Defragment Hard Drive


What is Defragment
Notes before you begin.
Windows 2000 and XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10

What is Defragment

–Technical: Reordering the files on your hard drive to place the cluster of sectors used in a sequential order.

–Easy to understand: Ever play ’52 Card Pickup’? Imagine throwing a full deck of cards all over the floor and having to pick them up before dealing each hand of your favorite card game. NOT fun at all. Your computer doesn’t like doing that either. It is too much work.

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–Starting with Windows Vista defragment can run for you on a schedule, but of course that could require you to leave your computer on all night. Some are scheduled at night and will wait until a certain amount of time after you stopped using your computer (while idle).

–How often you defragment the hard drive depends on how much you do on the computer. If your kids use the computer as well, then it might be a good idea to do it once a month. Regular defragmenting is only benificial for gamers, picture/video editing, and other high-end usage of the computer where fast responce time of the hard drive is crucial. If all you do is email and web-browsing then you do not have to do this as often, but it would be a good idea of you Clear Your Temporary Internet Files more often.

–For some, you will need to start it before you head to bed for the night since it can take a while.

–The more you do while running defragment, the slower your computer will run, and the slower the defragmenter will run as well.
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Windows 2000 and XP:

To start out, go to your Desktop and find “My Computer” and right-click on it.

Then find “Manage” and click on that.

If you are having trouble viewing the window then go ahead and maximize it.

Next thing to do is select “Disk Defragmenter”.

Typically Windows gets installed to drive C so these instructions are going to be based on that.

Next thing to do is to select drive “C”.

At the bottom of the window will be a couple of buttons (Analyze, Defragment, Pause, Stop, View Report). If you haven’t started/finished the defragment yet, the only 2 that should be clickable is Analyze and Defragment. Lets go ahead and click “Defragment”.

The process should start immediately after a quick Analyze of the drive. The Analyze should only take seconds, however, the defragment can take between 30 minutes and 12 hours. This depends on hard drive size and how full it is.

During the Defragment process, it is ok to go ahead and view normal websites and play simple games (like the ones that come with Windows). Websites to avoid are ones that use lots of Java, Macromedia Flash, full screen video games. Constant opening and closing of programs and files can slow the computer down and the defragment process can go a lot slower during those times. It is best to avoid that as much as possible.

When defragmenting is complete, you will see a report on how it went, and can also see some stats of your hard drive.

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Windows Vista

Not going to bother…we are way past it. If needed review Windows XP defragment process. It should be close enough.

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Windows 7

Pick method for Experts or Standard Users. Then pick number for method to use.

Before You Start: Keep in mind a lot of versions of Windows Vista and higher defragment for you automatically. There are even some Antivirus software suits that have a System Maintenance Schedule to do things like Defragment, clean up Temporary Internet Files, and more. Learn what your system does for you before you do something manually so you don’t accidently turn that feature off by accident.

Experts can start defragmenting from the command line.

1. Read about it from Microsoft’s technet site.
2. A) Start a command prompt with admin right and type in defrag /C
B) Run Program -> dfrgui.exe

Standard users using the graphical interface.

1. A) Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter
B) Click on the drive you wish to defragment and click Defragment Disk and approve admin rights.
2) In run dialog box type -> dfrgui.exe

If you started defragment in gui mode select the drive you want (e.g. C:\) then select Defragment. It will take seconds if it is already at or near 0% or upwards of 12 hours if it isn’t very optimized. If it is on a weekly schedule like my computer then it will always be at 1% or less at all times.

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Windows 8

Should be similar to Windows 7 or 10.

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Windows 10

Start by command line

A) WIN + R and enter “dfrgui” without quotes
B) WIN + R and enter “defrag /c” without quotes.  Leave off any options like /c for a list of options to use. The /c works on all drives on the computer including removable drives.

Start by “Start Menu”

  1. Start -> All Apps -> Windows Administrative Tools -> Defragment and Optimize Drives
  2. Select your drive
  3. Click Optimize

Keep in mind that if the percent is low, about 1%-5%, then it might not be worth it. You can also turn on scheduled optimization if it isn’t already on. Click “Turn On” and it will optimize on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. Most people will never need a daily schedule set.

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