Defragment Hard Drive in Windows XP

Defragment Hard Drive in Windows XP

One of the most important system maintenance procedures, which is often neglected, is defragmenting the hard drive. The process of defragmenting a hard drive is a simple procedure that will ensure files are organized in a manner that makes file access quicker.

What is a Defragmented Hard Drive?

When a file is saved to the hard drive, the files are fragmented, broken into small pieces, and stored in different areas of the hard drive. Over time, the speed at which the computer accesses files degrades due to having to locate the pieces of the file from different locations on the drive. To increase file access time the hard drive should be defragmented, which is the process of reorganizing the files in one area, so file access time is increased.

Procedures for Defragmenting Hard Drive in Windows XP

Below are two procedures for defragmenting a hard drive in Windows XP. Either procedure can be used, depending on preference, with the same results. For best results, the hard drive should be defragmented on a monthly basis.


  1. Before defragmenting the hard drive, create a data backup.
  2. The first time a hard drive is defragmented the procedure can take up to several hours. Though the computer can be used during the process, it is advised to allow the program to run without interference.
  3. If the system has multiple drives, the procedure needs to be executed for each drive.

Defragment Using My Computer:

  1. Open My Computer
    1. Double click on My Computer icon on desktop
    2. Click Start | My Computer
  2. Right click on the drive to defragment
  3. Select Properties | Tools Tab
  4. Click Defragment Now
  5. Click Defragment

Defragment Using Computer Management MMC (Microsoft Management Console):

  1. Start Computer Management MMC
    1. Start | Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Computer Management
  2. Click on Disk Defragmenter
  3. Select drive to defragment
  4. Click Defragment

You Should Also Read:
Protect Data with Backups in Windows XP/2000

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