HD Writing during Defrag

I’ve been trying to defrag my hard drive lately, and I can never get through the process since it keeps on writing to disk in the middle of the defrag. I’m running Windows ME and I have all running tasks closed except for the system integral ones. I’ve run AdAware on the system as well and it has come back clean. I’ve even tried running in safe mode with no luck. Does anyone have any ideas on what this might be and how I could remedy it?

Upgrade to XP.

Not to be flip here but that’s the way I solved this exact problem. I’m sure there’s a better way but I’ve found XP to defrag much faster, it doesn’t do that long scandisc prior, and it never interupts during “writing”. There’s probably a ME solution and someone will probably come in soon and tell you, but that’s not my job this morning.

There’s a few reasons why I don’t want to upgrade to XP…

a) This is a sort of antiquated laptop: a 700mhz Celeron with 128 meg of ram and a 6 gig hard drive. I’m skeptical that this system is powerful enough to run XP well.

b) I do a lot of retro gaming on the laptop, and XP supposedly has a terrible backwards compatibility rate.

c) I really don’t want to spend a couple of hundred euros to upgrade to something that, except for this one problem, I’ve never really felt I needed.

Perhaps there is a non-MS defrag program that I should try? Anyone?

I had WinMe. Whatta dog of an OS. I also remember the painful defrags. I never bothered to investigate third party. I just ran the defrag when I wasn’t using the computer. I’d start the defrag, and go out for the night. By the time I’m home, it would have finally completed. Each successive restart due to a write will take less time to “catch up” to where it was before as it has less work to do, so it eventually does finish. Note that this was with a 20 gig drive.

I had the similair problems with ME. Seems like I was able to defrag several months agao, but now I cannot really remember if any of those suggestions worked or not.

Yeah, I’ve tried letting it run over night… I let it run for 16 hours once. What ended up happening was that it would defrag about 40% of the hard drive, and then it could never get beyond that point… the “rescan” of the hard drive’s contents to make sure they hadn’t changed took so long that the drive would “write” again and it could never get beyond that point. That happens with Scandisk as well.

Anyway, I’m going to try Diskeeper - I see good things about it on some web sites. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

I have a similar laptop with a 8 gig hard drive and XP works fine on it.

I think that the ms defrag is a limited, licensed version of someone else’s defrag so maybe you could try to find the full version. I think that the Norton Utilities had one as well.

I’m doing a test run of Diskeeper now, and so far, I’m pretty impressed. It seems to be doing significant defragging at a really fast rate even when I’m doing system intensive stuff in other windows. I think this will probably solve my problems.

Erik, thanks for the rhetorical benchmark, maybe I’ll give some thought to upgrading.

You could try to temporarily disable system restore if you have that running. I seem to remember that one could trace a lot of the idle disk activity back to system restore making sure everything was ok (or whatever it did).

They have a suggestion it doesn’t sound like you tried, but I bet you’ll get better results with 3rd party software.

Frankly, I found Windows ME to be even worse than XP for retro gaming. Windows 98 is probably the best for early Windows stuff. XP does pretty well with DOS games, though it does sometimes have trouble with sound compatibility. I really wish someone would just make a good DOS/95 emulator.

When I bought the system with WinME on it, I really didn’t want WinME. I asked the dealer to slap on Win98SE, but he told me they weren’t allowed to sell it anymore and all new machines had to go out the door with WinME. :cry:

Big thumbs up for Diskeeper, which defragged my hard drive while I played Shadow Magic in something like thirty minutes flat. Dear Microsoft - why are you so fucking stupid?

You’re kidding me. That program is totally sw33t then.

Regarding upgrading to XP, I daresay that Erik is rather lucky if he can get XP to run “fine” on only 128MB RAM. Almost all the techies I know or have read warned me that realistically, you want no less than 256MB RAM on any machine using XP, and that goes double if you plan on playing powerful games on it.

As for my own anecdotal evidence of why this is: my sister tried to use XP on her 128MB RAM machine. Yeah, it would boot up, and programs (keep in mind that I think Paint Shop Pro is about the most advanced program she uses, she’s the furthest thing from a “hardcore gamer” or something similar) would run. Which is great, except that everything was incredibly laggy compared to Win2K. The hard drive swapping was absolutely non-stop. Microsoft Office would take minutes to load. Again, she’s the type who really doesn’t care about performance as long as things work, yet this annoyed the shit out of her because it was just that bad. So we got her another 128MB, and boom - everything ran great.

I’d be amazed if something like Morrowind, or… fuck it, even something like AoW:Shadow Magic would run at all on WinXP w/128MB, let alone run acceptably smooth. Although I guess neither of those qualifies as “retro gaming”, so maybe all this really wouldn’t be an issue for you.

128 MB is sufficient to run Windows XP. Period. If you want to run any applications, then that’s a different story.

Yeah, a weak laptop would be better of with Windows 2000.

A guy here at work was running Win2k with 64MB of RAM… and 8 of it was being eaten by his onboard video card. He wondered why Age of Wonders played so slow.