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  1. Microsoft Windows defragmentation frequency
  2. Defragment procedure for MS Windows NT, '95, '98, ME
  3. Defragment procedure for MS Windows 2000
  4. Defragment procedure for MS Windows XP
  5. Home network versus multiple DSL or cable modem ISP connections?
  6. Multiple dial-up connections versus one broadband ISP connection?

Microsoft Windows drive defragmentation frequency

As a rough guide, for standard business computers or daily use home computers you should defragment your hard disk drive once per month.

When you defragment a hard disk drive, you should have as few programs and services running as possible.  Close all open windows displaying on the taskbar.  In the notification area next to taskbar "time" display, close the start-up automatically launched programs.

Allow plenty of time for running the defragment.  The time required to finish the defragment process depends on several factors.

  • hard disk's spindle speed (rpm) and if disks are part of a RAID or array
  • hard disk read & write speed
  • on physical placement of fragmented file around the drive's surface
  • how large the disk drive is (total megabytes)

To run full defragment takes from 15 minutes to over 3 hours for an average Windows based PC w/ an average hard disk drive running on a typical / common configuration and speed processor.  If defragment process has not been performed for months (or never performed) allow longer.  Note, if the hard drive has too little free space this can take over 8 hours.

If you have not defragmented a disk drive for over 3 months, I suggest running the disk defragment utility twice back to back.  Basic back to back defragments, do ALL the defragment process including the reboot twice.

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Home/Personal network versus multiple DSL or cable modem ISP connections

For two reasons I strongly suggest setting up a home network (personal site network using Internet Protocol based network) instead of multiple DSL or cable modem connections.

Reason one, each DSL or cable modem connection costs the monthly fee and/or service charges.  Each cable modem connection will not provide full first connection incremental increased speed.  (For cable Internet access locations, the non-incremental increased speed issue missed when upgrading is from sharing the cable television Internet connection w/ multiple users, you are but one individual using shared bandwidth.)

Reason two, even a small or basic network will allow file and printer sharing between devices on (connected to) home or personal network.  Sharing printers and physical resources saves hardware investment money.  Sharing files and information are nice capabilities to have instead of carrying floppy disks around.

Choosing the type and configuration for personal or home network has too many variables so I cannot give an answer via this webpage.  I would suggest an Ethernet configuration using TCP/IP.

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Multiple dial-up connections versus one broadband ISP connection

For two reasons, I strongly suggest one broadband connection (either DSL or cable modem connection) instead of multiple dial-up connections plus setting up a home network (Internet Protocol based network).

Reason one, each dial-up connection costs the monthly telephone line expense plus ISP account fee.  Generally combined expenses from two or more dial-up connection (telephone line fees and ISP account fees) will cost as much or more than one broadband connection (single DSL or cable modem connection).  Additionally, one DSL or cable modem connection will provide Internet access speeds around 8 times the speed of a dial-up connection.

Reason two, a basic home or personal network (hardwired or wireless) will allow a single DSL or cable modem connection to be shared.  Bonus benefit, even a small or basic network will allow sharing within the network.  Sharing printers and physical resources saves equipment purchase expenses.  Sharing files and information are nice capabilities to have.

Choosing the type and configuration of personal or home network has too many variables so I cannot give an answer via this webpage.  I would suggest an Ethernet configuration using TCP/IP.  You can include wireless if you choose.

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Microsoft Windows NT, '95, '98, ME Defragment procedure

Do this process when you have a block of time.  The block of time means you will not need to use the computer, will not need to power-off the computer and can allow the computer to run just the defragment process (no other software in use).

As a rough guide, for normally used business or serious daily used home computers you should defragment your hard disk drive once per month.  When you defragment a hard disk drive, you should be running no software (no open windows on the task bar).

Allow plenty of time for running the defragment.  Running defragment on a drive and take from 15 minutes to over 3 hours.  If the drive has the defragment program run too infrequently, too little free space on the hard disk drive or never run this can take over 8 hours.

Procedure:  (pretty much the same procedure for Windows '95, Windows NT, Windows '98, Windows ME)

  1. close all programs and/or all open windows
  2. on the desktop double click "my computer" to open
  3. the "my computer" window will open
  4. on the listed hard disk drive (say c:) right click
  5. on the short menu that appears left click / choose "properties"
  6. the properties window will open
  7. in the properties window switch to the "tool" tab (if there is such a tab)
  8. on the tool tab, 2/3 of the way down you should see the defragment section
  9. left click / choose "defragment"
  10. the defrag window will open
  11. take the option to defragment now, button will probably say "defragment"
  12. a current box might display, the current box will have vertical lines representing the disk's data layout (system, contiguous, fragmented sections of data) that will move as the defragment process proceeds
  13. the defragment process will run plus the defragment progress window displays a bar graph indicator that serves as a very rough idea of overall the progress (walking away and returning to check progress periodically is fine)
  14. when the defragment process finishes the system may notify you by displaying a window allowing you to view the statistics or close.  You can close.
  15. if you have multiple physical hard disk drives or one physical hard disk drive divided in multiple logical section defrag the next hard disk drive (work through all the logical sections, normally c:, d:, e:, etc.)
  16. once the defragment finishes and all drives are done, close all the windows
  17. before you use the computer then reboot the computer (start > shutdown > restart).  Rebooting will allow all the operating system memory can get a fresh virtual memory block and all software can restart.
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Microsoft Windows 2000 Defragment procedure

Do this process when you have a block of time.  The block of time means you will not need to use the computer, will not need to power-off the computer and can allow the computer to run just the defragment process (no other software in use).

As a rough guide, for normally used business or serious daily used home computers you should defragment your hard disk drive once per month.  When you defragment a hard disk drive, you should be running no software (no open windows on the task bar).

Allow plenty of time for running the defragment.  Running defragment on a drive and take from 15 minutes to over 3 hours.  If the drive has the defragment program run too infrequently, too little free space on the hard disk drive or never run this can take over 8 hours.

Procedure:  (pretty much the same procedure for Windows 2000)

  1. close all programs and/or close all open windows
  2. left click the "start" button
  3. from the menu, left click on "programs"
  4. from the menu, left click on "accessories"
  5. from the menu, left click on "system tools"
  6. from the menu, left click on "disk defragmenter"
  7. a new window will open, defrag window
  8. located 3/4 of the way down on the left edge is "analyze" and "defragment"
  9. take the "defragment" option, left click / choose (note, if you accidentally click the "analyze" button there is no harm; however, wait patiently while the system does the analyze.)
  10. the current box will have vertical lines representing the disk's data layout (system, contiguous, fragmented sections of data) that will move as the defragment process proceeds
  11. the defragment status window will start to change lines but some periods no lines will change for a long period as the defragmentation process reorganizes the files
  12. the defragment process will run plus the defragment window displays a bar graph indicator (bottom edge of the window) that serves as a very rough idea of overall the progress (walking away and returning to check progress periodically is fine)
  13. when the defragment process finishes the system will notify you by displaying a window allowing you to view the statistics or close.  You can close.
  14. if you have multiple physical hard disk drives or one physical hard disk drive divided in multiple logical section defrag the next hard disk drive (work through all the logical sections, normally c:, d:, e:, etc.)
  15. once the defragment finishes and all drives are done, close all the windows
  16. before you use the computer then reboot the computer (start > shutdown > restart).  Rebooting will allow all the operating system memory can get a fresh virtual memory block and all software can restart.
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Microsoft Windows XP (Home or Professional) Defragment procedure

Do this process when you have a block of time.  The block of time means you will not need to use the computer, will not need to power-off the computer and can allow the computer to run just the defragment process (no other software in use).

As a rough guide, for normally used business or serious daily used home computers you should defragment your hard disk drive once per month.  When you defragment a hard disk drive, you should be running no software (no open windows on the task bar).

Allow plenty of time for running the defragment.  Running defragment on a drive and take from 15 minutes to over 3 hours.  If the drive has the defragment program run too infrequently, too little free space on the hard disk drive or never run this can take over 8 hours.

Procedure:  (pretty much the same procedure for Windows XP Home, Windows XP Media Edition, Windows XP Pro / Professional)

  1. close all programs and/or close all open windows
  2. left click the "start" button
  3. from the menu, left click on "all programs"
  4. from the menu, left click on "accessories"
  5. from the menu, left click on "system tools"
  6. from the menu, left click on "disk defragmenter"
  7. a new window will open, defrag window
  8. located 3/4 of the way down on the left edge is "analyze" and "defragment"
  9. take the "defragment" option, left click / choose (note, if you accidentally click the "analyze" button there is no harm; however, wait patiently while the system does the analyze.)
  10. the current box will have vertical lines representing the disk's data layout (system, contiguous, fragmented sections of data) that will move as the defragment process proceeds
  11. the defragment status window will start to change lines but some periods no lines will change for a long period as the defragmentation process reorganizes the files
  12. the defragment process will run plus the defragment window displays a bar graph indicator (bottom edge of the window) that serves as a very rough idea of overall the progress (walking away and returning to check progress periodically is fine)
  13. when the defragment process finishes the system will notify you by displaying a window allowing you to view the statistics or close.  You can close.
  14. if you have multiple physical hard disk drives or one physical hard disk drive divided in multiple logical section defrag the next hard disk drive (work through all the logical sections, normally c:, d:, e:, etc.)
  15. once the defragment finishes and all drives are done, close all the windows
  16. before you use the computer then reboot the computer (start > shutdown > restart).  Rebooting will allow all the operating system memory can get a fresh virtual memory block and all software can restart.
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