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I've heard claims from some people that you don't need to defragment hard drives formatted as NTFS (perhaps even from Microsoft at one time), while others say it needs considerably less defragmenting than FAT.

So how often should I defragment my NTFS drives?

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Personally, I still find that defragging a drive every few months helps keep everything moving quickly. It's not as dramatic an improvement as it used to be, but it still seems to help.

I'm more curious whether SSD drives will make defragging unnecessary, since the penalty for random reads is so much lower than with HDDs.

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  • Defragmentation runs once a week on schedule on Vista and Windows 7, although it was also optimized to only do what's necessary as not to impact system performance (there are a few good articles in the Windows and Engineering Windows 7 blogs, containing hard data on the subject). Also SSDs can't be defragmented on Windows 7 as it doesn't do much good in terms of data access speed but does much more bad in terms of destroying your SSD (remember, Flash RAM only has a limited amount of write operations). – Joey Jul 20 '09 at 11:41

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