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I'm trying to defrag my HP G60-116ea laptop using Piriform Defraggler.

Even their quick scan has been on 0 percent for about 30 minutes.

There are 34GB of fragmented files. I'm presuming this is a bad thing? What will defragging this do for my laptop? It's very slow.

Also, is there a way I can make my screen stay black, but have the laptop running, until I want to start it up as otherwise I have to sleep next to this thing!

During defragmentation, which processes can I safely cancel (such as explorer.exe) to speed things up?

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Since the vast vast bulk of the process is disk access, there is little in the way of processes that will speed things up. Just run it for a couple hours at a time. I personally just let the OS defrag work in the background and let it self-throttle. –  surfasb Dec 17 '11 at 23:51
    
Note that, to a degree, a defragging process can be stopped and restarted without too much wasted effort. The stuff that's already been moved won't need to be moved again, so the operation will sort of pick up where it left off (though after some initial data gathering that will be repeated). How well this strategy will work depends on the defragger and your system configuration. (Be sure to cleanly end the defragger, though, vs just "pulling the plug" -- it should tolerate the latter, but why risk it?) –  Daniel R Hicks Dec 18 '11 at 0:28
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I wonder how it got 34gig of fragged files, Vista by default is set to defrag on a schedule once a week. –  Moab Dec 18 '11 at 1:47
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Generally speaking, having fragmented files makes read operations on those files slower, as the hard drive must "jump around" to get all the pieces.

There is nothing you can do to make it faster, other than perhaps increase the free space on the drive (only effective if you have less than 15% or so free) or use a different program..

To answer the second part of your question, go to
Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings
and pick how long you want wait until the screen shuts off.

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Is it advisable to leave it running overnight? –  user110024 Dec 18 '11 at 0:03
    
Yes, you don't need to use the PC while defragmenting, so it makes sense. –  soandos Dec 18 '11 at 0:08
    
@user110024 It sure will speed things up!! –  surfasb Dec 18 '11 at 0:08
    
@surfasb, not really, the bottleneck is disk I/O, not CPU. –  soandos Dec 18 '11 at 0:09
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My point is if you do this overnight, it will speed things up, compared to not doing this overnight and in the background. –  surfasb Dec 18 '11 at 1:35
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I am not familiar with "piriform defraggler" therefore I cannot compare speeds, but I have had good results with the highly configurable UltimateDefrag Freeware. It has a number of different modes, and one of them will hopefully serve your needs.

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Try using the Windows Defragmenter first to see if the issue is with the app or the hardware. It should at least get the process started, and Defraggler can be used afterwards to make sure things are truly the way you want them.

I echo others though in saying that with today's systems, 34GB really isn't that much.

Also, laptop harddrives tend to be much slower than desktop drives in order to make them use less power. This will affect the speed of the defragmentation significantly.

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