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PCSTATS TechTip - Best Case Hard Drive Defraging  - PCSTATS TechTip - Best Case Hard Drive Defraging
Thu, February 06 2014 | 12:56AM | PermaLink Feedback?

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 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 space'.

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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