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Thread: defragmenter won't defrag some files, esp outlook pst files

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    defragmenter won't defrag some files, esp outlook pst files

    If I am trying to defragment, then the outlook files and some other large files with over 3gb will not defrag. I dont think that they are in use and even if I defrag at boot time, they still do not defrag at all. Can anyone tell me a fix for this issue? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: defragmenter won't defrag some files, esp outlook pst files

    Normally in Outlook Express you have to place the cursor on Local Folders and choose File > Work Offline followed by File, Folder, Compact All and dont interrupt the process until it is finished. It will take some time, and is essential not to interrupt the process or try to use the computer whilst compacting is in process as this often leads to file corruption of what is being compacted at that time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    I have been using Acronis True Image and the Windows simply cannot defrag files of too many GBs. In the past I have reduced the default image size to 1.5gb and havent had any issues then. I dont know what is the size limitation in Windows, but if there is a way to limit the file size in Outlook, there could be your easy fix.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Hello All,

    Yes it is true that the outlook.pst files never get defragmented. Thus Microsoft technet recommends a very small 100kb tool to complete the incomplete task of defragmenting pst files. The tool is known as contig.exe. At first, it might sound like some kind of a virus; but then I assume it to be named after "contigous files" and so the name contig.

    It is a small DOS executable file not many know about.

    You can follow the link below to get a better idea.

    Using Contig

    Contig can be used to defrag an existing file, or to create a new file of a specified size and name, optimizing its placement on disk. Contig uses standard Windows defragmentation APIs so it won't cause disk corruption, even if you terminate it while its running.

    To make an existing file contiguous use Contig as follows:

    Usage: contig [-v] [-a] [-q] [-s] [filename]
    -v Use the -v switch to have Contig print out information about the file defrag operations that are performed.
    -a If you want to simply see how fragmented a file or files have become, use the -a switch to have Contig analyze fragmentation.
    -q The -q switch, which over-rides the -v switch, makes Contig run in "quiet" mode, where the only thing it prints during a defrag run is summary information.
    -s Use the -s switch to perform a recursive processing of subdirectories when you specify a filename with wildcards.

    For instance, to defragment all DLLs under c:\winnt you could enter "contig -s c:\winnt\*.dll".

    To make a new file that is defragmented upon creation, use Contig like this:

    Usage: contig [-v] [-n filename length]

    How it Works

    Contig uses the native Windows NT defragmentation support that was introduced with NT 4.0 (see my documentation of the defrag APIs for more information). It first scans the disk collecting the locations and sizes of free areas. Then it determines where the file in question is located. Next, Contig decides whether the file can be optimized, based on free areas and the number of fragments the file currently consists of. If the file can be optimized, it is moved into the free spaces of the disk.

    I hope it helped you guys...

    For those of you who are lazy... I've also attached the tool for your perusal.

    Warm Regards,


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: defragmenter won't defrag some files, esp outlook pst files

    It is true that the outlook.pst files never get defragmented because in Outlook the term defragment has been replaced by compact. The 2 names for the same thing. To compact your Outlook data files you have to go to Control Panel > Mail > Data Files button and choose a data file and click on Settings.

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