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Defragging in XP

by Carol~ Moderator / February 5, 2006 9:23 AM PST

Within a thread on this page titled ''Windows XP Slow Shutdown'', member ''caktus'' answered the original post thusly:

I beleive applies if the fragmentation may drastically affect the operation of Windows. Regular or even daily defragmenting will [help] keep the machine operating at peak performance. It also means defregmentation time may be reduced form many minutes to as little as seconds.

This has been a question I've never really looked into, but has been on my mind for quite some time, since I had remembered reading that one shouldn't defrag on a continual basis. I just looked under the ''help'' section within ''Defragmentation'' in XP which states:

Analyzing before defragmenting
Analyze volumes before defragmenting them. After analyzing a volume, a dialog box tells you the percentage of fragmented files and folders on the volume and recommends whether to defragment the volume. Analyze volumes regularly and defragment them only when Disk Defragmenter recommends it. A good guideline is to analyze volumes at least once a week. If you seldom need to defragment volumes, analyze volumes monthly instead of weekly.


Why does it say to defragment it only when the defragmenter recommends it? Is there a reason the documentation says not to run it, if analysis proves it unnecessary? Is it detrimental, or merely a useless task?

Thanks in advance for any and all input..
Carol

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Wear on the hard drive...
by John.Wilkinson / February 5, 2006 9:41 AM PST
In reply to: Defragging in XP

Carol,

The reason you should only run defragmenter when it recommends doing so is because each time you do you are putting wear on the hard drive, thereby shortening its life span. (Simply using the hard drive puts a low amount of wear on it, but that amount is much less than during the defrag process.) However, if your drive is heavily fragmented it would put more, and continued, strain on the drive than a short defragging session. In that case, defragging would be a wise idea, helping to extend your hard drive's life and increase overall performance.

Hope this helps,
John

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Thanks John.. and I couldn't have
by Carol~ Moderator / February 5, 2006 10:03 AM PST

gotten a better answer from a better person! You've explained it well. (I always like to know ''why''.) The fact is, analysis has proven that I have never needed to. I have done it on a very rare occasion and when I have, it hasn't taken more than 5 minutes.

Thanks again for straightening this out for me..
Carol

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Link on defrag
by 19sd78 / February 5, 2006 10:41 PM PST
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