My Computer Won't Defragment

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Windows Disk Defragmenter, often called simply Defrag, is a utility that rearranges the files on your computer's hard disk to make them easier for Windows to find and increase read/write performance on your hard drive. You should run this utility frequently to keep your PC performing at its best. On occasion, Windows Defragmenter might fail to run for a number of reasons. However, troubleshooting Defrag problems is not that difficult.

Troubleshoot Check Disk (Chkdsk) Problems

  • Click the "Start" button, enter "cmd" in the "Run" or "Search" box and press the "Enter" key.

  • Enter "chkdsk /f" at the command prompt. If the utility displays the message "Cannot unlock the current drive" or something similar, it will also ask you if you want to reschedule the Chkdsk scan for the next time you restart your computer. If prompted, press the "Y" key and press "Enter."

  • Restart the computer and wait for Chkdsk to scan the hard drive of your PC. When the program finishes the scan, the machine will boot into Windows.

  • Attempt to run Disk Defragmenter. If Disk Defragmenter still will not initialize or run, continue the troubleshooting process.

Determine if Enough Free Space Is Available on the Hard Drive

  • Double-click "Computer" or "My Computer" on the desktop or Windows Start bar.

  • Locate the drive in "Computer" or "My Computer" that you want defragment. Note the amount of free space available on the hard drive. Disk Defragmenter requires that roughly 15 percent of the drive be available as free space before the utility will run.

  • Determine how much free space is available on the drive. Divide the amount of free space by the total size of the hard drive (FreeSpace/TotalSize). For instance, if a 300-gigabyte drive has 60GB of free space available, 20 percent of the space on the drive is free (60 ÷ 300 = .20 or 20 percent).

  • Delete unneeded files and programs if there is not enough free space available to run Disk Defragmenter.

  • Run Disk Defragmenter on the hard disk drive.

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References

  • Photo Credit hard drive image by Stanisa Martinovic from Fotolia.com
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