Hard Drive Folder Arrangement

By Goalie
Jul 12, 2004
  1. I'm using Norton SpeedDisk for defragmentation- in the past I've had good luck with the performance that it provides. Recently I've been remucking in the options trying to tweak that last cent of performance out of the file arrangement/defragmentation process.

    I use a statically sized swap file in Windows ME, so it can go to the front of the drive without worries of fragmentation, and get the performance boost from there. Next I have placed my \windows directory. Then comes the folder entries.. which there are a ton of.

    So.. that being said, what would the crowd recommend for extra boosts? Assume that I have pretty standard software- MS Office, IE, Macromedia Studio, OpenOffice, IE and Mozilla (latest build, don't plan on updating soon), WMP8, Winamp, etc. (you get the idea.)

    Arrangement based on usage seems common sense, but of the programs listed above, they get about equal usage- I don't have much installed that I don't use, save a game or two- those have been relegated to the end of the drive, along with media files that I rarely use.

    What would you advise I move up in the drive order, and down (in and out, respectively, in gaining (slightly) speed). What sort of time interval would you group the files by? Also I'm aiming to decrease future defragmentation.

    Should be interesting to see the opinions on this- I'm sure there's no one right answer. Thanks in advance for the advice!
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you have a second harddisk, move the swap-/page-file to the start of the first partition of that second disk, and make it a fixed size of 1.5 times your memory size. This is the fastest option for it.

    Have a look at the "Diskeeper" defragger:
    Much more sophisticated than Norton's Speedisk.
    Diskeeper has the "set it and forget it" option for automatic defragging in the background. You'll never even notice it is there!

    Once your disk is fully optimised (at least with Diskeeper). there is no need for messing around, moving files a little closer up the front of an HD, unless you have nothing else to do.

    How about filling in you user-profile under "user cp"?
    You been here long enough to know the benefit of that.
    Not knowing your rig, perhaps a memory upgrade should be considered (with ME, 512MB would be great)
  3. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 616

    1. This is a laptop. No second harddrive. I know the drill on the swapfile, and even if I had a second hd, I'd put the swap at the beginning of the first and turn the second into data backup, html browser cache, and so forth.

    2. I cannot have processes running in the background that take up CPU or RAM resources. Being a laptop to start with, it's already pretty limited, but expecially now. I'm running enough programs simultaneously, and usually when I'm running them whatever chore I'm on needs to be done *NOW* and *RELIABLY*. Some of these programs eat up dern near 100% CPU on thier own. Obviously there are times like those when I post to TS that I'm not in a MC situation, but sadly I have to be prepared at any time to get certain things done within 5 minutes- and background defrag, no matter how well written, would forbid it.

    3. I have too many machines to fill in the profiles, as well as the fact that I see no benefit to that beyond the encouraging of arseholse like JSR. Usually, if I need more info about a rig, I'll ask.

    4. If it REALLY matters, which I don't think so this time, it's a 800MHZ Intel based Laptop, Toshiba Brand. Runs windows ME with (currently) 128MB Ram and 30GB HD. Has Windows on 20GB, and Mandrake on 10GB. Mandrake of course is in Ext3/Swap, so Windows doesn't care about it nor wish to see it.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    The RAM on that laptop severely limits the flexibility. Even a jump to 256MB would make quite a difference.

    My daughter runs W2K on a 600MHz Compaq Armada with 128MB and has no problems, but then she runs no urgent programs like you.
    I fine-tuned that laptop by stopping all possible Services and having as little in the startup as possible. Her AV (free AVG) and Firewall (free Outpost) software only come up before she goes online, and get switched off immediately afterwards. She is a nurse, so does not need permanent access to the internet, even though she has broadband.

    Maybe you could tune yours similarly, or even install W2K. You have to freshly install and cannot upgrade, because W2K came before ME.

    What you could also do, if that HD has a separate partition for ME-stuff, is put the least-used programs on that second partition, that would lead (after defragging) to moving the most-used programs further to the (faster) front of the HD.
    Secondly, if you need space, you could zip up the unused programs, delete the program space, and unzip (using path-name) when you need that program.
  5. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 616

    I was looking into it earlier today.. The laptop has a theoretical max of 512mb. 2 slots, 144pin EDO SDRAM Doesn't say what the max per chip is, I would ASSUME 256. Looks like it can do pc133, but for sure pc100.

    Assuming that to be true, I am thinking about a 128mb upgrade.. looks like it'll be about $50USD. And yeah, with only 128 on a laptop (which of course loads winhardware services galore) it will probably help too. Tentatively, once I get to the point where I don't have so much crucial data on the HD and can afford to slag the drive, I want to move to XP as well in the future- that should help remove some of the mulitmedia crap that ME tries to load. (Although, I must say, ME has been rock stable for me compared to the average review.)

    I just can't help but think I can tweak the harddrive placement some more, though...

    Edit: Damnit! 2 edits and I still had horrid typo's (cna't splel!) Sorry... ReEdit: 3... :blackeye:
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you want to tweak the last atoms out of your laptop, see if you can get hold of this magazine, PCAnswers issue 135, August 2004
    Inside is everything you asked for above (and a lot more) about fine-tuning HDs.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Mm.. I think I have that one.. Dunno how to get the atricle(s) to you though :p
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