How Do I Defragment my hard drive?

Old 04-21-05, 09:04 PM
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How Do I Defragment my hard drive?

I have had my computer for a year and I haven't run defrag because i've heard of freeze ups with windows xp and Dell computers. I was told that I may even have to make changes to the registry in order to successfully run defrag (not have it stall out at 10-30%.) Why is it so complicated to run this utility? I was told to save my original settings to disk -to make a back up. I don't know how to do this. Again, why is this getting so complicated? Can anyone simplify this?
Old 04-22-05, 01:35 AM
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I've been periodically running defrag on computers for decades. I've never had a problem that required having any settings backed up and never HEARD of having to stroke the registry to get defrag to work.

Shut down all running progams and run it - Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. Start it when you go to bed; it can take several hours to run the course. Worst case, it stalls and when you get up in the morning it's not completed and you just cancel it out, but there's a good chance it'll be done and you'll be defragged.

My $.02 worth.
Old 04-22-05, 04:31 PM
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I have a Dell, and defrag the drive without a thought about any problems. I have never heard of any problem such as you describe with defragging a drive.
Old 04-22-05, 10:16 PM
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Dell Tech support itself warned me about the difficulties running defrag. They instructed me to make the changes to the registry while informing me that Dell would not support any damages that might result from doing so. You should do so but at your own risk, they are saying. They even sent me a copy of the XP disk that was not included in the software package when the computer was delivered 10 months ago – this reinforced the perilous feeling I have about running this utility.

I wouldn’t be so frightened if it weren’t for my experience of having my last computer die after defragging. (However, it was old anyway)

So now you guys are telling me it’s a stroll in the park.

No one here mentioned running defrag in safe mode or disabling Norton. Dell says these are essential safeguards.
Old 04-23-05, 04:40 AM
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I have never had a problem running defrag on my Gateway or my Dell.
Old 04-23-05, 11:38 AM
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We have 2 Dell computers running XP Pro and we do nothing special to defrag.
I doubt defrag was responsible for the demise of your previous computer. Something else happened.

I would suggest running in safe mode, only because that minimizes what else is running, so nothing interfers with it. Its also a good idea if you are using an internet connection that is always on (ie: not dial-up).
Old 04-23-05, 05:02 PM
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this is a rare problem, and it pertains to microsoft xp, not dell. If you don't have any problems(99% of people) don't worry about it. doesnt look like it's a problem much anymore. You should of received an xp disk with the computer.
on older computers with the small hard drives and early operating systems, drives that were ready to die often times would be overstressed during the hours long defrag process, so it seemed like defrag killed it, when in reality it was just it's time.

from dell:Release Date:08/01/2003
Why Does my Computer Freeze When I Run Disk Cleanup or Disk Defrag in Microsoft® Windows® XP?


Disk Cleanup or Disk Defragmenter may stop responding in Windows XP, requiring you to restart your computer. To prevent this from happening, follow the steps below to edit the registry.

Delete the Compress Old Files Folder in the Registry

NOTICE: The following procedure contains information about editing the Windows registry. Dell does not guarantee success or support these actions. Any use of the information provided herein, is performed at your own risk. You should make a backup copy of the registry files prior to executing any of the following steps. Incorrect use of the registry editor and editing the registry files can cause serious problems that may require a complete reinstall of your operating system. Dell assumes no responsibility, expressed or implied, regarding the consequences of any action taken as a result of the information provided herein.

1. Click the Start button.
2.Click Run.
3.Type the following text in the Open: field:regedit
4.Click the OK button.
5.Click the plus sign (+) next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the left pane.
6.Click the plus sign (+) next to Software.
7.Click the plus sign (+) next to Microsoft.
8.Click the plus sign (+) next to Windows.
9.Click the plus sign (+) next to Current Version.
10.Click the plus sign (+) next to Explorer.
11.Click the plus sign (+) next to Volume Caches.
12.Click to select the Compress Old Files folder.
13.Press the <Delete> key.
A dialog box appears asking you to confirm deletion.
14.Click the OK button.
15.Close the registry editor.
16.Restart the computer.
Old 04-24-05, 12:18 AM
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OK, I do know that the death of my old computer was not due to the defrag, rather it's time had come. It helps to have that confirmed though.

I'm still not clear on what to do with Norton and the suggestion to disable it during the defrag process, I suppose I'll just shut off my BB modem.

Tae: that is the document I was sent, thanks. I suppose I'll take that route if the defrag stalls out on me.

Great site. Thanks for the advice.
Old 04-24-05, 12:11 PM
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when you defrag, it is best to do so from safemode. it is able to get alot more done, as windows has alot less locked out.
the reason to disable norton is that it will slow down the defrag process. it wants to check out every piece of information as defrag moves it from one place to another, and can cause alot of restarts. your defrag shouldn't take very long if you do it on a regular basis, say once a week or so, depending on your particular habits. the first time will probably be the longest. mine is under 10 minutes at most, usually under 5.

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