Overcome Defrag Stall


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Q. I followed your suggestion to perform a defragmentation of my hard disk every few weeks (see “ Technology Q&A, JofA , Dec.01, page 90), and while it does speed up my computer, on occasion I find the whole system stalls. Do you have any idea why this occurs and, more important, how I can stop it?

A. The most likely reason your computer stalls is that another program, running in the background, is interrupting the defrag process. Try deactivating your screen saver and your antivirus program. There’s a good chance that will do the trick.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to experiment by manually halting various startup programs to see which one is the culprit. To do that, click on Start, Run , and type msconfig in the box.

Then click on the Startup tab, and a System Configuration Utility box appears with a list of all the programs that launch when you fire up your computer.

Unchecking a startup item blocks it from being launched when you reboot. As you can see, you won’t know whether you’ve found the offender program until you run defrag after the reboot. Yes, it’s a slow and crude solution, but that’s the price you pay with Windows.

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