these checks you could kind of get a semblance of warning before they really go out?


Speaking of mechanical drives, we do not need to defragment SSDs of course but for mechanical drives,
The cofounder of Golden Bow Systems - Author of Vopt:
In accordance with Barry's wish, Vopt is his bequest to Windows PC users
www.goldenbow.com

This was one of the best defragmenting programs we looked at years ago... and it is now free. Not a stellar user interface but a great program!


On a related question, when I do a search, people say other solutions are better than native Windows defragmenter, why is Windows 10 defragmenter not better than old freeware, if that is so? After all these years, how hard is it for Microsoft to make their native defragmenter be as good as all the freeware out there...

C6,

Good question. I have run a disk check every 6 months or since the beginning of time and here's why:

Some Hard drives (but not all) don't give a warning when they will fail. I would rather use a program like WD Diags or even the old Sprinrite to give me an edge. It has worked on a few occasions. I'll defrag every few months. Does the defrag improve performance? Are there better defrag programs than Windows default or Auslogic? I don't know, I have no way to test for the real world so I use others' recommendations. All seem to work just fine. To be honest I don't see a difference as a layman in defragging so perhaps I'm wasting my time but I'll continue to do it anyhow as long as I have hard drives.

I have read the suggestions about NOT defragging an SDD. Most of our good techy guys here and other reviews say not to so I don't. I'm not the adventurous type with hardware so I trust our guys and other valid Internet testers / manufacturers' opinions.
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
I remember using Vopt with WinXP and it was already v9, has it been updated since then ?
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
http://www.goldenbow.com/nudownload.htm
Oh yes,
• VoptNT 3.00 for NT.
• VoptMe 5.10 for Win 98/Me
• VoptXP 7.21 for Win XP although I personally found version 7.13 to be more stable and stayed with 7.13 for WinXP to this day.
• Vopt9 9.21 is the last version and it actually does work on all Windows versions from Window 10 back to Windows XP.

This was my pay-for program of choice and now it is free for everyone.
 

RollingThunder

Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
I've never used it but with these two recommendations I'll certainly add it to the desktop and give it a try. :thup:
 

HankB

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Beautiful Sunny Winfield
I believe you're talking about two different "disk checks." One - from the manufacturer or a third party - checks the H/W to see if it is working right. It may run built in diagnostics or perhaps read/write all sectors on the drive to see if everything is good. A less invasive process is to check the SMART diagnostics to see if there are any indications of pending malfunction. (I've personally had drives malfunction with and w/out any SMART warning.)

The other check is to verify that the file system had not been corrupted and can happen even if the drive is performing properly due to system crash, power problems, buggy S/W etc. I'm less familiar with what Windows does. Linux performs a full file system check (fsck) periodically on boot.

I would also be cautious about what is the "best" defragging program. First you have to determine what is "best" and I'm certain there are many ways to measure that and the criteria likely are determined by the workload.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Can't say I bother checking my disks for errors unless I think I'm having a problem with one...with that I just check the SMART data.

As far as Defrag on a spinner, I've let windows manage that automatically. I'm sure there are better programs out there, but, I doubt anyone would notice a difference in performance without benchmarking it.

I've found extracting myself out of the minutia of my systems allows for an exponentially more positive experience with them. :)
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Although this approach ↑ is antithesis to everything I do on the computer, I must say that inadvertently I did just that about the topic of defragmenting and checking disks, and yes that has made me happier over the last half a decade, I did not deal with this on my old computers and it was probably for the better.


But on the old computers I did notice that one old disk was at 20% defragmentation so this must affect actual performance. This was 100% my fault as I did turn off automatic defragmenting, so I can deal with this manually, which I stopped doing a long time ago on the old computers.


For the first time in many years I fired up a different defragmenter and here are my findings.
VoptXP 7 doesn't work under Windows 8/10 but Vopt9 does.

They are different. I was never a fan of the new version 9 so on my old Windows XP computers, VoptXP is still perfect but on the new computer, I just tried another freeware Defraggler (I remember when it first came out) and it has matured *a lot*.

It actually may be better on new computers than Vopt.

Overall, I would agree with EarthDog that for most people, letting Windows automatically defragment mechanical drives is the best overall approach.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Just to update.
Extremely defragmented 2TB drives require one or two days of defragmentation even with 20% of free space on them.
Such lengthy defragmentation process seems to be the weak point of the latest version of Vopt.
But new freeware programs such as Defraggler, seem to give you very clear, easy to see fragmentation statistics such as how much time is left in the defragmenting process, current percentage of fragmentation, so you can easily see how much of the drive was already defrgmented since the process begun.

So with this real world actual experience, I am prepared to abandon Vopt on new computers - but continue using the old version of VoptXP on old Windows XP computers or Windows XP OS on new computers.
Just sharing new personal experience.



On the other thread question: I think it all boils down on "there's nothing you can do - when the drive goes - it goes."


So let me rephrase, do you see any Pros in running a long disk check every X period of time?
What are actual real world positive reasons for doing that?
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Only reason to use a in-depth defrag every couple weeks is that it moves all files to the start of the hard drive, leaves no spaces. If you use a spinner for system it also moves the Windows folder and any more recently used files like "user data" and "program files" to the faster part of the HDD, hence Windows is faster overall.

Try out "Puran Defrag", also free, been using it for a few months now. Fairly quick and efficient - http://www.puransoftware.com/Puran-Defrag.html
 
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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
One of my 2TB rives had a 37% defragmentation level (!)
 
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Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
If you only use those files on occasion (ex: backups) you should be ok, if you use them on a constant basis a defrag is definitely in order as you will notice a difference in access times :clap:
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
The puzzling thing about huge defragmentation is how long it takes.
I mean we are talking more than 24 hours here.

I mean, why doesn't a degfrag program just copy the whole thing to another drive if there is space, delete existing file, then copy it back in a non fragmented way.
I wonder what would happen if you just did that, copy all to another drive, format, copy back, check defrag level?

Would the defrag level be as huge? Probably not. And then it wouldn't take a day or two to defrag.
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
I remember my commodore Amiga 500 doing something like that, it would move the files to the RAM and them back to the HDD. Much faster but ofc the downside being that if you got a power shortage...
 
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c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
That would still be too slow because of ram size though.
But I am asking about this because it is so simple, surely this has occurred to all the Defrag software creators?

If the system had enough overall hard drive space, why not copy-paste files, then just simply copy-paste them back and this would increase the Defrag process by more than a thousand times? I am sure there is a reason... Or else let's make a Defrag program that does that, right now! ☺
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Depends on how much RAM you got, 16gb should be more then enough unless you got uncompressed BluRay's in your HDD as most files should be below 5gb in size.
 

satrow

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Location
Cymru
Be aware that not all defraggers use the same algorithms, if the default Windows defragger is active, running a defrag tool that uses a different algorithm is going to take a looong time, same when you switch back. Lack of contiguous free space is one element of why certain defrags take a long time (very large files stored, relatively low % free space = many partial defrags to increase contiguous free space before the full defrag can be completed).

Data drives really don't need defragging frequently, a weekly set it and forget it run by the inbuilt tool is fine - but do try to keep free space above ~25% on smaller drives and a few GB bigger than the largest file/folder on larger drives.
 
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c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I make it a point to turn off Windows defragmenting services.
The 2TB drive has 209 GB of free space or 17% free space available out of the effective 1.8TB capacity.

After 1 day and 16 hours, Defraggler has been non-stop defragmenting it and it says the drive is still at 6% fragmentation. (It started at 37% defragmentation)

So two full days to defragment what the program says were 574 files (572GB) which is where the 37% figure it reported came from.


I am waiting for it to finish so I can test the program Kenrou suggested on another drive.
Vopt 9.21 kind of gave up on this hugely defrgmented drive.

I am looking forward to seeing how the information overview compares between these programs.
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
After 1 day and 16 hours, Defraggler has been non-stop defragmenting it and it says the drive is still at 6% fragmentation. (It started at 37% defragmentation)

So two full days to defragment what the program says were 574 files (572GB) which is where the 37% figure it reported came from.

Defraggler has a looooooooong history of being insanely slow, google it :rofl:
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Aha.
Never too late to learn.

I have another 2TB drive that appears to sit at 10% defragmentation.
Will use the program you recommended to get a feel on its performance ;)