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Automatic Defragging

You may know about the Disk Defragmenter in Windows. It takes files like your photos and documents that are physically broken into pieces, or fragments, all over your hard drive and arranges them nicely together again. This helps performance when you are opening these files. In fact, if you use your computer heavily without ever running the Disk Defragmenter, your performance will eventually suffer seriously for it.

Some computer users get a little crazy with it and keep a shortcut to the Disk Defragmenter on their desktop so they can easily run it every few days. Once a month would really be more than you need, but how about an automated way to run it so you just don't have to worry about it anymore?

You will have to follow a few steps here, but I will tell you how to do it. There is a little known about command line version of the Disk Defragmenter that you can run from the Task Scheduler in the Control Panel. Just follow these steps:

Click on Start and then Control Panel. If your Control Panel is in "Classic View", you can now double-click on "Scheduled Tasks". Otherwise, you will have to click on "Performance and Maintenance" and then on "Scheduled Tasks". Now right-click in the background and click on New and then on Scheduled Task. name the task "Defrag". Now double-click on the Defrag task to open it. Type "defrag c: -f" in the Run field. Click on the Schedule" tab at the top and set the frequency and start time for the task, Pick a time when the computer will be on and logged in, but not when you will likely be using it because you don't want the defrag to slow you down when you are trying to play solitaire. Click OK and you will be prompted for you password so the task can run under your security profile.

To test the task, you can right-click it, then click Run. You should see a black command prompt window open and the Disk Defragmenter should start. This window will close when the defragmenter is finished or you can close it before it's done to stop it. You can also setup another task to defrag your other hard drives if you have more than one in your computer. Just change the �c:� to �d:� or other drive letter.

Posted by Charles Swihart on 9/1/2007

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