The bread and butter of computer TechTips used to be "defrag your hard
drive!" In the days of SSDs this is no longer paramount, except for users with
their OS installed to a traditional mechanical HDD. A defrag every now and then
is a good preventative step to combat computer slugishness.
The Microsoft defrag utility is available by right clicking on a drive letter
> Properties > 'Tools' tab > 'Defragmentat now...' > select the
drive and click 'Defragment Disk'. This tool works, but is slow and in Windows 7
doesn't visually graph the results.
While cleaning up an old Windows XP Pro notebook for reuse in our office we
decided to test out a couple third party defrag utilities. The first was
Auslogics Disk Defrag 22.214.171.124 and the second program was MyDefrag v4.3.1.
Auslogics is good for 90% of users. A good tip when using Auslogics is to set
Settings > Program Settings > 'Algorithms' tab, check off 'Delete
temporary files before defragmenting' and 'Move system files to the beginning of
disk'. Be sure to run the 'Defrag & Optimize' action to get the full effect.
There's a nice block chart to visually indicate how fragmented your HDD is.
MyDefrag is for the 10% of you who like a particularly orderly HDD. In
addition to standard defrag capabilities, MyDefrag is able to 'Consolidate free
After running through a full regime of defragging, plus a few other
tweaks, boot time was noticably improved on the old notebook, extending it's
useful lifespan that much further and otherwise saved a square foot of landfill.
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