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I recently bought a new laptop that runs windows 8. It has been about a month and I wanted to clean the system up a bit to keep it running smooth. I tried to defrag the system hard disk drive but when I click "analyze" or "optimize" the optimize drives window disappears for a millisecond then reappears and states the system still "needs optimization". It doesn't matter how many times I click on "optimize" It simply repeats the previous event. I can clean my removable disk and recovery hard drive without a problem.

Why won't it let me clean the system hard drive?

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Is your main hard drive a SSD or traditional HD? – Brad Patton Mar 25 '13 at 19:56
Windows 8 defragments system drives on a regular schedule, so there is no need to run a manual defrag. By default it runs weekly. On top of that, defragmentation does not add any noticeable system speed increase, unless you are running very old hardware and software. – Moses Mar 25 '13 at 19:57
@moses That makes sense to me, but why would it still think it needs optimizing afterwards then? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 25 '13 at 19:59
@kasekris If your new laptop is only a month old there is definitely no need for defragmentation. – Simon Mar 25 '13 at 19:59
I realize that there wasn't a need to defrag it, more curious than anything else, and its on a traditional HD. – kasekris Mar 25 '13 at 20:03

Try running a manual check and defrag using the command line defrag tool. You will need privileged command line, to access it:

  • Open Start screen and type cmd
  • One item should appear, right-click on it
  • Choose Run as Administrator and confirm.

Then type the command you want and confirm it with Enter.

To analyze drive:

defrag c: /a /u /v 

This will provide a verbose report of the fragmentation of the drive.

To force a defrag:

defrag c: /d /v /x

This will defrag C: plus consolidate free space and provide a verbose report.

I would recommend a backup and a chkdsk before the defrag simply because you have unusual behavior from the GUI based defrag option. The latter can be run from privileged command line by executing chkdsk c: /r

Once this is complete, reboot your system and then check with the GUI options to see if you have the same behavior. Just keep in mind that it may take a long time to complete the defrag depending on the current state. You may want to run it overnight and check the following day.

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