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How to defragment a hard disk in Windows 2000/XP

  knowledgebase  :: network status

Over time, files on your hard disk can become fragmented. Your computer will continue to work - but the more fragmented the files become, the slower it will run. Thus, periodically defragmenting your drive is a good way to speed up your PC. Instructions for doing this are below.

Note: the procedure below assumes you want to defragment your C: drive. Substitute the appropriate drive letter if you wish to defragment a different drive.

Note: we recommend that you do not use the computer while defragmentation is performed.

  1. restart the computer, then log back in - doing this first ensures the defragmentation process runs optimally. Do not open any programs until you have completed the steps below.
  2. open My Computer
  3. in the left panel, right-click the C: drive and select Properties...
  4. click the Tools tab
  5. click the Defragment Now... button
  6. click the Defragment button
  7. wait for the defragmentation process to complete (this may take some time - 20 minutes or more)
  8. close the Disk Defragmenter tool
  9. close the C: drive Properties window
  10. close My Computer

It's also useful to defragment your other hard disks (if any), USB keys (thumb/flash drives), and even memory cards.