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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    task scheduler (Home XP)

    I would like to set up defrag and scan disk as scheduled maintenance items for my new XP machine. When I click Add Task, I'm at a loss to figure out where these two are? Neither are on the available list. Scan disk is not on my Start/Accessories/System Tools list at all. Possibly called something different? Does Disk Cleanup do it all? This is a one user machine and I have only a profile for computer administrator, doesn't seem like it should be restricted access.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    The standard defragmentation tool in Windows XP (and 2000, coincidentally) cannot be scehduled without outside assistance. This is by design. However, some enterprising developer has created a tool called Morphasys AutoDefrag that will enable you to do that.

    At this point, I think it's wise to point out that you'd be much better off to purchase Diskeeper. The built in defragmenter is slow, and not as thorough. Diskeeper allows you to schedule defragmentation runs much more effectively and flexibly, and has a myriad of other features (defragments the MFT, paging file, consolidates directories, and more) that make it well worth the price. Consider it. There are also other products but I am a die-hard Diskeeper fan.

    I don't think that you can schedule a disk check, but the command to do so from the CMD prompt is CHKDSK. Due to the design of XP you cannot fix errors and recover bad sectors while the OS is running. It's much better to do this when you reboot (which you will be prompted to do if you tell it to fix errors), or even let XP decide on its own. Disk errors are far less common under XP than in Windows 9x.

    Hope that helps!
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    I have downloaded the free version of Diskeeper and if the paid for is NOT lot faster I would will not buy it. The download is so slow much than Defrag and Nortons Speed disk. It would be a waste of my money if it is not a lot faster. It took over 5 hours to do a 8 gig drive. Defrag takes about 2 and Speedisk takes about 1 hour.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    I don't know if your experience is typical - I use the 'Set it and forget it' feature and almost never perform manual defragmentation runs. The ability to defragment nearly every aspect of the XP file system made it worth the purchase price to me. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> One less maintenance task for me to think about!
    -Mark

  5. #5
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    How long does it take to do your hardrive(s)?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    Currently, with version 6 SE, I can defragment a 25GB partition in about 20 minutes. A lot of it depends on how full the partition is and how fragmented it is to begin with. My understanding was that the free version uses the same engine as the for-fee version, so I don't think it would be that much different - but again, I have it running while I'm asleep or at the office so feagmentation levels don't get out of control very often. If there is less than about 15% free space it takes considerably longer to run. I've gotten the best results by setting a different schedule for each partition so that the read-write heads on my single drive at home don't have to move excessively.

    Can you set the run-time priority on the Lite version? That also seems to make a big difference.
    -Mark

  7. #7
    Lounger
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    Thanks to all

    Thanks for the heads up, guess I'm stuck in the mentality that Windows always needs lots of regular sprucing up and coddling. Home XP might just be a better mouse trap literally. I appreciate each of your comments, for kinda informed novice user, you make the Lounge a tremendous resource.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    I have a different problem with scheduling tasks.

    On WinXP Pro, my tasks don't run unless logged in. I thought tasks could be run w/out logging in if the user account and password were specified. Any ideas?

  9. #9
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    I think that scheduling tasks require a pssword and the account that is logged in must also have a password used.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    Bought Diskeeper 3 weeks ago (Comp USA); technician who taught their classes said no difference in Norton Speed Disc and that I didn't need it. Couldn't disagree more. I know their philosophies of running are different--"Optimization" but like WyllyWylly I think it was a major help. I have found it will run considerably more slowly if you don't give it enough free disc space to work with. Also they strongly recommend turning off Norton which I finally found out you can do from the system tray adequately--I had been told you had to end NPROTECT.EXE in Task Manager--according to Norton Tech support you don't. Turning off Norton will make a palpable difference in the speed if you run it manually--and you don't have to.

    There are good papers on the Exec Soft site under NT on its operation and advantages and I believe them. It's running in the background, "Set It and Forget It" does real time defrag and it will back off/defer to processes you have running so as not to interfere with them. It also has the advantage that you can defrag the Page File and the Master File Table on booting and you can schedule this as a "run once" or as many times as you like.
    There was an immediate and continual performance improvement and I think it's a great investment as much as all of us hate things that lag performance and waste time. There is some information in the NT articles and although Vintage 97-98 they apply to your XP machine. Diskeeper Articles.

    For a good understanding of defragging--and [b]the importance of enough freespace ballparks of 30%,[b] no matter which one you use, please see. I believe I realize now why that of my defrags that ran long (besides the size of the hard drive or disc to defrag and the amoung of defragmentation) did so because of lack of space for defragmentation to really work optimally.
    It's a small amount of expense, considering what everyone spends on software, books, hardware, fancy setups, gadgets/gear and I'm learning a much under-rated thing to be done correctly--a lot of people very advanced in a lot of computer aspects don't seem to pay much attention to defragging effectively, but I am appreciating it better.

    Fragmentation, The Condition, The Cause, The Cure

    defrag

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: task scheduler (Home XP)

    Dave ~

    I use the Diskeeper Lite and the first time it took 2 hours tops on a badly fragged 30GB HD. On another unit it takes an hour tops on a 40GB HD. Now It only takes 30-60 minutes to run on my 30GB.

    I am very pleased with it and the features that are in the full version seem to be well worthy of the asking price. The Help is among the better help files I have seen - very thorough.

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