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Ronn P.

Defragmenting with Defraggler made the Fragmentation Worse and Increased the Used Space

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I decided to do a full defragmentation of my C: drive for the first time this day. The defragmenter I use is Defraggler by Piriform. When I analyzed the drive, it detected 13% fragmentation.  After that, I clicked the 'Defrag' button to start the defragmentation processes.


I thought it was going fine. At about 50% of the process, it was 10% fragmented now.  But then I noticed that the used space increased from 86.3 GB to 103.2 GB! So I stopped the defragmentation. This was surprising.


After stopping it, I decided to analyze the drive again to see if the fragmentation when low. At my surprise, it went HIGH! From that 10% fragmentation, it increased up to 37% fragmented! I was shocked. 


I went to Windows' built-in Disk Defragmenter to see if their analysis were the same. At my surprise again, it said 2% fragmented! I was confused.


I don't even know which one is accurate now. Defraggler or Disk Defragmenter?!? I don't know which one is the problem. Is it Defraggler or Windows?


Why did defragmenting make the drive more fragmented? Why did the used space increase? Should I try using a different defragmenter? Should I uninstall Defraggler?



OS: Windows 8.1, 64-bit

Defraggler Version: v 2.19.982

C: Drive Capacity: 185 GB

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in Defraggler, go to Settings, Options, Advanced, tick Stop VSS.

also tick Use Custom fragmentation settings and click Define, tick both Exclude options.


that is probably the main reason for the fragments increasing while the process was running.

stopping it mid-way has left them all behind now.


run DF again and let it complete - if it's been a while since your last defrag this could take a while - so - Patience Grasshopper. :)


you may want to tidy up your hard drive first by running CCleaner prior to running DF, no sense if defragging crap, and if your first failed DF was playing with Volume Shadows then you may have a lot of restore points that need removing.

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Hi mta,


Thanks for the reply. Those three options were already ticked when I defragmented. I also ran CCleaner before defragmenting. I checked CCleaner for my restore points and I didn't notice any new points. The last was when I uninstalled Java. I uninstalled Defraggler for a while


I guess I made a wrong decision in stopping the defragment process. But why do you think the fragmentation still increased when the three options mentioned were already ticked? And what are Volume Shadows? I'm sorry, but I'm a very inexperienced user.


Do you know a solution to stop the used space from increasing?


Thanks again.



After waking up this morning, I decided to reinstall Defraggler. When I analyzed the C: drive, it was at 5% instead! Why is this happening?

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here's something to get you started on your VSS path to enlightenment.




it's a bit heavy and geeky but in short, if you run DF with VSS enabled then as files are being moved, you (via VSS) run the risk of space getting used as the system manages the file history.


as to why it happened even with those options ticked, one thing I thought of, how much free space was left on the drive when you defragged?

as just throwing other ideas out there, what's your AV software?

and perhaps you had something running in the background??? who knows....

you could always run DF with the PC in Safe Mode and see if it helps.

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The free space was 99.6 GB before defragmenting. After the defrag, it lowered to 82.8 GB. Right now it's 82.0 GB free of 185 GB... What's happening? Is the space getting lower and lower? My antivirus is avast! Antivirus. I also have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Anti-Exploit. Haven't tried Safe Mode yet...

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I haven't seen or heard of Avast causing any adverse side-effects with DF, so we can probably rule it out.

I too run MBAM Premium without it effecting DF.

I sometimes see DF use up the free space as it does its thing, but when finished, it all goes back to normal.


Have you noticed any 'unusual' file changes; like say with pagefile or hibernation or Restore Points or Recycle Bin?


Personally, I would put the PC into Safe Mode, run CC (without any reg cleaning) then run DF.

That way there will be no crap in the DF process and no background tasks.

I'd also empty all my Restore Points (just to be sure), just be aware if you do, you're going to lose the ability to put the system 'back in time' if you need to down the track.

But that's no biggie, you can always manually create a restore point as soon as the PC starts normally.


Of course, your reduced free space may be just coincidence with something else; Windows Update, ripping a DVD, a download, new software installation.... that sort of thing.

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No, I didn't see any file changes like a new restore points or files moved to the Recycle Bin. And what are pagefiles? And what do you mean by hibernation.


I don't want to empty all restore points because they're usually my last hope when I get problems.


Nope, I didn't use Windows Update, rip a DVD, or download new software before the defrag. The space was being taken during the defrag. Seriously, why did it take 20 GB?

I feel like I don't want to defrag anymore because it just takes the used space :(((

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pagefile is your virtual memory, which you'll find sitting on your top-level folder on C:\ drive.

that's where you'll also see the hibernation file which is used for standby/sleep modes.

if you don't see them, you may have 'show hidden/system files' turned off.


those space-hogging examples I gave were just that, examples, trying to see if they triggered your memory that something else may have happened recently that could explain the free space decrease.


have you ran DF since the initial "where's all my space gone" incident?

and if so, did it do it again?

and if not, I think it worth a shot.


if it does reduce free space again, you can always find out where it went with, say, Treesize Free from here; http://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/

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