Defrag Problem

Posted on 2002-06-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I am having trouble using the defrag function in Win 98.  It launches OK, but stops running at 0%.   Any ideas?

Question by:hayface
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7085449
Yeah you have something running in the background such as an antivirus program, screen saver, etc. You should do a scandisk first. Microsoft recommends running both scandisk and defrag in safe mode.

The Crazy One
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

yuzh earned 100 total points
ID: 7085585
Boot up your system from safe mode (press <Ctrl> key for a few second) when you power on the PC, then run it again.

(The problem is you have program running on the backgroud, eg anti-virus ... etc)

Expert Comment

ID: 7086954
I recommend "End it All" which will close down any running programs prior to running Defrag:

And as CrazyOne suggested, ensure you've turned off your screen saver.

Create the perfect environment for any meeting

You might have a modern environment with all sorts of high-tech equipment, but what makes it worthwhile is how you seamlessly bring together the presentation with audio, video and lighting. The ATEN Control System provides integrated control and system automation.


Expert Comment

ID: 7087426
if your hard drive is incredibly low on space the program will also die because it needs space to run the defrag and move the files around. I doubt this is the error but it is easy enough to check.

Expert Comment

ID: 7088659
Run scan disk first...just so you know.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 7090770
Do you still have your Screensaver on????
There also may by TSR Programs running in the background , such as your Anti-Virus Program(s).

Before you start your defrag try turning off any of your power/disk saver options/screen savers and virus scan programs ,you should , also, close up all but the essential programs before you run Scan Disk, Defrag and Install any Program:

Whenever, you are installing software, running scandisk or defrag, you should close all running programs except for "systray" and "explorer." YOu can do this by the three finger salute, "Control", "Alt" and "Delete" to bring up the "Close Box" that shows all programs running and click "End Task: on each one individually , except for “systray and explorer, or you can download and install "End It all" which will do the same thing:

An easier way to close down all the non-essentail programs when you are going to run Scan Disk, Defrag and install a new program is "End It All".

EndItAll lets you terminate all non-essential programs for the purpose of installing new software, running finicky games, or writing to CD-Rs that need a big buffer. The essential system programs Explorer and Systray cannot be terminated. EndItAll's main window presents a list of running processes. You can protect any process in the list from termination. EndItAll was written by Neil J. Rubenking, and first appeared on the PC Magazine Web site August 1, 1999.

[langalist] 2000-08-28 (2000-Aug-28)

Asked And Answered

Every once in a while, serendipity strikes and a pair of reader emails
arrive in quick succession where one mail answers the question posed by
another, even though neither writer knows of the other.

It happened recently when Millard Cohen wrote to ask:

Just about all software installations and many system
modifications require that all applications be closed. I know
this is done via the Close Program box but wondered if there is
a batch file that will close all programs (with the exception of
Explorer and Systray). This would eliminate having to
(repeatedly) CTRL-ALT-DEL, Click for each program since I can't
do a Select All.

Shortly thereafter, this letter arrived from reader George McLellan:

I Dl'd your batch file and used "Enditall" to close everything
except Explorer and Sytray. I then executed your Cleanup
program. After execution, I checked my Temp folder --it was
clean as a whistle.... --Thanks.

I'd never heard of "EndItAll," so I went looking and found it on the PC
Mag site at,,0011NB,.html

It's a nice--- and free--- way to shut down just what you want, even
among background apps.

Thanks, Millard and George--- and serendipity!

EndItAll 2: A True Killer App,,s%3D1478%26a%3D13909,00.asp

You could also run Defrag and Scan Disk in Safe Mode



Expert Comment

ID: 7097459
I solved mine like this:

Press Crtl+Alt+Del

On the list you will see bla, bla, bla....

End all programs apart from EXPLORE

Then run defrag.

It worked for me everytime that happened.


Author Comment

ID: 7097665
Thank You Yuzh!   It worked!!!!! (-:

Expert Comment

ID: 7098438
Yes I'm sure it did, but the problem still exists, try running defrag from normal mode. Doesn't work eh? You have found a work around and if you can live with rebooting to safe mode every time you run defrag then I guess thats that. However, I have defrag running at predetermine times and I can't be around at 4AM all the time to reboot the machine to safe mode,,,,so if you ever want to setup a schedule for defrag yer back to square one cause it won't work as long as the problem exists...

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 7098765
If you don't want to reboot the PC to Safe mode, you endup have to close what the programs which constantly running on the backgroud doing HD access. Eg, antivirus, findfast etc. Then run the defrag .

Expert Comment

ID: 7098909
Yeh, thats what he should do, but I still don't have to do this when I run defrag, I have defrg scheduled to go off (start) at 4AM every morning, I DO NOT use end task to kill all background problems, there are no events in the event viewer relating to this and every morning I wake up and there are no error messages on my PC, I stayed up late (more than a few times) and had to cancel the defragmenter when it starts at 4AM and I'm in the middle of working so I KNOW it's running. My anti virus program is also running....along with an ATI system tray the problem still exists. Most likely he has a thrid party service and/or a third party program running in the background thats causing this and the p[roblem will not be resolved until that program is located and repaired and/or stopped from running in the background...whatever. The "client" seems to be happy with this work around and thats all that matters.


Expert Comment

ID: 7098918
Just in case anybody picks it up (event viewer) yes, I am running windows 2000, however, I had the identical scheduled task (defragmenter at 4AM) running on windows 98 for one year(no problems) and win98se for another year(no problems) I reboot my win9x systems once per week and my windows 2000 systems once per ?...whenever I ionstall something and it says you need a reboot I then reboot, but other than that I don't reboot windows 2000. As a matter of fact I have a win2k proffessional box running bulletproof ftp that hasn't been rebooted in 6 months...pretty good eh?

Cheers All...I'm done blabbering now.

Author Comment

ID: 7099403
From the author of the original question...

I also had my defrag set up on a schedule to run at night and it worked fine for quite a while.   Unless someone knows a way to stop some of my programs running in the background in scheduler, I guess JATCAN is right, I still have the problem.  

I'll just have to manually run defrag in safe mode, I suppose.   Thank You Everyone!!

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