Defragging your HD

By dIsCo_dEaTh ยท 19 replies
Mar 31, 2006
  1. How often do you guys Defrag your HD's? I usually only try to do it maybe twice a year or so, as I have been told the more you do it the more it shortens the life span of the drive.
  2. rogerrabbit

    rogerrabbit TS Rookie

    personally I don't know about it shortening the life of your drive.
    what I do know is that I defrag mine about every week or so . In doing this it stops your computer running slow and just keeps it tidy .
    Some more knowlegable members may be able to help yo by going into detail.
    I hope this helps. :)
  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    If you use your computer all the time, a defrag should be done about once every week or two, or whenever you notice a slow down with your system.

    If you use the computer less often, then obviously you wont need to defrag as often.

    Defragging twice a year is being over cautious to say the least. Your computer must run very slow at times.

    It is true that defragging can shorten the life of a hard drive, if used excessively. But under normal circumstances, this isn`t something you should really worry about.

    Regards Howard :)
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    use the Admin Tools / Storage / Defrag to tell you what your fragmentation is like.
    If it's under 10%, I don't worry about it.
    Norton Speed disk will list the most fragmented files, which I like, as I don't care
    that a Restore Point is fragmented ... unlikely to be used very offen (i sure hope)
  5. kiddk1

    kiddk1 TS Rookie

    I cant remember the last time I defragged
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    you might want to. Not defragging will really bog down your system in the long run.
    If you use a program like diskeeper 9 it will automatically do it for you.
  7. poriggity

    poriggity TS Rookie

    Good thread, I was just thinking about this about 10 minutes ago.. Thinking I really needed to defrag.. I never EVER defragged this computer when it had the old hard drive in it, and the hard drive eventually crashed, and I ended up buying a new 60 gig drive 7200 rpm, along with a new version of windows XP.. and its running great now, but I really need to defrag.. I think I will do it tommorow...
  8. lukeyu

    lukeyu TS Rookie

    once a month
  9. Gosugod

    Gosugod TS Rookie Posts: 40

    It completely depends on the user. I normally do it once a month. If you're deleting and downloading files constantly your files can become quite fragmented across your drive and strenous to access.
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Well sure.. The more you use something, the more it wears out.. right?

    But given the common premature failure of mechnical drives, you're already playing luck of the draw, so I wouldn't worry about that. :)

    I think defragmenting depends on how old and fast your system is. With a large, modern hard disk, non-sequential transfer rates are fast enough that you won't notice a difference between 10% fragmentation and 0% fragmentation. But on older computers with slower drives or computers with exceptionally bad performance problems, the slowness will be amplified.

    Once a month should be more than enough for most people. I guess the rule of thumb would be the more changes you make to your hard drive, the more often you should do it.
  11. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I agree with Rick. It really depends on how much work your pc does really. I used to play a lot of games on my pc and didn't have the drive space to have them all installed at once so i was forever removing a game to put another one on so my drive got really fragmented. I would defrag it very often (sometimes twice a week). Nowadays, i have a bigger drive and i do most gaming on my xbox so the pc does less and i therefore defrag it far less often (about once a month).
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    You should do it everyday or check to see how much it is... That's what I recommend all end users to do... There are users who just don't understand and find out the hard way. Doesn't matter if you have a brand new PC or old you should keep that HD defrag to keep the system running at it's peak performance.

    For those on the cheap: you can use:

    XP Pro, MCE 2005, Server 2003..

    click on start
    click on run
    type: cmd
    type: defrag c: /f

    if you want to check first

    type: defrag c: /a

    Or use the Adminstrator Tools defrag
    Diskkeeper Pro or Server
    O&O Defrag Pro or Server

    Server Adminstrator of these defragmentors give you control over a domain or local.mydomain (home users) running AD (Active Directory) can defrag all PCs connected to the domain. In the real world of Corp America they don't even do this well some don't. I find alot don't, or just don't know that it can be done.
  13. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Every day is a bit excessive i think.
  14. Gosugod

    Gosugod TS Rookie Posts: 40

    Yeah once a day is a bit ridiculous. Even checking it once a day isn't necessary. I think defragment is a bit overrated. Although it does help speed up some processes, ONLY IF IT WAS FRAGMENTED in the first place. Theres never a tremendous acceleration in system performance. It's just a nice maintenance tool, one of many, to help improve performance. Did you know it's not actually a microsoft made utility. It was bought from another company. Pffft lazy Bill Gates.
  15. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    as they say.. its up to how much files are moved/created/modified in a period of time that determines how much you should defrag.. if its a file server type of situation or tones of hdd activity then everyday may be usefull, but realisticly for a person with regular general computer use maybe 2 weeks to a month cycle.

    i used to do it every 2-3 weeks (if i remember that is) but nowadays i installed this little app called buzzsaw that does it in the background while i sleep....
  16. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I use O&O Defrag. I've tried a lot of others, but I'm happiest using OO.

    It too, as many recent defraggers do, can defrag in the background or be scheduled to run during idle times.
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I'll check this out Rick,
    XP doesn't need defragging nearly as often as MS's other OS's, but I have worked on a lot of XP systems that have been so "abused" that a good defragging along with other measures is very much needed
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Listen we all have different thoughts on this idea. I am not saying your way or mine is the better way or not, just another way of doing it.

    Well if you want to keep that drive going longer I say keep it defrag, you can do it everyday and I've been doing that for years with no problem. Or do it once a week if you like. The longer to keep it fragmented the longer is going to get sluggish.

    O&O is a great product, but MFT (master file table) file system needs to be check regular for fragments. Diskkeeper pro does a good job in that department as does O&O does for clusters and other things.. I use both, which can be installed together as one would not be installed without integration with MMC though.

    Default Windows XP Pro defrag the one that runs in dos NT window is just fine. Don't forget to run chkdsk c: /f also for those bad sectors if any.

    I just recommend daily has a habit.... Since Windows 3.11, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows NT 3.51/4.0, NT Server, Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 Server, 2000, XP, Server 2003, MCE 2005

    The old 2000 Pro, Server, Advance Server get's more fragmented and doesn't really get defragment completely. This is my opinion from experience using these OS Servers...
  19. jimpuliti

    jimpuliti TS Member Posts: 19


    Windows XP offers you an analysis. After a quick check it tells you whether
    or not to Defrag. I defrag at least monthly.
  20. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I just installed O&O Defrag. This is the first time I have defragged all 4 of my hard drives at once! O&O gave me a $5 discount on the $45 price. It has a 30-day free trial though. It has a nice analize feature too. I do think once a month is fine for defragging. I do understand that some recommend defragging more often because of their experiences with Windows 98, and Windows Me. I felt that way myself, for a long while
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