Disk defragmenting dos and don'ts

Meredith B. Derby, assistant news editor

Since Windows stores files in fragmented chunks, disk fragmentation is a fact of life in Windows environments. The trick is to prevent fragmentation from hindering system performance, said Tony Conte, director of information and business systems for Racine, Wis.-based Horizon Retail Construction Inc.

Conte's recent implementation of Berlin, Germany-based O & O Software's Defrag 2000 Professional increased Horizon's server and workstation performance about 20%. He shares some of the tricks he learned in this project in these "dos and don'ts" for selecting and using defragmentation software.

"Do run your defrag software religiously on every workstation," he said. At a minimum, run it at least every 30 days.

Do run it on your most heavily used computers at least every two weeks. This will increase their computer's performance, causing them to track you down less, he said.

On the server side, do schedule it to defrag during inactive periods, such as late at night. And do run those at least once a week.

Don't forget to shut down any running applications. Files in use when the software runs will not be defragged, Conte said.

Do set up a test environment to get a feel for which defragger will work best. "Compare apples to apples," said Conte. Even if you think different products are incredibly similar, it is still worth your time to compare them.

Do test them on

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similar hardware with similar configurations, he said. This will allow your tests to be as accurate as possible.

Do look at all the features that might benefit you. Look at the functionalities offered, the reliability, and how easy the monitoring will be.


Ask searchWindowsManageability's Management Tools Expert, Scott Blake your questions on disk defragmenting.

More Windows Management dos and don'ts

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