Disk defragmenting (was "Re: No Sound :(")

Douglas Pollard dougpol1 at verizon.net
Mon Nov 15 23:18:05 UTC 2010

On 11/15/2010 05:02 PM, Mark wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Douglas Pollard<dougpol1 at verizon.net>  wrote:
>> Mark that is likly right but I have to use Premier video editor in Xp
>> for some of my work and I would likely make the new drive a usb drive so
>> to use for Ubuntu and XP.  The problem is I would have to defrag it
>> using windows.  I have no idea How long it would take to defrag a 1TB
>> drive. But I will look into it.  Using Premiere I usually take video
>> clips from one drive and save to a different one  that way all the
>> putting and taking is not on the same drive.  If you don't do that
>> Premeir crashes on a regular basis. Cinelerra crashes fairly regular too
>> but it remembers everything you have done so that when you restart you
>> are right back where you left off.   You have to save Premeir manually
>> and I often forget for 20 or 30 minuets at a time and it is really
>> aggrivating when you loose 20 minutes of work.
> Fair enough, but you already have 860GB that need the same treatment,
> so saving defrag time isn't really an issue if you already have to do
> that.  Even some of the more recent offerings on Buy.com and elsewhere
> have 1TB USB drives available for around $20 less than a 2TB USB drive
> (Fantoms in this case).
> You can carve up any disk drive into more manageable portions if
> that's of concern to you.
> I'm going to go out on a limb here and posit that I don't see a
> significant advantage to defragmenting a file system (other than FAT
> file systems) because unless you are extremely organized and never,
> ever change a file's location or have everything laid out on a whole
> slew of (small) separate disk drives, you're going to encounter i/o
> elevator collisions whenever you run, say, a modern OS like Ubuntu
> that runs over 100 processes all the time.  (I'm currently at 207 with
> almost nothing going on at the moment.)
> I understand that there are many times when you want to take advantage
> of the slight speed increase you get from defragmenting in repeated
> mass sequential accesses to large files, but you still have to temper
> that against all the other i/o that's going on to the same disk, every
> one of which will interfere to some extent in that smooth of an
> operation.  I recently worked at a company that builds massively
> parallel processing database appliances where the general mode of
> operation is sequential writing of 30GB chunks at a time.  That's a
> strong case for preempting fragmentation, but I'm pretty sure that
> your video editing doesn't fit that model too well.
> Either way, when you deal with that much data, you're going to have to
> spend (waste?) some time from either the hip-hop random accesses or
> from defragmenting a lot.  Unless you are sure that the speed increase
> is worth the difference vs. what you lose in time to defrag in the
> first place, what's the point?
> I see we've strayed from the topic - perhaps a new thread would be
> wise (hence the new thread...).
That is very intersting and I had certainly not thought about it in that 
light.  I am using FAT with the idea that both ubuntu and XP could work 
in it. Maybe there is another file type that both can work with?  The 
speed  does not matter to me a whole lot but there is an advantge For 
Premier if the drive is faster.   Of course even in need of 
defragmenting the drive is likely much faster than the usb cable It's 
running off of, I would guess.  Back when I was working with much 
smaller drives over time if not fragmented there would be a definite 
increase in crashing events.  I have not noticed that on the bigger 
drives I have been using the last couple of years. You are likely right 
the small percentage of loss is likely irrelevant today and especially 
with really large drives a 1tb or so.    I probably could use a faster 
computer too. This machine is 2003 model and they have come a long way 
since then.  One thing I have decided is to stay one upgrade behind all 
the time with Ubuntu.  By that time most of the bugs are out.  
                  Thanks  Doug

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