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How can I manually move files on a physical hard disk? I want to move files which are never modified, only read, to the end of the partition, like movies or something.

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If you're running windows 7 the regular defrag process will do a decent job of optimizing their placement. Without checking up on it, I think fragments of 64kb in size for large files will perform optimally even if each chunk is scattered all over the place. Not sure if the defragmenter worked this way in Vista as well. –  Melikoth Sep 27 '12 at 12:04
    
You can create multiple partitions. One of them at the end of the disk. (Or at the beginning of the disk, whichever you define as the slowest part of the drive, since HDD speed is mostly irrelevant when you watch a movie). –  Hennes Sep 27 '12 at 12:27
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Firstly, excuse my English if it's bad!

You can achieve your goal of positioning rarely used files like video or music, with mydefrag scripting language.

By using its scripting language, you can create zones (in a partition with 3 zones, third zone is the end of partition) and place any specific files (choose a pattern like *.mp3 or *.avi) and move them to the end of partition by giving your personalized script to mydefrag software.

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There are plenty of tools with direct disk access that will allow you to write raw data to the disk. On Unix-based systems, the command dd is usually available for that. On Windows, you'll have to rely on third-party software. You can write movies to the physical end of your hard drive that way and manually update the file system. On all but the most basic file systems, that would be quite a lot of tedious work and very uncommon outside the context of data recovery.

It is rather pointless, too. Defragmentation tools already do a reasonable job at moving files around to increase performance, and could easily undo your manual efforts. Disabling them would probably negate the performance benefits you are aiming for.

Nevertheless, there may be something to gain in storing infrequently accessed files on the slow end of your drive. The best way to achieve this would be to create seperate partitions, thus restricting where the files can physically go, similar to a technique called Short Stroking. Note that when the files are accessed on both partitions simultaneously, for instance when copying movies from one partition to another on the same drive, performance actually takes a severe hit due to the constant repositioning of the head.

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Good advise. However, I won't call manually moving files pointless. –  MC Emperor Sep 27 '12 at 15:19
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