• MS Disc Defragmenter on Win7 machine

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    MS Disc Defragmenter on my Win7 machine shows three items in the disk column;  OS (C:),  HP_recovery,  and SYSTEM.

    SYSTEM shows 19% fragmented and the “defragment disk” button refuses to defragment the disk.

    I have never seen this area fragmented before and have no idea how it got fragmented since the last time I looked at it one week ago.

    Is this something to be concerned about and if so how can I get it defragmented?


    Viewing 4 reply threads
    • #2419876

      “Is this something to be concerned about”
      – No.

      In Explorer: Right-click on Computer [NOT on C:]:
      > Storage > Disk Management
      On my computer this is a 100M partition, with 70% free.

      Do an Internet Search for [ “reserved partition” ] {include the quotation marks}.

      • #2419893

        I totally agree with PaulK.

        Never try to defrag the SYSTEM partition. For that matter, also never try to defrag the HP_recovery partition.

      • #2419935

        On my computer it’s a 100M partition, with 66% free.

        Thanks Paul.

    • #2419895

      And if you have an SSD, never try to defrag it at all.  🙂

      cheers, Paul

    • #2419937

      Thank you GoneToPlaid.

    • #2420068

      If this “just happened” without any cause you’re aware of I’d be concerned it could be an indicator some sort of bootkit has got onto the system as some file activity would be needed to cause file fragmentation; it doesn’t just happen.. so check the windows update log and check for any updates in the intervening period to be sure they aren’t the cause (very few affect the boot sector – check the write up.). Another cause could be a bad shutdown, causing a visit to Windows repair involving the reinstatement of the BCD boot and requisite log file entries but I guess you would have noticed that as well?

      The only way to really be sure (given the OS support position) would be to copy the files from the boot to another media in the command prompt of recovery from the install media (having assigned the partition a drive letter with diskpart, use xcopy with /E and /H..) and scan it on another machine with up to date antivirus as most bootkits evade the local antivirus. Alternatively, use a bootable “rescue disk” from a known AV vendor to scan the whole system – Windows tools can sometimes still be evaded by low circulation exploits which hide inside other processes.

      Then there’s the improbable option  where you managed to leave a media infected with stoned.monkey in the drive and started the machine but to be honest finding working media that old.. in that case booting clean media doesn’t allow you hard disk access.. but I’m not even sure how that might affect Windows 7!  https://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/monkey.shtml

      As has been said, the fragmentation there is irrelevant – it’s slowing the machine by a few percent in the milliseconds of time it takes to load the tiny bit of code in that area (not everything on that partition is actually loaded at boot time) ; it’s not worth chasing.

    • #2420156

      My Win 7 System Reserved drive started to get fragmented back around 2014, and by 2016 it was 5% fragmented.  I asked pretty much the same question as to why this “drive” couldn’t be defragmented and was told to just leave well enough alone.  So I have, and I’m at 13% now.

      It does make you wonder though how a drive that never has anything written to it, or deleted from it, manages to get fragmented!  Oldguy is right though – it’s not worth chasing.

      We're getting Sticker Shock everywhere now, not just car dealers.

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