Melco Disc Fragmentation?

I have a Melco N100. I have around 200 CD’s ripped to it. Over the past couple of years I have deleted quite a few discs from the internal drive and of course added new ones.

I was alarmed to recently read that doing a lot of editing on the Melco itself can cause the internal disc to become fragmented which can affect sound quality. The solution is apparently to wipe the disc and restore everything from a back-up drive. I am nervous about doing this as if anything goes wrong it will mean re-ripping everything!

What are other Melco owners experiences here? Have you deleted stuff from the hard drive and has it impacted on sound quality? I can’t say I’ve noticed anything untoward, but then a subtle degradation over many months might well go undetected.

I don’t know to what extent one can delete stuff without it affecting sound quality. Thanks.

If you only add music, or just delete the odd one or two albums, which I would expect is more the normal usage (but that may be projecting my own habits on others), then fragmentation should be negligible.

The disks in music storage devices are mostly just like that in any computer (Melco etc are computers) but the question, perhaps, for people who do tend to delete, is are there any storage devices where the software refuses to split a file, simply placing in the “lowest” available “slot”, thus not fragmenting, but progressively wasting potential storage capacity.

I think typically you want a defragmentation setup, which shuffles stuff around so that files are together at the beginning. This tends to be automatic on most systems these days, but never used to be. But no idea what Melco is based on, and whether it defrags itself. If it doesn’t then typically what you could do (sorry dont know Melco, so this might not be possible) would be to format drive and restore from backups, which would then ensure it gets written one track at a time. However you do need to really rely on your backups, so I would ensure you have at least two backups.

Thanks for the replies.

I have deleted perhaps around 30 or so albums - maybe more - over the past year or so. I’m only using a tiny amount of the Melco’s disc capacity.

The manual states that the internal disc can be accessed via a computer in order to add or edit files so I assumed that it was perfectly OK to do this. There were no warnings of any kind. I only came across the warning from Melco by chance online when I was looking at something to do with back-ups.

Apparently not. To defrag the disc it says that the restore function from the back-up drive should be carried out and this will result in all the data being reinstated in a non-fragmented state. I don’t fancy doing this as if something goes wrong, which IME it easily does with this sort of thing, then I’m facing a major headache.

I only have one back-up on a pen-drive. Should this be satisfactory or should I be backing up to something more elaborate - and if so what? Connection of the back-up device to the melco is via USB.

Also I’m not sure I can have more than one back-up device as the Melco needs to recognise the designated back-up drive. So if more than one drive is designated as back-up then I assume the Melco will just ‘forget’ the previous designated drive. Not sure about this. The manual is a bit sketchy and during initial set-up I needed to read lots of stuff online in various places in order to get things to work properly. The manual seems to make the assumption that the user is something of an IT expert.

If it plays OK, which I guess it would unless very heavily fragmented (unlikely in the circumstances you describe, then it’s not worth worrying about. And presumably Melco thinks the same as otherwise one would have thought they’d give appropriate cautions.

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Fragmentation means nothing on SSD drives. Their internal firmware actualy forces 100% fragmentation (transparent to the operating system) as a way of maximising MTBF. What do you have in the Melco? I’d have thought SSD rather than HDD surely.

My model has a HDD so is susceptible to fragmentation.

Discussions with Melco (UK) have been most helpful. Apparently fragmentation only really becomes an issue when the HDD is approaching capacity. Since this will never happen with me - I will not be buying hundreds more CD’s or downloads, it is irrelevant.

I’ve never been comfortable owning more than around a couple of hundred CD’s. To many here I’m sure this will seem a tiny amount. I’ve never understood the point of owning many hundreds or thousands of recordings. What’s the point? When would you ever find the time to listen to them all? It’s just the collecting mentality. But each to his/her own.

I personally think you are trying to scratch a non existent itch.


Good to get the info from those who know their own product. They’re were always very helpful when i owned Melco kit.


I use two back ups on my Melco, no problem.

Thanks that’s good to know.

Interesting response. In normal computer terms certainly the process of defragmentation gets harder (or sometimes impossible) at >80%.

In terms of it being an issue, then I cant fully understand their response. E.g. If you make an additional change to metadata on a file that’s at the beginning of your storage, then those file additions will be potentially be spread all over your disk, so to read that full file, the disk heads have to move around more. Now perhaps they might argue that as the files are not that large, it doesn’t take that much longer to get the complete file, so isn’t a problem. Video files might be worse, but irrelevant here

I don’t fully understand the process so I’m happy to accept Melco’s response. However what I do know is that the Melco, although essentially a computer, is optimised for audio replay so does things rather differently to a ‘normal’ computer.

That greatly depends on the file system. If it is something like ZFS then fragmentation, even for HDD is going to be very high much of the time as with any COW based file system, but that file system is designed to cope with it well beyond 80% or much higher, albeit with reduced IO capability - which would never apply here. And generally for things like ZFS (to use a consistent example) that “near capacity” statement would also only start to be a major issue if you were reaching >95% fragmentation and >80% utilisation.

As opposed to NTFS which is going suffer under load at fragmentation <10% if pushed hard with HDD backed storage.

It’s all academic I suppose. If Melco say it’s not an issue then it’s not an issue.

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