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The Disk Defragmenter Tool

Disk Defragmenter rearranges files, programs, and unused space on your computer's hard disks, allowing programs to run faster and files to open more quickly. Putting the pieces of files and programs in a more contiguous arrangement on disk reduces the time the operating system needs to access them.

To run Disk Defragmenter, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start, (All) Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter. Alternatively, you can right-click a drive letter in My Computer, select Properties, click the Tools tab, and click Defragment Now.

  2. Select which disks you want to defragment and any additional options you want to set.

  3. Click the Defragment button to start the defragmentation process.


Windows XP Professional ships with a command-line version of the disk defragmenter—defrag.exe. You can run this program within a batch file or inside of a Windows script, which in turn can be scheduled to run automatically using the Scheduled Tasks folder.

On NTFS volumes, Windows XP reserves a portion of the free space for a system file called the master file table (MFT). The MFT is where Windows stores all the information it needs to retrieve files from the volume. Windows stores part of the MFT at the beginning of the volume. Windows reserves the MFT for exclusive use, so Disk Defragmenter cannot and does not move files to the beginning of volumes.

Disk Cleanup helps free up space on your hard drive by searching your drives and then showing you a list of temporary files, Internet cache files, and potentially unnecessary program files that you can safely delete. You can instruct Disk Cleanup to delete none, some, or all of those files. To use the Disk Cleanup Wizard, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start, (All) Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

  2. Click the Disk Cleanup icon and follow the onscreen instructions.

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