Like closets, garages, and attics, hard drives become cluttered over time, and unless the debris is removed on a regular basis, performance can suffer. As part of the cleaning process, support pros often recommend using the Windows disk defragmenter on a regular basis. However, Windows 2000 offers an additional tool to help users keep their hard drives spic-and-span: Disk Cleanup.

Defragment that drive
The disk defragmenter included with Windows 2000, Dfrg.msc, rearranges files on the disk to ensure maximum available contiguous disk space. To access Dfrg.msc, go to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter (see Figure A).

Figure A
This computer contains one hard drive with a single NTFS formatted partition. The Analysis Display shows the extent to which this drive is fragmented.

Keep that hard drive clean with Disk Cleanup
Another utility you can use to clean up your disk is the Disk Cleanup tool, which you can find on the System Tools menu. Disk Cleanup scans the disk and tells several options for increasing free space and performance. For example, Disk Cleanup offers an easy way to clean out cached Web pages and associated files, temporary files, the Recycle Bin, offline files, and other data in a single task.

Figure B

To use Disk Cleanup, go to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup. Select the drive you want to clean and click OK. After Disk Cleanup scans the disk (this process could take several minutes), it displays a dialog box with several options (see Figure B). Select the items you want Disk Cleanup to clear out by selecting its check box. If you want to view the files for a specific item, select the item and click View Files.

More hard drive tips and tools
Check out these TechRepublic articles, columns, and downloads for more information on managing and troubleshooting your organization’s PC hard drives: