August 12, 2011

Improving Windows 7 Performance with Disk Defragmentation

I recently received a whitepaper from Windows IT Pro/Diskeeper extolling the virtues of disk defragmentation to ensure maximum performance on Windows 7.  Used to be in the "good ol' days" of computing disk defragmentation was a housekeeping necessity to ensure maximum performance of the systems.  With the advent of faster workstations and larger hard drives some of the old housekeeping tasks we used to perform to maintain optimum performance have fallen by the wayside.  As this whitepaper clearly shows though disk defragmentation is still a necessary task to maintain your Windows performance.

Windows 7 has its own built in disk defragmentation.  It has always been well known that the Windows defragmenter has a lot of room for improvement.  Otherwise there wouldn’t be third-party defragmenters out there if the Microsoft tool was fully capable. 

The previously mentioned whitepaper goes on to discuss how much better the Diskeeper defragmenter is compared to the Windows offering, making statements about performance such as “While a single day of fragmentation resulted in read times that increased by 73% A week’s worth of work results in file read times that increased over 145%” and “A single day of fragmentation caused Word file read times to increase 144%, while a week’s worth of work increased that to 175%”.  Those kinds of numbers significantly add up to cause overall system performance degradation.

Now obviously with performance degradation numbers like that, if you are not running disk defragmentation on a regular basis you should be.  Even the meager Windows defragmenter is better than no defragmentation.  Or you could go out and purchase a third-party tool such as Diskeeper to maximum your defragmentation and performance improvement.  Or you could go check out the open source and free software solutions. 

The free software defragmenter I use is MyDefrag.  What I like about MyDefrag (other than the price) is that it offers several pre-built scripts for different levels of defragmentation including daily, weekly, monthly, flash and SSD optimization, etc.

What I particularly like those is that MyDefrag also provides a Windows screensaver so you can set your system to defrag whenever you leave your desk.

MyDefrag can be downloaded from

So start defragmenting your disks today and see if your Windows 7 performance improves any.  I’m betting it does.  I’d be interested to hear your feedback on if running defrag improves your overall system performance.

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