In this article, I will try to explain what defragmentation is, and how to perform disk defragmentation in the Windows 8 or 8.1 operating system.
A hard disk consists of sectors, and when you write data to it, these sectors are filled in order. But if you often install and uninstall programs, then over time the files on the hard drive will be written to free sectors, which can be placed in different parts of the hard drive. In other words, fragments of one file can be in different places - this is fragmentation.
When it is necessary to read a fragmented file, the heads of the hard drive will jump from one sector to another, collecting it in parts. This causes a decrease in computer performance.
Defragmentation is necessary in order to arrange the fragments of one file in the desired sequence. You can execute it, both using the built-in Windows defragmenter, and using third-party software.
I also note that if a solid-state SSD disk is installed on your computer, defragmentation will not affect the speed of your computer in any way, and it will be simply useless, because the information on the SSD disk is written to flash memory, there are no magnetic disks or read heads.
So how so perform disk defragmentation in Windows 8. To do this, press the key combination Win + W and in the search bar write “defragmentation”. Options will be displayed on the left, select “Defragment and optimize your disks”.
You can open this window in another way. Press the Win + E combination, the "Computer" window will open. Here, select any drive and go to the "Management" tab. Then click on the “Optimize” button.
Before defragmenting, select the desired disk partition and click "Analyze". After that, in the "Current Status" section, the percentage of disk fragmentation will be displayed. If this value exceeds 10%, then defragmentation can be performed.
To do this, click on the "Optimize" button. The process can take from 20 minutes to several hours.
On Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems, you can configure scheduled defragmentation. To do this, click "Change Settings."
In the next window you can choose how often defragmentation will be performed: daily (better not to choose), weekly (if you install and uninstall various programs), monthly (the best option). Unchecking the "Run as scheduled" checkbox will disable the automatic defragmentation launch (useful if you have an SSD). To mark which disks you want to defragment for, click Select.
In the next window, check the boxes next to the drives that you want to optimize, and click OK.
Save your settings and close all windows.
You can also defragment a disk using third-party programs. For example, the free program Auslogics Disk Defrag. The program is easy to use and has all the necessary functions. By following the link, you can download the program, read about its installation and a detailed description of its use.
If you have the Windows 7 operating system installed, read the article: Defragment your hard drive in Windows.
The process of defragmenting a Windows 8 hard drive is almost no different from optimizing a drive on Windows 10. By clicking on the link, you can read the article: Defragmenting a Windows 10 drive. Given this fact, watch the video on the topic:
Defragmentation procedure on Windows 8
The system developers have provided special software that you can use for optimization. Eight automatically calls this software once a week, so you should not often worry about this problem. But if you still decided to defragment manually, then consider a few ways to do this.
Method 1: Auslogics Disk Defrag
One of the best programs for defragmenting disks is considered Auslogics Disk Defrag. This software performs the optimization procedure much faster and better than regular Windows tools. Using Auslogic Disk Defrag will help you not only optimize the location of information in clusters, but also prevent file splitting in the future. This software pays special attention to system files - during defragmentation, their location is optimized and they are transferred to the faster part of the disk.
Run the program and you will see a list of disks available for optimization. Click on the desired drive and start defragmentation by clicking on the corresponding button.
Before performing disk optimization, it is recommended that you also analyze it. To do this, select the appropriate item in the drop-down menu.
Method 2: Wise Disk Cleaner
Wise Disk Cleaner is another no less popular free program that allows you to quickly find and delete unused files and improve the state of the system, as well as defragment the contents of the disk. Before starting work, a backup copy of all files will be created, so that if important data is deleted, you can roll back.
In order to carry out optimization, in the panel above select the corresponding item. You will see discs that can be optimized. Tick the necessary checkbox and click on the button. Defragmentation.
How to defragment
There are two ways to perform optimization:
- Built-in tools.
- Using third-party programs.
As mentioned above, the operating system has a built-in tool for performing defragmentation. Moreover, the service allows you to configure the schedule, which eliminates the need to constantly run it. You can set a planned check and optimization, for example, once every 3 months. That will be quite enough. But how to do that? Let's look at both options in more detail.
Windows 8 Embedded Services
To start the service, just open the file manager. In the left menu, find the "Desktop" section. Open it and find "This computer." Open it.
Now you have access to your hard drives. Select the hard drive that you want to optimize and right-click on it. Select "Properties." Next, open the “Service” tab. Here you will see two options, one of which is called Optimization and Defragmentation. Select it.
Next, a window will open in which you can select the desired hard drive. Click on the “Optimize” button a little lower.
After that, the system will independently perform analysis and defragmentation. Also a little lower there is a button “Change settings”. If you click it, then you can configure the schedule. A window will appear in which you will need to choose how often the procedure will be performed. There are three options to choose from:
It is recommended to choose the last option. Also in the window you can select the hard drives that will be optimized.
Now you know what Windows 8 defragmentation is and how to do it using the built-in Windows 8. But there are also third-party programs that have more flexible settings. For example, the Perfect Disk application is most widely used. Moreover, this program allows you to perform “smart” optimization, making the system as fast as possible.
Windows 8 and Defragmenting SSDs
You probably remember that in the previous OS - Windows 7, if the OS defines the mapped drive as SSD, defragmentation for this type of drive was turned off automatically (since the defragmentation procedure significantly increases the unnecessary wear of the SSD drive, without affecting performance). For SSDs, Microsoft recommended enabling TRIM support.
The details of using SSD in Windows 8 are described in the article: “We optimize Windows 8 on an SSD”
According to Microsoft documentation, the TRIM function in Windows provides the following benefits:
- Uniform wear of SSD memory cells due to disabling unallocated space consolidation operations
- The speed of the write operation increases due to the preliminary cleaning of the cells
In Windows 8, the Storage Optimizer utility itself understands the connected drive type, and if the drive is identified as an SSD, it starts using TRIM commands for this volume. Therefore, traditional defragmentation (moving files to optimize free space and performance) for such disks is not performed.
Method 3: Piriform Defraggler
The free software Piriform Defraggler is a product of the same company that developed the well-known CCleaner. Defragler has several advantages over the standard Windows defrag utility. Firstly, the whole procedure is much faster and better. And secondly, here you can optimize not only the partitions of the hard drive, but also some individual files.
The program is very easy to use: select the drive you want to optimize with a mouse click and click on the button Defragmentation at the bottom of the window.
Method 4: Native System Tools
- Open the window "This computer" and click RMB on the disk for which you want to defragment. In the context menu, select "Properties".
Now go to the tab "Service" and click on the button "Optimize".
In the window that opens, you can find out the current degree of fragmentation using the button "Analyze", and also carry out forced defragmentation by clicking on the button "Optimize".
Thus, all the above methods will help you increase the speed of the system, as well as the speed of reading and writing to the hard drive. We hope this information was useful to you and you will not have any problems with defragmentation.
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