In Windows Vista, there are many improvements in the defrag engine and in the manageability of fragmentation. By default, Windows Vista uses Task Scheduler to automatically keep the hard disk defragmented. This automated defragmentation does not affect the performance of the Windows Vista operating system. The performance is not affected because hard disk defragmentation only occurs when the computer is idle. The task that runs the defrag engine runs as a low-priority task. Therefore, defragmentation does not affect the performance of other tasks that the user performs on the computer.
Features of the Windows Vista hard disk defragmentation utility
Partial defragmentationPartial defragmentation By default, the defrag tool only defragments file fragments that are smaller than 64 megabytes (MB). Therefore, any file fragments that are larger than 64 MB are not moved unnecessarily. You can use the -w parameter to tell the defrag tool to defragment all files fragments, regardless of size.
Cancellable defragmentationIn earlier versions of Windows operating systems, if the defrag engine was in the middle of a large move request, it could take lots of time to cancel defragmentation. In Windows Vista, the defrag engine processes input and output requests in smaller portions. Therefore, you can avoid situations where the defrag engine is busy with processing large move requests when you cancel a defragmentation session.
Low priority defragmentationThe defrag engine in Windows Vista does not affect the performance of other processes that are running on the computer. Other processes are not affected because defragmentation runs as a low priority process. And, defragmentation uses only minimal CPU resources and memory resources. If the system is using lots of CPU resources and memory resources, the defragmentation process may take a longer time to finish.
Ability to defragment volumes with less free spaceYou can defragment volumes in Windows Vista when volumes have less free space than is the case in earlier versions of Windows operating systems.
Faster defragmentationIn some defragmentation modes in Windows Vista, defragmentation of a volume is two or three times faster than defragmentation in earlier versions of Windows. Windows Vista uses significantly improved algorithms that move files toward the front of the hard disk. In earlier versions of the defrag engine, the defrag engine defragmented data at the end of the hard disk before the defrag engine defragmented the data toward the beginning of the hard disk.