The windows server periodically goes through its database and cleans it up deleting records that are no longer needed (Foust et al, 2006). This process is called database compaction. Automatic compaction process is also called online compaction is dynamic but is not as efficient at reclaiming unused space. Foust et al, (2006) indicated that automatic compaction "clears the old records out of the database but it does not reduce the size of the database" (p. 329). This process of compaction is performed while the Wins are running. Sometimes users may need to recover the disk space on smaller volumes or older hardware hence automatic compaction may not deliver the required results using this process (Foust et al, 2006).
Manual compaction is also known as offline compaction a process of compacting database when the WINS service is stopped which is the most efficient means of reclaiming unused space in a WINS database (Foust et al, 2006). Foust et al, (2006) further says that monthly offline compaction is recommended for large, busy networks of often more than 1,000 WINS clients while less frequent offline compaction will be suitable for smaller networks.
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Shinder, Debra & Grasdal (2003) noted that automatic is not efficient as manual compaction and therefore it is desirable for the WINS administrator to stop the WINS service and perform a manual compaction of the database. The WINS administrator can use Jetpack.exe, found in the System 32 folder for manual database compaction. Shinder, Debra & Grasdal (2003) also indicated that "the jetpack utility works by creating a temporary database in which to compact the records and then replacing the original database with compacted one" (p. 448).
Unlike the automatic compaction periodic manual compaction of WINS database helps to ensure that the WINS database stays healthy in a busy environment with for example hundreds of computers using DHCP (MCSA on Windows Server 2003 Core Exams in a Nutshell by O'Reilly Media, n d). Therefore the reason for this manual compaction is that it allows more efficient compaction and defragmentation of the database. O'Reilly Media (n d) says that manual compaction should be performed if errors messages are received indicating that WINS database are corrupted.