Defragment locked system files with PageDefrag

I have covered JkDefrag which is excellent application for defragmentation. There is however one limitation enforced by Windows itself – defragmentation applications have no access to files locked by system such as registry and swap file.

PageDefrag (also known as System File Defragmenter) is utility from Sysinternals for defragmentation of locked files.

What it does

PageDefrag displays current fragmentation levels of system files (less fragments is better) and offers to setup one-time or every boot defragmentation of those.


Defrag is performed in special pre-boot environment. You had most probably seen chkdsk utility running in there after improper Windows shutdown.




PageDefrag is no replacement for normal (and regular) defragmentation but it covers hole in functions of usual apps. Running it every boot would probably be excessive. Still it is good to check fragmentation level of system files from time to time and run as needed.


Tiny, single-function, useful. As rest of Sysinternals utilities writes some minor registry entries but works without installation.

Home&download http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426.aspx

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  • Lyndi #

    This operating system stuff is a little too close to the hardware side of things for me and I know very little about it. I would like to ask 2 questions though. How regularly should one defragment, and does this really provide you with a speed improvement on your system?
  • Rarst #

    @Lyndi In my opinion weekly defragmentation is about fine but doing it regularly is important. With most of such stuff it's better scheduled and forgotten than trying to remember it. :) As for speed improvement - partition that holds Windows must be definitely defragmented. Windows uses a lot of files and when they are a mess it is considerable performance hit. As for other stuff it depends on nature of file system use. Bigger files, frequent changes and low free space make drives more likely to fragment.
  • Donace #

    I personally use O&O it does it all in the background and works well without slowing anything down.
  • Rarst #

    @Donace I tried OO Defrag in the past but it's way too much bells and whistles. Also shareware and not portable (it has pretty troublesome instal/uninstall with own service). Why bother with complex solution if JKDefrag does everything? :)
  • Donace #

    yes it may be a slight hassle to install etc at first...but all I did was set it on stealth mode and forgot about it..been a year and my HDD and barely fragmented....a true solution in my opinion.
  • Rarst #

    @Donace I have to defrag numerous computers at times so it's different story. :)
  • Lyndi #

    Thanks for the prompt reply. I will follow your advice. I will set it up to run automatically once per week.
  • Rarst #

    @Lyndi Glad to help. :) Which app you decided to use Windows native? JKDefrag?
  • Nihar #

    How about Auslogics defrag. have you checked it? if yes, is it better than JKDefrag?
  • Rarst #

    @Nihar Nope, hadn't checked that one. Almost all of defrag apps use native Windows API for defrag. Meaning derag effect is similar, it's interface and usability that matter (at least for home desktop).