Defrag works most efficiently when your drive has ample space for its operations. If you run Defrag with a drive that’s chockablock, it must work like mad simply to clear enough space to start writing files. So it pays to delete all unnecessary files before you start defragging. Uninstall unwanted programs, archive old data, delete unwanted backups, and then run Disk Cleanup (Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup).
Defrag also works best when completely uninterrupted. Background programs such as Task Scheduler and anti-virus software can cause Defrag to stop and restart repeatedly. To avoid such interruptions, do a clean boot before running Defrag:
a. Click Start -> Run, type msconfig in the Open box and click OK to open the System Configuration Utility.
b. On the General tab, click Selective Startup and remove the ticks beside Process System.ini File, Process Win.ini File and Load Startup Group Items. (On some versions of Windows you may also see Config.sys, Autoexec.bat and Winstart.bat options - remove the ticks beside these as well).
c. Click OK and allow your computer to restart.
Once you’ve cleaned out unnecessary files and stopped background programs from loading, you’re ready to defrag:
a. Click Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter.
b. Select the drive you wish to defrag.
c. Click Settings and make sure there’s a tick beside the two options in the section When Defragmenting My Hard Drive, then click OK twice to begin.
d. After Defrag has finished, open the System Configuration Utility once more, click Normal Startup on the General tab, click OK and reboot.