Disk Defragmenter stopped working

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Help and Support' started by Kerry, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Kerry

    Kerry Honorable Member

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    My Vista Ultimate Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter has stopped working. I hadn't used it for about two months because it showed my HDD wasn't fragged that much so I don't know what might have caused it.

    Now when I click Disk Defragmenter the UAC window prompts me to "Continue" and then nothing happens.

    I also tried to "run as admin..." but same result.

    Suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Kerry
     
  2. Kerry

    Kerry Honorable Member

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    Update:

    Via Aumha's Vista Support Forum:

    Are you sure nothing happens?

    PC World, Lincoln Spector wrote: Vista treats defragging as a hidden background task--no progress bar, no pretty boxes changing colors, no sign whatsoever that anything is happening. When you launch Defrag under normal conditions (by right-clicking your hard drive's icon in Computer, selecting Properties, and clicking Tools, Defragment Now), you get a dialog box for controlling when defrags happen, but that's about it.

    Do the same thing in Safe Mode, and defragging quietly starts.

    Here's another Vista Defrag problem: Entering defrag c: at a command prompt brings up an error message. In Vista you can launch a command-line defrag only from an administrator command prompt. To get one, select Start, All Programs, Accessories. Right-click the Command Prompt icon and select Run as administrator. You'll know you're on the right track when Vista makes you pass through a User Account Control dialog box (if you haven't disabled this security feature, that is).
     
  3. foxbat

    foxbat New Member

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    Vista's defrag is automatic

    Vista's defragmenter is automatic and does not show any progress graphically. On automatic defrag, it also does not ever seem to finish defragmenting the drive(s) however long it runs, which is real pity because it is a brilliant idea botched by Microsoft.

    Windows (NTFS/FAT) does not prevent the fragmentation of files in real time as it writes to the disk, so the best way to fix this problem is to have an automatic defragmenter that cleans up after Windows..i.e monitors for fragmentation and defragments quietly in the background (without affecting other programs). Such a utility beats an old-fashioned manual defragmenter hands down, because it requires no user intervention and saves the user the time and hassle associated with manual defragging (especially multiple drives). It is the closest to real-time defragmentation and keeps drives free of fragmentation nearly always.

    Ideally, this is what Vista's defragger should have done, but third party utilities seem to have pulled ahead in this race.
     
  4. Kerry

    Kerry Honorable Member

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    Thanks Foxbat,

    Here's even more about Vista's defragging, again via Aumha's forum.

    Disk Defragmenter FAQ wrote:
    Why did you simplify the Disk Defragmenter interface?
    The Windows Vista Disk Defragmenter was simplified primarily for the purpose of removing it out of the face of the user. It runs periodically and keeps your file system fragmentation at acceptable levels, making it unnecessary for you to launch the tool itself. With the new UI, you can see that we really don't want defrag to be something that people have to worry about, just like any number of other low-level capabilities in the OS.

    The new interface seems “dumbed down.â€ÂÂ￾ Why remove all the detail?
    Interestingly enough, one of the biggest and consistent complaints we had from users (broad sample here from home users to experienced IT Pros) in the past was that a vast majority of them had no idea what the detailed fragmentation statistics they saw meant. The Windows XP graphical view also had some limitations and inaccuracies that prevented it from being included in Windows Vista. If you really want to keep a close eye on fragmentation, I'd recommend using the command-line tool Defrag.exe.

    Why was the defrag progress indicator removed?
    Part of the problem with the Windows XP defrag tool was that percent complete was not accurate or meaningful. Depending on the phase of defrag, 1% of progress could take from several seconds to minutes, which made the progress indicator highly unreliable. The difficulty here is that since defrag is a multi-pass process (multiple iterations of file defragmentation and free space consolidation) there is no way to accurately predict when defrag will complete since the number of loop iterations and how long each takes are highly dependent on the layout of the files on the volume, the level of file and free space fragmentation, and the other system activity. While I agree that having no progress is bad, misleading progress I believe is worse. Also, the idea behind the new automated defrag is that users will not have to think about it not worry about the progress it is making. With defrag running regularly, the system will be close to optimal levels of fragmentation, and subsequent defrag runs should not take long.
    https://blogs.technet.com/filecab/articles/440717.aspx

    Quote: Quote: In XP, defrag program would go, check the current status of the drive and suggest if we should defragment the drive. Then, it would read those files and try to piece their parts as close together as possible in order to remove those fragments and speed up the system. That was pretty much it. A linear process where your computer knew what has to be done pretty much before it even starts.

    In Vista, this process is a lot more complicated, but yet a lot more effective. One of the changes is the shadow copy optimization during the defragmentation in a way which optimizes the system and minimizes the space used by the shadow copy. (This space is significantly large; more on this in later posts).

    Also, Vista's defrag is smarter in comparison to the XP's defrag because it checks if the amount of time that would take to move files is larger than the performance benefit you gain. If the performance benefit is not too significant, it moves on to other files.

    The thing most people complain about is that there is no progress bar. This is because the defragmentation in Vista is non-linear, so there is no way to estimate (correctly) how much time a defrag could possibly take. Instead of trying to show estimates of how much the defragmentation will take, the defrag team worked on a better solution: reducing the impact of defragmentation on your computer by making it use low-priority I/O and low priority CPU, so you can still use it and do what ever it is you do while the defrag is on. No more wait like in XP...

    Heck, I'd rather chose not to look at it than wait 3 hours for the process to complete. That was exactly their point of view - remove it from the face of the user, and for those who never use the defrag (and there are many people like this) now they do not have to - it runs itself.

    http://www.vistajuice.com/2007/02/windows_vista_defrag_tool_is_c.php
     
  5. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    As well as using Vista's defragger I also use a this one Disk Defrag - Reclaim the Speed Of Your Disks Its free to download, fast and is a little like the exccellent 'oo' defragger. Windows defraggers have always been a little poor so always try to find something to remedy this.
     
  6. Kerry

    Kerry Honorable Member

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    Hi kemical,

    Thanks for the tip.

    I checked their website. It looks like they are new to vendoring. I couldn't find the cost once one has downloaded it for free. I didn't see a "Buy now" button and although you say it supports Vista I couldn't find so on their site (it could be there, it just didn't pop out at me). Such omissions sometimes portend others.

    I do have a copy of Perfect Disk 8.0 but it appeared (via Process Monitor 1.12) to be using too many CPU cycles when not in useâ€â€Â￾checking for updates/contacting the mother ship, and maintenanceâ€â€Â￾so I uninstalled it.

    I'm satisfied with the feedback my post has generated to allow Vista's defrag to do its job.

    Much appreciation,

    Kerry
     
  7. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Hi Kerry, I'm a little confused. Did you actually download the defrag tool and try it? You say you looked for a 'buy button', there isn't one. They do a 'Windows Speedup Tool' (which I actually doubt it does) that you can buy but the defragger is for free. I checked the download link and it works. Also check out Tweakguides.com for the guide to tweaking Vista its a good read (I'm assuming you haven't already done so), oh and did you fix the defragger?
     
  8. Kerry

    Kerry Honorable Member

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    Boy was I off on that!

    I see now that it reads: "Windows Version: Windows XP/Vista/2000/2003" and, "And it's absolutely FREE."

    I've decided ot let Vista's defrag handle things.

    I'll check out the Tweakguides.com for Vista.

    Thanks,

    Kerry
     
  9. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Ok, have fun and good luck.
     

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