Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Prevent scheduled defrag from consolidating free space?

  1. #1


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    Prevent scheduled defrag from consolidating free space?


    It seems that Windows 8.1 Pro's scheduled defrag is consolidating free space, which is taking forever on one of my 2 TB data drives, which has about 300 GB free space. I stopped it at about 9%, and dfrgui immediately showed it as "OK (0% fragmented)". Clicking its Optimize button resulted in the defrag phase completing almost immediately, but then it was back to consolidating free space, starting at 5% this time. According to Task Manager, it's read/writing about 40 MB/sec, and the Active Time is over 90%. I really don't want this to go on for hours and hours and potentially repeat itself during future scheduled scans. Is it possible to alter this behavior, or should I just disable the weekly defrag task?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Everyone has their own defrag methodology. I like frequent "light" defrags. An example is Auslogics Defrag with no optimizations. I run it manually 4 or 5 times a week. Unless I have been doing a lot of downloads and installs, it usually defrags my C: partition in less than 5 minutes. Granted C: has about 80% capacity free. Much faster with lots of room to work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Exclude certain drives:

    Attachment 44401
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Right, but that disables defrag on a drive, and I'd have to monitor what it's doing on the drives for which I leave it enabled to see if it's entering the endless thrashing consolidation phase. If I am to leave scheduled defrag enabled, I need to eliminate the free space consolidation phase. Does anyone know if this is possible?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    You don't have to use the MS defrag Many free defraggers have scheduling. I've used 3rd party defraggers on Windows almost exclusively. So I can't give a confident answer.

    The trouble with using MS defrag in task scheduler is it doesn't detect a busy disk unless they changed it since Vista. You can be running a 3rd party defrag and have MS defrag start right in the middle of it. Not wise.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    I know about 3rd party defraggers. My question is about the one provided by Microsoft in Windows 8.1 Pro.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by crawfish View Post
    ...I need to eliminate the free space consolidation phase. Does anyone know if this is possible?
    Not possible, eliminating the consolidation process would defeat the whole purpose of running a defrag.
    Try 'Defraggler' from Piriform and run it manually from time to time, about 20 min on a 2TB disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    My understanding is that consolidation of free space amounts to defragmenting the free space, IOW making it contiguous. There is definitely a point of diminishing returns there, and what seems to be lacking in the Microsoft program is an intelligent determination of where those diminishing returns begin, which I judged from watching the drive thrash for an hour to go from 5% to 9% after file defragmentation had been completed.

    But yes, it looks like it's impossible to skip the free space consolidation. While the scheduled task uses the generic /O option, being more specific doesn't help:

    Code:
    C>defrag x: /d /u
    Microsoft Drive Optimizer
    Copyright (c) 2013 Microsoft Corp.
    
    Invoking defragmentation
    
            Analysis:  100% complete.
    
    Pre-Optimization Report:
    
            Volume Information:
                    Volume size                 = 1.81 TB
                    Free space                  = 298.90 GB
                    Total fragmented space      = 0%
                    Largest free space size     = 195.41 GB
    
            Note: File fragments larger than 64MB are not included in the fragmentation statistics.
    
    Performing pass 1:
            Defragmentation:  100% complete.
            Free Space Consolidation:  5% complete...
    While the file defragmentation completed instantly, it's now stuck in the free space step, and a smarter program would have called it a day given that 195 GB of the 298 GB free space is contiguous. What really sucks is that this is a freshly formatted drive restored from a backup using SyncBackSE and file-based copying. To add even more insult to injury, I Ctrl+C'd it after about 15 minutes this time and ran:

    Code:
    C>defrag x: /a
    Microsoft Drive Optimizer
    Copyright (c) 2013 Microsoft Corp.
    
    Invoking analysis...
    
    
    The operation completed successfully.
    
    Post Defragmentation Report:
    
            Volume Information:
                    Volume size                 = 1.81 TB
                    Free space                  = 298.90 GB
                    Total fragmented space      = 0%
                    Largest free space size     = 171.39 GB
    
            Note: File fragments larger than 64MB are not included in the fragmentat
    ion statistics.
    
            You do not need to defragment this volume.
    Note that the "Largest free space size" actually decreased, and the program stated that the volume doesn't need to be defragmented after it was perfectly happy to thrash my hard drive for what would have no doubt amounted to many hours had I not intervened. :facepalm: The only good thing I can say is that it seems to have gracefully handled the Ctrl+C interrupt, as it printed the following (but I'm still going to verify it against my backup):

    Code:
    Cancelling operation...
    
    The user cancelled the operation. (0x89000006)
    So, this task is getting disabled. It would seem that it's actively harmful to drive health.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Prevent scheduled defrag from consolidating free space?
Related Threads
How do I merge the 18 gb system drive, that has no drive letter, with my c: Drive. See screen shot: https://www.eightforums.com/attachments/general-support/55995-runnig-out-disk-space-7-free-space-left-ashampoo_snap_2015.01.01_06h27m43s_001_.jpg
Hey there, Origin are giving away Dead Space(Original) For free, Offer expires may 6th. Found out about it over a SevenForums From M1GU31 so credit to him for spotting it! Check it out here : Source https://www.origin.com/en-us/store/o...house-ANW.html
C is running out of free space in General Support
hello i know this is a kind of a stupid question but i really need help i have a 500 GB hard drive the windows partition -60 GB- is running out of free space (only 13 GB is free after cleaning up and so) and the performance is going down i want to increase the capacity of my C partition...
Solved c: Free space-- WRONG! in General Support
I'm trying to shrink C: before partitioning it. It will only allow 85 GB for a new one even though 715 GB is free out of 776 GB on c. I error checked, optimized, and defragged but no change.
I can't complete the setup process in W8 Pro Upgrade. When I try to install it from the W7 desktop, I get as far as it telling me that I need to free up at least 20GB on my SSD. I have a 64GB SSD with just Windows 7 installed on it and only 5 GB of free space. I have placed the W8 install onto a...
free space missing in Performance & Maintenance
I deleted my folder (25GB) because i was running low on space, deleted my recycle bin. And still don't have more than 1GB of free space. I searched for the deleted folder but it's gone, but no space. Any idea what could be the problem ?
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook