Help with file system defragmenting

Let me set this straight from the get go, I’m not talking about defragmenting a harddisk - I don’t need to be told how to run defrag.

I have 4 HDD’s at the moment full of files that I’ve been randomly downloading over the years, and I want to organise everything. The problem is, there is not enough room free to just copy things where I want them.

Is there software where I can load a list of all the files on the whole system and tell it which files I want where - and leave it overnight to sort it all out?

Like defragmenting with an extra level of abstraction.

I can’t really think of any offhand, but you might want to consider disk spanning. With XP, it is possible to take physically distinct hard disks and “span” or merge them into a single volume, which will have the net effect of consolidating both data and free space once defragmented. The down side is that because two or more disks are treated as a single volume, if one disk dies, you lose everything on all spanned drives – just as you would if it were all on a single disk.

It seems like a too highly stylised set of requirements for a conventional commercial application to cover Suda

I can think of a few ways to achieve your aim but given you have next to no available disk space they would at least require an additional piece of hardware like a large capacity USB key, USB HD, DVD writer or 4mm DAT.
Plus archiving software like Veritas.

Which doesn’t sound like what your looking for.

Not that I am aware of, how much data are we talking about? The prices on some pretty massive drives are very reasonable.

You could:
Grab an additional larger hard drive
Pull one drive out
Mount the new larger drive
Consolidate several drives to one larger one
Pull out one of the now empty drives
Replace with old but still full drive you pulled to make room for larger drive.

I am assuming part of your problem will be lack of available IDE connectors. You could also get an external USB/IDE adaptor and use it the same way without the hardware swapping.

You could also just burn 10-15G of files to DVD’s and make the needed room for shuffling.

Hmm didnt know XP had a kind of software JBOD array handling built in, dosen’t sound like something to bet the farm on.

I think with disk space having become cheaper and cheaper pretty rapidly over the years, spanning never really became a popular thing. People just bought more space. Plus, not a lot of people seem to know the capability even exists, so that didn’t help. It’s there in any event, and yes, there are risks involved since you’re banking on the reliability of more than just one device to hold all of your data, but if circumstances give you no other reasonable alternative, it is good at least as a temporary measure until you can replace your multiple smaller drives with one or two larger ones.

Drachillix the OP wants software that behaves in the same manner as Disk Defrag in that it does all the shuffling for you and can pretty much operate with very little free disk space as it uses the RAM as a collation point prior to writing back to the HD.

The drawback I see is he needs to move data between hard drives and the app would need to delete locations on the destination drive prior to writing the data (which would defeat the purpose).
So he would need to swap data between disks where both had data the other needed.

The spanning and other disk setups require you to set the drives as Dynamic Disks and you can’t boot from a dynamic disk, so at least one drive can’t be used for spanning. Without the raid controler you can’t do all the options. I usde the stripped option to make two smaller drives into a larger convenient sized one. This also can speed data writing on slower drives, because it sends data equally to every drive that has been stripped into one large drive. All disks are allocated the same amount of space so the smallest drive is the limit of space allocated on all drives. The spanned drives can use all of the space on all of the drives. A simple drive is any space you assign for use on a single drive. The worst part is that these drives are not fault tollerant.

You must have some space available, or Windows would choke. There is file management shareware and freeware that can help identify and sort, but it’s not fully automated. I don’t know the names of the ones I have tried, you’ll find them on software download sites. I know of nothing that sorts and defrags at the same time. They would have to do the sorting first and then defrag.