Defragging Windows 2000 – With Illustrations

Microsoft® Windows 2000 Knowledge Center

Defragging Windows 2000
With Illustrations

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One of your customers calls complaining that his system is slowing down more and more each and every day. He makes sure to tell you that he is using the Disk Cleanup utility, but it’s still slowing down. As we have outlined in our more formal segment about the Windows 2000 Disk Defragmenter tool, files on a hard drive or volume become fragmented. Fragmentation scatters pieces of your files all over the drive whereever the operating system can find room. The end result, when your customer opens a file, the system must find and reassemble all the pieces of the file and place it in a contiguous space on the disk. If the files on the drive are not fragmented, the system gains access to the data faster!

Using the Disk Defragmenter tool

1. To access Disk Defragmenter, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, and Computer Management. See Figure 1. You may not be able to see these choices on systems where the Administrative Tools menu choice has not been enabled. See Figure 2 for instructions on displaying the Administrative Tools in the Program Menu choices. In addition, there are two additional options to access the Disk Defragmenter. See the Note immediately below.

Figure 1

Note: On some Windows 2000 installation, Administrative Tools will not be found on the Program menu. To add it, click Start | Settings | Taskbar & Start Menu. Now click the Advanced button. Now just check the box “Display Administrative Tools”. See Figure 2

You have two alternative options, Disk Defragmenter can also be found in the Programs | Accessories | System Tools menu, and can also be accessed by clicking Start | Settings | Control Panel and then select Administrative Tools.

Figure 2

Note: You can use your Microsoft® Management Console to access the Disk Defragmenter. When you create your first Microsoft® Management Console (MMC) with your first Administrative Tool snap-in, the Administrative Tools setting will be enabled automatically. The MMC contains numerous snap-ins, one of them being Disk Defragmenter. The MMC is included as part of the default Windows 2000 installation.

2. Under the Storage snap-in, click on Disk Defragmenter. See the Red Arrow in Figure 3.

Figure 3

When you select the Disk Defragmenter, it will open within the Console with three panes to the right of the Console choices. The upper most pane lists the drive partitions or volumes that you can select to analyze and defragment. As you can see by the illustration, you are provided with information about the File System type, total drive or volume Capacity, the remaining Free Space, as well as the Free Space in the form of a percentage (%) compared to the entire drive or volume. See Figure 4.

Figure 4

The middle pane, or Analysis display, provides a graphical illustration of the extent of any fragmentation on the selected drive partition or volume at the moment you select the Analyze button. See Figure 5.

Figure 5

The bottom most pane is the Defragmentation display. It will provide you with a graphical illustration of the actual defragmentation process. See Figure 6.

Figure 6

3. Now click the Analyze button to analyze your hard drive partition or volume. Once the analysis has completed, you will be provided with a graphical illustration of the extent of any fragmentation on your drive partition or volume. See Figure7.

Figure 7

Note: In addition to the graphical illustration, you will have a small popup window that you advise you as to the state of your drive or volume along with any recommendations regarding the defragmentation of the drive. See Figure 8.

Figure 8

4. If you receive a recommendation to defragment the drive, then click the Defragment button to proceed. As the drive is defragmented, you can view the process in action in the third pane identified above. As the illustration shows in Figure 9, you are presented with a graphical view of the original fragmented drive as well as a view upon completion.

Figure 9

Note: The color codes for the illustration are as follows:

  • The red bars represent defragmented files.
  • The blue bars represent contiguous files.
  • The green bars represent system files.
  • The white bars represent free space.

Note: Certain of your system files cannot be moved. These are reviewed in depth here.

5. Once the drive has been defragmented, you will see the Defragmentation Complete dialog box. Now you can either click View Report or Close. See Figure 10.

Figure 10

Clicking View Report will provide you with specific details about your drive and the results of the defragmentation process. See Figure 11.

Figure 11

Summary: Good habits are hard to break, so if you get into the habit of using the Disk Defragmentation tool, especially the disk analyzer, and use the reports regularly you’ll find it easy to avoid drive or volume problems due to fragmentation. Make a mental note of the fact that there will always be certain files that were not defragmented, so know and understand which files they are and proceed accordingly. As a closing caution, a number of Internet sites advise people that the Disk Defragmenter can be run in the background while you do other things. Don’t do it!

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