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Defragging my hard drive on my windows XP laptop?

  1. Oct 4, 2009 #1
    The last time I defragged a hard drive was on my desktop computer with windows vista. My laptop seems to be slowing down slightly, I was hoping to defrag it, as it has not been for a very long time. I don't know where to go to access this feature in windows XP. I use "search" in the start bar, but I can't find anything...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2009 #2
    Go to start, then control panel. Change it to category view and select Performance & Maintenance. Then click "Rearrange items on your hard disk to make programs run faster". Click the defragment button and prepare to play the waiting game.
  4. Oct 4, 2009 #3


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    You can also access Windows Defragger by going to My Computer...right click on whatever drive you wish to defrag (likely C: or D:) and selecting properties...then go to the Tools tab.

    Just another course to the same destination...
  5. Oct 4, 2009 #4
    Or you can go: Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter
  6. Oct 4, 2009 #5


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    If your system is slowing down, I would first check how many background applications are running (for a quick check, look in your system tray). These days, almost everything you install will leave a portion of itself running in the background.
  7. Oct 4, 2009 #6
    I bought my laptop computer in late 2006. It has not been defragged since and it is used extremely often. How long will this take? More, or less than 24 hours? Can I just leave it running while it defrags? What if it goes into screensaver, or hibernation mode?
  8. Oct 4, 2009 #7
    I recommend using Ccleaner to remove unused temporary files and unnecessary registry entries before defragmenting. Many computers have over 1 GB of unnecessary temporary files sitting on the primary disk. Also use it to check your startup entries to make sure there aren't useless programs continuously running in the background. Use Google to check filenames.
    Also, check your Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs list for programs that you do not use and are not essential to Windows.
    After that, defragmenter will only need to consolidate your free space and rearrange the files that are actually in use.
  9. Oct 4, 2009 #8
    If your computer is running slowly, it might not be because of the defragmentation in the past. Check your specs setting and CPU processing speed. Also, you might want reduce any unnecessary downloading and open fewer windows. try using Tabs as they require less CPU processes. If all else fails you can defrag through the Control Panel, then go to Performance and Maintenance and then go to Rearrange Items to Make your Programs Run Faster or something like that then go to Defrag.

    Hope this helped,
  10. Oct 5, 2009 #9
    I have an Intel Centrino Duo 1.6 GHz, 2GB of RAM, and an integrated Intel GMA notebook grahpics chip. This laptop is used mostly for web browsing, email, keeping photos, text files, and various other things. I sometimes play games like the original DOOM game, and Diablo 2. Both games which are over a decade old, and don't require extremely fast computers to run.

    My powerful, quad-core gaming desktop is currently being serviced under warranty repairs. I am quite disappointed with how long it is taking to be repaired. My laptop seems to be running noticeably faster after the defrag. The defrag did not take anywhere near as long as I expected it to. A little over One hour.

    This may be a little off topic, but what is the maximum addressable amount of RAM that a 32-bit CPU running windows XP (32-bit) can utilize?
  11. Oct 5, 2009 #10
    3 Gigs.
  12. Oct 8, 2009 #11


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    I thought that XP can only make use of 1 Gb...but my memory could be wrong...
  13. Oct 8, 2009 #12


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    Another speed-up tip: once you have deleted any temp files and defragged your disk, you can tell Windows to stop changing the size of the swap file. To do that, give the swap file a large initial size and the same maximum size as its initial size. This will keep the swap file from becoming fragmented over time, and will also prevent a full disk from crashing your system.
  14. Oct 9, 2009 #13
    A 32 bit version of Windows cannot use more than 3.x GB in practice because of the 4GB limitation of addressable memory space. It's explained quite nicely here

    I am running my XP Pro SP3 (32 bit) gaming desktop with 2 GB system RAM and a 896MB GTX260 video card...the combination seems to work well.

    Earlier, I had a laptop with XP 32 bit and 3 GB RAM, I upped the RAM to 4 GB, and it didn't seem to make a noticeable difference.

    As for defragging, I've used Diskeeper for the last 2-3 years, and it has worked very well. At the moment, I am using the 2009 Pro edition in automatic defrag mode on my desktop and it maintains the files on the two 640GB and two 500GB drives in excellent condition. It has an option to defrag the system files such as MFT and page file, but I rarely need to use it...
  15. Oct 10, 2009 #14
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