Ask the Expert

Why can't my defrag get past 1%?

I have been trying to successfully defragment my hard drive for quite some time. When the defragger begins, it keeps going from 0% to 1% -- and then back to 0%. It has never gotten past 1%! Is this normal? I have a Hewlett Packard computer that is running Windows 98.

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It is hard to determine the exact issue you are having with your defragger. Here are some things you should investigate:

  • Do you have enough free space left? Specifically, do you have enough continous free space? See the cluster view for details. If the blocks are scattered around, you have low continous free space. If the blocks are arranged neatly, this indicates a good free space condition.

  • Are any applications running while you defrag? They could be locking files the defragger is trying to access.

  • Run scandisk to check your file system integrity. This shouldn't be an issue, but let's make sure.

If none of these hints prove helpful, please get back to me!

This was first published in July 2002

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