Quarterly Computer Preventive Maintenance
Module 4 - Defragment the Hard Drive

disk defragmenterThe Windows Disk Defragmenter is a built-in Windows utility designed to increase access speed by rearranging files on the hard drive into contiguous storage locations.

Defragmenting a disk minimizes head travel, which reduces the time it takes to read and write files on the hard drive. This not only increases performance of the hard drive, but also helps to increases its life expectancy as well as extending the battery life in the case of laptops.


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There are some housekeeping items to perform before you defrag. If there are programs that you no longer need, go ahead and uninstall them. Delete any old, unnecessary files, duplicate photos, movies, etc. Any rearranging of files and folders should also be completed before you defrag. Run a thorough Disk Cleanup to remove any unnecessary files and clean the registry. Once you have finished the housekeeping, you are ready to defrag.

A hard drive/partition must have at least 15% free space to defrag properly. Defrag uses this space as a sorting area for file fragments. To increase the free space on a volume, delete unneeded files or move them to another disk.

The Windows 7 disk defragmenter is scheduled to run in the background as a low priority task when the machine is idle without negatively affecting computer performance, although Windows will disable disk defragmentation on SSD system drives which don’t require defragmentation. Although Windows 8 improves solid-state drive support by visually identifying the storage type of each volume, and by adding the option to optimize them using TRIM. This replaces the Defragment option for solid-state drives. The name of the utility is changed to “Defragment and Optimize Drives”.

The Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter does not defragment Bootsect dos, Safeboot fs, Safeboot csv, Safeboot rsv, Hiberfil sys, Memory dmp, the Windows page file, files in the Recycle Bin and files which are in use.

Puran Defrag is a simple disk defragmenter which will defrag the files and optimize your entire system, collecting all the fragments of a file and putting them together, as well as moving some frequently used files and all directories to faster disk areas. This process boosts your hard disk performance and thus overall system speed. In addition it reduces wear and tear on your hard disk, thereby increasing its life span.

The Disk Defragmenter only defragments files which are smaller than 64 MB only so as not to put pressure on the system to find large, contiguous blocks of free space.

If you still want to defrag files larger than 64 MB too, you need to use certain other defrag parameters to be able to defragment files of all sizes.

For most, the best practices for using defragmentation in Windows 7 are simple – you do not need to do anything. But if you feel that you need to have a 3rd party defrag tools to better defrag and/or even defrag very large files easily and quickly, or if inspite of doing your best to troubleshoot the in-built disk defrag utility, you are unable to get the in-built defrag tool working, you may want to try 3rd party defragmenting software.

Microsoft Resources

Disk Defragmenter for Windows 7

Disk Defragmenter for Windows Vista

Disk Defragmenter for Windows XP

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