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Windows Disk Defragmenter taking forever, why? Does it improve perfomance?

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I heard that disk defrag improves perfomance, so I tried it little did I know it takes forever. I just don't get it Windows Disk Defragmenter takes forever but if I defrag using HP Support Assitant's Tune Up utility it takes less than 3 minutes. I got a 150 GB hard drive with 58GB used space. Does it really improve perfomance?
asked Feb 5, 2013 by SmartGeek Regular (4,370 points)  
edited Feb 5, 2013 by macdonald.chipunza

            

2 Answers

+1 vote
 
Best answer
it has less of an effect nowadays and only when the disk is more than 70% full - windows is a lot better at storing files now than it was in the win 98 era so defragging has less of an impact

that said windows defragger is a more complete tool compared to HP's - HP's is likely either doing nothing or not covering system files (which is where the biggest gains would be found) and in most respects speed of defrag is totally dependant on 4 things

CPU power available
RAM available (not being used by applications)
number of other applications running (tip close everything else down and get it to run overnight)
Disk Speed - a slow disk is going to take longer than a fast SSD - this is just a plain and simple fact

also you shouldnt defragment SSD drives - you will shorten there lifespan significantly as they have inbuilt technologies that even the wear on the memory chips so it lasts longer and also defragging an SSD has no real effect as theres no delays from random access compared to a standard HD
answered Feb 5, 2013 by anthonysomerset Guru (56,760 points)  
selected Feb 25, 2013 by SmartGeek
+1 vote
It helps if you are using a VFAT file system (aka FAT32). If your partition is NTFS, you don't really need to worry about defragmenting manually, as the file system is more resilient against file fragmentation.

Defragmentation speed might be affected by age of drive, and possibly disk errors. Platter-based hard drives become slower (and louder) as they age.

If you want to improve performance; avoid using Virtual Memory and/or increase the RAM size on your computer
answered Feb 5, 2013 by coredump new here (970 points)  

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