HD defragment question

i’ve never use hardisk defragment in windows before as i never saw the need to use it, and i’ve never ran into any problems until up recently, i notice that my pc would start slowing down to a point where it is no longer possible for me to work at all, fortunely i was able to slove this problem by logging out and reloggin back into windows; then my pc would function as normal again.

after extendsive virus scans and hardrive formatting reveals that there’s no malware cauing this and the problem persist form time to time, i began to worry; if it’s not a virus then could it be that my pc is failing? or worst, perhaps my hardrive is already breaking down?

i don’t know much about pcs, so i came here for help, i have 2 questions which i would like to ask:

-what’s happening with my pc? is my 1 year old brand new SATA hardrive alreadyfailing? is this a sign?

-a friend recommand me to use hardsick defragment in windows, although i doubt a software could do much good at this state, but i still would like to know if i should use it as previous experience tells me that hd defrag could take quite a long time, althouth if it’s worth my time i’ll be more than happy to try it, please give me some advice on this.

thanks for taking your time in reading this, thanks for the help.

A regular defrag is always worth doing. The frequency depends on just how you use your PC.

Before defragging claer out as much rubbish as you can & particularly Windows temp file & Internet Explorer temp files. Do this by My Computer, right click on the drive & select properties. Then on the General tab click on Disk Cleanup. Once it’s completed it’s analysis it’ll tick the obvious ones for clean up . Just OK it.

You can do the same in Internet Explorer by Tools & Internet Options. There you’ll see the option against Browsing History.

Once you done this try a defrag.

i format my entire hardrive and do a clean install of windows xp once in a month, is that better than disk defrag?

also ido you think my hardrive is failing?

Why on earth do you do that? I only rebuild if absolutely necessary.

So after a reinstall do you get all the updates from Microsoft because that’ll cause defragmentation anyway?

I guess it really depends what you’re doing in that month as to whether you’ve got severe fragmentation.
Loads of downloads, IE browsing, video conversion etc could result in fragmentation.

As to whether your HDD is failing , I somehow doubt that as typically noise like clicking or clunking happens first & then BANG it’s gone.

I hate the windows defrag as it takes forever. I just used this, it’s free, last night defrag tool and it defragged my 80gig in 1.5 hrs. Great little tool

If defrag is taking more than a few minutes, then you’re not doing it often enough, or using the right tool. Good, dedicated defrag tools can be scheduled to run as needed and run in low priority.

Windows, by default, sets up the OS to fragment your drive over time. Especially if you don’t have enough RAM, the fragmentation is guaranteed to happen and eventually cripple your drive. Fragmented MFT and paging files are the rule with Windows, not an exception.

Oddly enough, a fresh install of Windows and applications can result in a badly fragmented drive right off the bat, and the problems just multiply from there.

As to the OP’s problem with a slow system, anything is possible and some basic hardware troubleshooting is needed. If rebooting fixes it, then memory leaks or inadequate RAM amount are possible, but a fragmented drive could be involved as well. It’s rarely just one thing.

YES I HEAR THOSE CLICKING NOISES, they sound very odd although i couldn’t tell if they came from my hd or other hardware, but they sound very errie and that can’t be good, but i only hear them when my pc is working.

also when i was burning a dvd with nero, the “busy” signal light on my pc would flash alot and my pc would become VERY VERY BUSY even though all i had running was nero. this is rather frustrating as when my pc starts working HARD it would bogged down nero severely, causing it to produce a coaster dvd or a failed burn process, sometimes when i’m lucky the burn would be complete before my pc starts bogging down the burning process.

this problem only applies to nero, other apps had none of this problem. is this a sign my hd is failing? norton and ewido reports no malware both up to date.

oh, to the person above, so you mean that hardrive formatting and reinstalling windows can actually DAMAGE my hd? i always thought when i format my hd, i’m actually cleaning it which is equal to that of a defragment process, but that’s not quite it, is it?

use ccleaner to clean up your drive prior to defraging. I use diskkeeper and find it very satisfying in results as it defrags the drive and also sets the mft to the correct size if told to do so.


The clicking you hear could just be the HDD working very hard. I think severe fragmentation is very likely the cause of all your problems.

And NO formatting and re-installing is not dangerous to your PCs health, but likely a waste of time.

If logging off and back on fixes the problem, I don’t think it’s caused by fragmentation. Still it’s a good idea to defragment occasionally.

As mentioned earlier, you could be running out of memory. Either because you don’t have enough to start with, or there is a memory leak. Maybe you could use Task Manager or some oher program to check this.

Western Digital has a good hard drive diagnostic you can run under XP:

I run it every couple of weeks because it can usually spot problems before the disk becomes unusable.

Sorry for digging up this old thread, but here is an interesting article about defragmentation;

If logging off and on helps, then you need more RAM. Logging off flushes the memory. Also you can start your defrag program before going to bed and when you wake up, it will be done.

We have a large graphic design firm with a couple of servers and workstations running Windows. so many files get created and deleted everyday, so one can imagine the extent of problems faced due to fragmentation. In fact for firms like ours, it means a loss of time each day troubleshooting one system for booting, another for lags and yet another for freezes. Its like patients in a hospital who have different diseases all resulting from the same cause, fragmentation. It is definitely a serious maintenance issue.

Do you use scheduled defragmentation, staccato ?
I use PerfectDisk manually, but it has scheduling capabilities as does Diskeeper.
Both offer free trials, I purchased a PerfectDisk license after my try-outs.

Some decent free defrag programs:

Defrag Windows (Vista) Faster - This is very good!


Diskeeper Lite