DEFRAGMENTING (WINDOWS 98)
Defragmenting (Windows 98): Microsoft has augmented the disk defragmenter in Windows 98 by using a technique that attempts to group files frequently loaded together next to each other on the disk. This is claimed to speed up program loading substantially. There is probably a fancy name for this technique, but I gave up looking for it after about an hour.
Defragmentation is the process of ordering information on disk in a way that minimizes time consuming head movements during disk operations. Most types of file systems are subject to fragmentation and defragmenters exist for most operating systems. Modern Windows defragmenters can coexist with software using the disk during defragmentation although they may run more slowly and may restart defragmentation in certain cases. In pathological cases, the defragmenter may never complete if it is run simultaneously with software that continually causes restarts of defragmentation
The windows 98 defragmenter uses the output of a monitoring program (Taskmon.exe) that monitors file open operations. During defragmentation, the logs are evaluated and files that are often opened together are flagged for sequential loading on the disk. Load time improvements of up to 70% (69% to be precise) have been claimed.
- Substantial delays during the first "10%" of defragmentation. Some users have assumed that defragmentation is looping.
- The resulting disk structure may be reported as "highly fragmented" by third party defragmenters.
- Disk organizations may vary depending on what software has been used heavily prior to defragmentation.
- Increases in overall defragmentation time may exceed load time savings for users who defragment frequently.
- Reorganization of the program load area of the disk tends to involve many moves of small amounts of data. The external disk behavior is visibly different than normal defragmentation and may be perceived as a problem symptom by some users.
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Copyright 1994-2002 by Donald Kenney.