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I am using O&O Defrag to defragment the files on my computer (Windows, NTFS file system).

Is it possible to specify that particular folders (and the files/folders within them) be placed in the beginning of a drive? This was possible with the very first version of the Norton defragmentation program (back in the DOS days - many, many years ago).

Placing folders/files in the beginning of the hard disk that are known to be accessed often presumably greatly improves seek times and thus the performance of the computer.


Place the two folders "C:\WINDOWS\system32" and "C:\data\myConstantlyUsedReadOnlyDatabaseFiles" in the beginning of the disk.

I am aware that O&O Defrag can sort after access/modification time ("COMPLETE/Access" and "COMPLETE/Modified"), but this does in no way offer the level of control that is needed.

If this is not possible in O&O Defrag: do you know of another defragmentation program that offers this level of control?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

O&O Defrag does support the Layout.ini file, which is usually generated by Windows.

In the past I had made a C# application that would generate my own layout.ini file with the files that I wanted placed first on the disk and in the order I wanted them. If you overwrite it, make sure that you use Unicode encoding (UTF-16, not UTF-8).

In XP, the layout.ini is located at %WINDIR%\Prefetch\layout.ini.

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Wow, awesome solution. Thanks! – Peter Mortensen Jul 18 '09 at 9:07
Looking at file "Layout.ini" with Universal Viewer (, freeware version) in binary/hex mode reveals that it is UTF-16. – Peter Mortensen Jul 18 '09 at 9:52

Check out JkDefrag for a large number of options and very good defrag.
Its also free, open-source and can be unzipped for immediate use.

The main page has all the options described.
You can choose the last version 3.36 or the freshly released scriptable 4.0, now called MyDefrag.

These are controls of the 3.36 for reference.
You should directly use "-a 9" to sort by last access-time.

-a N Select an action to perform.  
        The number N is a value from 1 to 11, default is 3:
 1 = Analyze only, do not fixup and do not optimize.
 2 = Analyze and fixup, do not optimize.
 3 = Analyze, fixup, and fast optimization (default).
 5 = Analyze and force together.
 6 = Analyze and move to end of disk.
 7 = Analyze and sort files by name (folder + filename).
 8 = Analyze and sort files by size (smallest first).
 9 = Analyze and sort files by last access (newest first).
10 = Analyze and sort files by last change (oldest first).
11 = Analyze and sort files by creation time (oldest first).

There is also a JkFragmenter tool, if you want to play around -- (ZIP file link)

A small commandline tool to fragment existing files, to generate new fragmented files with random data, or to list fragmentation information about files.

Presumably used for testing the defrag tool.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe it can do what the OP is asking for. – Sasha Chedygov Jul 18 '09 at 5:15
I checked on that. It doesn't have the feature that he wants. – Chris Thompson Jul 18 '09 at 5:15
Actually looks like the scriptable version might be able to be scripted to do what he wants. – Chris Thompson Jul 18 '09 at 5:17
The 3.36 version allowed a lot of flexibility in selecting how the files were sorted out. The intention of the user should be focused on what kind of optimization is required. The actual disk space layout and relocation should be left to the tool whose writer has done a lot of hard work to achieve the target. – nik Jul 18 '09 at 5:31
That said, I was pleasantly surprised to find the new version had scripting support. That should give space to the innovator and experimenter in us. – nik Jul 18 '09 at 5:32

This maybe possible with Auslogics Disk Defrag Pro, it has a wealth of features that may include what you desire.

A fully functional free trial is available here, which I believe is for 30 days, so you have nothing to lose.

This is obviously a premium product similar to what you have already been using, but may turn out to be more suitable.

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