Windows 10: How often should I defragment my hard drive?

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  1.    29 Oct 2017 #11

    FreeBooter said: View Post
    Maybe you should keep your suggestion to yourself you do sound like a person who does not understand fragmentation as you have suggested we should not defragment HDD even its fragmented badly.

    Disk fragmentation occurs when files are broken into hundreds or even thousands of pieces and scattered across your hard drive. This occurs naturally whenever files get created, deleted, or extended and even when the operating system is first installed. Even if you have plenty of free space, Windows still fragments files and before you know it, your once fast system starts to slow down. Microsoft recognizes fragmentation as a problem and recommends defragmenting your drives regularly.

    Hi there.
    This actually isn't a mega problem as the speed of the OS and the way the I/O is handled can easily accomodate long file chains. Also remember the entire I/O subsystem has been re-written and improved many times since the original Windows came out.

    For those who understand internal OS principles the I/O manager as well as the memory manager have subtasks running such as "Garbage collection" and "Data optimisation" routines so often a long file chain can be optimised "in flight" as any in memory CPU command has to wait for I/O to complete if a READ / WRITE is required.

    In any case as I said above there's no mechanical parts on an SSD so those should NEVER be defragged. As to actual HDD defragging I doubt whether a defrag would make ANY difference at all to performance - but a better way if you MUST do it is to image dump via macrium and restore -- far faster and you've got a backup too.

    If there's performance issues with the PC it's likely to be other causes rather than Disk defragmentation. Often overlooked are unnecessarily large page / swap files --allocate these to SSD if you can. Similarly don't try and run too many concurrent processes either on a low end machine. Sometimes running 2 lots of 3 will be faster for example than 1 lot of 6. !!

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 657
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       29 Oct 2017 #12

    If you have not changed any settings once a week is the default, You can check your settings by typing into Cortana " defrag " and click on " Defrag and Optimize Drives " If you have an SSD it will not defrag them it will run trim or retrim if the drive is heavily fragmented above 15%.

    And also if you have system restore turned on and your drive is heavily fragmented it will use defrag even on an SSD, So if you are using system restore I would suggest leaving the optimization up to Windows if you do not want Windows to have a crap load of fragmented files.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 3,303
    10.5 Home 1803 x64
       29 Oct 2017 #13

    I defragment after Windows Updates, so MS still decides when.
    Do not forget to perform a cleanup before to maximize the effectiveness.
    I use Windows defrag command at boot, it takes about 3 mins. For comparison:

    EDIT: I forgot to remove drivers before, that is 2GB and this what it looks afterwards.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails capture_10292017_110552.jpg   capture_10292017_111210.jpg   capture_10292017_112226.jpg   capture_10292017_112303.jpg  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    29 Oct 2017 #14

    Defragmenting files is just one part of maintaining peak disk performance. Another important part is free space consolidation. Consolidating free space ensures that new files will be created quickly and contiguously - ensuring that peak performance is realized from the beginning. Free space consolidation also results in a faster performing drive - much faster than simply defragmenting files.

    To perform free space consolidation on the specified volumes execute following command.

    Defrag C:  /X   /H
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    29 Oct 2017 #15

    sml156 said: View Post
    Bill Gates suggests once a week

    Attachment 160872
    Bill Gates hasn't had much to do with Microsoft since 2006.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    29 Oct 2017 #16

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there

    Ever since Windows 3.1 I have NEVER bothered defragging any HDD - IMO there's never any point in it. With SSD's there's no mechanical parts so don't even THINK of defragging one of those. On Windows the job can take a long time on a large HDD and I doubt if anybody would notice any improvement at all.

    If you really MUST re-order your HDD a far quicker and better way is simply to take an image via Macrium (the Free version is good enough) and restore it again - probably a zillion times faster and will optimise empty space on the HDD.

    Otherwise just leave it to Windows.

    It's amazing how much old outdated stuff persists for years - for example modern SSD's probably have a far longer MTBF (mean time before failure for our Non Engineers friends) than standard HDD's but people are still concerned about read / write life cycles - modern SSD's will probably outlast your current computer (and your next one too if you swap the drives).

    Over the years the biggest problem I've seen with slow computers is actually the POOR quality of older HDD's - these days decent HDD's are decently OK and most computers have enough RAM in them to work properly.

    The absolute best advice I can give anybody on how to improve performance on a slow computer - especially older models is to replace HDD's with SSD's wherever possible. Assuming there's enough RAM in the machine to service the users workload an SSD wil pay HUGE dividends in performance - far better for most than updating the processor - and keep the OS _ programs separate from your Data drives. Unless you are an extreme gamer etc most users won't use anything like the full power of the CPU they've got now - even an Intel i3 Celeron is probably more than sufficient for typical users.

    MTBF is actually Mean Time Between Failures .
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  7.    29 Oct 2017 #17

    My vote is just let Windows defrag in the background and not be concerned about it.

    As far as file fragmentation on an SSD - completely a non-issue as an SSD has no mechanical read/write head that has to move around to pick up the file fragments. It can be 99% fragmented and have no bearing whatsoever on performance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 8,155
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       29 Oct 2017 #18

    I have routinely defragmented drives since the days of Windows 95. It used to provide significant speed advantages back then, these days the improvements to be gained I find are still there, but very much smaller. My guess is that this is down to modern HDDs being better at random access than their older counterparts.

    If you want to experiment, you'll need a way to create fragmentation. One of the best ways I've found to seriously fragment a drive is to apply ntfs compression, this can result in more than 25% fragmentation. Uncompressing it again leave this fragmentation in place.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    30 Oct 2017 #19

    I haven't de-fragmented my HDDs in ages, ever since start of W7 and amount of fragmentation is very minimal. Windows show 0% while programs like "o&o" and "Disk speedup" show only few percent, nothing that could even remotely slow them down. Two HDDs (2Tb and 1TB) that are constantly connected, go thru large amount of data every day due to my habit of hoarding SW, trying it and discarding most of them. Ones slated for keeping, I archive as much as possible and backup most of them to external HDDs.
    There are many arguments for and against defraging but I go by these reasons:

    Every full defrag with optimization make a HDD work as much as few months of normal use and that can shorten it's life because of much head movement and in realty limited number of changes to ferromagnetic particles.

    Doesn't really help unless amount of fragmentation is very large. Even with XP it's considered that less than 17 - 20% makes no difference and only approaching 33% can be felt by benchmarks and 50% by naked eye.

    Some programs, including data bases and MS Office intentionally leave spaces after data files empty to enlarge them in continuous fashion and so speed up the process.

    Modern HDDs are so much faster than at times it was necessary to defragment them often. Not even "Short stroking" helps to any extent any more.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

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