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Windows XP - Run Defrag

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to run a defrag on your hard drive. I always try to explain a defrag like a file system. It is there to sort the files on your computer's hard drive into an order that is easier to find the next time it looks for them.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Run Defrag

Desktop icons in windows xp

With Windows XP loaded to the desktop you should see the desktop icons.

With the mouse double click the My Computer icon.

The My Computer window will open.

showing the my computer section in windows xp

You will see a list of all the drives that are available under My Computer.

You can defrag any drive although it is usually the C:\ drive that requires attention more as this drive is the one that is constantly being used.

With your mouse right click on the 'c:\' and from the menu that appears left click the 'Properties' option at the bottom.

c drive properties in windows xp

You will see the properties window of 'c:'. Click the tab along the top called 'Tools'.

You will see in the middle of the window an option labelled 'Defragmentation' and a button labelled defragment now. Click the defragment now button.

The defrag program will load.

defrag showing drives and avaiable options in windows xp

The program itself is fairly straightforward to use.

You will see a list of hard drives in the top window which you can select from although as you'll notice it is selected on C: at the moment.

There are two buttons availabe called 'Analyze' and 'Defragment'.

disk defrag running in Windows XP

Click the analyze button and the defrag program checks your hard drive to see if it needs defragging. As you can see in our example the computer tells us we don't need to defrag the hard drive.

You can still defrag if you want though, it doesn't harm your hard drive, if anything it will help.

Click the Defragment button and the defrag program will begin.

It can take a while to run a full defrag on a hard drive and the program will notify you once complete.

To exit the defrag program click the red box with the white x in the top right corner of the defrag window.

Next tutorial - Check Drive Errors in Windows XP

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