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Windows 8 : Managing disks and storage (part 3) - Using Microsoft Drive Optimizer to organize data

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10/10/2014 9:10:48 PM

Using Microsoft Drive Optimizer to organize data

Disk Defragmentation doesn’t clean up files and folders on a computer as much as organize them into a more efficient layout on the disk. It does this by consolidating free space at the end of the disk and by ensuring that system files and similar files are grouped together. Doing this makes reads and writes from the disk much more efficient, providing a better overall experience for the user.

The Drive Optimizer application in Windows 8 analyzes and optimizes drives within your computer to ensure that they perform at the best level possible and are free of fragmentation. Figure 5 shows the Drive Optimizer.

The Microsoft Drive Optimizer

Figure 5. The Microsoft Drive Optimizer

Within the Drive Optimizer, the disks found in your computer are listed along with the type of media they use. You also see the last run time of the optimizer and the current status, which let you know whether the disks are fragmented as of the last run of the optimizer.

To determine whether a drive in your computer needs to be optimized, complete the following steps:

  1. Select the drive you want to check for optimization.

  2. Tap or click Analyze.

During this process, the Drive Optimizer window might flicker or disappear briefly. After the analysis is complete, the results are displayed in the same list as before but with a fresh date and time for the last run and the percentage of fragmentation found (if any).

After the analysis has completed, you can optimize your drives by completing the following steps:

  1. Select the drive you want to optimize.

  2. Tap or click Optimize.

You notice that the first step in optimization is to reanalyze the drive. This ensures that the optimization details are accurate before the relocation of files takes place. When the drive has been analyzed, the optimizer begins relocating files to ensure that they are placed in the best position for performance of the disk. The optimizer uses several passes to ensure the best file placement.

Sometimes, you will not be able to optimize a drive, such as in the following situations:

  • Drives are in use by other applications.

  • Drives are formatted with a file system other than NTFS, FAT, or FAT32.

There might also be occasions when a drive doesn’t appear in the Drive Optimizer. This can indicate that the drive is not inserted into the computer (if the drive is removable) or that the drive has an error. Another utility covered later in this lesson, Check Disk (chkdsk), handles drive error checking.

You can also schedule the Drive Optimizer to analyze and optimize a computer. By default, a weekly schedule and the option for Windows to notify you if three consecutive scheduled items are missed are configured. This helps ensure that regular optimizations are performed and that they aren’t being missed on portable systems that might be turned off when the schedule runs.

To modify the schedule Drive Optimizer uses, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Drive Optimizer main screen, tap or click the Change Settings button under Scheduled Optimization (see Figure 5).

  2. To change the frequency of the schedule, change the value in the Frequency drop-down list from Weekly to one of the following values:

    • Daily

    • Weekly

    • Monthly

  3. To select drives to be included in scheduled optimization, tap or click Choose.

  4. All drives found within the computer are selected for optimization by default (see Figure 6). Clear the check boxes next to any drives that should not be included.

  5. To include new drives automatically, clear the Automatically Optimize New Drives check box.

  6. Tap or click OK in the Optimize Drives dialog box.

  7. Tap or click OK in the Optimize Drives Optimization Schedule dialog box.

This saves and configures the schedule for optimization and the drives against which the task is run.

Fragmentation can cause issues for any computer user, resulting in slow performance and frequent file and application hangs. Regular optimization of drives in a computer helps prevent issues and improves performance of a computer, extending the useful life of the device. By default, Windows 8 optimizes your drives on a weekly basis.

Scheduling drive optimization

Figure 6. Scheduling drive optimization


 
Others
 
- Windows 8 : Managing disks and storage (part 2) - Disk Defragmenter and Disk Cleanup
- Windows 8 : Managing disks and storage (part 1) - Using disk management
- Windows 8 : Sharing printers - Configuring shared printers, Configuring printing permissions
- Windows 8 : Sharing files and folders (part 6) - Understanding NTFS permissions - Identifying permissions, Taking ownership of a resource
- Windows 8 : Sharing files and folders (part 5) - Understanding NTFS permissions - Creating advanced security settings
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- Windows 8 : Sharing files and folders (part 3) - Sharing a folder
- Windows 8 : Sharing files and folders (part 2) - Enabling folder sharing using the Windows 8 interface, Enabling folder sharing using the traditional interface
- Windows 8 : Sharing files and folders (part 1) - Configuring the Network and Sharing Center
- Windows 8 : Configuring virtual machine networking and storage (part 3) - Assigning a virtual switch to a virtual machine , Assigning storage to a virtual machine
 
 
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