Software

Set defragmentation schedules in Windows Server 2008 R2

The Windows Server 2008 R2's built-in scheduled task will be good enough for most situations, but for advanced configurations, admins may want to leverage a more robust offering. Learn about two other options.

I previously described how to use Windows Server 2008 R2's built-in scheduled task to defragment drives; you can also use the Windows scheduled task to set a defragmentation schedule.

The built-in scheduled task is not enabled by default. When you look at the Triggers tab of the default scheduled task, you see that the Enabled box is not selected (Figure A). Figure A

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You can enable the trigger to activate the scheduled task, or you might consider setting a schedule that works for your environment. Consider that defragmentation consumes a lot of disk I/O and can impact other performance areas on a server.

If you don't want to use the Windows scheduled task, the Disk Defragmenter tool, dfrgui.exe, is another way to set a defragmentation schedule. When you take this approach, the Windows scheduled task configuration (including the enabled/disabled trigger) will set to the new schedule. (Note: The Windows scheduled task does not use dfrgui.exe — it uses defrag.exe.) Figure B shows the schedule set directly in the defragmentation tool. Figure B

Click the image to enlarge.

Another option to perform disk defragmentation is to use a third-party product such as Diskeeper, which has a new offering for virtual machine specific defragmentation and optimization with the V-locity product. Defragmentation in virtual machines is a topic that should not be ignored; in fact, former VMware employee Scott Drummonds wrote on the vPivot blog that a defragmented virtual machine can provide an amazing performance difference.

When it comes to defragmentation, the best recommendation I can make is to do something. The Windows scheduled task will be good enough for most situations, but for advanced configurations, you may want to leverage a more robust offering.

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About Rick Vanover

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

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