Moving files among partitions = defragmentation?

In summary, moving files between partitions on a hard drive may result in defragmentation depending on the type of fragmentation and file system being used. Internal fragmentation occurs when the OS allocates memory in chunks that are larger than necessary, while external fragmentation happens when small chunks of empty memory are scattered throughout the disk. Moving files can help correct external fragmentation, but a good defragmenter, such as Disk Defragmenter, may also be necessary.
  • #1
With several partitions on a HD, if I move all the files from one partition to another, then back, doesn't that equate to a defragmentation? Strange question, I know.
 
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  • #2
Depends on the type of fragmentation and file system. In some file systems types, fragmentation occurs because the OS keeps track of disk memory by splitting it into chunks of X bytes. If a file needs 1.1*X bytes it will be allocated 2 chunks, though it only uses a small portion of the second chunk. This is internal fragmentation, which is hard to avoid.

On the other hand if the file system can allocate chunks of various sizes, then there might come a point where before allocating another chunk the OS has to look for any leftover strips of memory to allocate. External fragmentation is when empty memory is scattered in small chunks throughout the disk, too small to be used - wasted memory.

I think your strategy would correct external fragmentation.
 
  • #3
Okay. So, what's a good defragmenter, besides Disk Defragmenter? My file system is NTSF for WinXP Pro.
 

What is defragmentation?

Defragmentation is the process of organizing and rearranging fragmented data on a hard drive or partition so that it can be accessed more quickly and efficiently. This helps to improve the overall performance and speed of the computer.

Why is it important to move files among partitions?

Moving files among partitions helps to prevent fragmentation, which can slow down a computer's performance. It also allows for better organization and management of files, making them easier to find and access.

How do I know if my files need to be defragmented?

You can check the fragmentation level of your files by using a disk defragmenter tool. If the level is high, it is recommended to defragment your files to improve performance.

What are the potential risks of defragmentation?

While defragmentation is generally safe, there is a small risk of data loss if the process is interrupted or there are existing issues with the hard drive. It is always recommended to backup important files before defragmenting.

How often should I defragment my files?

The frequency of defragmentation depends on the usage and fragmentation level of your files. It is generally recommended to defragment at least once a month to maintain optimal performance.

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