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I had read once here :

Defragmenting all the fragmented files before CCleaner means that larger contiguous areas will be released for use instead of more and more, and smaller and smaller free spaces being produced. This holds true for my System volume files as well. I end up with larger free space areas in many places on the disk. I don't defrag the whole disk because then the first files to be changed or added must be put only to the inside of the disk. This area is slower and results in constant head movement. Whereas, having many large free spaces all over the disk results in less head movement.

that defragmenting files is a better practice than defragmentic free space vis-à-vis performance, and took this advice to heart. This would imply that, for instance I first run Defraggler and then CCleaner (so the defragmented files that CCleaner will delete will result in free space fragmentation which presumably will result in less head movement - see quote). What you say ? Is it best to have defragmented files and fragmented free space or contiguous free space ?

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I always delete as many files as possible with CCleaner before optimizing the disk, that way you'll end up with both the maximum number of contiguous files and contiguous free space, so it's not an either or proposition.

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Hmm - you'll end up with smaller holes this way - defragmenting and then deleting files will produce bigger holes, no ? That is what is all about - what you think ? –  Mr_and_Mrs_D Mar 9 '12 at 16:01
    
@Mr_and_Mrs_D Much of what you present in the Q , and the method a person might chose would depend on the type of defrag that is going to be done. A "space" or "consolidation" or "reorder" defrag, one that moves data more than just de-fragmenting the files. These types of defrag method would push the data together, and the small holes, become big holes. What they wrote has logic for the simplest form of defraging only, and for that it would work as stated, because large files might have to be moved to locations where they have space. It is better to know what you want as end results. –  Psycogeek Mar 9 '12 at 16:23
    
@Mr_and_Mrs_D for the program mentioned piriform.com/defraggler/features/defragment-free-space , this link talk about the "space". –  Psycogeek Mar 9 '12 at 16:38
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@Mr_and_Mrs_D: The defragmentation program I prefer PerfectDisk optimizes both the files and consolidates any free space that exists on a disk or partition. I think Defraggler has options to do that although I don't use it a lot because it's much slower. –  martineau Mar 9 '12 at 23:51
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@Mr_and_Mrs_D And the original post explained that they want (large) spaces "all over the disk". Do you want spaces all over the disk, for small(er) type files to jump into them? Are you going to defrag the space also or not? Do you have Large files that you will then want to write, that will Fragment if they write into the smaller non-consolidated space locations. I go for the more long term approach, or wanting ONE large space. I also prefer the one large space to be at the end, for my uses. For the new Temporary files to be "tossed at the end" leaving the permenent data consolidated. –  Psycogeek Mar 11 '12 at 12:25
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I first delete as many files as I can, by hand and with utility like CCleaner.

Then I use the MyDefrag software to defrag files / optimize free space.

About optimize free spaces, MyDefrag let a free space and the beginning of the disk, to let windows quickly write/read temp files. All the rest of the free space is push at the end of the disk.

Remember, don't use a defrag software on a SSD hard drive.

Yes I like MyDefrag, but feel free to use any defrag software.

Edit:

Like MyDefrag does both defrag : files and free-space, so there's no need to worry which one offer the best performance. In case, you just want to know (for fun) which one is better, than I would said, it's depend of what your computer mostly do:

  • If you write a lot of file, defrag free-space is important.
  • If you read a lot of file, defrag the files is more important.

In case of a "regular" computer utilization, I would say defrag files is most important.

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MyDfrag looks promising, I'll have to compare it to the commercial program I'm currently using (and like quite a bit). –  martineau Mar 10 '12 at 0:06
    
You missed the point of my question –  Mr_and_Mrs_D Mar 10 '12 at 12:45
    
I had edit my answer, hopefully it will provide you a better answer –  Nettogrof Mar 10 '12 at 14:10
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If you defrag and consolidate both your files and free space regularly after deleting unneeded files, then, regardless of how you typically use your computer, it will be in a state to be able to perform optimally because you'll have the best configuration for either situation. –  martineau Mar 11 '12 at 19:37
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