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Can I defrag System Image files and I lost one

  1. #1


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player

    Can I defrag System Image files and I lost one


    I have a 1.8tb external hard drive that I defragged using Advance System Care's Smart Defrag 3.

    I re-analyzed the drive to check the result as it completed overnight. The disc is still 21% fragmented.
    I also analyzed the drive using CCleaner's Defraggler, which shows 27% fragmentation.
    I ran Windows' own defrag which shows 0% fragmentation of this drive.

    Question 1: According to Smart Defrag and Defraggler there are 4 fragmented files, all of which are System Images. So am I right in assuming that these files can not be defragged (and that I should have done all my cleaning up before I made the Images)?

    I had deleted one of the fragmented files and used Advanced System Care's facility to shred all files in the recycle bin. But this file is still showing on the list of fragmented files so I think it was not actually deleted. I usually get a message if I am trying to delete something that is too big (this is around 70gb) but in this case I didn't.

    I can see the file path in the results of the defrag analysis but I can't find the file through Search. I would really like to get rid of it given it is so big.

    Question 2: how can I find and delete this file? Would using the Disc Clean utility do the job?

    Question 3: I am likely to need to delete large System Image files in the future. What is the best way to do this without losing them in the ether like I did this time?

    Thank you

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    What image software did you use to create the image file, you should be able to delete the backup from there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I think I would back up my data on the external hard drive to another hard drive. and use Diskpart to Clean, create a Logical partition convert to mbr and format NTFS. then move your data back on to it. Window should keep it defragged with out issues. In my experience Data Drives do not require much defragging unless your doing a lot of data transfers back and forth.

    I am Leary of aftermarket utilities and don't use any that have not proven themselves over the years. I used Diskeeper for several years and Norton Utilities. I paid for these for several years. I was happy with them. Then Windows 7 came along and I found that Window was using Diskeeper Lite for there native defragger! and Norton just became extinct also not needed in windows 7. The way I look at it is that why have these programs running or install on your computer and there (Potential Problems) when the built in stuff works just fine
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I would use Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download to make system images.

    Personally I set defragmenting to auto with the Windows & Defraggler for every 24 hours.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If I understood your question correctly: You try to delete those backup image from the Recycle Bin, if so then read on.
    I can see the file path in the results of the defrag analysis but I can't find the file through Search. I would really like to get rid of it given it is so big.
    Search will not work if the files are hidden. Open "Folder Options" and check on "Show hidden Files" and uncheck on "Hide hidden operating system files" then you might be able to see them in File Explorer.
    I am likely to need to delete large System Image files in the future. What is the best way to do this without losing them in the ether like I did this time?
    Did you try to right click on Recycle Bin and select "Empty recycle bin". If you did without any success then the chance that the $RECYCLE.BIN folder is corrupted and since it is a system folder, you cannot manually delete it.

    If all fails

    Since you cannot delete anything from this folder while Windows is running. The quick way is to delete the whole folder using Linux Slacko Puppy. Under Linux, Windows System Files/Folders are treated as Regular Files/Folders.

    1. Download the ISO (160MB) :Slacko Puppy Linux . Click one of the link shown on screen shot #1.
    2. Create a bootable USB Using Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way
    3. Boot from USB, the screen should look like the screen shot. From the bottom left #2 of the screen. The HDs mounted as sda1, sda2 ... and one of these is your external drive
    4. Find the $RECYCLE.BIN folder, right click and delete it.
    5. Disconnect the USB and reboot Windows, a new $RECYCLE.BIN folder should be created.


    Click image for larger version

    Please do report back if it works so it'll help others with similar problem.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 14 Jul 2014 at 09:28.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    If I understood your question correctly: You try to delete those backup image from the Recycle Bin, if so then read on.
    I can see the file path in the results of the defrag analysis but I can't find the file through Search. I would really like to get rid of it given it is so big.
    Search will not work if the files are hidden. Open "Folder Options" and check on "Show hidden Files" and uncheck on "Hide hidden operating system files" then you might be able to see them in File Explorer.
    I am likely to need to delete large System Image files in the future. What is the best way to do this without losing them in the ether like I did this time?
    Did you try to right click on Recycle Bin and select "Empty recycle bin". If you did without any success then the chance that the $RECYCLE.BIN folder is corrupted and since it is a system folder, you cannot manually delete it.

    If all fails

    Since you cannot delete anything from this folder while Windows is running. The quick way is to delete the whole folder using Linux Slacko Puppy. Under Linux, Windows System Files/Folders are treated as Regular Files/Folders.

    1. Download the ISO (160MB) :Slacko Puppy Linux . Click one of the link shown on screen shot #1.
    2. Create a bootable USB Using Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way
    3. Boot from USB, the screen should look like the screen shot. From the bottom left #2 of the screen. The HDs mounted as sda1, sda2 ... and one of these is your external drive
    4. Find the $RECYCLE.BIN folder, right click and delete it.
    5. Disconnect the USB and reboot Windows, a new $RECYCLE.BIN folder should be created.


    Click image for larger version

    Please do report back if it works so it'll help others with similar problem.
    I wanted to rep you but I have to spread some around.
    Good reply.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Thank you for all the replies. Form some of these I'm not sure I explained my issue clearly enough.

    I deleted an System Image that was on an external hard drive and which I had made through the Windows 8.1 utility and then emptied the recycle bin. I actually chose to Shred the files in the recycle bin, one of the options I have with Advanced System Care, and did a single over-write.

    A couple of days later I decided to defrag the drive which is when I found that ACS and Defraggler indicated a little over 20% fragmentation after the defrag whilst Windows indicated 0% fragmentation.

    All the fragmented files are System Images, hence me wondering if these can actually be defragged.

    One of the fragmented files has E:$Recycle.bin as part of the file path, hence me suspecting this is the file I thought I had deleted.

    I have switched on the external drive and opened the recycle bin on my desktop, which is definitely empty now.

    Based on the suggestions given by topgundcp I unchecked 'hide hidden operating system files' and searched for the recycle bin on the external drive but could not find it. I am not particularly tech-savvy so would prefer to leave deleting the recycle bin as a last option.

    But I am awaiting delivery of a new hard drive, which I am planning to use purely for back-ups. Once I have this set up I am planning to follow Clintlgm's suggestion to temporarily remove all wanted data from the current hard drive drive then use Diskclean on it. Then I can replace the data and use this purely as a data storage drive.

    Question: Does this seem a reasonable solution or would I be better reformatting the drive?

    Also, this still leaves me with the question of the best way to delete these large System Images, which can be over 100gb, if I need to in the future.

    Question: Should I expect my recycle bin to be able to deal with these? If not, is there a simple way to delete very large files from an external hard drive?

    Thank you
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by SaggyMaggyPoo View Post
    Question: Should I expect my recycle bin to be able to deal with these? If not, is there a simple way to delete very large files from an external hard drive?
    I occasionally will delete an image, which is a mistake to manually do it as it leaves a record somewhere that it still is there. Should use file history or something to do it... But occasionally I stumble across it mentioned on the web and will clean up the windows tracking of it.

    When I do delete a large system image, windows will pop a message saying something about recycle bin can not handle files this large - so I usually hold the shift key down and delete it. And it goes into a little dust cloud ... poof into the magnetic ionosphere or somewhere equally as magical. But it doesn't go to the Recycle Bin. It just disappears. Yah I know secretly it just chopped off the first letter or something and windows now has lost track of it.

    I think I learned long time ago to not trust Advanced System Care.. I forget why but it along with iobit everything is on my no-way list right there next to ask.com
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    You could right click the recycle bin & click Properties & increase the size of it in MBs.
    I have mine at about 25,000 MBs--{ 25 GBs }.

    100,000 MBs = 100 GBs.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Quote Originally Posted by mikiep View Post

    When I do delete a large system image, windows will pop a message saying something about recycle bin can not handle files this large - so I usually hold the shift key down and delete it. And it goes into a little dust cloud ... poof into the magnetic ionosphere or somewhere equally as magical. But it doesn't go to the Recycle Bin. It just disappears. Yah I know secretly it just chopped off the first letter or something and windows now has lost track of it.
    Thank you, I will try this on the older images. I'm not a hot key fan but I must try to remember some of the most useful ones. For newer images I am trying to remember to rename them. If this works as planned I hope to get the second oldest image overwritten when I make a new one. Then I have 2 to play with which I feel is enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikiep View Post

    I think I learned long time ago to not trust Advanced System Care.. I forget why but it along with iobit everything is on my no-way list right there next to ask.com
    I am planning to get rid of ASC as I don't like the way it changes things at every update and sets itself as the default way to do certain things. But I do like the uninstaller, which prompts me to check for leftover registry items, and also the file shredder.

    Will just have to get used to using CCleaner and remembering to do things myself. Shame I can't remember where I left my memory
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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