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Most people probably don't do it, but is it even necessary?
Authored by: Makosuke on Dec 10, '04 08:07:59PM

It'll be interesting to see the results of this poll. It'd be more intresting to see a survey of whether OSX, under normal circumstances, really does benefit from defragmentation at all.

Obviously if you're capturing huge chunks of DV video to a mostly-full drive, you're going to get some fragmentation, but for the other 99% of users, I'm seriously begining to doubt that defragging is necessary at all, even though I was a weekly defrag sort of guy in the OS9 days.

To provide one data point, I checked some of my drives using the hfsdebug tool referenced above:

On most of my drives, the fragmentation was negligeble. More surprising was my worst-case-scenereo drive: one 110GB partition that has been hovering between 90% and 100% full (literally--decompression utilities failing because they'd eaten all available space) for approximately a year. It contains a mix of hundreds of small text files and dozens of ~1GB video files, plus a couple of iMovie projects in the 10GB range. It sees a LOT of activity, with hundreds of ~10MB temp files added and removed on a regular basis.

On this drive, there was some fragmentation, but only about 5 of the ~1GB files had any significant amount of fragmentation, and the drive was still over 90% unfragmented. It gets noticably slower when it is more than 98% full, but that's the only time I've seen any significant performance degradation.

Other people want to spend the time to test and report in?

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Defragging matters!
Authored by: thelamecamel on Dec 10, '04 10:20:54PM

I have never defragged my slot-loading iMac (40GB), and I am suffering. I can't import more than about 15 seconds in iMovie 2 (let alone 3) without dropping frames. When the computer was new, I imported (and exported) 2 x 1 hour tapes in one go each, with no dropped frames. (that was the only time my hard drive got within 5GB of full)

I was also recently using an older, slower, but recently reformatted iMac, and was amazed at how fast it booted and how quickly applications loaded after logging in.

There aren't any free defrag utilities for mac, apart from a borrowed external harddrive, are there?

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Defragging matters!
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Dec 14, '04 05:54:36PM

I agree. Especially for older Macs. When the drive on my G4/466 gets badly fragmented the whole computer runs very poorly.

Also when trying to work with audio files in applications such as Cubase SX, you can really see the loss of performance.

I still use Norton SpeedDisk to defrag (booting into OS 9) but it's getting long-in-the-tooth, and often has a hard time dealing with the thousands of files on a typical OS X hard drive.

The built in defragging isn't worth a hoot!

G4/466, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.3.6

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Most people probably don't do it, but is it even necessary?
Authored by: BMarsh on Dec 28, '04 02:06:12AM

I don't do it nearly as often as 10.2 or earlier (including 9, 8 and 7), but from time to time, I do end up with large files (over 20 MB) that end up quite fragmented

mostly audio & video items that I've been playing with, this is the only reason I run another defragmenter/optimizer. I would estimate I only do it once every 6 months or so at that.

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