You can improve the performance of Windows Vista by running the Disk Defragmenter and defragmenting the hard drives. This will consolidate fragmented files stored on the hard drive, resulting in much better performance. Defragmenting a drive is one of the first tips Microsoft Windows geeks are taught when they study to become Windows professionals.

You can run the Disk Defragmenter on a schedule in Windows Vista, so it will run without you having to issue the order manually. For instance, if you wanted to set a schedule for the Disk Defragmenter to defragment your drives once a month, you can do that.

The following tutorial demonstrates how to run the Disk Defragmenter when using a version of the Windows Vista operating system.

Method One: Change the Disk Defragmenter Schedule

You can set up Disk Defragmenter to run on a schedule or run the Disk Defragmenter immediately to defrag the hard drive manually. Here is how to do both:

1. Open the Start Menu and navigate to the following location:

All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter

Note: If prompted by User Account Control (UAC), click on the Continue button.

2. You will now have the Disk Defragmenter dialog open. From the Disk Defragmenter dialog, check the box next to Run on a schedule (recommended), and click on Select volumes… to choose what drive you want to be defragmented.

3. In the same Disk Defragmenter dialog, click on the Modify schedule… button to set a schedule. Otherwise, click on the Defragment now… button to defrag the hard drive immediately.

4. If you do decide to set a schedule, you can click on the Modify schedule… button and change the time for that whenever you like.

How often you choose to defrag your computer is up to you. The requirements change depending on the operating system rather than the hardware. Once a month is frequent enough for the vast majority of people. We see some sites recommending a weekly defrag and find that surprising. I’ve always used a computer daily since Windows Vista and have never felt the need for a weekly defrag. Once a month is fine, and many could extend it much longer than that. However, if your computer runs Windows Vista and hasn’t had a defrag, for, say, at least a year, we recommend running one right away.

Method Two: Wake Computer and Run Disk Defragmenter

In the first method, you learned how to set a schedule to run the Disk Defragmenter; however, that can only work if the computer is powered on. If you need to wake the computer so the Disk Defragmenter can run, follow this method instead.

1. Open the Control Panel.

2. From Control Panel’s main menu, click on Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler.

3. From Task Scheduler’s left menu, navigate through to the following folders:

Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Defrag

4. In the middle column, click on ScheduledDefrag and click on Properties.

5. From the ScheduledDefrag Properties dialog, click on the General tab, and then click the checkbox next to Run with highest privileges.

6. Click on the Conditions tab, and then click the checkbox next to Wake the computer to run this task, and click on OK.

You can also run the Disk Defragmenter from Command Prompt if you prefer.

In conclusion, that is how to run the Disk Defragmenter in Windows Vista.