how long should defrag take?

By Amigosdefox · 9 replies
Nov 14, 2002
  1. I have windows me and have 2 physical hard disks, each divided into two partitions. My primary C: partition is about 10 gigs big. When I ran windows defrag utility in it it took about 4 hours to complete. But it never showed an error message saying that defrag had to restart because programs were writing in the hard disk. About how long should I expect defrag to take assuming that I disable any other applications and that everything is ok? Also, do you think that I will notice any performance change? I have written and erased files and programs in that drive serveral times and the drive has been emptied and filled many times.
  2. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    That doesn't sound too bad. It takes me and average of 3hrs to defrag a partition of that size. Sometimes longer sometimes shorter according to the % of fragmentation. I've defragged partitions that were around 70% fragmented that took almost 9hrs, though that was ages ago.

    According to the % of fragmentation, you should see a noticable difference in performance, especially when navigating the directories on that partition. If there was little fragmentation, it might not be noticable, if it was very fragged(I'd say 30% or more) then you will probably see a huge jump in performance.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    It really depends on the drive, how much is fragmented, and what program you use.

    The Windows defragmenter for Windows Me really SUCKS. I wouldn't recommend using it if you can get your hands on something better. Most other defrag programs should defragment your drive in less than an hour and do a much better job.

    Four hours is pretty good with that bad defrag program. I remember it taking me some 10+ hours with a similar drive.

    Will you notice a difference? Well, if your hard disk was badly fragmented, yes. I always notice a difference between an fragmented hard disk and a freshly defragmented one. But if it was only slightly defragmented, then it won't make that much difference.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6


    Norton Speed Disk defrags my 15GB partition in 45 mins, 90 if its _really_ bad..

    I think the MS defragmenters suck too..

    BTW coverting to a larger cluster size makes things much faster and there is less fragmentation (at the expense of disk space).
    I waste about 10% with 64k clusters, but gained about 15 mins in defrag time.
  5. nider

    nider TS Rookie

    When running any defrags, there's a few things you want to take care of first.

    1. Shut off all running programs, mainly ones that access the parition that you wan to defrag. Best bet is to run msconfig.exe and have it not load any startup programs. I think there's an opition on the main panel.
    2. Always run checkdisk or whatever the program you use that checks the file system for any errors. You do not need to do a full disk scan unless your harddrives prone to bad sectors.
    3. it will take some time, mainly for the larger disks.
    4. Windows Defrag sucks greatly. It's plain garbage. crap.

    I seriouly suggest using msconfig to click off all startup programs and reboot the machine before defragging.

    oh, yes, I forgot to mention. delete all the crap you don't need. make sure you trash out the old email, clean out the temp directorys, internet temp files. because that's just extra crap that will just cause you to have to defrag that much quicker.

    Also it's smart to have your windows on it's on parition, typically I have my C: drive 3 to 5 gigs of space, usually 3 or less, and I don't have the program files installed on that drive. This way, I don't have to worry about defragging that drive all the often, and a few other benefits, but that's probably way more then wha tthe average user would do.

    So I hope some of this helps. I use Norton's Speedisk. and while it's on okay program, I'm not sure it's the best. If anyone's found another program that they really like, please let us know!

    be seeing you

  6. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,722   +376

    Welcome to TechSpot Forums Nider

    Nicely put Nider. Its always worthwhile deleting any un-necessary files and cleaning out internet temporary files before doing a defrag. Also as other have stated, partitioning your disk to have System, data, swap sections is also a good way to reduce both the need for defragmenting an entire disk and the time it takes to do any necessary defragmenting. Just took me best part of an hour to defrag a reasonably fragmented 30gb laptop hardisk. Also this post reminds me that I haven't reinstalled it since my work removed XP and put on Win2kPro, and therefore am running without the system/data/swap partition system :(
  7. Amigosdefox

    Amigosdefox TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 100   +10

    Thanks for all the replies. Before I wrote my original post my c: partition had only 300 mb left, after I ran scandisk and system mechanic to delete obsolte and duplicate files and reduced the size of the the _restore folder 200mb, i gained about 2.6 GB.
    I haven´t ran defrag yet, I had norton utilities before but it seemed to me that it only wasted disk space and did things I didnt want it to do like making too many backups of every deleted file. I remember that I tried defraging with norton once but it kept restarting. Anyway, does anyone know of a good stand alone defrag utility? Im not sure I want to use window`s now.
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Norton can't defrag all the files on the drive because Windows won't let it access some of them, so it marks the "unmovable"

    Some things to consider about defrag times: Drive speed, system speed, amount of free space, etc... all play a part in how fast it will complete.

    I have heard good things about DiskKeeper 7.0, it is supposed to be able to let you have more options when defragging, it also will defrag those files that SpeedDisk and some others can't. It is faster and more efficient than Windows Defrag.
    I can't vouch for the above because I haven't tried it out yet but many people tell me it is good. I Cannot in good faith recommend it because I DO NOT recommend products I haven't used myself. I will suggest that you try it if you are looking for an alternative to the others out there. I think it is a bit pricey though.
  9. nider

    nider TS Rookie

    Having enough free space on the drive is important also. I have 5 gigs free on my 80 gig drive, and it was taking was too long to do, 27% in 12 hours, ugh! So I'm doing what I should of done, and storing files on cd, like I said to do. =)

    Someone pointed out diskeeper lite, on another forum (pcpitstop, I think), let me go get the url. okay, let me see if I can do this correctly.

    Diskeeper Lite

    I haven't check it out, myself, but I will.

    be seeing you

  10. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Just FYI...

    Do not EVER use an old-style disk defragmentation program on an NTFS partition. Trust me on this one. No, it won't destroy data, but it will make it so that no matter what you will be doing bi-weekly to monthly defrags on that disk just to ensure it doesn't have obscene fragmentation.
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