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You can defrag your external drive either directly from Windows Explorer or from the command prompt.
I have an older 360 GB external 'My Book' drive that I've used quite a bit. I'd like to defrag it in Windows 7. When I open System Tools to do this, it only shows my system drives, C and D. It doesn't list my external as available to defrag. I know that it isn't critical to do this on externals but I have written and rewritten to it quite a bit over the years. Is there a way to evoke the defrag from the command prompt or another way possible way?
In this excerpt from Answercast #91 I show how defragging an external drive can be done directly from Windows Explorer.
Absolutely. There are a couple of ways to approach this problem.
I'm going to start by assuming that the drive shows up in Windows Explorer. In other words, on the left-hand pane where the drives are listed, there's a separate entry for that external drive, probably with a different drive letter.
I'll use drive F: as my example. Over there on the left hand side, listed with your system drive and your DVD drive, is this external drive.
Right-click on that.
Click on Properties.
In the resulting dialog box, should be an item called Tools (or potentially even "Defrag" depending on your version of Windows). In there, under Tools, is the option to defrag that drive.
In other words, you don't have to use these System Tools or whatever it was you were going to. Just do it directly from Windows Explorer:
Right-click on the drive;
Right-click on Properties;
Then click on the Tools tab in the resulting dialog box,
And you should have the defrag tools ready for you right then and there.
To answer your other question, "Can you do it in the command prompt?" Absolutely.
You may need to run your command prompt as administrator: that means right clicking on the command prompt icon and use"Run as administrator." Once you do so, the commands actually are fairly simple. Defrag, space, the drive letter (for example F), colon and return.
That's literally it:
Either way, yes, defragging external drives is a fine thing to do every once and awhile. It's not hugely important. It's not as important as defragging the drives that are installed in your system.
Typically any performance gains are pretty much overshadowed by the speed of
the USB interface but certainly after many years of use, things could be pretty
seriously fragmented and as a result, it wouldn't hurt to run a defrag on the
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 91- Will using a router improve my internet connection?
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