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Disk defragment..

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Tano, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Hi everyone!

    I already know that to keep the best performance on a PC I'll need to do the disk defragment... BUT! Somebody told me that I need to be carefull about defrag the hard disk, because can demage on messing up the wav files.

    Is that true? What do you guys do?

    Thanks for your attention....
     
  2. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    i defrag my hard drive about once a month and havent noticed any adverse effects to any of my wav., nor have i ever heard of such damage being done.
     
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    On some forum a couple of months ago someone posted a reply that said you can really mess up .wav files by defragging your disk. It is NOT TRUE and the person who posted it did not know what he was talking about. Yes you should DEFRAG your harddisk. A good program is Diskeeper. http://www.diskeeper.com/landing/landing.asp?RId=1046&ad=dk10google&APID=PPS0001292
     
  4. Spookym15

    Spookym15 Guest

    Disk defrag is not a bad thing but the only bad thing that can happen and it has happened to me once, which is why I stopped using PC for audio, but when you defrag it moves everything around in your drive so that the access time is shorter then it was, in the process it can move some files so that pro tools can not find where they ended up. It is rare but it is the only downside of defraging. So basically they can get lost and PT wont be able to find them but this was a long time ago when imo PT was crap for windows.
     
  5. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    While defragging is a good thing to do, I tend not to do it to my audio drive and samples drive only on C:\ for the same reason as Spookym15 mentions.

    Incidentally i really like Raxco's Perfect Disk for the job.
     
  6. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Thanks guys for the reply.....
    Now I am more confused, since some of you defrag and some not...

    BladeSG, I understand your point of defrag only the drive C and not the one where your Wav files are. I have been doing the same thing, but if the hard drive that contains the wav files needs to defrag, it will loose the performance...

    I'll may defraf and I'll let you know what's up! But just in case I'll first back up my work! :idea:
     
  7. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Ok, I did back up all my projects, and then I did defrag the Hard disk with the windows defragment tool..... Everything went smooth and everything is working fine....
    Anyway, Thomas W. Bethel why do you suggest diskipper to defrag?

    BladeSG why do you like Raxco's Perfect disk?

    Do you guys thing that the windows defragment tool is not good enough? I so why?

    The Disk difragment it's very important to mantain a good performance, so I'll appreciate a lot to know your thoughts about it...
     
  8. schizojames

    schizojames Active Member

    I tried defragging with System Mechanic for a while, and ended up going back to the Windows standard defragmenter. You SHOULD defragment all of your drives, especially any audio drives. One important stipulation is to keep your audio drives below 50% capacity if possible, otherwise defrag will be tedious, if not impossible. This is because huge contiguous wave files require huge contiguous gaps of empty space, and on a drive that is not regularly defragged and over 50% full, these simply so not exist.

    Despite the stories of "lost files," as far as I know this is not something that could happen with any modern software or OS. There is no renaming of files involved in defrag, and the only way to force a computer to lose track of something would be to forcibly interrupt a frozen session with a power outage (operator induced or otherwise). As far as performance, it cannot be disputed that having organized and contiguous audio files without interruptions of other random bits of files will result in better performance as the mechanism will have to do much less jumping about while reading and especially while writing. Hope this helps!
     
  9. Tano

    Tano Active Member

    Thanks schizojames, so I guess the windows defragmenter will do the job just fine. I'm glad, so I don't have to install extra other software for no reason.
     
  10. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    I never defrag, don't think it's really needed with modern drives.

    Back in the day when drives had 512k caches, you had to defrag. Now with the faster access speeds and 8Mb caches.

    My primary machine is a mac, but I haven't worried about it with my Windows machine either. I don't leave it on all the time because it's noisey compared to my macs, so it rarley is on for scheduled defrags.

    I haven't had any problems, the last defrag I did was in the late 90's.

    8)
     
  11. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    Whoever told you that maybe slightly incorrect!

    The purpose of defragging is:

    Over time (drive use such as deleting old files, installing and un-installing programs etc.) your files become fragmented, parts of them are scattered about the entire drive spectrum. So when a file is fragmented it will increase the seek time to access the needed parts of the file when an app is looking for it. The same goes with wave files and all defragging does is take the pieces that are scattered and kinda mend them together back into one.

    I defrag often on both my data (C:) drive and my audio (D:) drive and never had any problems with it f*cking my wave files up. When you launch the disk defrag app from windows it can analyize the drive and determine if you need to defrag or not.
     
  12. Norville

    Norville Guest

    When you think about it. your computer has no idea what the difference is between a .wav file, a word document, a program .exe, etc. It's all just ones and zeroes. If defragging messes up .wav files, it would mess up word docs, and program files as well. I doubt anyone would recommend defragging if that were the case.

    In a pecan parcel... urban myth.
     
  13. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    It's all good advice: Keep your OS & apps on your "C" drive, and then all other (data) files should be on D, E, F and so on.

    Over time, any drive can get cluttered up with fragments of files. You may write a wav file "contiguously" (without breaks or scattering) but any kind of destructive change or appendage (level, EQ, etc.) could send segments of this "new" version of your file all over the drive.

    It's not so bad with long-form concert multitrack recordings, but overdubs and short songs can of course put data all over the place on your drive. Eventually, it's simply going to slow down your throughput and slow down your workflow.

    Whenever you can, simply copy your work to a newly formatted drive as a backup, (VERIFIYING it, of course!) and then wipe the old drive clean. That's a fast, easy way to make sure you're writing new stuff in contiguous files, and probably for the life of your profect, you'll be fine.

    With the cost of 1 gig going for about .50 USD these days, it's silly not to just have a couple of very large HDs and swap things out as you go. I remember working 400 and 500 megabyte HDs almost to DEATH, so much so that HDs were rated on how quickly they failed. It's not such a problem anymore, now that folks are sometimes using one entire HD per project, perhaps a month of heavy usage, and then literally taking it offline after it's full - keeping it as its own backup.

    For junk-file backups and odd storage, I just bought a "raw" (no packaging frills, etc.) refurbished Samsung 250 gig HD from Microcenter for $89.00. That's just insane...... (For my critical stuff, I use Western Digital, but you may have you own preference, based on performance, reliability, etc.)
     
  14. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    After thinking about the issue for a while I did a little research. Another reason why defragging is not required on my Macs is OSX itself, the os will attempt to minimize file fragmentation at all times, and when most processes are idle it will optimize the file system, also the last process of software installers will also optimize the file system. Most software on Macs don't require installers, for example to install Office you simply drag and drop.

    Guess it's been dumb luck with my PC, but at this point I really don't care it's a non-issue for me.

    8)
     

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