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#1 gvan

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:12 AM

How often should a defrag be run on an XP Home system? Does this affect hard drive life? Other problems?
thanks, gvan

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#2 Flaxtelios

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:16 AM

From what I gather, Defrags are suppose to be occasional to help clean up
the drives. I assume like all things you need to find a balance, If you defrag occasionally
but yet not too frequently, your drive life might last a bit longer infact. Yet again
this is just me spewing out information that I googled.
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#3 E-Mu

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:18 AM

Hi,

There is no exact rule on how often since only you can check how badly and how fast your drive gets fragmented. If you do a lot of adding, deleting, downloading files often, its likely that the drive will get fragmented pretty fast.

Some say every week some say every 3months, i generally try to do mine at least once a month when i run other regular scans for malware etc but i also have to admit I've gone 3-4months without doing it.

So there is no definite answer, do it as often as you feel it's required, there are no 'side effects' to the process.
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#4 hamluis

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:43 AM

I can only tell you what I have experienced.

I defrag routinely...because I tend to move files from partition to partition constantly and I used to experiment with a lot of programs and delete same.

How do I define "routinely"? Depends on activity.

I defrag the partitions on the drives where I store my video, music, graphics files...about every 2 weeks or so. Partitions that I use less or which have more stable file populations...about every 3 weeks.

I think defragging is important but I believe that running chkdsk is more important and I tend to do that on system boot drives once a week.

The system will tell you to perform each of those operations...well after such is needed.

Louis

#5 KoanYorel

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:50 AM

I only run a defrag when the system tells me it is needed. About once a month or so.

"running chkdsk is more important" = I agree and do so about every ?3 weeks for my systems.

I also do a lot of downloads and file manipulations which only cause minor problems for me on VISTA now.
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#6 czhang

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:06 AM

You can check how fragmented your drive is by pressing the "Analyse" button in the "Disk Defragmenter" window. If the fragmentation is over 15% or so, you will need to defragment the drive (/partition). Otherwise it is not necessary.

It is not necessary to defragment very often. In fact if you do that, it will very likely shorten the drive life. I had an HP notebook before, and I defragmented the hard drive often to make it supposedly to perform at the top notch, and the hard drive failed in less than two years.

Also, Windows Disk Defragmenter seems to unnecessarily move everything, resulting in many unnecessary read/write operations. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend using the defragmenter that comes with Windows. I use Defrag-a-file, a utility program published by PCMag.com.

#7 jgweed

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:24 PM

How often you defrag depends, as has been mentioned, on how much and how often you manipulate the files on your hard drive, whether deleting or adding many applications or just moving them from one folder to another. Before defragging, a good idea is to run the Windows Disk Cleanup utility, review the applications you have in Windows add/remove programs list and delete those you do not use, and archive documents and pictures, etc., to a disk (this in itself is a good activity to do on a routine basis); the fewer files the defrag needs to move around, the faster it will complete its task. Always run checkdisk before defragging and let it make repairs to any problems it finds.
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#8 speedbird76

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:00 AM

Yup, the level of fragmentation, and consequently the defrag frequency depends on usage patterns. If you defrag regularly, subsequent defrags will be quick because of low levels of fragmentation.

Newer automatic defragmenters also monitor the drives in the background and defrag when necessary without user intervention. My installation of Diskeeper 2009 runs in automatic mode and monitors/defrags my 4 HDDs in the background without affecting other programs. There is no more need for running defragmentation manually, so it's one maintenance task out of my list.

Regular disk cleanups are also highly recommended, not for improving performance, but for conserving disk space.

#9 KoanYorel

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 10:02 AM

Defragging does not wear out the HD.

It's the non-defrag searching around that wears the disk down.
The only easy day was yesterday.

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#10 sweaden

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 11:58 AM

I run Diskeeper and it does the defragging when needed. Prior to that I used to analyze and defrag whenever the report suggested I needed to. I believe it does help keep things smooth and prevent drive problems.

#11 hamluis

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:17 PM

Defragging does not wear out the HD.

It's the non-defrag searching around that wears the disk down.


A personal thanks for saying that...I thought it yesterday but decided I would not bother to post it...and it should be posted :thumbsup:.

Louis

#12 KoanYorel

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 02:24 PM

@ Hamluis - not my thought, but confirmed by my personal Tech who knows much more about it than me.
But I did think so and did ask him. (He has near 40 years in the business now... he he he)
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