You Don’t Need No Stinkin’ 3rd-Party Disk Defragger, I Tells Ya!
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Let us begin with this: If you have a SSD (Solid State Hard Drive) you will never need to defrag it. And you should not try defragging it either, OK?
For those of you with standard hard drives we off this lovely tip.
When your hard drives become fragmented Windows takes longer to find the files it needs to perform a requested operation or to open a program. It’s no more complex than that. So defragmenting your hard drive(s) at least once a month is a good maintenance routine – one that can keep your computer running faster longer.
The disk defragmenter that came with earlier versions of Windows wasn’t very good, and most of us went off to search for good freeware disk defragmenters that were better and faster than the one Microsoft provided us.
Windows 7, Windows 8x and Windows 10’s disk defragmenter, runs automatically as part of automatic system maintenance. You never have to run it or worry about disk defragmenting. If you want more control, the disk defragmenter has some advanced features. Using parameters to specify what you want defragmenter to do, is a great way to feel like you actually have some control over Windows. Keep in mind though, by default, Windows 7, Windows 8x and Windows 10 will defrag your drives automatically as part of their automated maintenance routines. If you’re fussy and a heavy PC user (no, EB, I don’t mean chunky like you!) you may want to manually defrag your hard drive (s) even though you don’t need to.
So if you’re crazy about learning more about Windows and your computer — this tip is for you. Let’s say you want to defrag your Windows drive (usually C). The Windows drive is a good places to start since it is the drive you’ll always access most often.
If you just want to see how fragmented your Windows drive is, you’d do this:
Click start, type in CMD in the start menu search, and right-click on CMD when it appears at the top of the menu and choose “Run as administrator”. At the prompt type:
defrag C: /A
Note the colon after C: and the space between the C: and the /A
Above: After running DEFRAG C: /A the analysis tells me that the drive is only 1% fragmented and I don’t need defrag this drive.
Now lets see how you can string together parameters to control disk defragmentation.
defrag C: /U /V
The above command would defrag drive C and print the progress on your screen – using verbose output (kind of like this newsletter!)
Now using the list we’ve provided below, see if you can figure out what the following commands would do:
defrag C: D: /M
defrag /C /H /V
Here are a list of available parameters and value descriptions you can play around with when you defrag your drives using Windows 7’s disk defragmentation tool:
/A Perform analysis on the specified volumes.
/C Perform the operation on all volumes.
/E Perform the operation on all volumes except those specified.
/H Run the operation at normal priority (default is low).
/M Run the operation on each volume in parallel in the background.
/T Track an operation already in progress on the specified volume.
/U Print the progress of the operation on the screen.
/V Print verbose output containing the fragmentation statistics.
/X Perform free space consolidation on the specified volumes.
Of course you can just use the command defrag C: and defragment your C (Windows) drive without using parameters at all. The important things to remember are that Windows 7, Windows 8x and Windows 10 defragmentation tool is excellent, fast, and much better than the one found in older versions of Windows, and you do not need to download or install any 3rd-party disk defrag tools.
Even more importantly, it will automatically keep your hard drives fragmented. We published this tip for those who want to run defragmenter on their own or use some of its advanced functions.
One final reminder: If your computer has a solid state drive (SSD) do not use defrag at all. Windows will not auto defrag an SSD because they don’t need it and it may potentially harm the drive – and you should never attempt to manually defrag an SSD either. Got it? Great!