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Standard User wingco1
(legend) Thu 04-Apr-13 10:55:37
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Defragger


[link to this post]
 
Would it speed up a very slow XP system?
Standard User AEP
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 04-Apr-13 11:03:28
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
Could do if it's not been defragged for a while. The built in defragger is good enough. In any case, it can't do any harm to defrag the disk.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Thu 04-Apr-13 11:08:09
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
Most likely, but in conjuction with other tweaks.

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.


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Standard User wingco1
(legend) Thu 04-Apr-13 11:57:31
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
Thanks both. It's an old machine with plenty of RAM but recently has become very slow to load. I doubt it's been defragged since new. Have run a full scan with Malwarebytes which was OK. Uninstalled a lot of old progs that are not used followed by a CCleaner file and registry scan.

Apart from running the defragger I'm out of ideas.
Standard User Dick_B
(regular) Thu 04-Apr-13 12:07:29
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
Is it slow to run or slow to start-up? If the latter have you checked what programs are trying to run at start-up - msconfig may be of use.
Standard User wingco1
(legend) Thu 04-Apr-13 13:00:14
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Re: Defragger


[re: Dick_B] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for that. Have checked msconfig/startup and dumped a number of files in the past.

Will run defragger when I get time to visit the machine owner.
Standard User eckiedoo
(member) Thu 04-Apr-13 13:13:52
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
I suggest that you also run CHKLINKS.exe

It certainly cleared out a lot of broken links on my previous XP PC when it had reached a similar slow-loading and running situation; and I still run it occasionally on my more recent ones.

It will probably find several groups quite quickly; and I recommend that you the Stop, Select All and Finish eac group.

Then try to leave it running for an hour or so, to "deep-cleanse" your XP PC (my phrasing).

======================

I use DEFRAGGLER for disk de-fragmenting, using its "Quick Defrag" option, otherwise it can take hours, especially on an XP or earliier.

You should run a "Dull Defrag" soon after, followed by occasional runs, say weekly to monthly.

======================

Coffee Breaks and Meals are handy times to do such Housekeeping.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Thu 04-Apr-13 14:17:54
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
CCleaner

Disable all processes not needed

Disable all services not needed

Tweak all services that can be (from auto to manual or appropriate) - NB check and double check via Black Viper or similar.

(PM me on processes / services if you like)

Set swapfile to a fixed minimum of appropriate size (I'm on Vista, so forget the best settings for XP). No maximum. Let XP manage that as required.

Delete as much carp off the system as possible and ideally get no more than 50% of C: in use. Look in places such as mail deleted folder, mail sent folder and other mail folders for opportunities to delete stuff, especially e-mails with attachments.

Clean out the system restore points, and set a maximum disk space for it, so that 4-6 restores are recycled. Anything more is probably a waste of space.

Un-install everything (which is obsolete, expired trials, never used).

Shift game installations to another drive if possible (best to un-install and re-install)

Zip up any files in mydox not accessed in the past year (deleting the original afterwards of course).

Remove fancy or large imagery from the desktop (convert big images to desktop size and save as smaller format/quality), and reduce the icons on the desktop. Get rid of pop-up taskbars which are rarely used, and add the used icons to the main taskbar (e.g Office start bar).

Ensure recycle bin size is set to a realistic size to free up disk space.

Disable Windows indexing

Disable or tweak scheduled tasks, such as Windows update (and another updates, such as Adobe, java etc), Anti-virus scans, defrag.

If using 3rd party AV and firewall, consider disabling Windows AV / firewall.

Lastly, Defraggler.

That ought to work. wink

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Thu 04-Apr-13 14:49:31
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Re: Defragger


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by eckiedoo:
You should run a "Dull Defrag" soon after, followed by occasional runs, say weekly to monthly.


Is that for boring geeks? or used on grey winter days?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User eckiedoo
(member) Thu 04-Apr-13 17:39:28
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Re: Defragger


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Ach, ah mean't tae say "Dreich"!
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Fri 05-Apr-13 09:37:59
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
Also consider toolbars, add-ons and plugins for browsers. Forgot that one. wink

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User wingco1
(legend) Sat 06-Apr-13 16:21:44
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for all the suggestions. Having worked through them all including a defrag, the machine is much faster now.
Standard User Dick_B
(regular) Sat 06-Apr-13 17:23:01
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
wingco1 do you know what gave the best increase in performance?
Standard User wingco1
(legend) Sat 06-Apr-13 17:40:14
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Re: Defragger


[re: Dick_B] [link to this post]
 
I can't really say to be honest. I removed unwanted progs and ran ccleaner files and registry after each uninstall. Checked everything else, then ran the built in Disk Cleaner followed by the defragger.

Only then did I restart the computer to see the improvement.
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 06-Apr-13 17:51:16
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
I have to disagree with your assumptions that disabling Windows services improves performance. In reality is is extremely marginal, all Windows services are extremely well optimized and disabling the odd few isn't really going to give much performance improvement.

Zen 8000 Pro
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sat 06-Apr-13 18:19:35
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Re: Defragger


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
In your opinion.

Look at it this way. If the service is not needed, why is it enabled? For those of us that know our way around a system, it's no great hardship to disable or reduce the settings for them, and it does improve some boot time aspects if the services are not being called on.

At present I have a 159 services listed, with 45 started (32 auto, 3 auto DS, 10 manual). 52 disabled. The rest are manual or Auto DS and have not started.

So less than a third started, and about a third disabled. The system is fine (and fast).

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sat 06-Apr-13 18:24:39
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Re: Defragger


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
Forgot to add. Disabling the unneeded services frees up memory, which means for a faster system too.

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User haggismn
(learned) Sat 06-Apr-13 19:00:54
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
You forgot to add;
Delete the contents of C:\Windows\Prefetch. This is possibly the single best thing you can do.
You can use regedit to disable the prefetch. I find this helps overall.

Also delete the contents of the Temp directories. Use Disk cleanup to do this.

The Windows defrag program only defrags user files, it doesnt touch system files. You should use a different program like Perfect DIsk to defrag the system files. Defragging system files usually works well.
Standard User AEP
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 06-Apr-13 19:22:11
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Re: Defragger


[re: haggismn] [link to this post]
 
That advice is mistaken.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sat 06-Apr-13 19:54:23
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Re: Defragger


[re: haggismn] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by haggismn:
You forgot to add;
Delete the contents of C:\Windows\Prefetch. This is possibly the single best thing you can do.
You can use regedit to disable the prefetch. I find this helps overall.


Pre-fetch should not be disabled, cleaned or the rest. It is designed to clean itself out periodically, and is used to pre-guess at what users use most often and caches them. The same goes for Vista's Superfetch.

Looking at my prefetch folder file (layout.ini) I see the first items are:

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\NTOSKRNL.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\PSHED.DLL
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\KDCOM.DLL
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CLFS.SYS

The first is kernel, memory management and initialisation. Next is a hardware error driver file. Next is a kernel debugger, and the last is Common Log File System driver.

All are pretty good to have at the start of a boot-up. As you open and use files, they get added to the list. Their height on the list depends on their usage frequency and how recently they were used.

A good link on prefetch/superfetch:

http://www.osnews.com/story/21471/SuperFetch_How_it_...

If you clean out prefetch/superfetch, the system will have to go through some default boot order, rather than one suited to the user. Systems with multiple users, will probably not benefit much from Superfetch if their usage habits are pretty different.


-----

Another myth is that Readyboost is useless. It's designed for adding a USB drive to be permanently used as added (slower) RAM. Said drive must be compatible, and it's generally only worthwhile with systems of under 1 - 1.5GB RAM. I think Readyboost was included to encourage folk to use their older systems and get away from XP, which used far less RAM).

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sat 06-Apr-13 20:07:25
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Re: Defragger


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
http://www.edbott.com/weblog/2003/04/beware-of-bogus...

Update, March 2005: This “tip” just won’t die. It still appears all over the Internet, including at some places that should know better. We revisited the topic for the second edition of Windows XP Inside Out and found that cleaning out the Prefetch folder still does nothing positive for performance. If you think otherwise, get a stopwatch and run your own tests.


Eight years on. smile

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User Andrue
(knowledge is power) Sat 06-Apr-13 21:57:20
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by wingco1:
Would it speed up a very slow XP system?
Doubt it. Defragmentation doesn't normally achieve very much with NTFS and modern disk drives.

---
Andrue Cope
Brackley, UK

Just because he could. RIP.
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 07-Apr-13 01:12:05
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Re: Defragger


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Andrue:
In reply to a post by wingco1:
Would it speed up a very slow XP system?
Doubt it. Defragmentation doesn't normally achieve very much with NTFS and modern disk drives.

Actually as much as I am a fan of leaving Windows to its own devices -- defragmentation is still very important on Windows and NTFS volumes with conventional disk drives, and even with SSD too (but that needs to be addressed differently). Fragmentation levels can quickly get out of hand. That is why the built in defragger is scheduled to run every week out of the box as well as when the computer is idle at any time.

Not only that, there are measurable and noticeable performance gains by using 3rd party defragmenting tools compared to the built in one. The built in one has a tendency to address file fragmentation ONLY and has very little regard for the placement of the files.

However back to this topic in hand when people complain of slow Windows systems there is something usually far more wrong with it than just being a bit fragmented!

Zen 8000 Pro

Edited by Pipexer (Sun 07-Apr-13 01:13:13)

Standard User shinerweb
(newbie) Sun 07-Apr-13 12:26:15
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Re: Defragger


[re: wingco1] [link to this post]
 
Defragging despite some people's reservations can help out, but how much depends on exactly what is fragmented within your system.

In my experience, one of the biggest slow downs on an XP system is the Windows Registry. If you think about it, it's just a massive database which the system will attempt to load up, scroll through, page bits and bobs of etc etc. As well as the system registry, each user account has it's own section which over time can become bloated and full of outdated references.

Quite often, some 'experts' will just say perform a clean install and your system will once again fly. Now that is true, but it's a pain having to re-install various apps which is the main reason why people don't do it more often.

Here's a quick fix I used to do on old machines where I couldn't be bothered to re-install and it creates the single biggest speed improvement over any other hint (other than the clean install).

Create a new user account !

Job done...

More often or not when applications were installed they were installed for 'all users' but there will be exceptions whereby you might need to re-install or re-configure an existing application.
You might also have to move over any mail accounts if you've relied upon POP'ing mail.

But if you want a quick fix speed improvement, don't want to re-install the whole OS and need access to something in the old profile, just create a new profile. The new account won't have the same registry bloat, if your disk space is sufficient, the newly created registry hive will be contiguous (hopefully, if space permits).

Someone has already mentioned CCleaner and that's great for cleaning up your system, they also provide a great Defrag tool. If you registry is bloated, that too can become fragmented and there are tools available to clean the registry out which work better than a Defrag/CCleaner pass on it's own.

Of course, the number of configurations and states of PC's is infinite so as always, YMMV

Chris

Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 07-Apr-13 14:21:09
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Re: Defragger


[re: shinerweb] [link to this post]
 
For compacting the Registry I use the freeware NTREGOPT.EXE. Have used for years on XP, about every 3 months, and it is v. effective. It now works on Vista & Win7 and probably Win8.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User haggismn
(learned) Sun 07-Apr-13 15:22:21
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
It's worked for me! Its something I usually do when fixing relatives' laptops and whatnot - I mean 10 year old machines which have never been defragmented or been taken care of, but would require too much effort to format and do a reinstall - possibly similar to the OP's situation.

From what I have seen, Windows will not delete files by itself from the prefetch, so eventually it will clog up with hundreds of .pf files, including those from uninstalled applications. Those files will still be checked at boot, and will also fragment over time. Rather than picking out what has been uninstalled, and then defragmenting the remainder, I just wipe out the lot. In this situation, with an old, heavily fragmented machine, it definitely works. I didn't have a stop watch out, but I didn't have the time to make a cup of tea anymore while waiting for it to boot.

For every article that says deleting the prefetch is bad, there is another saying it is good. I would be very interested to see a proper study of it. You should try and see how it goes though. Particularly for newer systems with SSDs, it would be of interest to see if disabling prefetching entirely has a positive effect - I believe it may well do.
Standard User AEP
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 07-Apr-13 15:30:13
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Re: Defragger


[re: haggismn] [link to this post]
 
The article that I linked to provided benchmarks proving that this is a myth. It is, indeed, true that websites that recommend this change never provide benchmarks.

The article also provided a link to a blog by Mark Russinovich explaining the benefits of prefetch. That guy knows more about Windows' internals than anyone else I know.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sun 07-Apr-13 17:01:05
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Re: Defragger


[re: shinerweb] [link to this post]
 
I tried a registry defragger (one month trial), and it did improve things slightly, but it was really a 'use once' thing, given the trial period. It didn't hurt, is all I can really add. I was very, very wary of which one I picked, so that too might be a factor in avoiding registry defraggers.

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sun 07-Apr-13 17:08:44
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Re: Defragger


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
Kaspersky blocks that link for me. Got another?

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:31
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
Another NTREGOPT.EXE or just google NTREGOPT.EXE.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sun 07-Apr-13 17:32:27
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Re: Defragger


[re: haggismn] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by haggismn:
For every article that says deleting the prefetch is bad, there is another saying it is good. I would be very interested to see a proper study of it. You should try and see how it goes though. Particularly for newer systems with SSDs, it would be of interest to see if disabling prefetching entirely has a positive effect - I believe it may well do.


I'd be grateful if you can provide some of the (proper, as opposed to user comment) articles that say it's bad. Proper study? On you go. smile

I have read that prefetch/Superfetch is not recommended for SSDs as it invokes a defrag command for the boot files (not got an SSD, but I believe defrag is not great for SSDs). There's a thought. If your defrag scheduled task is disabled and you never defrag, the prefetch/Superfetch probably won't give any benefit.

There's a case for prefetch having little or no effect if you have little in the way of usage habits, or if the machine is shared with several users. One user ought to get a benefit from it though. To give an example, I disabled a couple of services last night, as I had missed them or figured they might be necessary (either at the time or later on).

Base Filtering Engine - All the services reliant on this are not enabled on my system.
Windows Firewall - I decided to take the plunge and see if my 3rd party one is up to the task.
Secondary Logon - Not sure...we'll see.
Machine Debug Manager - Do I want to debug others' scripts if they don't work? Of course not.
Windows Image Acquisition - Changed to Auto-DS

Also disabled Google update scheduled services, which were running at least once a day.

Rebooted...slower start-up. Why?

Because my previously 'habitual' system had steps in its habit taken out. In a week or two it will pick up again. I've seen Vista do this before. A client asked me to give the system a clean, as it was slowing down. Cleaned and tweaked to hell, and it was slower for a few days, then it picked up some speed.

It's actually academic for me, as I reboot 10-20 times a year these days, preferring to put the system into sleep mode. Boots up in 10 seconds that way. smile

Regarding articles on prefetch/superfetch working:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-vista-su...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2163/4

Vista keeps track of what memory pages are frequently requested and what files they are tied to, and based on that data SuperFetch will populate as much free memory as it can with pages it believes you will need in the future. This data contains both frequency and temporal history, so not only how often but when you run these applications will influence what SuperFetch does at any given time.


So if you always run a scheduled task at 12pm, superfetch will get it ready in memory, so it runs faster. Check your mail at 9am? It will be faster if you check it every day at that time.

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Sun 07-Apr-13 17:47:52
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
Forgot to add. You can defrag individual files with Defraggler, including the prefetch layout.ini file, which will help a bit.

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User GeoffB
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 07-Apr-13 20:31:03
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
I defrag my oldest lappy about once every three months or so - the graphs showing before and after speak for themselves. There is definitely an improvement in performance. I've also zapped at least half the stuff that was pre-loaded via Add/Remove programs. My C: drive is 18% full now. The tip about creating a new user was interesting and I tried it, but no real improvement noted. Has anyone mentioned a clearout of cookies and temp files via the IE Tools menu? When people mention slow speeds they often mean browsing speeds. I have disabled most Add-Ons and reduced the toolbars. Surprised that nobody has recommended binning Norton/McAfee yet in four pages of posts!

Dell Studio1558 with Win7 Home Premium 64bit 8GB RAM
IE9 and Live Mail
BT Infinity via HH3
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Mon 08-Apr-13 08:49:23
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Re: Defragger


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
Ta for that. I was seeing links to OS's up to 2003, and wondered if Vista was supported on the ones I was seeing. A quick check and that's fine. I shaved 10% off my registry (hopefully all the useless stuff shocked ).

Now just to clarify, I tend to measure boot times from either the button, or the end of the 'dmi pool data' verification screen.

After fiddling with the latest services, my boot time shot up to 2:20 from power button to workable desktop, which was a very slow boot. Yesterday I finally got round to install about 30 Office 2007 updates and anything else that might be there. Didn't want to mess with registry defrags with an update pending.

So I don't know if it was changing the setup, or the updates or just that I had to do a few reboots, but after the registry defrag I shaved a minute off that, which is closer to what I'm after. My best boot time was about 1 minute, months back, but there's been some hardware changes and so on, so for a four year old installation, that's not too bad.

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

I've forgotten more about broadband than I care to remember.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 08-Apr-13 13:49:01
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Re: Defragger


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by camieabz:
(hopefully all the useless stuff shocked ).
It compacts the Registry, i.e releases all the free space arising from changes that hasn't been previously released (much like OE or WM compacting folders).

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
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