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Do it yourself PC maintenance

In this section we are going to show you how to start the disk defragmenter and run a defragmentation task for your hard disks (or partitions) on Windows XP.

  • Click on Start ⇾ (All) Programs ⇾ Accessories ⇾ System Tools ⇾ Disk Defragmenter
  • You will see your hard drives or partitions listed in the main window (if your USB Memory Stick or USB external hard drive is connected to your computer, it will be listed here)
  • Select the C drive (this is the default system drive in Windows), than click the Analyze button
  • The Program might suggest that you don't need to defragment. You can safely ignore the message and press the defragment button. Be aware, this operation might take a long time, especially if you haven't done this before, have only one large drive in the system or if the partition has a lot of space occupied.

If you have more than one hard drive or partition, select the next one (usualy D, E and so on), than click Analyze and afterwards Defragment.

When defragmenting an external drive do not unplug it, until the operation is complete, otherwise data loss my occur!

You should repeat the above operation at least once per fortnight. If the information on your drives doesn't change very much, the subsequent defragmentation will finish quickly.

Remember: hard disk performance degrades considerably when more than 80% of the available space is used. If all your data occupies 100 GB, consider buying an 120 – 160 or even bigger hard drive. Generally, the bigger the hard drive, the faster it is!

Windows Vista users

Windows Vista has an automatic defragmentation scheduled every week.

You can access the defragmentation graphical user interface (GUI) by clicking on Start ⇾ (All) Programs ⇾ Accessories ⇾ System Tools ⇾ Disk Defragmenter. Click on Defragment Now to run a defragmentation task for all your partitions outside the schedule.

Reliable Open Source software you can use free of charge (link opens in a new window or tab):

Libre Office - The Document Foundation  Firefox  Thunderbird Graphics by GIMP  7-Zip

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