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Is there a study or something I could have a look at to find out how and to what extend disk defragment improves performance in windows?

A benchmarking study to show the before and after effects would be perfect

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Note: Windows-7 defragments drives every week or so automatically –  user377178 Jan 14 '12 at 23:30
    
My personal records shows this case: folder structure of 20000 files that has grown organically under WindowsXP/NTFS. To list all file names (yes just list) it takes 21minutes. After defrag under 2 minutes. Of course cache have been cleared between benchmarks. –  user377178 Jan 14 '12 at 23:36

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The firms the sell defragging software, such as Diskeeper have published studies, of course they may be biased as they want you to buy defragging software ;-)

Here is their white paper.

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reading two pages of that paper convinced me that diskeeper not just cleans your disks but also cures cancer and aids and makes you rich and famous. –  Baarn Jan 14 '12 at 23:49

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