A simple way to speed up a defrag operation in Windows XP
is to restart the system before you launch Defrag. This allows the operating
system to clear out the swap/paging file and reset it to the default size. This
lets Defrag focus strictly on the necessary data on the hard disk, without
having to stop and manage a huge swap file loaded with unneeded data.

Another approach to speeding up a defrag operation in Windows
XP is to configure them to occur immediately upon startup. Fortunately, you can
do so easily with a simple registry edit. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Go to
  3. Right-click the RunOncesubkey and select New | String Value.
  4. Name the value Defrag and press [Enter] twice.
  5. Type Defrag.exe c:
    in the Value Data text box, and click OK.
  6. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows.

The defrag operation will begin when you type in your
password and press [Enter]. (Keep in mind that values added to the RunOnce key are removed immediately after the command has
been run.)

Note: This tip applies to
both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

Miss a tip?

Check out the Windows XP archive, and catch up on our most recent Windows XP tips.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with our free Windows XP newsletter, delivered each Thursday. Automatically sign up today!