My 3 cents:
Defragging - First and foremost, manual defragging with W7 and W8 should NEVER be needed - IF
the user didn't dink with the W7 and W8 settings and [hopefully] left the default settings alone!
By default, W7 and W8 run scheduled defragging on hard drives weekly. And not only that, but W7 and W8 use their various "fetch" routines to work in conjunction with
Windows defragger to arrange the files and programs YOU (the user) use during your normal computing sessions. This action "optimizes" Windows and program load times so your computer boots faster and loads your favorite programs faster. Since this is done with the native Windows defragger only, the use of 3rd party defraggers should be discouraged. They (3rd party defraggers) do not work with Windows to optimize YOUR programs. And because 3rd party defraggers are not needed, they also waste disk space.
It should be noted while a 3rd party defragger may
(??) be a little more efficient at defragging, that advantage is quickly negated as soon as you start using the computer again as new files (especially lots of temp files) are saved, and old files modified.
Defragging ... is generally not recommended for SSD’s (Solid State Hard Drives) since an SSD wears down every time they are written accessed.
That certainly used to be true, Corrine, but not any longer. With today's generation
SSD's, increased wear due to a limited number of writes is no longer a problem or concern. But you still don't defrag SSDs because is it is simply not necessary. Fragmentation does not cause problems with SSDs due to the way data is accessed - which is electronically through data circuits; not a mechanical arm that must move into position.
With a hard drive, the read/write (R/W) head physically
moves across the platters. Fragmented files forces the R/W head to jump back and forth to pick up the scattered fragments. This can significantly impact performance, increase heat generation and wear and tear on the drive's arm motor.
With a SSD, data is directly accessed electronically so scattered fragments are picked up just as quickly as sequentially saved fragments.
With W7 and W8 scheduled defragging on SSDs is automatically disabled when the SSD is detected. On hard drives, unless the user manually changed the settings, W7 and W8 perform scheduled defragging weekly anyway.
Finally, the reality is (as alluded to by both Corrine and satrow), larger drives suffer much less from fragmentation issues than smaller drives because they tend to have much more free space available. The reality is, if your hard drive is so heavily fragmented that defragging actually provides significant performance gains, it most likely means you really need to be looking at adding more disk space - either by adding drives, replacing with larger drives, or uninstalling user installed programs that are not being used.
Msconfig -- Msconfig was never intended as a permanent solution to removing programs from start up. It is meant for troubleshooting.
Exactly! You should not disable items in MSCONFIG except during troubleshooting. And then you should change them back when done. That said, while many things loaded when Windows starts can affect performance, the reality is those items (if behaving properly
) should only impact boot times, then step way back into the background, consuming a minimum amount of RAM and 0 CPU cycles - until needed.
If too many items loading at boot significantly impacts your performance, it typically is a sign you have a small amount of RAM and you need to add more (or one of those startup programs is misbehaving).