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Defrag Storage Card, Don't Do It.

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By Capt Fiero, Senior Member on 6th October 2008, 07:30 PM
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This is just a quick heads up. It was new to me and I had never came across the issue before on here, so I am posting my results.


I was doing some routine maintenance on my PC and I had accidentally left one of my external USB Stick drives in the machine. I noticed that in the Defrag options, it now gave me an option to Defrag the external drive. I thought to myself, thats kinda cool, I bet my 6gb Micro SD card on my phone could benift from a good defrag. I quickly popped my Micro SD card from my phone, plunked it into a USB Key Reader and told Diskeeper to Defrag the Micro Card. I was thinking, this should be great, I have thousands of files on my Micro Card, a good Defrag should be a cool thing. A few mins later it said it was done so I pulled it out and put it in back in my phone.

The next day I went to launch TomTom and it took 5 mins just to launch the app. I thought it had froze or something. I was fighting with it, driving me nuts. I re-installed TomTom, still taking 5-8mins now to load the app. When I tried to get directions it would take up to a min just to plot a route. (should only take a few seconds) I re-flashed the phone with a new ROM, then reinstalled TomTom and it did not help at all. Everything on the storage card was taking forever to load. Even the music apps were bogging down really badly.

Today, I yanked the Micro Card out of the phone, placed it in a USB key and copied the contents to a temp Dir on my desktop, formated the card, then wrote some data to the card and formated again.

Finally I put all my data from the temp Dir back onto the card and put the card back in my phone. Launched TomTom and took about 5 seconds rather than 5 mins to load. Everything is back to perfect.

I was hoping to Increase speeds with the Defrag of the Micro SD card and in fact it killed it horribly.
 
 
7th October 2008, 11:29 PM |#2  
dzelaya18's Avatar
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Lol, good to know. I would have thought the same thing!
18th February 2009, 04:52 AM |#3  
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a little common sense would have told you that would be a bad idea.

defragging is designed to 'defragment' files and put the most used files all together at the start of the drive. meaning a hdd head doesn't have to do a lot of skipping about for one file. then yet more skipping to find the next file, and a whole load more skipping to find different pieces of that file, etc etc.

the fact that solid state media doesn't have a drive head renders defragmenting unnecessary, plus as SSDs also have a limited number of write cycles the excessive writing required to move files around the card reduces its lifespan.

hope this helps
25th April 2009, 06:47 AM |#4  
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It depends
After owning several Pocket PCs with various expansion types, defragging has it's benefits and it's pitfalls.

(The following comments are based on percieved experience. I've not done any benchmarking.)

I've found using cheap card readers can definitely cause problems with cards, particularly when defragging. It can result in various errors in the files and sometimes even render the card unreadable/unwritable. Even reformatting has no effect. To solve the problem I've often had to use a digital camera to reformat the card before it can be read/written by a PC via card reader.

Multi-media files seem to be the type of file that benefits most from a contiguous file that needs to be read/written by the Windows Mobile device. Particularly video. Why this is so, I do not know. But when watching video or listening to audio skipping and stuttering seem to be much less aparent when the file is contiguous. Also, I've been able to resurrect some .jpg files unreadableby my WM device by doing a defrag. Again, no idea why.

Almost any file that needs to be constantly read seems to benefit from a contiguous file, e.g. GPS maps.

Safest way to make files contiguous is to copy the contents of the card to a hard disk, reformat the card, then rewrite to the card.

Just my 2 cents.

Would be interested in anyone else's observations, particularly with media files.
26th April 2009, 09:59 PM |#5  
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Defragging files on flashcards is pointless - skipping from sector to sector in a row takes as much time as to skip into random sectors...

Frequent writes on cards descrease their lifetime... So that - defragging anything else than hard disks is harmful for media.
27th April 2009, 03:18 AM |#6  
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maybe unrelated, but is the option "encrypt files in the storage" (or something sounds like that) from within the windows mobile's settings pose any danger? i.e. conflicting with PIM backup files etc.

thanks
27th April 2009, 09:10 AM |#7  
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Please read
Just found this article
29th April 2009, 08:14 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave852

a little common sense would have told you that would be a bad idea.

defragging is designed to 'defragment' files and put the most used files all together at the start of the drive. meaning a hdd head doesn't have to do a lot of skipping about for one file. then yet more skipping to find the next file, and a whole load more skipping to find different pieces of that file, etc etc.

the fact that solid state media doesn't have a drive head renders defragmenting unnecessary, plus as SSDs also have a limited number of write cycles the excessive writing required to move files around the card reduces its lifespan.

hope this helps

Well said, SD cards and USB drives are flash drives and as so they don't need defragmentation and also as it was mentioned in the quote, it reduces it's lifespan.

Cheers
4th May 2009, 09:23 AM |#9  
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With Sandisk offering a 5-year limited warranty for their ordinary microSDHC and a 10-year limited warranty on their Ultra microSDHC cards and an expected minimum life of 15 years and maximum of 75 years (according to a Sandisk forum moderator) does it really matter what you do?

With storage memory sizes and formats moving so fast, who expects to keep using these things bought today on a daily basis on 5 or even 10 years' time?
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