Thursday, 22 November 2012

Pagefile Defrag

Defragging  Windows system files.

Something I didn’t cover in my last blog when discussing defragging Windows, was Windows system files such as the pagefile and registry hives.

The pagefile could be fragmented if its size is not fixed by Windows or if its size had been changed manually. The pagefile and the registry are not defragmented by most defraggers because they are in use when Windows is running.
A good tool for defragmenting the pagefile is PageDefrag from Sysinternals
Sysinternals PageDefrag
Sysinternals PageDefrag

  PageDefrag when it is run shows you how much fragmentation there is in the files that make up your registry hives and in the pagefile. You can choose to have PageDefrag defragment these files at next system boot by selecting the radio button ‘Defrag at next boot’ . When the PC is next started and before Windows loads PageDefrag will attempt to defragment the Windows system files and will report on the results.

It’s a great little tool that can be scripted or configured from its GUI. Sysinternals produce a great suite of free tools, often called as Pstools, that have been used for many years by computer support professionals. Contig is another defragemnting tool they produce. It's easy to use and is designed to defragment individual files but can be used to defrag whole disks. It also has the ability to defragement NTFS metadata files such as the Master File Table. 


  1. Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

    IT support Bedford

    1. Hi Amela, my blog on PageFile defragmenting was based around the use of Mark

        tool PageDefrag and my experiences with XP performance

      degradation. Mark and Microsoft are good sources of information on Windows

      memory management
      . Technet and Life Hacker have interesting articles. My

      approach is to read up on these things, apply them and monitor the results to see if they actually work. In 2011 I started in a new post and was looking

      after about 100 XP machines, most of which were very slow to boot. The worst took 45 minutes from power on to being usable. I scripted some tools with

      Autoit to delete temp files, defrag the registry, defrag the file system (three times) the run

      PageDefrag. This process reduced the boot time to about three minutes. I've used this process on Win 7 but only seen a reduction in boot time on on old

      machine of mine that has a Win 7 install from when it was first launched in 2009. Hope that helps!