Saturday, May 30, 2009

Windows is Fragile

This is for the sceptics out there who claim that you don't need to defragment your Windows system from time to time. Windows is a consumer operating system, and was never designed to be secure or bulletproof: it requires maintenance, such as cleaning out deleted files, defragmentation, and so on.
While I was recalibrating my Vista 32-bit system, one of the benchmarks failed. The PC is only 6 months old, and has never been defragmented. While I installed the numerous programs and security updates, I did not empty the recycle bin, and I disabled the automatic defrag. The result is a sluggish machine that behaves badly; i.e. your typical home PC.
The "Stress Test" pictured above randomly reads and writes 435,101 records to an Access97 data file. After 4 hours of doing this, Access decided that it didn't recognise its own database format anymore. Hardly surprising really. The file is badly fragmented and in desperate need of a repair and compact as well. I will try again to get a result, but with the system in such bad shape it's pure chance that I'll get one or not.

2 comments:

Irakli said...

It's quite hard to believe that the inability to open the Access database is due fragmentation/unnecessary junk on the system. Can this be a result of some minor filesystem corruption instead?

Donn Edwards said...

Chkdsk reports nothing suspicious. I should point out that the "Stress Test" had been running for over 4 hours before the error ocurred. It has never ocurred on a properly maintained system, and I have tested it on several different machines.

The only other explanation is that some other unknown process decided to lock the data file during the testing. This is possible, but I have looked at the running processes and nothing springs to mind.

As I said, Windows is fragile if not looked after. It's hardly the world's most reliable, secure or bug-free OS.


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