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Why does Windows 2000 seem to fragment more frequently than previous versions?

Why does Windows 2000 seem to fragment more frequently than previous versions? And why does it take so much longer to defrag a Windows 2000 computer that has a "standard" configuration?

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The main difference between NT 4 and Win2K from the file system's point of view is the new NTFS5. NTFS5 was introduced with Windows 2000, but was already available with SP4 for NT 4 due to compatibility reasons.

NTFS5 has a lot of new features:
**Encrypted File System (EFS)
**Built-In Quotas (Native Quotas)
**More file attributes
**More "activity" with meta files
**Greater ACL (access control lists)
**USN support (records any file activity on the disk)
**Reparse Points (mount points and junction points )
**Support for sparse files

All these features result in more disk activity and more changes to files and the MFT. This results in a higher degree of fragmentation. Also, Windows 2000 installs more files than NT 4. This is another point. Think of the temporary IExplorer files...

This was first published in June 2002

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