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How To Analyze and Defragment a Disk in Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q305781
SUMMARY
This step-by-step guide describes how to perform maintenance on disk volumes on Windows XP-based computers. Analyzing and defragmenting disks can help to preserve the performance and general operation of the system.

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Analyze a Disk Volume

Because defragmenting a disk volume can take a long time (depending on the size of the volume, the number of files, the percentage of fragmentation, and the availability of system resources), you should analyze volumes before defragmenting them to decide whether or not it is worthwhile to take the time to run the defragmentation process.

To check for fragmented files and folders on a volume:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Click the volume that you want to analyze.
  3. Click Analyze to begin the analysis.
  4. Review the results of the analysis after it is complete by clicking View Report. If the analysis tool recommends that the volume be defragmented, follow the steps in the next section.
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Defragment a Disk Volume

  1. If the Disk Defragmenter tool is not already running, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Click the volume that you want to defragment.
  3. Click Defragment to begin the operation.
  4. Review the progress of the operation in the Defragmentation Display window. Fragmented files on the disk appear in red, contiguous files are blue, and system files are green. The goal is to eliminate most of the red in the window.
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Troubleshooting

Although any user can gain access to the Disk Defragmenter tool, the ability to analyze or defragment a volume requires administrator privileges. To run the defragmentation operation, you must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the local Administrators group.

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Properties

Article ID: 305781 - Last Review: 07/15/2004 15:00:30 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB305781
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