Defraging under winXP / win2k

As those of you who hand around #rpgc in the chat room probably know, I’ve been working on defragging my drive after I found that most had fragmentations of above 50%. The problem is that the Disk Defragmenter included with winXP and win2k is a piece of junk (something I’ve been ranting about for a while now). How bad is it? Well after 3 days of work and 8 defrags I’ve managed to get the fragmentation on my E drive from 80%, down to 14%, must better than before but still problematic. However, all my attempts to defragment the drive further have been unsuccessful, it’s not a matter of free space, there’s currently 30% free space on the drive, it’s just that the utility sucks. I have 4 more drives to do on this PC and I have no intention of spending the next two weeks trying to make things only slightly better.

So this is my question, does anyone know of a good (and free) substitute for the disk defragmenter manager? Failing that, I would love to get the old defrag working on this PC (it’s slow, but it ACTUALLY defrags for crying out loud), but when I try to run it it gives me a “An application has attempted to directly access the hard disk, which cannot be supported. This may cause the application to function incorrectly.” error message, any ideas?

Sorry to hear about your troubles DS. I’m afraid my suggestion isn’t free but I know it works well. I’ve used Norton System Works for awhile now with no problems. One of the utilities in the software package is called Speed Disk and it seems to work a lot better that the standard degragmentation utility. By better I mean that my computer seems to run faster and more smoothly after a degragmentation.

Where’s the defrag on XP anyway? I can’t seem to find it…

Right Click Disk - Properties - Tools.

I would suggest an alternative, but since the Windows 2000 and 2003 defragmentation tool defrags down to 0-2% here: I haven’t needed to find one.

I’d guess there’s some hard disk space the defrag program can’t access or modify (i.e. 14% of the drive). Do you have system restore on? You might try turning it off and running defrag again.

The WinXP defrag has worked fine for me, so I doubt that the problem is with the defrag program.


of course you must understand that the packed in defrag (and scandisk) is something that MS got off of Symantec in the late 80’s and hasn’t put much effort into making it better.

<img src=“”> Doesn’t Norton do a defraging effort as well? Anyway, it only takes a few hours on this computer, it has 11 gb.

I had somewhat the same issue, except mine wasn’t as heavily fragmented. The first Defrag I ran took I think 2 days to complete. After that first one, the rest only took about a day. After 3 or 4 of those the time jumped down to about 4 hours, and after a few more I got it down to about 2 hours and some change.

Try running scan disk or something a few times and then try defragmenting again.