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Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Interested
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: 20-12-2008

Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Hi!
As I'm slowly learning my way around my computer's registry is it worth defraging my Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop?
Have used it now for 18 months. The CPU memory usage is 75%. If I'm right this is rather high and the probable cause of system slowing down and slow response times.
I'm also getting intermittent internet connection for the last 6 weeks though this is improving and now generally limited to ebay pages. Believe this was a generally PN fault, if I'm correct.
Also the battery icon on the toolbar no longer displays the warning triangles before cutting out. Can I improve this anyway?
I'm also still unable to connect the internet by wi-fi and have three responses in Wireless Broadband but this issue is unresolved.
So Defrag or put the laptop on the scrap heap? Crazy
29 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,274
Thanks: 1,707
Fixes: 11
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

After 18 Months a defrag is ussually a good idea.   But it is unlikely to sort out any of the 'faults' you outline.
Most likely culprits are the debris and general 'carp' left around by various install / deinstall routines added to the extra start up items that may utilities insist on putting into the Config for you?
E.g.  Printer monitors;  Let me look for updates for 'X' every day;  Let me start this application for a camera that you just might want to use.
My first port of call would be do Start ---> Run  and in the box that appears type MSCONFIG.   When the new window opens do a careful check of just what is being started each time you boot - you will probably be surprised Smiley   Most of these can be inhibited by just removing the tick in the box(es).   After this you will need to reboot to make the changes take effect.
Now go to All Programs/ accessories/system tools and Run  'Disk cleanup'    This will clear out lots more 'carp'
Now Run the defrag!
Hopefully this should get you some of the performance back.

Let us know how you get on.
PS The battery problem you have sugests that the batteries are Knackered {Technical term  Grin ]  and need to be replaced.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Totally agree  with Maurice ,
Is it  XP - or have you Vista.
This laptop I'm on at the moment is a Vista machine - and it runs defrag automatically according to a predefined schedule, and you never notice it doing it.
It is 18 months old and as far as I can tell it runs as fast as the day we got it. And I have to do less than I do to  my XP machine which I have to do a deep clean every few months to keep it going fast.
barky
Grafter
Posts: 166
Registered: 21-01-2009

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

I tried the built in windows disk cleanup once - did things I didn't want - OK perhaps I should have been a little more careful!
Things that significantly improved performance for me was: was on XP, but applies on vista too
1/ Ran Ccleaner & got rid of a gig of rubbish --- like index.dat files
2/ Ran a registry cleaner -- did it first with tuneup utilities that I found on a magazine cover & fixed well over 1000 'errors' -- Ccleaner includes a slightly less thorough registry cleaner
3/ Ran a registry defrag - also part of tuneup utilities
4/ Then derfragmented the hard drive with a NON microsoft defragmenrter -- initially Diskeeper but thanks to service packs for windows switched to others -- currently using piriform defraggler & have also tried JKDefrag
5/ When uninstalling programs I now use Revo Uninstaller which gets rid of the detritus your typical uninstaller manages to miss
following this regime (& upgrading RAM) I have a 2003 computer that runs as well if not better than when new!
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,794
Thanks: 260
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Sorry if I'm slightly off topic but what happened to scan disk in Vista and XP?  It seems to have disappeared.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,976
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Can't resist.
Under Linux there isn't a defrag utility - there wouldn't be a a noticeable improvement by running one!
There isn't a registry - so there's nothing to clean there!
There's usually a proper package system, so when you uninstall/upgrade etc something, you have no "carp" to carp about Smiley
Last but not least - if something was going to phone home for updates etc, it would certainly get your permission first.

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

They hid it,.
Open My Computer - select the disk you want to check - right click properties then tools
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,794
Thanks: 260
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Now why go and hide it Huh. Good job there are some knowledgeable people on this forum.  Thanks Jim.
Interested
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: 20-12-2008

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

OK I'm using Vista Home Basic.
Now where's Start it used to be at the bottoms of the Windows menu. Am I going blind? Huh
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Not using home basic  but it should be here
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

still on legacy XP but didnt they cease to call it start, as you have to push it to stop Cool
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

No it's still called start
Interested
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: 20-12-2008

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Quote from: MauriceC
.
Most likely culprits are the debris and general 'carp' left around by various install / deinstall routines added to the extra start up items that may utilities insist on putting into the Config for you?
E.g.  Printer monitors;  Let me look for updates for 'X' every day;  Let me start this application for a camera that you just might want to use.
My first port of call would be do Start ---> Run  and in the box that appears type MSCONFIG.   When the new window opens do a careful check of just what is being started each time you boot - you will probably be surprised Smiley   Most of these can be inhibited by just removing the tick in the box(es).   After this you will need to reboot to make the changes take effect.

Do you know what Synaptics Pointing Device and C-Major Audio are?
The list of 10 programmes which include adobe acrobat and java, I do occassionally use these, does that mean they need to run on start.
Funnily there's also my Dell Wireless WLAN Card Network Tray Applet. Guess I can untick that as t'  wi-fi don't work!
Found the menu by clicking on windows button then in Start search box put in Command Prompt and hey presto I think I found the right menu!
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,917
Thanks: 1,730
Fixes: 131
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

Synaptics Pointing Device is the driver for your laptop pad.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,274
Thanks: 1,707
Fixes: 11
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Disk Defragmenting - Useful ?

C-Major audio will be something to do with your sound card.  It's usually an icon that gets loaded into the system tray (bottom right) to give you quick access to changing your sound set up.  In most cases you can untick this box. 
Similarly for Adobe - there are often two entries one to Pre-load the service, to make it available faster should you need it, the other (if present) loads the 'Update checker'.  I usually uncheck both?  You can manually check for updates via the 'Help' menu option.
Just to be clear.  If you discover that you really do need something that you've unchecked, just re-run MSconfig and restore the tick.