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Old 09-17-2010, 01:06 AM   #1
plainman007
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Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Hi,

My system has 4 drives. 3 x 250gb for working and the fourth is a 500gb drive that is used only for back-up images of these 3 drives. All are internal. When all my 3 working drive images are stored on the backup drive, it mostly takes up 40% of the back-up drive only. This is because my 3 working drives hardly cross their 50% capacity.

Now the problem is when i do a windows defrag of my backup drive it takes ages to go more than 3% completed. Ive given it 3 hrs and its still at 3%. Defragging my other working drives is very quick. Is this because of the nature of the Norton Ghost images (compression) that defrag finds it hard to rearrange it ? Just speculating. How do i get to defrag this drive please ?

Another reason why i thought i ought to defrag this drive soon is because in defrager it shows as completely red. As in 95% of its capacity is fragmented. But all in 3-4 contiguous blocks of red. In my system the red blocks are fragmented files. The blue ones are normal. In other words i see 3 blocks of red thats it.

Im using windows xp pro. 4 gb ram. And HDDs as mentioned above. And norton ghost 14 to do my imaging. This drive in question is used only for these images and nothing else.

Can someone help please.

Thanks
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:03 AM   #2
radeonized2
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

The drive doesn't have enough free space on it to defrag.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:04 AM   #3
plainman007
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Hi,

I did mention that only 40% of it is occupied right. How can a drive with just 40% occupancy not have enough space for a defrag . What is defrag supposed to work on empty drives only or what ?

Ive got systems with HDDs that are 90% data occupied and they defrag just fine.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:56 AM   #4
radeonized2
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Sorry
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
ctal
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Hi Plainman,

By any chance is that drive formatted in FAT32? FAT32 takes much longer to defragment than NTFS.

Also, is your imaging program breaking up each image into multiple files, and if so what is the maximum size of each individual file?

Best regards,
-- Al
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #6
wonderwrench
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Image files are huge so it would take a very long time to defrag them.
If the drive only has images the files should never become fragmented enough to need de-fragmentation in the first place. If you have other data files on the same partition you will have a h e l l of a time keeping fragmentation under control.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:58 AM   #7
plainman007
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Hi Ctal !

How are you ?

The drives are all NTFS only. Also the imaging program isnt breaking it into multiple files. They are undivided single image files. 1 image per working drive. So Cdrive.img, Ddrive.img, Edrive.img. All these three images are stored on this 4th 500gb drive which incidentally has been lowlevel formatted. Then formatted. And contains nothing but these 3 images written sequentially. No other data writes or usage with this 500gb drive.

Now to analyze this problem, I erased all my images. Long formatted the 500gb drive yesterday and using NGhost created fresh images of C, D & E onto it. About 50% was occupied. I then hit defrag and analyze for this drive. The three images show as one continuous block of data and the remaining 50% space uniformly empty. No spaced out lines or data blocks but just two perfact halves of data and empty without interspersed breaks or anything. Just a perfectly uniform sequential block of data that shows up in red (which is the color for fragmented files only) and windows says "you should defrag this drive"

This is not creating any immediate problem. But im just a little woozy about having my backup drive show as completely fragmented.

Warm Regards
VK
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:05 AM   #8
wonderwrench
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by plainman007 View Post
Hi Ctal !

How are you ?

The drives are all NTFS only. Also the imaging program isnt breaking it into multiple files. They are undivided single image files. 1 image per working drive. So Cdrive.img, Ddrive.img, Edrive.img. All these three images are stored on this 4th 500gb drive which incidentally has been lowlevel formatted. Then formatted. And contains nothing but these 3 images written sequentially. No other data writes or usage with this 500gb drive.

Now to analyze this problem, I erased all my images. Long formatted the 500gb drive yesterday and using NGhost created fresh images of C, D & E onto it. About 50% was occupied. I then hit defrag and analyze for this drive. The three images show as one continuous block of data and the remaining 50% space uniformly empty. No spaced out lines or data blocks but just two perfact halves of data and empty without interspersed breaks or anything. Just a perfectly uniform sequential block of data that shows up in red (which is the color for fragmented files only) and windows says "you should defrag this drive"

This is not creating any immediate problem. But im just a little woozy about having my backup drive show as completely fragmented.

Warm Regards
VK
I would say try a different defrag program and see if it shows fragmentation. Auslogics Disk Defrag Portable should do it. The link for the portable version is at the bottom of the page BTW.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:56 AM   #9
ctal
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Hi Vik,

I definitely would not worry about it, and I would NOT attempt to defragment the drive.

If you view the report that the Windows defragmenter provides when you just do an analysis, it will show how many fragments the most fragmented files are broken up into, and how many total excess fragments there are (excess fragments meaning fragments that are greater than 1 for any file).

Since you have only 3 files, probably around 60gB or so each, you'll probably find that there are only 2 or 3 or 4 or so fragments for each. Given that, there is no point to defragmenting, because it will result in a lot of wear and tear on the drive during the defragmentation process (not to mention wasted time), that serves no purpose.

The reason Windows says you should defragment is that the percentage of files on the drive that are broken into more than 1 fragment is very high. But that is a criterion that makes no sense to apply to a situation when there are only 3 files. The program is not smart enough to make that distinction.

BTW, XP's built-in defragmenter program is terrible with large files. Some years ago I purchased Perfect Disk (a very good defragmenter program) after, on several occasions, trying to use XP's defragmenter on drives containing large video files. It would do ridiculous things, like spending an hour to move a fragment of a large file from one place to another, and then spending another hour moving it back to the place it was originally at.

Perfect Disk is a whole lot more intelligently designed. But even so, I don't bother defragmenting drives that have large video files, unless those files are going to be there pretty much permanently.

Best regards,
-- Al
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:43 PM   #10
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

I agree with ctal, there is no need to defrag a drive containing large backup images. It really is pointless.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:09 PM   #11
plainman007
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Hi Ctal,

Thanks for that info. Didnt know windows predicted defragmentation like that. I will then just leave my drive as is.

Thanks again.

Wonderwrench and XJ,,, Thanks to you too.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:39 AM   #12
David
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Re: Problem Defragging My Backup Drive (Norton Ghost Images Drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by plainman007 View Post
H
My system has 4 drives. 3 x 250gb for working and the fourth is a 500gb drive that is used only for back-up images of these 3 drives. All are internal. When all my 3 working drive images are stored on the backup drive, it mostly takes up 40% of the back-up drive only. This is because my 3 working drives hardly cross their 50% capacity.

Now the problem is when i do a windows defrag of my backup drive it takes ages to go more than 3% completed. Ive given it 3 hrs and its still at 3%. Defragging my other working drives is very quick. Is this because of the nature of the Norton Ghost images (compression) that defrag finds it hard to rearrange it ? Just speculating. How do i get to defrag this drive please ?

Another reason why i thought i ought to defrag this drive soon is because in defrager it shows as completely red. As in 95% of its capacity is fragmented. But all in 3-4 contiguous blocks of red. In my system the red blocks are fragmented files. The blue ones are normal. In other words i see 3 blocks of red thats it.

Im using windows xp pro. 4 gb ram. And HDDs as mentioned above. And norton ghost 14 to do my imaging. This drive in question is used only for these images and nothing else.

Can someone help please.

Thanks
I have the same problem as well, I have a 1 TB external hard drive that is a NTFS file system with 95% free space left, but I have a computer backup on it, and when I try to defrag the external hard drive it just can't seem to make it past the backup file, it gets as far as 3% and stays there for hours until I get tired of waiting and cancel the defrag job. If you have heard anything about how to get around this then please let me know.
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