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To reduce fragmentation, I'd like to either reserve space for files or manually state where files should be stored on the HDD so the files can grow without fragmentation. This is useful for my mail items, windows index and database files as they are growing quickly and becomes very fragmented.

Is this possible on NTFS? Are there any tools for doing this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well, it is POSSIBLE.. But, kind of like, "science fiction possible".. In order to do that, you'd need to know all the space requirements for all your files before you stored them. Which I'm guessing you won't know. So basically, no, you're not going to be doing this in the real world.

The best hack I can suggest is get a couple nice fat hard drives and use partitions to separate things.. That way, you may get in to having some stored files that are horribly fragmented, but you could keep your OS files relatively contiguous.. Of course, you can just run defrag to help deal with that.. Also, I'm not sure file system fragmentation causes any performance hits on SSDs, anyone know about that?

Alternatively, you could use a file system like ext3 that doesn't expose fragmentation issues to users.. Nor does it need to as it performs house-keeping on its own and thus you basically never have fragmentation issues.

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Can I use another filesystem than FAT/NTFS on Windows? – simendsjo Jun 28 '11 at 16:14
Partitions seems exactly what you are describing. – uSlackr Jun 28 '11 at 16:19
@simendsjo You can use other file systems in Windows, but if you're new to that topic, you may be asking for some trouble. – Doc Jun 28 '11 at 16:21

Use this builtin command:

fsutil file createnew C:\path\to\padding_file 1000

Where 1000 is the filesize in bytes.

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