Hard disk defragmentation on Windows XP and later

To speed up your desktop or laptop hard drive performance it’s recommended once in a while to perform a hard disk defragmentation. Of course you can install expensive SSD drive and forget about the “slow” SATA drives, however disk defragmentation offers free performance boost for existing hard drives.

You can run hard drive defragmentation from a command line or graphical interface.

For Windows XP in graphical mode run:

Start -> All programs -> Accessories -> System tools -> Disk defragmenter

Windows XP disk defragmenter

Select the disk and click Analyze option. The disk blocks, files and directories will be evaluated and the program will recommend either to defragment the hard drive or leave it as it is.

Windows XP disk defragmenter analysis

You can also start Windows Disk Defragment sofware by executing dfrg.msc command in Start->Run and hitting enter key.

Command line:

Start-> Run -> cmd

Switch to the required disk’s root folder, e.g. c:\ (not actually mandatory)

and execute disk defragmentation utility:

defrag /a c:

Windows XP disk defragmentation analysis command line

The above command performs disk defragmentation analysis. In our case the recommendation is that you do not need to perform your disk defragmentation process.


“You do not need to defragment this volume.”

You can then enforce defragmentation of the hard drive (if required or you wish so), by issuing the following command line:

defrag /v /f c:

Windows XP disk enforced defragmentation from command line

It will take some time until hard drive defragmentation ends depending on your disk size and file system, however, when the defragmentation process ends you will experience much better disk performance.


  1. Great article! I actually prefer using Auslogics Disk Defrag, since it can not only defrag files and free space, but optimize system files placement. That makes a real difference, especially on Windows startup.

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