Defragging Hard Disk in Windows 8

by windowsiso on September 16, 2012

Disk Defragment used to be a key trick when it comes to boosting your overall computer performance, but doesn’t matter that much anymore, especially with the wide spread of the use of the insanely fast Solid State Disk (SSD). It seems to me that it matters even less in Windows 8 because almost everything related to this has been automated in scheduler.

It’s called Optimize Drives

The Disk Defragmenter in Windows 7 is known Optimize Drives, which can be launched by simply searching words “disk defrag” from the Start Screen. Yes, it’s not called Defragment anymore, though defragging the disks are still mostly what this Optimize Drives do. Upon the launch, it lists all disk drives installed and being used in the system automatically, with the current status.

Optimize Drives

Everything is scheduled

All optimizations have been automated through the task scheduler. By default, it runs automatically on a weekly basis. You can change the schedule to meet your own needs by going to Change Settings, and choose either Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

Optimize Drives - Change Settings

If that’s not flexible enough, you can customize a schedule that suites you in task scheduler.

All disks are being optimized, including SSD

Yes, that’s the biggest different from what we see in Windows 7. But remember? It’s called Optimize Drives, not Disk Defragmenter anymore. It’s being optimized, not being defragmented.

Windows 8 improves SSD drive support by adding the option to optimize them using TRIM, a command that allows the operating system to inform a SSD which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally. Another words, with the support of TRIM, Windows 8 is dealing with the garbage collection overhead much better than it used to be in Windows 7. It runs more efficient and extends SSD’s life cycle greatly. Because of this, do NOT exclude SSDs from your optimize drives operations.

Also noticed that, the Analyze option is greyed out when a selected drive is a SSD.

Optimize Drives through command line

The old school command line Defrag still works with a few new switches added, such as:

/D to perform traditional defrag

/K to perform slab consolidation on the specific volumes

/L to perform retrim on the specified volumes.

/O to perform the proper optimization for each media type.

With this command line, you can automate a more sophistic disk optimization schedule with the default optimization disabled in task scheduler.

Note that you will have to open Command Prompt window as Administrator in order to perform the Defrag command.

Optimize Drives - Command Line

Final Words

Microsoft did a pretty good job on the new Optimize Drives. It runs quietly and efficiently in the background cleaning up the road blocks to keep your computer in the top notch. I particularly appreciated the SSD optimization with the support of TRIM. To most of users, optimizing disks is one of many things that they finally don’t have to worry about in Windows 8.

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