Automating Disk Defragmentation

by Chris Sanders [Published on 22 June 2006 / Last Updated on 22 June 2006]

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 both include a new way to invoke the Windows defragmenter via the command line. This allows for easy automation of this task.

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 both include a new way to invoke the Windows Defragmentation tool via the command line. This is different from prior versions of Windows in which there was no such command line based way to invoke this tool. Here is an example of the usage of defrag.exe:

defrag.exe -v e: >c:\temp\logfile.txt

This command will begin the Defragmentation of the target machines E: drive. The –v switch enables verbose logging of which the location is specified at the end of the command.

The biggest advantage of this new functionality is the ability to schedule disk Defragmentation via the Windows Task Scheduler. By simply creating a batch file to invoke this command you can put an end to disk Defragmentation as a manual process.


Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris's specialties include general network administration, windows server 2003, wireless networking, and security. You can view Chris' personal website at

The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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