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Old 11-01-2010, 02:02 AM   #1
Deja Moo
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Defrag Kindle?

Okay, I had my Kindle plugged in to my computer and just to see what would happen hit defragment and analyze. The report came back that the "volume" was heavily fragmented - and the files it showed fragmented seemed to be mostly system files. Not being a complete idiot (this week) I did NOT defrag. Anybody know what I got into?
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:35 AM   #2
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Eh, from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive

Quote:
Flash drives can be defragmented, but this brings little advantage as there is no mechanical head that moves from fragment to fragment. Flash drives often have a large internal sector size, so defragmenting means accessing fewer sectors. Defragmenting shortens the life of the drive by making many unnecessary writes
So I wouldn't.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Moo View Post
Okay, I had my Kindle plugged in to my computer and just to see what would happen hit defragment and analyze. The report came back that the "volume" was heavily fragmented - and the files it showed fragmented seemed to be mostly system files. Not being a complete idiot (this week) I did NOT defrag. Anybody know what I got into?
You do know the Kindle is a Linux (and not a windows) device and has a flash (and not a fat32) drive?
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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Except for the userstore, which *is* a FAT32 partition (mounted over fuse, so I don't even know if a defrag via USB would even do something useful...).
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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Except for the userstore, which *is* a FAT32 partition (mounted over fuse, so I don't even know if a defrag via USB would even do something useful...).
Nothing
It is more likely to wear the kindle out faster
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:16 AM   #6
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That's all I wanted to know. Thanks, all.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:26 AM   #7
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Why not just copy everything off (it's only 4 gb), quick format, and copy it back. That should eliminate fragments. You can format it right? =X

Besides, flash wear is pretty over exaggerated, you would have to be writing to it like 100 times a day for a year to wear it out or something ridiculous. You aren't running servers with constant logs to flash on it..
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curstpriest View Post
Why not just copy everything off (it's only 4 gb), quick format, and copy it back. That should eliminate fragments. You can format it right? =X

Besides, flash wear is pretty over exaggerated, you would have to be writing to it like 100 times a day for a year to wear it out or something ridiculous. You aren't running servers with constant logs to flash on it..
This depends pretty heavily on the particular flash memory being used. A budget flash part will start seeing corrupted sectors after a few hundred to a few thousand writes. When you get into better parts (like those used on SSDs) you see higher quality and then get into 100,000 writes. Wear-leveling algorithms help mitigate bad sectors, but something like a defrag or reformat is likely to touch a lot of the sectors.

It would not surprise me at all if Amazon is using cheaper flash parts on the Kindle to keep the price down, so I'd recommend against unnecessary wear and tear like defragging.

No need to walk on eggshells, of course, so don't worry about adding/removing files, getting new books, etc... but while defragging would move some files around, you won't see any performance increase (in fact, there's a good chance any performance change would be negative, or completely negligible.)
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gca3020 View Post
It would not surprise me at all if Amazon is using cheaper flash parts on the Kindle to keep the price down, so I'd recommend against unnecessary wear and tear like defragging.
I wouldn't expect them to have cut back on costs that drastically that they'd use that type of flash.

Amazon are using a Samsung MoviNAND part as eMMC in the Kindles. It is a flash memory die paired with a MMC controller die all in a single package so from the Kindle POV, it is just a regular MMC "card". I've not been able to find the endurance specifications for this part though oddly enough. I'd expect more than a few thousand erase cycles though.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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Also as I understand it, the controller will write around the dead areas so you will slowly lose capacity but the whole part will not suddenly go kaput. Your battery will probably die first. I know that is the case with my iPods.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:56 AM   #11
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You do not defrag flash memory. Never. It doesn't matter what file system (fat32, ntfs, ext3, etc.) you use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinzwind View Post
You do know the Kindle is a Linux (and not a windows) device and has a flash (and not a fat32) drive?
You do know the difference between a file system and a hardware architecture?
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:45 AM   #12
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meh, it has virtual fat32 partition. Who cares really, the thing is gonna last plenty long. But really, it loads your lil books into memory so fast that even if your 10 meg mobi file was in 100 fragments, it would load so fast you wouldn't notice it. And again, it doesn't do writes much so, even less problems.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #13
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Don't bother, there would no performance gain. With solid state memory your bottleneck is the main bus carrying the data to the cpu and not the seek/latency times of rotational storage.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gca3020 View Post
No need to walk on eggshells, of course, so don't worry about adding/removing files, getting new books, etc... but while defragging would move some files around, you won't see any performance increase (in fact, there's a good chance any performance change would be negative, or completely negligible.)
Not to be a downer on everyone who thinks defragging offers no performance gains on the Kindle, but I have seen firsthand that it helps wonders (in my case).

Here's my story. I got a Kindle 3 with 3G. I got a bunch of books. I put loads of books on it. I analyzed it with a defrag program just because I was curious, and it was pretty fragmented. I didn't defrag it. I took lots of notes and highlighted lots of things. I added collections to make things more accessible. It was getting slower and slower the more I added books and especially the more I highlighted and took notes. It would freeze for long periods (and sometimes until I powered off/on) when I took notes in certain ways. I lived with it. Eventually, however, my Kindle sort of crashed and when I powered on and off this time all my books were in the wrong order and no matter what I did, it would never put the most recent book first (it put it in some random location near the end of my list). This, of course, was highly annoying.

I thought about doing a firmware upgrade and thought maybe that would fix the issue (I don't know if I need a firmware upgrade), but I have dialup and the upgrade won't come through the 3G (and it's like 22MB or something, which would likely be interrupted by a phone call knocking me off and forcing me to start over). So, I decided to see if defragmenting it would help.

I defragmented my Kindle (before realizing that it was supposed to be more risky to defrag flash memory) with Smart Defrag (the portableapps version). Then, I tried it out. It was like 37% fragmented or something. So, about 40 minutes later, it was done. I tried my Kindle and it was good as new. It was as fast it had been before I put any books on it (which is to say about 20 times faster). The sorting bug-thing was even fixed (I had hoped for that, but honestly, I can't seem to make sense out of why it helped; I'm pretty sure it's not just because I connected it to the computer and changed the drive's contents, though). My files were still in the wrong order they had been, but viewing them put them up top again, is what I mean.

Anyway, there are definite performance gains, even if there are risks. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Of course, fragmentation is going to occur if you copy lots of small files onto a Kindle. Files don't always come unfragmented when they're freshly copied. That's actually one of the things that can cause fragmentation.

If you put hundreds or thousands of books on your Kindle, and especially if you use notes and marks a lot, then you might appreciate this. If you only have like 30 books, don't mark things, and have no huge PDF files, then you'll probably be fine forever without something like this.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #15
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Honestly, I think they should make the firmware compatible with other kinds of partition formats (besides FAT32). FAT32 gets fragmented very easily. They should let us Linux users use Ext2, 3 or 4 if we want (then fragmentation wouldn't be a problem, although it wouldn't work on Windows anymore without a special program, but that's okay by me). Actually, it'd probably be better (for the Kindle's health, I mean, and not for convenience) over all if they made it the default and then just made a special Amazon file manager for the Windows Kindle to use the partitions.

Last edited by kanesa; 08-13-2011 at 04:35 PM.
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