As a disk drive has files added and deleted from it, the drive becomes fragmented, often with many parts of the same physical file scattered across a disk drives' several platters. When a workstation has a high degree of fragmentation, the overall system performance suffers. Using the tools in Windows XP, you can complete a defragmentation of each disk on your system using the specific steps here. If you're an administrator and want to complete a defragmentation on another system, these steps will also help:
Start Computer Management. If you want to manage a remote system, right-click Computer Management in the console tree and then select Connect to Another Computer.
Use the Select Computer dialog box to select the networked computer you want to work with. You'll find the Disk Defragmenter in the Storage area of the Computer Management screen.
To defragment a drive, click on it after selecting Disk Defragmenter from the left side of the screen. A graphical representation of the disk is next shown.
Click Analyze. The disk's contents are read and analyzed. Once the entire disk has been read over, the Disk Defragmenter recommends a course of action for the disk. If there are more fragments than the threshold amounts, then the utility will prompt you to defragment the disk. If not, you'll be told that the disk does not need to be defragmented.
To defragment the disk, click Defragment. The progress of the defragmentation is shown in the Display area. Once finished, the Disk Defragmenter will also provide a listing and report of the results.