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Warlock

Advice On Defragging

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Hello All,

 

Been on and off line for months due to Computer System From Hell and its handlers but won't bore you with details. First of all would welcome opinions on using Defraggler as opposed to Windows Defrag feature. Have to watch this thing constantly due to overheating and other issues. Is one faster than the other? I have been told by a recently unreliable source in a shop that stopping and starting the degrag process only increases defragmentation. I was doing this due to aforementioned heating problem as cannot afford a new component. Also last analysis displayed 23% from Defraggler and running Windows analysis indicated defrag not needed at this time. I'm near making this thing into a boat anchor. Any help from my dear friends would be greatly appreciated as always. Take care.

 

Warlock

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Hello Warlock. I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I recently had a software related problem, and the solution was time consuming but simple: I re-installed Windows. Replacing components is both expensive and time consuming.

 

I'd say that if you're very concerned about heat, and trying not to stress your system too much, don't even bother to defragment at all. Just run it and leave it at that. The small gain in performance is not worth the stress you're putting on the system. I am a little surprised at the difference between the Windows analysis and Defraggler's analysis. I would expect them to be within 1 or 2 percent of each other.

 

If you feel that you must defrag, keep one thing in mind: Do not start off with one, then stop and switch to the other. The Windows version and Defraggler will only be fighting each other, and you'll gain little or nothing in the process. Another thing to consider: You can pause Defraggler whether you're using the Defrag or Quick Defrag mode. Using Windows, you are stopping the defrag and then starting the process all over. And last, from my experience, using the Quick Defrag mode of Defraggler is the fastest way to go, it's just not as thorough as the normal mode. And it gives you the option to pause it. Access the Quick mode by hitting the down arrow on the Defrag button. I use the Quick mode for at least 3 to 4 weeks, then use the normal defrag. Good hearing from you and good luck.

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Have to watch this thing constantly due to overheating

 

If it's a desktop PC try opening or removing the side casing to allow more air to get inside, you could also use a small desktop fan to help get cooler air inside of it.

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And if it's a laptop, try and raise the back up higher from the surface to increase airflow.

Those triangular engineering rulers are great for the task.

 

Also, most overheating is usually dust related, so try blowing out or brushing away as much as you can.

 

Not sure on your OS, but Windows Defrag saying a defrag is not needed could simply be that the HD hasn't reached Windows Defrag internal trigger limit (mind you, from memory, I thought that was 13% under XP).

 

+1 with Derek, do a quick Defrag by doing an Analyse, and sorting the File List into Size and picking the biggest bunch (say any more than 10mib) then repeating on the Fragments column and selecting those greater than 20 fragments.

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Huge thanks to my good friends Derek, Andavari and MTA for jumping in to help me. This system has driven me nuts. A couple of reputable sources have stated that the poor performance, i.e. slow loading, erratic behavior could best be solved by a complete uninstall and reinstall of my Windows XP Professional Home SP3 but I for sure need to back up everything first. However, don't have the means to do it right now with respect to equipment and most of all knowledge. I'm working on both as we speak. Thanks so much again for the tips and you folks take care.

 

Warlock

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Do yourself a favour and get an external hard drive for your backups.

Once backed up you can blaze forward with the fresh XP install. It scares some people but it really is a simple process, takes about 40mins.

After the reinstall, all the other tasks are just as easy, there just happens to be a lot of them to do; reload printer, Office, email a/c, games, AV software, drivers, updates etc.

Each one of those is less than 5mins but they add up! Then there's all the customisations; screen saver, wallpaper, toolbars, taskbar, and all those other tweaks you've done over the years.

But I'm probably starting to scare you now...

 

Good luck and fingers crossed.

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Dear MTA, yes, you have succeeded in scaring me to death. Think I'm going to leave this to a pro in my state of mind right now. But thanks so much anyway.

 

To Derek, on the defragging issue earlier, and I'm trying not to confuse you and myself. As I suffer this heating problem, can I run Defraggler until the temps reach unsafe level, exit the process, turn the machine completely off to cool, then start the Defraggler up again to finish the job. I would like to do a complete defrag if possible. Mowing my yard and not trimming is not in my Constitution. Thanks so much again.

 

Warlock

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in my experience, most PC's hit the peak temperature within 10mins of starting.

having the CPU work harder, like playing games and even doing a defrag (to a certain extent as there is some CPU'ing going on) will only make the temp rise higher, faster.

in other words, if your PC is already heat stressed, it will never be on long enough to complete a DF.

and unless you monitor the temp, your first indication of a heat related problem is the PC freezing or powering off mid-use.

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Dear MTA,

 

I monitor the temps constantly with Speccy. What I want to know is can I run Defraggler until the temps reach uncomfortable levels, turn the computer completely off to cool, then re-start the process, defrag some more and repeat this until finished. In other words do the defrag in increments, however long shutting it off and on until the defrag is either complete or nearly complete. I'm certain some of my problems as I understand could very well be occurring due to heavy defragmentation. I hope I've explained what I thought of doing is clear. I'm working today to round up someone who can not only back up my hard drive which is 75Gb and then we can do an uninstall and reinstall and they will know how to put everything needed back into my system. Thanks so much again for your kind help. Take care my friend and let me know your thoughts on my scheme.

 

Warlock

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quick answer is yes, what you stated can be done.

my only concern is what level will the temp get to before you or the PC considers it unsafe.

it'll be somewhere in the 70-90 degree (celsius) range i'd think, but i guess you will have to monitor it, let it die, note the temp and use that as the benchmark.

 

but if you plan on backing up and wiping and reinstalling everything, then a DF is not needed, as the reload will accomplish the same thing.

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To answer the last of your note, yes I thought the uninstall and reinstall would take care of the defrag issue but it's getting these folks into action after they state they will help me is the problem. I've had nothing but false prophets for some months. Just can't handle $80-90 an hour to fix this POS. Now, if I am accurate in looking up the info the heat ranges for the CPU is 49-65C, Motherboard room temperature, and the Hard Drive 35-60C. However, according to the info in Speccy 50C is the redline. I keep Speccy handy down on the taskbar of my monitor and toggle or leave it displayed during high levels of anxiety :-) Got to do something, as I type it's acting up, stopping and cursor skipping randomly. So weary of treading water. I think of Straight Story with Richard Farnsworth who solves his problem with some gas and a shotgun. I'm really grateful for you hanging in there with me on this. Thanks old friend.

 

Warlock

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Hmmm, if the PC is acting up even while you type your posts, it's going to make DF'ing a pain - and for that matter, also backing up will be painful.

 

Here's a long shot, have you tried starting the PC in Safe Mode, theory being, less programs will be running so CPU may not max out so quickly, but hopefully some (all?) of your issues may be software related and that erroneous piece of software may get excluded from Safe Mode.

That may allow a DF or a backup to complete.

 

And just to throw in some options you may not have thought of.

If you get a new hard drive (500gib about $60 and 1TB about $70 AUD), who can forget backing up and use the current drive as a secondary drive and your data will be there for later retrieval.

That way, the IT Guy will just need to spend 2-3hours reloading Windows, the standard operating environment, your motherboard drivers and get you back on emails, internet etc.

It should be no more than a 3hour job.

But the big advantage would be, because your data is secured on the old drive and that will be unplugged from the system to prevent 'accidents' during installation, I think you can then have a crack yourself at reloading your PC.

Even if it scares you a bit, it's a great learning curve, you really can't do any harm, and even if you do end up throwing in the towel, the IT Guy will simply reformat and start anew.

 

Come on @Warlock - no guts no glory :)

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Dear MTA, no guts no glory huh? Oh, si senor, please allow me to take an anti-hysteria pill before beginning. Your concern and devotion are compelling but we are on a shoestring now and purchasing components is not possible in addition to my zero abilities which I believe I have professed. Please explain in extremely simple steps how to arrive in the Safe Mode as I have never done that and I will give it a whirl. Since you threw the gauntlet down I went into my vast resources and found a program called I believe FixComputerPlus and downloaded it. Upon gearing up the wizard it failed miserably quoting some problems present. NS! O.K., I've dared to be great, what's your next offering? You're a real character Buddy but greatly appreciated. Something for you to ponder. Why don't you come to our home, we'll treat you like royalty. Plenty to do and experience my charismatic personality. Out here.

 

Warlock

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Ah, Warlock, you put a smile of my face, but sadly I think my callout fee would be horrendous. :D

I'm a big believer in there is no skill set possessed by someone that can't be taught to or learnt by someone else.

I'd love to see you have a crack, but of course it will be dependant on budget and a certain amount of comfort level.

So let's close those avenues down. (sadly)

 

To get into Safe Mode for XP, you start the PC and as soon as it shows signs of life (writing on the screen), start hitting the F8 key like a crazy person.

There is only a small window where F8 is detected so you have to hit it REPEATEDLY like your life depends on it. (of course I'm over-exaggerating - but you get the point)

 

Depending on your BIOS version, you will either see a menu list that offers where Windows is to boot from or the Safe Mode menu list.

If you don't see Safe Mode as the first option in the list, then you have a boot selection menu, hit Esc to get out of that and start hitting F8 again.

 

Once in Safe Mode, do a DF if you can. If it also gives you grief in this mode, either with the temperature or with other software, then sadly you have other, greater issues.

Safe mode is Microsoft's guarantee that Windows will start, if it doesn't, Windows is really screwed.

There are a lot of stuff you can't do in Safe Mode and your screen resolution will be nice and chunky but try for a DF and cross your fingers.

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Warlock - I apologize for not keeping up with this thread. I have spent some time this evening, re-read it from start to finish, and have several questions you should consider.

 

1.) Is Speccy the only way you have to monitor cpu temperatures? I ask this because on my Intel Atom equipped laptop, Speccy is right on the money, but on my AMD A10 equipped laptop, Speccy is off by a ridiculous amount, reporting temperatures roughly double what they actually are. At 118c, there would be smoke and flames coming out of the vents of this machine. Perhaps you should install a utility like Core Temp to verify what Speccy is reporting.

 

2.) This temperature limit of 50c you mentioned seems extremely low. Did you get this info solely from Speccy, or did you obtain it from the manufacturer's website? The reason I ask is that both of the processors I already mentioned have limits of 100c. Even the ancient P3 Coppermine in my old desktop has a limit of 80c. A limit of 50c seems unrealistic to me, perhaps Speccy is misleading you here.

 

3.) Erratic behavior of the cursor could be an indication of a temperature related problem. But it could also be caused by a bad video cable, wear and tear on the sockets said cable plugs into, an outdated video driver, or a BIOS related issue. Swapping video cables, checking connections, and verifying if the driver version is current, as well as the BIOS version, are things you can do yourself at little or no cost.

 

4.) Do the wizards who work on your machine share any info with you as to what they have already done? Have they ever removed and reinstalled the heatsink on the processor by chance? I ask because this is something easily overlooked yet extremely important, and it might be the cause of all your problems. Over a long period of time thermal paste does dry out and lose it's effectiveness. Applying new paste over the old stuff is useless. The old paste must be completely removed first. Applying a very thin coating to both the processor and heatsink is all that's needed , because it will act as an insulator rather than a conductor of heat if applied too thick. Then you bring the two together, twist the heatsink back and forth slightly to remove any trapped air, and secure it with the bracket or retaining clip. Wipe any excess off with a Q-Tip and you are done. There is only one person I trust to do this correctly: me.

 

I hope this helps you out Warlock. Take care and good luck.

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Given the issues you seem to have using Defraggler on your aging machine, perhaps just use Windows built-in defragger to get things down to a level your machine can cope with.

 

Start -All Programs -Accessories -System Tools -Disk Defragmenter.

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Hello Dear Friends, can I get back to you later. We're under a tornado threat here. Love and thanks so much. Warlock

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Hi All, back now, going to try to answer the wonderful bundle of help given. No, el, got enough there years ago of all you can eat flesh eating members of the animal kingdom. Thanks for the concern anyway. Didn't get hardly anything in the states with all the twisters banging around. We were blessed. Hazel, long time, I'll keep that on the table for sure, thanks so much lady. Derek, no need to apologize. Speccy is the only monitor I've been using and for the HD it quotes my brand and gives 50c red. One of the idiots that handled this installed Core Temp but didn't bother, as all, to explain anything so the Avast support removed it when they were working on issues. The heatsink was overhauled almost two years ago by former pal I might mention. It seems after this has run for a while problems like the cursor acting up diminish, been working fine past few days and temps are comfortable. Now, if were to load it up that might change but doing fine as I speak. Crazy. MTA, I'll keep your suggestion on the table also, just experiment some I guess. By the way, I was mistaken previously. I downloaded SlimCleanerPlus not FixComputerPlus. I may not always be right but I'm never wrong. If I've failed to answer anyone satisfactorily just let me know. Got to finish standing down from tornado battle stations last night. Deepest thanks to all as always and take care. You're the greatest. Warlock

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Got to do something, as I type it's acting up, stopping and cursor skipping randomly

Hi, Warlock. If your computer has a mechanical mouse with a hard rubber ball, try cleaning the ball and the roller wheels inside the mouse. If there is lint in there it will make the cursor skip around. Worth a try. :) Shows how to here.

http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Ball-Computer-Mouse

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good point @login123, well worth the shot.

i can't remember the last mouse I saw with a ball... (actually, mine is a trackball and they also need cleaning regularly)

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Hi to my dear friends Login and MTA. I'm overwhelmed by the endless generosity and giving of you folks. On page 2 now of posts. Login I had one of those ball type mouses when I first started my computer pilgrimage several years ago. Then a friend suggested I pick up an optical mouse and I have to my collection a MS and a brand new HP I just located. The optical type seems to have served me well for a long time. I always beat my doc out of an ample supply of those little alcohol wipes for dings and cleaning the entire surface of the mouse. I pitched some of the mouse pads I had in favor of one of the wife's smooth place mats which allows me to float around my desktop. I think the erratic behavior goes deeper into the host of other problems and it seems to work well after I've been on for a while. I believe it's just in need of the big enema we've been discussing. Today I can't get the search feature in the start up window to function at all. I'll just have to play around with this thing until I can find someone who can back everything up either very reasonable or better pro bono. Anyway, thanks so much for jumping in there. My goodness, the temps are almost textbook which is comforting. I have my little fan blowing into the vents. Muchas gracias and take care.

 

Warlock

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Hi Everyone, still having a boat load of problems, snails pace in operating, script notices, etc.  Got some help from the paid Avast support and they connected and fixed some but still needs the hood ornament with a new car under it.  I'm going to take a shot at defragging to see if this helps this thing to run better.  The support team did a disk cleanup recently I should mention.  Defraggler reports 27% and Windows says it's time.  I think I'll try Hazel's post on 11-17-2013.  I saw where Derek on 11-09-2013 stated that this method starts all over when stopped.  With my heating problem in mind I was curious if once a portion of the hard drive is defragged is it cleaned and gone.  About the only way I can do this is to shut the machine off and back on to cool.  Hope this makes sense.  I promise to put the big hammer down until I hear back from you.  Thanks and take care.  Warlock

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Hope you folks aren't tired of me beating a dead horse but I was reviewing the posts on this issue.  mta stated an interesting suggestion that I'm considering.  I've gone into the Safe Mode just to work with my Avast support folks but that's it, they took it from there.  I was wondering if I do a Safe Mode does that essesntially take a load off the hard drive?  In other words less programs running if my thinking is close.  If it does then I may be able to do a defrag safely with my overheating problem.  Less strain on the H.D. which is probably aging should ease the pain of this issue. I would have to be able to get to my defrag programs and Speccy for monitoring temps though.  Any thoughts on this would be gratefully accepted as always in addition to an answer on my previous post above I believe on 11-05-2013.  Thanks again and I await eagerly your input.  Take care.  Your friend, Warlock 

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Keep in mind most maintenance in Safe Mode comes with the penalty of it being much slower, such as malware/virus scanning in particular. Although I have no experience defragmenting in Safe Mode since I've never tried it.

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