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Author Topic: Why defragging MFT is a must  (Read 77616 times)
Henry
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2008, 02:40:27 pm »

Eraser removes them if you turn them on in the unused space overwriting in the preferences box, doesn't it?  I always thought so...


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Spexx
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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2008, 03:51:12 pm »

Maybe we are saying the same thing, but in different ways! Without a large amount of further research I would not confirm nor deny if Eraser does "clear" entries in the MFT, but that is not difficult to achieve so I suspect that it does a good job of that! The point I was making is that the entries in the MFT are never entirely deleted, they are only freed-up and the resulting space in the MFT can be re-used when a new file is created, so that the MFT does not have to increase in size. The MFT nevers shrinks in size by itself - it only grows or stays the same. Cheers. Spexx.
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Henry
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2008, 04:55:37 pm »

I've checked.
It only overwrites the entries.
It doesn't shrink the $MFT.

--

I was thinking, why not have the program in Native winnt language as well?
It might work defragging the $MFT since it works with pagefile, registry hives and everything else.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897447.aspx
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jeroen
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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2008, 11:46:20 pm »

I was thinking, why not have the program in Native winnt language as well?
It has been suggested before and I have looked at it. Making a "native" version of JkDefrag is possible, but will take a lot of work. There are a few system files that can be defragmented/optimized when booting the system, just like when booting from a cdrom. But not the MFT. Only Vista can defragment/optimize the MFT, even after the system has fully booted. JkDefrag version 4 will be able to use this capability in Vista, I have it running already. This lessens the need for a boot-time "native" version of JkDefrag.
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Henry
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2008, 04:14:48 pm »

How come some program succeed in defragmenting the MFT in native mode?

They claim to use Microsoft API only.

I guess I've found some business secrets.
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cquinn
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2008, 05:51:27 pm »

Are these programs claiming to defrag the MFT while Windows is fully running, or do they claim to defrag the MFT as a part of the boot process, before many of the system files are "locked" for system use?
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jeroen
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2008, 06:17:24 pm »

How come some program succeed in defragmenting the MFT in native mode?
I don't know. Can you give an example of (the website of) such a program?
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Henry
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2008, 05:36:42 am »

http://www.disktrix.com/

Quote
MFT Features
While rare - your MFT and other hidden system files such as paging file, hibernation file and other metafiles can also become fragmented. UltimateDefrag lets you perform an offline defrag that defrags these files in the event that they become fragmented.

http://www.disktrix.com/UDDescription.htm
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 05:44:38 am by Henry » Logged
Henry
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2008, 05:50:59 am »

Quote
Smart Defragmentation to maximize File System performance. Paragon Total Defrag performs safe boot-time defragmentation of MFT and paging files, online Directory Consolidation. Moreover, it defragments and moves critical system files and frequently accessed files together on the external (fast) cylinders of the hard disk to increase your systemís performance. Enhanced data access speeds mean faster virus scans, back-ups, and file searches.

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/total-defrag/index.htm
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jeroen
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2008, 07:52:15 am »

How come some program succeed in defragmenting the MFT in native mode? They claim to use Microsoft API only.
DiskTrix and Paragon are both commercial software. I have not read through their entire websites, are you sure they only use the Microsoft defragmentation API? Please note that the API on Vista can defragment the MFT at any time, as I said before. Could it be that you have missed some smallprint saying that these programs can only defragment the MFT on Vista?
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Spexx
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2008, 11:46:06 am »

For Windows XP, the trial version of Disktrix Ultimate Defrag does not include MFT defrag even in the offline mode. The earlier full version offline defrag did not do the MFT and even in the current version, the option to defrag the MFT is "being released soon" as an add-on. Cheers. Spexx.
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khagaroth
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2008, 10:42:28 am »

How come some program succeed in defragmenting the MFT in native mode? They claim to use Microsoft API only.
DiskTrix and Paragon are both commercial software. I have not read through their entire websites, are you sure they only use the Microsoft defragmentation API? Please note that the API on Vista can defragment the MFT at any time, as I said before. Could it be that you have missed some smallprint saying that these programs can only defragment the MFT on Vista?
PerfectDisk is another program, that can defragment MFT on XP and except for the system disk and the disk with pagefile (those require boot-time defragmentation), it can do it even when Windows is running (and I can confirm that, our company runs it and I have one copy at home). It not only defragments, but it also changes position of MFT and when free space drops under some limit, it even shrinks the MFT reserved area. Raxco claims PD only uses Microsoft defragmentation API and as PD is certified by Microsoft, I would say it's true.
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jeroen
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2008, 08:11:10 pm »

Raxco claims PD only uses Microsoft defragmentation API
Perhaps there is a special trick to moving the MFT that I don't know about and that is not in the documentation of the Microsoft defragmentation API. The same for shrinking the MFT reserved area, as far as I know that's not even possible on Vista. If somebody can tell me how to do both these things then I would be much obliged.

p.s. I can now move the MFT on Vista, here in the laboratory. I haven't tried it yet on non-system disks on XP.
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Spexx
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« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2008, 01:19:35 pm »

I think there may be a distinction between PD's assertion regarding regular defragmentation via the Windows XP API and PD's ability to rewrite the MFT in a new location. It will surely have to dismount the disk first and then use its own physical I/O routines to deal with the MFT under XP, bypassing the API. Cheers. Spexx.
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gaspard.leon
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2008, 12:00:38 am »

was looking for a program to move the MFT (other then Raxco's PerfectDisk)

And stumbled across an interesting tidbit of information on the Microsoft IFS (installable file system) website.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/2kuptoXP.mspx

This page links to a Word Document that contains the differences in NTFS from Win2K up to XP...

Here is a direct quote from the document:

Quote
NTFS now defragments the MFT. In Windows 2000 RTM, defragmentation of the MFT was not allowed. In Windows XP, defragmentation of the MFT is performed through the regular code path, so there is no limit to how much of the MFT can be defragmented at once, and any part of the MFT can be moved except for the first 0x10 clusters. If there is no available space in the MFT to describe the change then it will be rejected. The API can move an MFT segment even if a file with its File Entry in that section is currently open.

 Shocked

What do you think?

Cheers,

Gaspard

PS: Thanks for the software, I use it almost every day on some machine.
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