Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vista Defrag Tool

I am trying to dual boot my Vista pc with Windows 7, but when I went to shrink my vista partition it said that I couldn't shrink it even 1 MB!!! What's the deal? I have over 80 GB of free space. It's been awhile since I defragged, so I'm hoping that's my problem.

So I went to use the defrag tool and found this new POS that just has a defrag button. I pressed the button and that was over 4 hours ago. Granted it said this may take a few minutes or a few hours, but really? And to top it all off there's no indication as to when it's going to finish or how fragmented my drive is!

So now at the risk of slowing my defrag down by using my pc I'm writing this post (mostly as a reminder to myself) about some command line defrag options that I'm hoping will make this experience better next time.

These all came from this site.

What I really wanted to do was open my cmd window as an admin and run:

defrag c: -a

to get the status of the drive. I'm sure it was bad if it's taking this long, but it would have been nice to know how bad.

I'm hoping that this command will pump some real status info out... I haven't tried it yet

defrag c: -v

I'll post back more if I find anything else interesting.

UPDATE: So the Vista defrag didn't help at all. It ran 8 hours, but the disk management tool still didn't let me create a partition. I did some more searching and found out that it's the MFT blocks that were my problem. I found two other cool free tools that are faster for defrag. First one is from Sysinternals Contig. This is a command line tool, but it also has a ui tool that you can use called Power Defragmenter. The ui isn't really any good, but it saves you from having to learn the options. Another tool more similar to the old Windows defrag tool is Auslogics Disk Defrag. It gives you a nice visualization of the blocks on disk.

Even with those two great tools it still didn't allow me to partition my drive. So, I went with Perfect Disk 10 which you can purchase for $30 (and there's a 30 free trial). This tool is still running on my pc, but it is shifting and organizing all the blocks on my disk into one group. It's not done, but I can already tell you that I am able to finally partition my drive. Hopefully the Win7 install will be much easier!

The complete article that I finally ended up using is Working Around Windows Vista's "Shrink Volume" Inadequacy Problems from the how to geek. The article's not great and nothing from it worked until I got to Perfect Disk, but I did use the steps (the early steps may have helped).

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