defragging Vista

  keith mac 16:38 21 Aug 2008

My vista laptop is 15 months old and although Windows told me that defragging wasn't needed I decided it was time anyway. The defragging process has been running for nearly seven hours - this seems a long time to me.

A search of threads here reveals Auslogics defragger as an alternative and I've downloaded the programme for later installation.

Any comments on Vista's slow defragger? Is my experience typical?

Is Auslogics defragger OK?

Any better alternatives?

  Bob The Blob 18:07 21 Aug 2008

Seven hours seems far too long. Have you got rid of all the junk first using CCleaner? I gave up on Vista's own defragger and have been running Auslogics with no problems.

  DippyGirl 18:58 21 Aug 2008

PowerDefragmenter Gui with Sysinternals Contig click here

  mooly 19:21 21 Aug 2008

That's interesting, I nearly started a thread on this. Deliberately havn't defragged for two reasons on my notebook. 1. I wanted to see how performance was affected and 2. I usually defrag from a command line prompt and get a report of the fragmentation first. It never went over 1% in 5 or 6 months but when I last checked it said 0%. Can't be, so I did defrag and it took it's normal 45 mins or so, but it does seem a little "snappier" to use. I dont use Vistas own scheduled defrag as it plays havoc with backups.

  peter99co 19:48 21 Aug 2008

You can cancel a Vista defrag anytime. I leave mine to run on a schedule and as it runs in a different way you do not need to worry about it. If it is running when you need the machine it stops and waits for you and carries on when you have finished. The old XP was in your face but Vista runs in the background. The Idea is that if you schedule it daily it will eventually have you drive clear of fragmentation most of the time.

  peter99co 19:50 21 Aug 2008

Why does Vista defrag play havoc with backups?
Do you have an example?

  keith mac 20:44 21 Aug 2008

OK good responses guys.
Firstly, the defrag finished while I was out training this evening - at least 7 hours on the go.

Next, no I haven't used Crap Cleaner. Perhaps I should now?

And I've bookmarked PowerDefragmenter and will take a longer look shortly.

Defrag on XP was quicker but, then, most things seemed quicker! And I could observe progress...

I know I can stop Vista's defrag utility or schedule it to run in slack times but with a 7 hour run I can't switch off the computer when I'm not using it - likely to bugger the battery done regularly. Perhaps - as suggested - leaving it scheduled to run in the background most of the time avoids long defrag sessions from scratch?

Havoc with backups? How does that work?

Thanks for your responses guys...has COMODO been sorted out for Vista yet by the way?

  peter99co 23:36 21 Aug 2008

The way the defrag works when scheduled is to stop and start when the machine is switched on. Once it has reduced the fragmentation it will only run for short periods. You have to choose a time to run when you normally have the machine on but it will not get in the way, as it stops if you are active. If you close down it stops anyway. You are not even aware when it is running.

  mooly 07:27 22 Aug 2008

Vista's own defragmenter plays havoc with backups because of the following reason. By the way, I mean full "image" backups, in my case using Acronis 10, not backups of folders etc that Vista HP does.
Vista's own defragmenter is set to run automatically in the background, without you really noticing. If you then make a set of incremental backups each "increment" is huge as Vista is constantly changing the order of things.
Turn off the auto defrager and the "increments" are tiny, meaning it's quick and they take little disc space.
Fragmentation has to be pretty bad I suspect to seriously impact performance -- my finding anyway, so I just run it every couple of months.
The PC is quicker from the off anyway without it hogging resources, and the other very naughty thing I do is to turn off restore points.
That make a big difference as well, you can free up 10's of GB of space and things like installing updates are quick as no restore point has to be created. Probably live to regret that one, but I trust Acronis more.

  keith mac 08:07 22 Aug 2008


I can only suppose then - from what you've said above - that although Windows reported that my hard drive did not need defragging, it must have been heavily fragmented as it took so many hours to rectify. During that time I used the machine only occasionally and for short times so the defrag process was running most of that time.

Does this also mean that Windows only advises the user to defrag (when not scheduled) when there is a very large degree of defragmentation???

I've no idea if the degree of fragmentation present yesterday made any significant difference to Vista's performance - I'd have got used to any slow down over the months.

Perhaps it's not necessary to be as vigilant as in Windows 95 days eh?

In XP we used to be able to select the amount of disc space allocated to Restore Points. Vista appears not to have this feature and presumably can use many Gigs of storage for this??

I wouldn't have the courage to turn off Restore Points because I'm just an average dunce who'd be stuck if there was a system malfunction - restore points have often got me out of trouble even though I don't install that much new software. Just as likely to have problems after Windows updates!!

I've note your points about image backups.

  mooly 11:02 22 Aug 2008

If you want to try defragging from a command prompt try this. It's safe and will be much quicker as it's only defragging. Just let it get on with it. Note the spaces,
Click the windows orb at bottom left and right click the "command prompt" line. Select run as admimistrator.
Type the following to begin,
defrag c: -a-v That will take 3 or 4 minutes and give a text readout of the fragmentation of all the files and folders on the c drive.

If you want to defrag type
defrag c: -v-w This will defrag all file sizes on the c drive and show report afterwards -- takes about 45 mins. It's finished when the flashing text "prompt" re appears.
Give it a try. At least the first one to see what it says about your fragmentation. If you are happy using this I would turn off the auto defragmenter and just run this every couple of months.

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