Auto Defrag Methods

  • From: "Wintips&Tricks" <wintips@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Wintips&Tricks" <wintips@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 14:01:49 -0400

May 25,  2004 - Issue 6 

Auto Defrag Methods 
By Vic Ferri

1. From a Bat File

Defrag in both Windows 9x and XP can be easily run from a batch file which when 
clicked will automatically begin 
defragging your drive or drives, and exit when done. Here's how.

Windows 95/98/Me

This simple defrag bat file automatically defrags all your local drives.

@echo off

If you've never written  a batch file, don't worry, it's a simple.  Just open 
up a new notepad document,  type the commands, 
then save the file with a .BAT extension.   

Note - make sure you are not hiding file extensions. If you're not sure, go to 
Folder Options and make sure
there is no checkmark next to "Hide extensions for known file types" 

Notice the switches in the above command line

/ALL -  means all drives will be defragmented
/F - means all files and free space will be defragmented.
/NOPROMPT - means to defrag without any user prompts. In other words, defrag 
begins automatically without questions.

Other switches you can use include.

/U  to defragment files only.

/Q  to defragment free space only.

/CONCISE  to have only the Hide Details view displayed (this is the default).

/DETAILED to have the Details view displayed.

/P - this one is for the old Windows 95 defrag and means System and hidden 
files will be optimized 

If it's only one drive you need to defrag, just omit the all switch and enter 
the drive letter. i.e.

To end the defragging at any time, press Ctrl + C

Windows XP

Windows XP defrag does not have an ALL switch but this can be easily worked 
around by simply entering each drive in the
bat file. It's only something you have to do once and then you will have a file 
that will defrag all your drives with a click
and exit automatically when done.

Let's assume you have 3 partitions  you wish to include, c: d: and e:

Open up notepad, enter the simple commands below, and save the file with a .bat 

defrag c: -f
defrag d: -f
defrag e: -f
Double clicking the file will defrag the drives in the order they are listed in 
the file and automatically exit when finished.
The f switch is optional and is used to prevent any prompts that your free 
space is low

To end the defrag at any time press Ctrl + C

2. Task Scheduling Defrag 

Windows 9x

You can also automate defrag by configuring it in Task Scheduler to run at a 
set time schedule. To do that in Windows 9x, double-click
My Computer hen open Scheduled Tasks and double click  Add Scheduled Task.  
Click Next and Choose Disk Defragmenter.from the 
list  Choose the time schedule and just follow the wizard. At the end, click 
"Open Advanced Properties for this task when I click finish" 
and enter your defrag options at the end of the defrag command line.. Example:


to defrag all your drives without prompting.

Windows XP

In Windows XP, you can access Task Scheduler in your Accessories>System Tools 
folder or in the Control Panel (Settings>Control Panel>Scheduled Tasks)
However you can't automate the XP defrag by simply choosing the defrag utitlity 
as the task to run. This will only open up the XP defragmenter and stay there 
waiting for user intervention. However, we can work around this XP oversight by 
scheduling a bat file to run the defrag. Just create a bat file as described 
earlier in this article.
Then start the Task Scheduler wizard and when you get to the list of program 
choices, click the Browse button to find and select your bat file.

3. Customizing the Default  Defrag Shortcut 

Windows 9x only

You can also enter preferred defrag switches at the end of your Defrag shortcut 
command line. Click Start>Programs> Accessories>System Tools 
where you will see the Disk Defragmenter entry. Right click it, go to 
Properties screen, click the Shortcut tab, then click at the end of the command 
line in the Target box, enter the switches you prefer.  For example, to have 
defrag automatically defrag your c: drive without any prompting, every time you 
start it, 
you would add C: followed by the noprompt switch
Choosing Defrag would then begin defragging your c: drive automatically and 
exit after it finishes.

4. AutoRun Defrag from the Registry

You can also place a command to start defrag in a run key in your registry.  
This key here:
(if the RunServicesOnce  key doesn't exist, create it)
Then in the right hand pane create a String value named Defrag.
Double click it and assuming you want all your drives defragged, enter:
What this will do is start defrag on reboot - but only once - as the name 
"RunServicesOnce"  implies.

The above can also be implemented automatically in Windows 98 by using 
Defrag.inf which is included on the Windows 98 CD

For more registry tips, you may want to subscribe to Registry Answers


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