How to Defragment Your Disk Drive Volumes in Windows XP

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This article describes how to defragment your disk drive volumes and describes the limitations of using Disk Defragmenter Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that is included with Windows XP.

More Information

Disk Defragmenter MMC is based on the full retail version of Executive Software Diskeeper. The version that is included with Windows XP and later provides limited functionality in maintaining disk performance by defragmenting volumes that use the FAT, FAT32, or NTFS file system.

To start Disk Defragmenter MMC, use one of the methods that is described in this article.

Method 1: Use the Properties of Your Local Disk

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
  4. Click Defragment.

Method 2: Use Computer Management MMC

  1. Start Computer Management MMC (Compmgmt.msc).
  2. Click Disk Defragmenter.
  3. Click the volume that you want to defragment, and then click Defragment.

Method 3: Use Disk Defragmenter MMC.

  1. Start Disk Defragmenter MMC (Dfrg.msc).
  2. Click the volume that you want to defragment, and then click Defragment.
The version of Disk Defragmenter MMC that is included with Windows XP has the following limitations:
  • It can defragment only local volumes.
  • It can defragment only one volume at a time.
  • It cannot defragment one volume while it is scanning another.
  • It cannot be scheduled. If you need to schedule disk defragmentation, use the Defrag.exe command line tool.
    For additional information about using the command line Defrag.exe tool, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    283080 Description of the New Command Line Defrag.exe Included with Windows XP
  • It can run only one MMC snap-in at a time.
The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.


For help with common system maintenance tasks in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web page:

Article ID: 314848 - Last Review: Mar 3, 2010 - Revision: 1