Microsoft Windows 2000 includes a built-in Disk Defragmenter tool. This tool excludes certain files because of known issues with moving these files. Also, files that are locked for exclusive use by another process are skipped.
The following files are permanently excluded from being defragmented. These files may be displayed in the analysis report as still being fragmented no matter how many times you defragment the drive.
Moving the following file can cause desktop problems, if the Recycle Bin or the Recycler folders are removed:
Moving the following files (if present) can cause desktop problems:
The following files are unmoveable system files. They are always displayed in green in the defragment analysis display:
- NTFS Master File Table (MFT) and Reserved MFT Zone: Usually contiguous at the very beginning of a NTFS volume but can become fragmented if many files and folders are added to a volume.
- NTFS Master File table Mirror (MFTMirr): Usually located in the middle of a volume and is already contiguous.
- Virtual Memory Paging file: Used for temporarily swapping pages of memory to disk.
Adjusting the MFT
Although you cannot defragment the MFT once it becomes fragmented using the Disk Defragmenter, there is a way of preventing MFT fragmentation, or at least reducing the possibility of it becoming fragmented by reserving space for it ahead of time.
To determine how large the MFT is, how many fragments there are, and what percentage of the MFT is in use on an NTFS volume, perform a Disk Defragmenter analyze operation to generate a report. View the report and look for the following section under Volume Information:
Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation.
Total MFT Size = 8512K
MFT record count = 8,504
Percent MFT in use = 99%
Total MFT Fragments = 4
Use this information along with the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base to adjust the NtfsMftZoneReservation value, back up and reformat the volume to create a contiguous MFT using the higher zone reservation space, and then perform a full volume restore:
How NTFS Reserves Space for its Master File Table (MFT)
Defragmenting the Paging File
To defragment, or reduce the amount of fragmentation in the paging file:
- Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.
- On the Advanced tab, click Performance Options.
- Click Change to open the Virtual Memory dialog box.
- Change the paging file to another drive.
- Reduce the minimum and maximum size of the original paging file on the drive you want to defragment to 0 MB.
- Restart your computer to have the system use the new paging file.
- Run Disk Defragmenter on the original drive to consolidate the free space segments created by moving the paging file.
- Re-create the paging file on the original drive.
- Reduce the minimum and maximum size of the temporary paging file to 0 MB.
- Restart your computer.