Wednesday, 23 December 2015

How to make large files contiguous on an E2B USB drive

As you know, most files on the E2B USB drive need to be contiguous (one exception to this is the Windows Installer ISO files).

The easiest way to make all files contiguous is to click on the \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd batch file which runs WinContig.

Tip: If you don't use the CONTIG.ISO temporary file (only used by E2B when files are non-contiguous), then just delete it. This will add an extra 500MB of free space.

BUT - Do you ever find that one or two large files cannot be made contiguous by WinContig?

You may find that, even though there is enough free space on the drive to make a copy of the file, WinContig (and Defraggler) cannot make the file contiguous. This is because the 'free space' is scattered all over the drive volume instead of being all in one 'chunk'.

Motasem discovered this yesterday and contacted me for advice. Here is how you can fix the problem...

How to 'fix' those difficult non-contiguous files

1. Download and install Defraggler

2. Use Defraggler - Analyze to view the 'block' usage on the drive

Not enough free space to copy/defrag the file shown in red!

3. Cut (move) any large non-contiguous files to your Desktop (they will be listed in the File List page of Defraggler). This is only necessary if there is not enough total free space on the drive but it won't hurt to always do it.

4. Run Defraggler - Action - Advanced - Defrag Freespace (delete files from the Recycle Bin if prompted)

The large file has now been removed and we now have a large 'run' of defragged free space.
Note that Defraggler has now made some files non-contiguous again!

5. Run  the \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd batch file

6. Copy back the large file(s) that you removed in Step 3

7. Run  the \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd batch file again.

All files are contiguous now!