11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2017 8:55 AM by colesdav

    Defragging my HDD, is it safe?


      Hello everyone!

      I have returned with another issue in regards to my PC. After about a month of my computer working perfectly again, it had started crashing again and I decided to do a little more research. Turns out that my C drive (Windows and Origin drive) is 16% fragmented. The guy who gave me the HDD and helped build it said that it was to be expected since it was from his store and was recycled, but anyway I wanted to know if it was safe/smart to defrag it or just to get a new one and transfer all the data over.

      Much love!


        • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

          Defrag (not for ssd) won't hurt, but after that you should run a deep scan for bad sectors (not the windows chkdsk), seeing as it's a used/refurb'd drive.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

            I would suggest it before the defrag personally. In the command prompt type "chkdsk c: /f /v /r /b" without quotes and Y to the two prompts (force dismount, which will fail as it is the OS drive, and to schedule it for the next reboot). It will take a -long- time, so do it overnight.


            /f - Fix errors

            /v - Verbose cleanup messages

            /r - Scan for and fix bad clusters

            /b - Re-evaluate bad clusters

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

              If it is a mechanical drive not solid state, your OS should run a defrag on a set schedule.  To do so manually, click the start button and type defrag.  The program will come up allowing you to scan the drive and correct it.  A note, however, if you have a solid state never, ever, ever run defrag.  SSDs have error correction to prevent fragmentation.


              Another option would be to open Command Prompt (right click and run as admin) and type sfc /scannow.  This will scan the file system for abnormalities and attempt to repair them.  It will require a restart of your OS once triggered.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

                So after a day of working it crashed another three times and said that it was, you guessed it, fragmented. Is it possible to transfer the data on this hard drive to another? Including the OS,

                  • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

                    With cloning software yes. I like Macrium Reflect, it's free. Do be aware, however, that fragmentation (on mechanical drives) only affects the speed of disk operations, it does not have any effect on system stability. A fragmented file is a file which is not in continuous clusters on the disk so the read arm has to zip around to retrieve all the pieces, it is not corrupt.

                    • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

                      I have been using Diskeeper for a long time. It automatically and silently defrags all your hard drives continuously. The newer versions (I am using v16) even prevents fragmentation before it occurs.


                      I found the easiest and fastest way to add a previous Windows OS to a new Hard drive is by making a System Image of the C:\ drive. Then after the new Hard drive is installed and formatted, I would use Windows Installation disk to reinstall the previous Windows OS from the System Image.

                      • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

                        Maybe you should check Windows reliability monitor history and/or event viewer for any red/yellow, critical/warning notations.

                        May be some other issue.

                        You say fragmented again, but was that a disk error message. Did the scan pass/repair.

                      • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?



                        I don't know your Windows OS Version or Hard Drive Make or Model.


                        If you tell us all the Windows Version you might get more detailed information on scanning your Drive and checking your OS, because there are some differences
                        between Windows 7/8/10.

                        If you tell us all the Hard Drive Make or Model, then someone on the forum may be able to tell you the exact hard drive checking utility to run.
                        Please be careful you do not post the hard drive serial number to the forum, as that will make you vulnerable to hacking.


                        As a first starting point I advise you try the following tools.


                        Please download and run the following free program on the computer with the hard drive fragmentation issue before spending time on anything else.

                        CrystalDiskInfo - Software - Crystal Dew World

                        It will interrogate the SMART information on your hard drive and immediately tell you if your hard drive needs to be replaced.


                        II think you should immediately clone your hard drive onto another drive.

                        If your hard drive is failing, which can be a gradual process initially, the longer you leave it the worse it gets.


                        For disk Cloning Software that is free I recommend you try out Clonezilla. I use it frequently. There is more information on Clonezilla here:
                        Clonezilla - Free Advanced Hard Drive Cloning Software


                        If you really need to dig deep to get your data back, you will need to go to the next level and try Parted Magic.
                        PartedMagic - Partitioning, Cloning, Rescue, and Erasing.


                        Parted Magic costs a few dollars but is very definitely worth it.
                        I own a copy (bought it a few years ago) and it used to contain a version of Clonezilla as well as other disk recovery tools.


                        If you prefer a data recovery tool based on Windows then I can recommend the following tools.

                        EaseUS | Data Recovery, Backup, Partition Manager & PC Utility Software


                        The best software I have found for Cloning Drives from within Windows, with really food partitioning editor  is:
                        Acronis True Image 2017 | Acronis.com



                        • Re: Defragging my HDD, is it safe?

                          Here are the Windows 8.1 disk Checking Menus.
                          (Sorry for using Windows 8.1 AMD ...).


                          To get to them in Windows 8.1 just right click on a hard drive and click on properties. Then select the Tools Menu and you can run a basic check on the drive
                          or run Drive Defragmenter.


                          As black_zion mentioned above, just because your disk is fragmented, does NOT mean your disk is failing or the data is corrupted.
                          Disk fragmentation is a normal process due to the way data is stored on a hard drive. See here: File system fragmentation - Wikipedia
                          Running a Disk Defragmenter on your hard drive is important to maintain the drive performance. See here: Realities of Hard Drive Fragmentation - Overclockers


                          I just downloaded and installed a number of game titles which I store on a pair of Samsung 3.5" Laptop 2TB Drives I have running in RAID0 giving me 4TB of storage.

                          The overall Drive (4TB) is showing 8% fragmentation as you can see in the picture below.  
                          The drive is running fine and passes all checks. My PC system is stale and all checked passed this morning.


                          Hope this helps.