Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If I am upgrading from XP to Windows 7 by doing a custom clean install, should I defrag my computer before I start the process? Or does it not even matter since everything will be wiped?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

No need to defrag if your going to do a clean install since everything is going to be wiped clean anyway. But as suggested by the poster previously, do defrag after installing Windows + all the updates + all your programs; the drive can be quite a mess after all the file creation/modification/deletion from these actions.

The windows defrag utility takes a rather long time to defrag, so a fast third party automatic defrag utility would be a good choice. You can enable auto defrag and let it do its work in the background.

And do run disk cleanup after all the installations, and before defragging. No point in defragging temp files.

share|improve this answer

If you're wiping the drive (implied format with Windows 7 installation), there's no need to defrag the drive.

However, I do recommend defragging it afterwards (if you're not using an SSD). I prefer Piriform's Defraggler.

share|improve this answer

If you are using 'upgrade media' and are going to chose the 'custom' option during the install, the hard drive will be wiped; otherwise you may want to defrag the drive prior to install.

See here for detailed instructions. May want to print it before you begin.

share|improve this answer
I am not saving any media or files or programs. I want it all wiped. So I am actually not upgrading. – picxelplay Mar 28 '11 at 3:00
I have Windows 7 discs, and I am going to install straight from bios, not from within windows. Does that help? – picxelplay Mar 28 '11 at 3:07
Yeah, that wipes it clean. It's advisable to remove the partition information since 7 will want to make a special partition if it is Ultimate version. – skub Mar 28 '11 at 17:08
Does that mean to delete the partition? Or is the partition information something else? – picxelplay Mar 28 '11 at 18:51

Defragging isn't necessar, particularly if you're doing a clean install. You might want to check out the install/reinstall Windows page, just to see if there's anything else that you might want to consider:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.