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What's the most efficient way to defrag to avoid data loss?

Our domain controller is extremely defragmented and Windows defrag utility doesn't want to defrag it much. There's more than 15% free space on the drive. Also, I'm concerned about data loss -- should I be? What's the most efficient way to defrag to avoid any data loss?

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In most cases, a disk defrag will not create any issues in terms of data loss. However, since Murphy was an optimist, you should maintain and test a system of data backups for your network to guard against any potential for data loss. (Due to power loss, virus, or a multitude of other causes.) You should also defragment the Active Directory database separately, since the built-in defrag utility will leave it untouched. This involves booting into Directory Services Restore mode and running the ntdsutil command, as explained here: http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBF/TIP2600/rh2635.htm.

This was first published in August 2004

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