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Is it safe to run disk defragmentation on SQL 2000 & Exchange 2000 servers?

Is it safe to run disk defragmentation on SQL 2000 & Exchange 2000 servers? One of my clients is running a Prophit 21 application that runs on SQL 2000, and they told him not to run any type of disk defragmentation.

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Usually, it is safe to defrag SQL and Exchange Servers. Both are using database files, which are locked while the system is running. So a defragger will skip these files and proceed with the next ones. If you want to defrag these files, you have do use an offline defragger, which is included in most comercial ones. This tool also adds automatically locked files to a list of files to be defragged at next system startup. So you don't have to worry about it at all. :)

However, there are some applications which rely on certain files to be at certain locations. This is a copy protection, which I think is very uncomfortable and nowadays out-of-date. But when you run those apps, you will get trouble if a defragger moves these files. Please check the manual if there is a statement about such a behavior. If this is true, exclude the files from defragmentation. Most of the commercial defraggers do offers such an option.

This was first published in June 2002

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