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Schedule and automate defragmentationIf you have been using a computer for a long time or even for a year, chances are that you have definitely heard about defragmentation. Yes it is that process which is extremely essential and should be performed at least once a month, if not every two weeks. It is also that process which we forget to perform each time and the hard disk keeps getting fragmented and thus becomes slower. Fragmentation occurs if the operating system is unable to allocate a contiguous memory location to a file, which is then stored in smaller pieces across the hard disk. The process of defragmentation tries to counter this by bringing together all file fragments and also grouping the free space together through compaction. The disk defragmenter that comes with Windows 7 is great but lacks the shedule and automation features. You can use third party software for the same, but what is the need if the inbuilt software can do the job. However, if you directly schedule the disk defragmenter in the Task Scheduler, it merely starts the disk defragmenter and not the actual defragmentation. So, let us see how to automate and schedule defragmentation in Windows 7. 

  1. Start the Task Scheduler from Accessories -> System Tools.
  2. On the right most pane, select Create Basic Task.
  3. Enter a name for the task. The description is optional, then click next.
  4. In task triggers, select the option which is suitable to you. We are going for weekly defragmentation, and click next.
  5. Choose the day and time according to your preference when you would like the defragmenter to run every week, and click next.
  6. Choose start a program among the actions, click next.
  7. Enter defrag /c /v /u in the script/program text box and select next and then OK.
  8. Review the task settings and finish the task. The defragmentation will now be carried on the time and day that you have specified every week.
  9. The argument /c implies all volumes, if you want to defrag only a single or selected partitions replace /c with the drive you want to defrag i.e. c: d: etc. The argument /v and /u display fragmentation output and current progress in the command window respectively. These may be omitted but then you will not know how far the task has progressed.

It does not make sense getting a third party utility for performing a task, which Windows performs admirably with an inbuilt tool. Try it out and tell me how you fared.

Written by  Siddharth

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3 Comments to “How to Schedule and Automate Defragmentation in Windows 7”

  1. joel Says:

    Hey there,
    I agree! i’ve been defragging years and Diskeeper make the most advanced defragmentation software.

  2. Bill R TechSpec Says:

    It’s interesting that you can schedule Windows 7 to do all sorts of things, but as far as a disk defrag goes, I’m with Tapush as far as using a third party defrag solution goes. One disadvantage of the built-in is that you can’t use the PC while it is running (the process uses a lot of system resources). A solution like Diskeeper runs in the background, keeping the drive defragmented while using your PC, which many of us really need. Get more info here: http://www.diskeeper.com/defrag/speed-up-computer/

  3. tapush Says:

    I changed to a third party tool for faster and more thorough defrag. Its possible that each defragger has its own algorithm, but I found that there were fragmented files which the defragger could not defrag that commercial utilities did. Also running something in real time seemed more convenient than the scheduled task. But I guess it depends on individual requirements. My drive gets fragmented very fast (lots of pic editing and deleting) and I prefer a full fledged automatic program.

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