Reserved System Space

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by NetRyder, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Hi! I use Diskeeper 7 on a XP Pro box.
    Recently I noticed a lot of hard-disk area covered with "Reserved System Space" (the space with green slanting lines). This area is right in the center of the disk layout map, and as a result, my disk is getting fragmented more frequently.
    Does anyone know what this HUGE amount of reserved space is for?? And if its something that can't be deleted/disabled, is there any way by which I can set Diskeeper to move this reserved spce to the end of my partition??

    Hope someone can help me out! Thanks guys ...
     
  2. allan

    allan Guest

    Not sure of you definition of "huge", but if you use NTFS and this space is reserved on the boot drive, it's possible this is the area allocated to MFT expansion. The OS puts aside approximately 10% of the partiton so the Master File Table can grow.


    edited to change MBR to MFT - sometimes I type faster than I think :confused:
     
  3. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Hey Allan!
    Thanx 4 the quick reply!! :D

    I DO use NTFS, but this reserved system space is on my boot partition C: as well as the second one on which I have all my software D:. However, it's not there on my third partition E: which has ONLY data files and now software installed.

    Anyway, if it is reserved MBR space, is there any way/utility by which I can allocate it to the end of the partitions?

    Thanx!
     
  4. ghayes

    ghayes Microsoft MVP

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    The Reserved System Space is what is technically known as the Master File Table Reserved Zone. When you first format a NTFS partition, it creates the Master File Table and then creates the Reserved Zone. It is dynamically created every time the partition is mounted (every boot) and by default has a max size of 12.5% of the partition. The Reserved Zone is created to allow the Master File Table to "grow" into it as it expands - hopefully in a contiguous manner.

    How is it that you have determined that the Reserved Zone is making your system re-fragment faster? It could be that since Diskeeper doesn't use a file placement strategy when it defragments and doesn't make a priority of free space defragmentation (leaves free space all over the place) that it is what is leaving the drive "open" for quicker re-fragmentation.

    - Greg/Raxco Software

    Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk - a commercial defrag utility and a competitor to Diskeeper, as a systems engineer in the support department.
     
  5. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    try norton speed disk this puts mft zone at the front of the drive. If you want more contiguos files & a more realistic size mft zone using diskeeper try this - disable hibernation - set no page file must have 256ram or more (make a note of the size you will NEED to put this back later). reboot - defrag - enable hibernation IF you want to - set page file min max as it was - reboot - see the difference
     
  6. ghayes

    ghayes Microsoft MVP

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    "try norton speed disk this puts mft zone at the front of the drive. "

    Let's see... Windows XP very specifically places the $MFT further into the partition to gain a 5 to 10% performance improvment with the NTFS file system and you want SpeedDisk to place it back at the beginning of the partition so that you lose that 5-10% performance improvement?

    - Greg/Raxco Software
     
  7. Lonman

    Lonman Bleh!

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    Greg, good information on your posts. I've been watching this one myself to see what that was. After you named the MFT I was able to do some more research on it. On your most recent post could you provide a link to the documentation you refer to regarding the 5-10%? Thanks.
     
  8. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    OK going back to the original question
    if you wanted to move the mft zone how else could you do it ?
     
  9. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    Thats quite a bold statement so what your saying is if you defrag with norton speed disk you will lose up to 10% off perfomance.
     
  10. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Hey guys!
    I'm trying out SpeedDisk rite now ... lets see how it goes ...
    I'll post when its done.

    Greg, just for my info, why would there be a performance boost if the reserved space is placed further into the drive? As the MFT grows, shouldn't it grow in a contiguous manner? So, if the MFT is placed at the beginning of the partition, shouldn't the reserved space zone be just next to it? That's just my guess ... I'm not a professional or anything. :)

    U guys are the coolest!! :D
     
  11. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Uh oh ... I really hope that's not true ... I won't survive a performance degrade!!! LOL j/k :p
     
  12. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    personally i think its codswallop !!!
     
  13. Lonman

    Lonman Bleh!

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    I haven't found out anything about whether there's a performance hit by moving the MFT through third party means (did find out that's the only way to do it), but there is some good information out there. I think the best read i've had so far on ntfs/mft/and all things related ntfs can be found here.

    Personally, I don't like to mess up a good thing... ntfs in general being that good thing. The only time i'd mess with MFT through third party software would be if my drive was FULL full and it had become fragmented causing performance degradation. With the size of my hard drive this is an unlikely event.

    Reading up on this has taught me one good lesson - I'd never convert a drive to ntfs... I'd do a full format on it through the setup routine in order to give ntfs.sys full control of the drive in allocating resourses.
     
  14. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    I tried that and found that I had an mft zone on every partition regardless of the type of file stored on it - I've got 100 gig hdd space so that meant 10gig of that was the mft, now to me thats just too much of a waste of space & there is no way windows will ever use that amount. I have my XP OS on ntfs & the rest of the partitions is fat32 apart from a small fat16 partition to store my second page file.
     
  15. Lonman

    Lonman Bleh!

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    You need to read up on it... It's reserved in case it's needed. If it's not needed and your drive fills up it [MFT space] will be used. Look at it this way... there's 12.5% of your drive you don't have to worry about defragging.
     
  16. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Ok, I just tried it out ... and guess what?
    ITS FANTASTIC ... TRULY UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    I think the problem was that I had converted from FAT32 to NTFS after installing all my software and stuff. I guess that made the system allocate my reserve space to the center of the drive.

    Ok, after I ran SpeedDisk and rebooted, I noticed something amazing ... XP booted up SO silently ... NOT that the harddisk was really noisy before, but it was just so much smoother and silent after moving the reserved zone ... and the loading personal settings thing went unbelievably fast ... a massive boost in speed - I'm not kidding!!

    OMG, u guys are truly awesome!!! Thanx for the help people, and I'll keep this in mind TwoZigzagColt45!
    :D :D :D
     
  17. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    cheers ;)
    now if you do a DiskKeeper or windows defrag your mft zone will be contiguos with the rest of your files & it should be slightly smaller :D
     
  18. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Uh oh ... I ran Diskeeper and it placed some non-system files before the system files (MFT) on the partition, and moved around some other files as well!?

    What's up with that?
     
  19. 2z

    2z OSNN Gamer

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    this is normal give it a chance & see what its like after a few reboots.
     
  20. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Ok, I ran Diskeeper after using Speed Disk to move my MFT reserved zone.
    Diskeeper did a lot of rearranging, and it also added some files before my MFT for some reason.

    Anyway, that didn't make much of a difference ... boot up is still nice and quiet, and the login is now lightning fast!! :D