WHY is Win7 System Reserved partition fragmenting?
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WHY is Win7 System Reserved partition fragmenting?
Helping a friend restore his computer (Win7, 64 bit) and was struck with a question. Windows defrag utility says that the System Reserved partition is 5 percent fragmented. Why/how is System Reserved partition fragmenting at all?
Google search tells you not to worry about it and not defrag the System Reserved partition. That's fine, but doesn't answer the question: What is going on in that partition (100mb) that would cause it to fragment at all? The MBR in the parition has not been altered.
Only possible solution I saw in the returned Google answers was that restore points are stored in there. I have no idea if that is true or not.
The system reserved partition contains the bootloader and software like the BitLocker Drive Encryption, so it may be possible that during updates that partition is altered, so that fragmentation can occur.
Also, when the partition is small, percentages are inflated.
Fragmentation used to be an issue when the old FAT filesystem implementations (which were really geared for floppy disks ... the black kind ...) were being used on drives that were larger than the filesystem was really ever designed for. Well, since that time, FAT has gotten pretty decent and there are many other filesystems out there (for computers of all types) that were engineered to handle modern-day requirements. Concerns about "fragmentation" are basically not valid concerns anymore. The systems are designed to take care of themselves over an indefinite period.
My Windows 2000 instructor (my, that was a long time ago) explained it thusly (I can't remember the exact terms he used):
Files can be scattered in pieces all over a disk. In FAT, the information for finding the next portion of the file was stored at the end of the previous portion, so portions had to be loaded in order: Load portion A, go to B, then go to C, and so on.
On a heavily fragmented drive, a file might be stored in many more places than on a defragmented drive, since, on a defragmented drives, portions of a file are stored as much as possible in adjacent sectors--they are in an orderly row, not scattered throughout the crowd.
In NTFS (this was a Win2000 class, remember), information for finding all the portions of the file were stored in the first sector of the first portion of the file. Microsoft itself said that fragmentation would not be an issue on NTFS, and it really wasn't. Users, though, interpreted that to mean that defragmentation would not happen, which was not what MS meant--it still happened, but it did not noticeably affect how long it took to load a file.
Since it still happened, Windows users demanded a defrag utility, so MS gave them one.
Linux file systems tend to manage fragmentation on their own. Files still get fragmented--it's just part of how disk storage works--but external utilities are not needed to keep it under control on Linux partitions.