Fixing the Windows 95/98 Defrag

Fixing the Windows 95/98 Defragmenter

For some unknown reason the Windows Defrag utility refuses to run. Sometimes this is caused by a badly fragmented drive, and sometimes it is caused by too many programs running causing the defragmenter to be interrupted enough that it finally stops. Other times though, the defragmenter will just quit without any explanation. The following fix applied to the Windows Registry usually resolves this issue. Like anything else, be careful any time you make changes to the Windows Registry. Always backup the registry before making any changes!

Use Regedit to view and then modify the following keys and values shown below.

Microsoft often recommends to users incurring difficulty defragging their drives that they delete the  C:\Windows\Applog folder. However this rarely enables the optimization portion of the Defrag to be rebuilt properly, if at all. We suggest the following steps:

  1. Rename Defrag.exe and Cvtaplog.txt to Defrag.old and Cvtaplog.old.
  2. Extract Defrag.exe and Cvtaplog.txt to C:\Windows using SFC from the Start/Run.
  3. Empty the C:\Windows\Applog folder.
  4. Make sure Taskmon.exe runs from Msconfig, Startup or in:


  5. Most importantly of all, remove the “ExcludeApps” value under:


  6. You must make sure there is a “UseProfile”=dword:00000001 under this key:


    One of ours looks like this as a Registry file:

    You can cut and paste this if you like and save it as “defrag.reg” without the quotes. Then import it into your registry.

    -----Begin cut & paste here-----
    REGEDIT4 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Defrag] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Defrag\AppStartParams] "ExcludeFiles"="SYSTEM.DAT\\USER.DAT\\SYSTEM.INI\\WIN.INI" "UseProfile"=dword:00000001 "MaxNoUseDays"=dword:0000005a "MaxApps"=dword:00000046 "MinLogSize"=dword:0000002b
    ------End cut & paste here------
  7. After making the registry changes or importing the registry file, reboot and start Defrag. Subsequent use of applications and reboots will rebuild the Applog files and folders.

Expect the first time you defrag to be the slowest. It will make steady progress and be appreciably faster than before.

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