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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Phyll Report 10 Feb 2013 18:21

I think I understand what this means but if I do it will I lose stuff off of my trees. Sorry to be so ignorant. Certainly don't know much about computers and it's obvious.
Thank you


Kay???? Report 10 Feb 2013 18:23

No Phyll your tree will be safe.


Phyll Report 10 Feb 2013 18:47

Thank you Kay. Feel better about doing defrag now.


Bobtanian Report 10 Feb 2013 18:56

Phyll, Defrag....ment

this function occurs ONLY on the disc drive on your computer,it only moves stuff and doesn't delete anything.....

Think of the files being like the pages in a book......with an index, Ideally the pages will follow the index but it happens that pages get misplaced, so that instead of following a sequence(say a story) in order, so instead of it following page one, two three ect it is having to go say page 20, 35. 70,2 ,5 to get pieces of it........

defrag collects all these misplaced pieces and replaces them in the correct pages.....theoretically making the sequence faster, and making empty space on your disc so that a new file can be placed there.............

trusting that ive not confused you,



Ron2 Report 10 Feb 2013 19:47

Makes good sense to me Bob. Phyl might also try deleting Temporary Internet Files which could clear some space on his PC


Phyll Report 10 Feb 2013 22:12

Thanks Bob, NOW I understand a lot better.

Ronald, I'm a she.



SylviaInCanada Report 10 Feb 2013 22:29


you should also do Disc CleanUp

that gets rid of Temporary Files that result from every internet action that you ......... as well as getting rid of any files you have put into the Recycle Bin when you deleted something.

Doing Disc Cleanup regularly is a good idea .............. I used to do it every evening, and it only took 3 or 4 minutes at the most. I've got lazier, and only do it about once a week, and it still takes less than 5 minutes

Defrag will take longer, but should be done every few months.

I used to liken Defrag to what happened to the filing when I was working

................. I'd take a file out of the drawer, but be in too much of a hurry to put it back in the right place.

After this happening several times, it would take time to find files because they were all out of order.

Then I would have to spend an hour or so re-doing the filing.



AnnCardiff Report 10 Feb 2013 23:18

I could do with a defrag - I'd also very much like to be digitally remastered :-D


Bobtanian Report 11 Feb 2013 09:24

dont forget that with disc cleanup, ..... make sure you remember your logins, because removing cookies means you will have to re-enter passwords or logins/ on the sites you visit.....


InspectorGreenPen Report 11 Feb 2013 10:45

With modern high speed high capacity discs, unless you are in the habit of adding and deleting large numbers of files on a regular basis, regular defragging is often unnecessary.

At the time when defragging was invented, hard disc mechanics were much less sophisticated and much slower. Today's hard drives are hundreds of times faster than those from 20 years ago, so fragmentation makes much less of an impact on read-write performance. A badly fragmented drive today would still be faster than an unfragmented drive from ten years ago.

The speed difference you will get from defragging a modern drive is probably going to be imperceptible unless the drive is more than 50% fragmented. So before running defrag run an analysis first to check.

Running a disk and browser cleanup is likely to be far more productive. A free program such as CCleaner allows you to clean several areas in one hit (i.e. temp files, cookies, history, recycle bin, etc) and, importantly, allows you to whitelist cookies for your favourite sites so you don't have to worry about your pc forgetting passwords or site preferences. It also has other useful tools such as a registry cleaner, startup manager and program uninstaller.

If you pc has been around for a while, check what is running on start-up. It is surprising how many unecessary programs manage to install themselves over a period of time, all of which slow your pc down. Apart from your security program and windows related processes many others can be disabled or even removed completely.

Most are obvious, such as programs which check whether or not a non-critical product has a newer version every single time you start your pc.

If in doubt, just disable.


Phyll Report 11 Feb 2013 11:13

Many thanks to you all for your generous help. I will see what sort of mess I make of it all.


RolloTheRed Report 11 Feb 2013 11:20

IGP is quite correct in saying that defragging is a bit of a waste of time unless you have a pretty ancient piece of kit. If you must use it then there are much better defraggers than the Microsoft built in one. Here is a reliable site for such gadgets:

Defrag is harmful to solid state drives though I suppose few of these are running with XP.

Disk cleanup is a double edged sword. As has been pointed out you may end up ferreting around for log on details and such and the empty cache will result in many apps eg Google Maps having to rebuild the cache which may or not be a problem depending on yr connection.

ALWAYS make sure you have an alternative login with administrative privileges.
ALWAYS make sure that "System Restore" is installed - this allows you to boot into text mode. It is an install option.
NEVER run yr normal account with admin privileges.

If you are running Firefox install the addons "AdBlock" and "NoScripts" which gives you total control of what web sites get up to on yr machine. Free. The performance boost is very noticable which is not usually the case with defrag.

Having enough memory will make a lot more difference to performance than mucking about with disk cleanup and defrag.

In order to run XP/SP3 or Win7 the hardware requirements are not very onerous.
The OS is not capable of using more than 3 GB of memory and in fact 2 GB is the sweet spot. DDR3 RAM is very cheap and even for older DDR2 RAM a 1GB stick is only £ 10-15.


eRRolSheep Report 11 Feb 2013 12:34

Unless you have changed default settings, Windows 7 (onwards) defragging is automatic.

Rollo - I assure you that Windows 7 is capable of using more than 3 gig of RAM


Phyll Report 11 Feb 2013 13:22

I have Vista - does this do automatic please


Kay???? Report 11 Feb 2013 13:43


If you have *good * local PC repair shop I'd take PC along and get them to give it a look over,explain what the problem is...,,,,,,,,if you arent confident in whats what,,,,,,,also get them to give the fan/s a clean out at the same time.


eRRolSheep Report 11 Feb 2013 14:11

if memory serves me correct there is the option for it to be automatic in Vista.

Go to Control Panel and click on System and Maintenance.
Under the Tools section (I think it says Administrator Tools) click on "Defragment your hard drive".
You should then have the option to enable or disable the automatic facility.


JustGinnie Report 11 Feb 2013 14:16

I have vista and it does have the option for auto defrag. as Errol says.


Phyll Report 11 Feb 2013 14:42

Thank you all. I am most grateful. Have had PC for almost 5 years & done nothing of this sort of thing before. My SIL usually helps me out but he has lost so much stuff in trying to help.


RolloTheRed Report 11 Feb 2013 16:02

fao Mr Sheep

It is a mathematical impossibility for any 32 bit Windows OS to use more than 4 GB RAM. One GB of address space is reserved so the most user RAM that can be accessed is 3 GB. However the only win32 apps that will use more than 2 GB are very heavy duty video editing apps ( which also need heavy duty graphics hardware ) and thus installing more than 2 GB on a 32 bit system a usually a waste of money.


It is not a very good idea to install 64 bit versions of WIndows XP or WIndows 7 on older machines as the underlying device drivers and other systems tend not to support a 64 bit OS very well. Any machine newer than 3 years should be ok. With a 64 bit OS the minimum install for decent performance is 4 GB and 8 GB is worthwhile. Beyond that for desktop systems more memory is only needed for heavy duty video editing and extreme games freaks with multiple screens.

A handy feature of several 64bit linux distros and Windows 7/8 Pro is that it is possible to run virtual 32 sessions of XP, Win95, MacOS etc which can be handy if you want to run legacy software. It can of course be done with 32 bit but the memory problem tends to kill performance.

fwiw the industry expects the home desktop/laptop PC to largely disappear over the next few years, its role being take over by SmartTVs, mobile phones and tablets.


eRRolSheep Report 11 Feb 2013 16:34

32 bit no 64 bit yes

Therefore, I stand by my comment that Windows 7 is capable of using more than 3 gig of RAM

In fact, a 64 bit installation could theoretically run up to 192 gig

With a 32 bit installation, if you have 4 gig of RAM you could use anything from 3 up to around 3.5 depending on your spec