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Thread: Disk Defrag XP

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    5 Star Lounger
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    Hello - I am wondering about Disk Defragmentation using Windows XP Pro.
    I have internal 80GB C: drive, and 320 GB internal F: drive.
    I also have external drives of 500 GB and 2TB.

    1) Do you think defrag is necessary on these hard drives?
    2) How often should defrag be run on each drive?
    3) What is the best defrag program?
    4) How good is Windows built-in defrag program?
    5) Any other thoughts on defrag?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    PS: Is Diskkeeper any good? What version is best?

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Defragmenting is still necessary on all hard drives with the exception of SSD's.
    The frequency of disk fragmentation is dependant on how much it is used. Typically once a month is sufficient.
    There is no such thing as a "best defrag program" as you will find opinions vary. Diskkeeper is fine, as is the free JkDefrag.
    The default Windows defragmenter program is adequate for the job. Third party tools can offer extras, like pagefile defraging at bootup.
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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Makers of paid-for defragmentation programs will tell you that their products are spectacularly wonderful and will cure all known diseases. They maintain that defragmentation should run continuously, in the background.

    In practice, defragmentation really only needs doing occasionally, and Clint's suggested monthly interval is as good as any. I have seen PCs and laptops several years old which have never been defragmented and which still operate adequately. Defragmenting them half a dozen times improves their file access times, but not to the extent of the average user actually noticing!

    Personally, I use Defraggler, because I like watching the pretty-coloured squares moving about, and the display can be resized. You can also set it to shut down when it's finished.! (Use the Slim build (at the bottom) to avoid a Yahoo toolbar install.)

    You may find it worth reading this Microsoft blog post about NTFS defragmentation, and the comments which follow it. The paragraph which starts:
    "In Windows XP, any file that is split into more than one piece is considered fragmented. Not so in Windows Vista if the fragments are large enough the defragmentation algorithm was changed (from Windows XP) to ignore pieces of a file that are larger than 64MB."
    is especially interesting.
    BATcher

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I use Auslogics Disk defragmentor. It runs quickly and works very well. I agree that the amount of use determines the defragmentation schedulee. At least once per month would seem appropriate. Most 3rd party defragers are quick and do not take a great deal of time. In addition to defragmenting, clean out old files is important as well. Utilize various cleaners to accomplish this task. Just as a fragmented drive can cause problems, old data in temp folders can do so as well.

    As Gerald states below, I also use CCleaner before each defrag. I also run my AV scans, and AM scans with Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy and elliminate all temp files, then run the defrag.

    Once defragged, this is a great time to run a system image, so I do. I generally run an image at least once per month. Data is backed up every couple of days onto my wife's PC and a Desktop PC. I feel 2 copies of the data in addition to my monthly image is sufficient for my needs. Sorry to get slightly off topic, but it seemed a good time.
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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Tim,

    I generally run CCleaner before running a defrag utility once per month so I don't have to waste time defragging junk files.

    If you use CCleaner, be careful about the cleaning options. I usually stick with the default selections, with the exception of IE cookies. I usually uncheck that one.
    Deadeye81

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    Not required unless you add and remove large files often. My2c.

    cheers, Paul

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    2 Star Lounger Katz's Avatar
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    I've been using Defraggler, and it lists the page file as fragmented at the end, but I don't think it's defragging it. I just found the menu setting to defrag a single file. Will it do it at the next boot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RochelleP View Post
    I've been using Defraggler, and it lists the page file as fragmented at the end, but I don't think it's defragging it. I just found the menu setting to defrag a single file. Will it do it at the next boot?
    Defraggler does not do boot time defrag.

    See Disk Defragmenter x64 / 64 Bit / 32 Bit Windows 7 / Vista / Xp / 2003 / 2008 | Puran Defrag for a free defrag program that supports boot time defrag. Also see PageDefrag.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate the input.

    Tim

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RochelleP View Post
    I've been using Defraggler, and it lists the page file as fragmented at the end, but I don't think it's defragging it. I just found the menu setting to defrag a single file. Will it do it at the next boot?
    Auslogics also has a boot time registry defragger you might want to check out.
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    Uranium Lounger
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    I see no one has mentioned my personal favorite, Perfect Disk by Raxco. Defrags both system & page files on boot.
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