Posts Tagged ‘defragmentation’

I couldn’t believe it.

I had so hoped that System Mechanic hangs, and I have had about 10, were a thing of the past with System Mechanic 9.5.3. I was wrong. [Please see ‘System Mechanic‘ category for my travails with System Mechanic 9.x with Windows 7.]

I had deleted quite a few files today. So thought I would do a defrag even though System Mechanic did not say I needed to do one.

Defrag worked OK. Said I still had 9% fragmentation. It is getting better. Last time around it said 10%. Ten days ago, with 9.5.2 it was saying 14%.

I restarted Windows 7 after the SM hang. So the Action Center does not note this hang. My reliability history is pristine over Christmas.

I then did a Windows 7 fragmenation analysis. It said, 0%. iolo has to get its story right one of these days.

I am annoyed about this hang. We better have System Mechanic 9.5.4 SOON.

Thanks. Cheers.

Anura Guruge


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Just call it my gut-feel intuition, but System Mechanic 9.5.0 is still not right! Yes, iolo might have fixed the most blatant stability issues and jazzed up the user-interface icons BUT 9.5 appears still to be a rush release.

I put 9.5.0 to the test again today. I am making good progress on my book and I am now way ahead of my intrepid proof-reader. So I have a bit of spare time in my life, a rarity indeed. So I am using some of this ‘spare’ time to get to know the nooks and crannies of my system.

A full analysis of the system again reported 3 problems. I knew what they were without even looking. The usual: x registry errors, 1x MB clutter and 1x% c-disk defragmentation.

This time, I used Windows 7 defrag … and then went to have lunch … consisting in the main of cheese cake and caramel apple pie. Hey, I have been running every day. And I only eat sweets during holidays. Not really my fault if our guests didn’t finish the 6 pies that I bought and the big cheese cake my wife made.

When I got back sated, Window said that I had 0% fragmentation. Bingo.

But, I trust nobody, when it comes to software or PCs. So I cranked up SM 9.5. Man, they have got their act together. Said NOTHING about needing a defrag. Obviously they have a hook in with the Windows 7 defrag. When you run that 9.5 lets you off the hook.

But, did I already say that I don’t trust anybody when it comes to software? I ran 9.5 AGAIN and told it to do a deep analysis … for the second time in like 2 hours.

Now I hadn’t done anything on the PC since Window 7 did its defrag and said 0% … and 9.5 didn’t say I needed to defrag.

9.5 now said I had 17% fragmentation.

I let it go. This system isn’t exactly slow. But, I knew something was wrong.

I then had to do other things. Yes, I finished Appendix E of the book. I climbed a tree and cut a large branch off since it was close to my utilities lines. We hung up Christmas lights, etc. etc.

I was going to write about Windows Defender. Actually did some research on it.

But then that intuition thing kicked in. On a whim I did a search on “Windows 7 defrag.” This from Microsoft was the first entry I got. It was called “Engineering Windows 7 — Disk Defragmentation.


Theories, and that is what they will always be, about defrag have changed over the years. It is no longer that important that an entire file is stored in contiguous sectors. Think about.

So starting with Vista Microsoft reports defrag percentages DIFFERENTLY. Bingo. Why it said 0% and SM 9.5 said 9.5.

I looked at the files that 9.5 can’t defrag. They are, in the main, System Volume Information related files. My c-drive at 750GB is BIG. The System Volume Information files are also BIG. And I think that is what is screwing SM. The larger the drive, the larger the System Info files that SM can’t relocate!

SM needs to FIX it defrag. OK?

I had noticed this from day 1. The first time I try to save to my 2nd disk, d-drive, from Word 2007, it takes an AGE. After that it is as quick as it can be.

I have a feeling that Windows 7 caches SOME volume information about drives in memory before you get to use the drive. With the c-drive this must get done during BOOT, this being my system drive.

So this must be why there is always a palpable hesitation before my first use of the 2nd drive. Not killer. More a source of amusement that Windows 7 has to think about it. My second drive is also 750GB. So I think the size impacts the amount of data that Windows 7 caches.

I will look into this too.


Anura Guruge


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It was just four days ago that I told you, categorically, that iolo was lying low and that System Mechnaic 9.0.5 was in quiesce mode on my Windows 7 rig.

I was also bold and brash enough to make the allegation that I knew System Mechanic as well as I knew my wife of ~7 years — and I think I know her quite well.

Well, I was right.

Last night, i.e., Nov. 27, I got the long awaited and much anticipated UPDATE, viz. System Mechanic 9.5.0.

So in terms of product releases this was a BIG JUMP denoting major strides. We went from 9.0.5 to 9.5 in one audacious bound.

i installed the update last night, BUT it required a restart to activate. It was past midnight, and I couldn’t be bothered.

When I started my PC this morning, System Mechanic, WITHOUT asking me, put a Dashboard gadget on my nice and tidy desktop. So I knew the new software was up and kicking. I immediately deleted the gadget.

How dare YOU, iolo? I decide what goes on my desktop.

Ran 9.5. It didn’t crash. Ran a deep analysis. Found the usual suspects: 2x registry errors, disk fragmented, registry fragmented and 1xMB clutter. Told it to fix it. System did not crash. Good sign.

Still having trouble defragmenting my C-drive, even after I told it it can defrag ‘locked’ Windows file after a restart. I still have 14% defrag. rate. Just won’t go away.

So far, so good.

Oh! The iolo optional banner, which I promptly disabled, notified me that this version is Windows 7 certified. About bloody time.

I will keep you posted.

Anura Guruge

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Windows 7 Defrag Turned Off

This is NEW, not-publicized and hidden. Windows 7 has automatic, scheduled System Disk Defragmentation. Depending on what type of user YOU are that can be good or BAD.

But, before we go any further let me just tell you WHEN it is set for. It is set for once a week, at 1:00am every Wednesday. Got that. So whether this happens or not depends on whether your PC happens to be up at 1:00am on a Wednesday night.

I don’t have a problem with this per se. By issue is that Microsoft didn’t notify me that this DEFAULT was set … and worse still HID IT in a place that one would not normally look.

To FIND where the scheduled defrag is set … YOU have to HIT the ‘Defragment Now’ button! That is my real gripe. Those that do NOT want Windows 7 to do their DEFRAG will shy away from hitting this button given its sense of immediacy. I was even talking to a PC expert last night. I wanted to show him WHERE the automatically scheduled Defrag was set. So I told him to hit the ‘Defragment Now’ button. He was reluctant because like many PC pros he doesn’t want Windows to do the defrag.

That is my issue. Automated DEFRAG is set … but people don’t know about it.

They should know about it for multiple, obvious, reasons. For a start, IF they want to avail themselves of this feature they may want to change the time. Then there are those that will shudder at the thought of letting Windows defrag their system disk. Some may not even understand why an old man like me is even bothering to write about this on a Saturday morning.

Disks should be defragmented. No question about that. I used to be a real stickler. Defragmenting weekly, if not more. I am not as obsessive any more. My work pattern has changed. I don’t work with as many documents a day or week as I used to. Instead, given that I have been writing a dense 300 page book on papal history, I work on the same document for weeks at a time. So I don’t really see that much of an hit on performance by not defragmenting.

But here is the history. The original defrag that was available in Windows worked but was kind of lame. It gained a reputation among the cognoscenti as being ineffective. In reality, it could have just been that it did NOT have the compelling graphic, color coded graphic of file sectors being moved around … as the disk was getting defragmented. But, the bottom line was that most ‘pros’ chose to use 3rd party defraggers. Some of these defraggers could automatically usurp the Windows one. So you went through the same process, but now it was a 3rd party tool that did the defrag rather than what came with Windows.

I have a free version of Diskeeper on my production XP machine. That is totally integrated with Windows. But of late I have been using System Mechanic.

I am a BIT leery of System Mechanic 9.0.x on Windows 7. But I have used it to do defrag. It does NOT defrag Windows 7 system files as well as it does XP files. Not an issue right now.

Anyway, my goal here was to give you the facts about Windows 7 defrag so that YOU can do what YOU want to do. Hope this helped.

Anura Guruge

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