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I am running Windows 7 inside VMWare Fusion and I am wondering if I can defrag and run normal maintenance like I would on a stand alone Windows machine? I would like to defrag and use Iolo's System mechanic tools as I find this helps to keep windows running very well. Will doing this kind of maintenance on an VMWare image hinder the performance or is it good?

Thanks, Greg

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migrated from Jan 16 '11 at 8:38

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This depends on the type of the virtual disk. For a fixed-size (preallocated) defrag will work, but you will also want to defrag the host volume. For a growable disk you will need to also defrag the virtual disk using Virtual Disk Manager

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Although running the windows defrag tools should not cause any sort of harm, they are much less necessary than they had been in the past due to the specifics of your setup. Bear in mind the VMs are represented by files on the harddrive of your Mac, and therefore the more important fragmentation metric would be their representation on your HFS plus filesystem.

If you are concerned that fragmentation is causing issues, I suggest you take a look at Mac filesystem instead of the windows vm. Start here for an in-depth discussion on hfsplus and a tool for this purpose, hfsdebug:

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