You can defragment the hard drives on your Windows Server 2003 boxes on a set schedule by simply creating a batch file to defragment a drive and setting up a scheduled task to execute it.Creating a .bat file
To create this little piece of code, open a new file in your favorite text editor, such as Notepad. You will also need to open the Windows command shell (cmd.exe). The command shell will help you nail the syntax of the operation so there are as few hiccups as possible.
- In the command prompt window, enter the following:
The help documentation will display for defrag.exe, showing the syntax you need to run the application and any optional switches.
C:> defrag.exe /?
- To keep it simple and to restrict the defrag operation to one drive, you can enter the syntax for our batch file into the text editor as follows:
Defrag.exe c: -f
- Save the text file with a name and the .bat file extension.
- You will also select all files in the file types drop down.
In the command prompt window, press [Enter] a few times to get a C:\> prompt within view. Enter the following to see the syntax and examples of the AT command:
Note: Walking through the entire process will help to familiarize you with all of the available options for commands used in this tip. The help display is for demonstration purposes only; you do not need to perform it.
AT 02:30am /every:M,T,W,Th,F c:\defragment.bat
Press [Enter] after entering the command, and a scheduled defragmentation of the local C: drive will take place weekdays at 2:30 in the morning.
You can verify the task by visiting the Scheduled Tasks folder in the Accessories folder of the Start menu.
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Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.