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Defrag Problem



Norton 2002 Speed Disk refuses to work correctly, it takes several hours to defrag my 19gb disk (NTFS) and the best result has been a mere 86%. I have a P3 800 with 512 SDRAM which worked OK running Speed Disk 2001 with ME and FAT32. Tried a copy of Diskeeper 7, but it crashed the system totally!! I have no idea why this is happening or what I can do to fix it. Anyone got a clue???


Sounds like its restarting

Make sure that no other programs are running. Sounds like its restarting over and over. Close all programs in task bar and turn off screen saver, anit virus.
Norton Speed disk doesn't like to play well with the built-in optimization feature of XP... I'd suggest either Diskeeper 7 workstation version (have no idea what you mean by 'total crash') or using XP's own defrag program, which is actually a licensed version of Executive Software's diskeeper, only not as fancy. The first few times you defrag it may take quite a bit of time depending on the size of your disk - it will get faster if you defrag on a regular basis. I have diskeeper 7 set to run everyday - the first few times took a while - now it's done in a couple minutes.


Norton Speed Disk works fine with XP, but obviously there is something wrong in your case. Make sure you empty all temp directories & files, unload all running programs & services that aren't needed, and give it one more try.
Also how full is your disk...you might not have enough room for it to effectively arrange the files. if so it can never achieve full defragmentation. Just like it's impossible for me to defrag my movie/game drive because it's packed to the gills with VERY large files so I just gave it a higher cluster size to offset the not being able to defrag since I knew it would happen eventually :)


Thanks Guys for the help but I think maybe a little background and some more detail is in order here, so.....

Personally, I have a diploma in progamming (never used) but only experienced as a user with OS's albeit since 1974 staring on mainframes. I'm running an HP Pavilion 6751 with 512mg (SD133) with a high speed cable internet connection via a NIC. The RAM and the cable are the only hardware modifications. The machine started life with 128mg of RAM and was running WinME but due to it's inherent instability I upgraded to XP Pro. Several weeks later I discovered that remnants of ME were still lurking and causing problems, so I did a reformat and a clean install with a fresh NTFS C drive (19gb set as a dynamic disk), which is just over half full. Since then Norton Speed Disk (2002) takes 4 hours plus to defrag and it rarely achieves more than 85%. On advice from this forum , I tried diskeeper 7 but XP crashed (locked up totally) so I removed diskeeper and have since re installed it as the Administrator overwriting any files still on the drive. I always close all other programs and disable Norton Antivirus but although Diskeeper no longer locks up the OS, it still comes up with error messages and will not function. In desperation I tried the O & O defrag software but it fails to analyse the drive. I could probably turn off some more services because I only tun off the few I'm certain will not disrupt the system. As I type this I'm wondering if the auto powersave on the display might be the culprit??


Have you ran scandisk? Maybe your harddisk is just kinda borked. It sounds more like a hardware problem than a software problem to me. I just use the defrag prog that comes with XP and it has never given me any problems. If you havent tried that then I would recommend doing so. From my experiences, third party utility software just borks things up more, especially if you run several of them. All I use is windows defrag, Norton Antivirus, and Norton WinDoctor. Everything else I just disable and I get no probs. :)


Norton defrag doesn't work well for me either. I would suggest
Diskkeeper or if you want something free just use the built in defrag. It's slow as hell but does a much better job than Norton.


The built in defrag works fast for me. I guess if you defrag very often it works faster cause there arent as many files to be moved. I defrag about once a week.
Do you have one HD or 2? I'm just wondering because you said you have your C drive set as a dynamic disk that is not needed unless your gonna use disk management to merge two drives or such. I'd go as far to say that as a last resort if possible do the good ole backup and re-install.

one of the benefits of cable internet I've found is that I can download most of the stuff I lose by replacing windows in a few hours to a day. I just have all my big programs saved on another drive and the OS and general stuff that I've downloaded or still have cd's for can go bye bye when I reformat. I know it's a last resort but hey

Also if you don't notice any performance decreases you should theoretically be able to be fine without defragging. NTFS is MUCH better at handling fragmentation over FAT


Thank you once again Guys,

OK some quick answers, although I'm not thinking clearly because my father died yesterday. This is a good diversion.

I do have a second disk from an old PC. It's only 3.2gb (IBM) which I use to store MP3s.

When I first encountered problems with the old OS (ME) I ran Norton Disk Doctor so I'll do that again and get back to you.

I changed to a dynamic disk setting after reading some other info on this site which suggested there would be performance gains though I've seen no improvement.

I think I'll run as many checks and tests as possible as of now so I am not comparing apples and pears and then post anything strange before doing the dreaded re-install. I currently spend an average of 65 hours away from home for work so time is hard to find for long jobs. Thanks again and I'll get back soon


Just wondering - perhaps this will explain the 86%


I have very little experience with defrag under XP - but I know I used to have some weird things happening when I ran Speed Disk under Windows98.

I went nuts the one time - with the restarts until just by dumb luck I found out that CallWave was the culprit making it restart all the time! I added Call Wave to my list to shut off before Speed Disk and never had a time problem again!


Microsoft MVP
I think the folks at Symantec are a little confused. Microsoft's defrag "APIs" allow defragmenting of the system restore files as well as system folders (if on NTFS partitions). If SpeedDisk was indeed using Microsoft's defrag "APIs", instead of bypassing them as they did under NT4 and Windows 2000, then they would no trouble at all in moving these files.

- Greg/Raxco Software

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


I have run Norton Disk Doctor (less the surface test) and found no problems. I have also run Norton Win Doctor which, apart fron the usual invalid shortcuts, found one missing file "MAPISRVR.exe" and it could not access a neccessary file "gapi.dll". This appeared to be a problem seeing the NTFS volume and required reinstalling "MAPISRVR.exe" but that also required Outlook to be set as the default mail client. I have no idea what this was all about but I figured it needed fixing anyway and who knows. Did all that and reset Outlook Express as the default and presume that is now fixed. Tried all three defraggers with no change! I have also emailed this info to the nice diskeeper people and I got this reply.....

I know this is counter-intuitive, but I have seen it happen on several occasions; the cause of the problems is disk errors. After you did the fresh format and installation of Windows XP, you should do a chkdsk/r. Yes, you can have existing disk errors on a freshly formatted drive.

In fact, if it was my computer, I would format it with a 6GB C: partition, in which Windows XP is installed, then a 2GB D: for applications, and an E: for everything else. Windows goes on C:, and nothing else that you can put elsewhere. All applications go to D:, data to E:. Temporary Internet Files go to E:. EVERYTHING that can be put elsewhere is moved off of C:. The reason is that most file corruption occurs on writing, so the less you write to a drive, the less chance of corruption. Minimize the writing to C:, and you minimize the chance of having to rebuild.

6GB may seem large for C:, but Windows XP includes the System Restore feature, which can use a lot of disk space if you don't limit it. END OF MESSAGE

So what do you guys think, should I invest in upgrading from Partition Magic 6 to 7 and do some carving? I think I'll try the safe mode angle first


Microsoft MVP
It appears to me that you have two separate "issues" going on.

1. SpeedDisk works - just not fast enough or complete enough for your liking.

2. Diskeeper "crashes" when defragmenting.

If it was an issue with the file system, the SpeedDisk would "crash" as well. What happens if you defragment using the built-in defragmenter? If there is a file system issue, then you should have problems doing that.

While I can agree that partitioning your system to eliminate the task of rebuilding your system makes sense, ultimately, you still have to get back to the issues that you have at hand - SpeedDisk not performing to your liking and Diskeeper "crashing". I'm not sure if re-partitioning will address any one of the above issues.

- Greg/Raxco Software

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


Well hello again from the Land of Oz (Aust)

Thanks to everbody and in particularly to Greg (and me taking note) of Raxco Software, I went to the web site and found the demo version of Perfect Disk and downloaded it to try. To my surprise it works just fine, it's not super quick but it faster than Speed Disk. The really interesting thing is that while Speed Disk reports 13.9% fragmentation, Perfect Disk claims 0.3% fragmentation and after running Perfect Disk it reported 0.1% fragmentation. I then ran the analysis on Speed Disk and it still said 13.9%!! So who's reading what? Another strange thing is the fact that I have not noticed any slowing of the system at 86% (reported by Norton) on the NTFS volume where as on FAT32 with ME or 98se anything under about 95% caused a slowing of about 50%. Diskeeper stopped crashing the system when I re installed it as the Administrator but it still reports faults and fails to work. The built in Diskeeper Lite works but it's so slow I've never let if finish.

Perfect Disk is not effected by the problem on my PC, which suggests a higher quality of code to me. What ever the reason, I am definitely buying Perfect Disk.

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