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Can I safely defrag a compressed drive on a Raid 5 system?

We have a Dell Server with Win2k and a hardware Raid. The Raid 5 partition contains a compressed folder. There is a very slow response when trying to open this file. After checking the partition, I noticed that the disk is totally fragmented. Can I defrag a compressed drive which is on a Raid 5 system without harming the data?

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Yes you can. Compressed files and folders are handled by defraggers the same way as all uncompressed files. However, compressed files are always the source of performance leaks -- Windows does not use the best algorithm to compress the files and therefore causes a high level of fragmentation. This, of course, leads to loss of performance.

This was first published in August 2002

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