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Defragmenting a Disk

When a file grows, it won’t fit back into its original disk location and becomes physically fragmented into noncontiguous pieces on the disk. As more files become fragmented, Windows has to retrieve the chopped-up pieces and reassemble them, impairing the disk’s performance and reliability. Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files, making both files and free space contiguous. Large blocks of available space make it less likely that new files will be fragmented.

To defragment a disk

Exit all programs; turn off antivirus software; then run Disk Cleanup.

Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.


Right-click a drive icon in My Computer; then choose Properties > Tools tab > Defragment Now.


Choose Start > Run; type dfrg.msc and then press Enter.

Click a drive to defragment.

Click Analyze.

The program analyzes the disk and makes a recommendation (Figures 19.18 and 19.19).

Figure 19.18. Defragmentation is a time-consuming process; don’t bother for drives that are only slightly fragmented. To see the extent of the fragmentation, click View Report for a...

Figure 19.19. ...list of fragmented files and the number of pieces they’re in.

Click Defragment to start defragmentation (Figure 19.20).

Figure 19.20. For best results, do nothing during the delicate defragmentation process. If you must do something, click Pause. (A better defragmenter is Diskeeper [$30 U.S.; www.execsoft.com].)

Colored graphs and the status bar display defragmentation progress.

Click Close in the dialog box that appears when defragmentation completes.

Choose File > Exit, or defragment other disks as necessary.



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