The built-in degragmentation tool in Windows (any version) rather, to put it politely, sucks giant iguana balls. Seriously. It’s like when you ask a kid to clean up his or her room and they stuff all their crap into the closet. My brother used to do that. We still laugh about it.
My brother has moved on to be a rōnin-chef, and as such has developed a high art when it comes to cleaning a kitchen. (I haven’t inspected his bedroom closet but work with me here.) Microsoft hasn’t moved.
For a long time I was installing Diskeeper, which I still really like. The problem with using Diskeeper, aside from the expense of buying a license for any machine where you should choose to use it, is its lack of portability. Though I would still recommend Diskeeper (even if Windows 7 is much better about not fragmenting files than any previous version was).
However, for those times when you need a portable solution I have found one. It’s called WinContig (as in contiguous) and it’s a free download. (Perhaps there is a way to donate but I didn’t find it.)
Another great feature of WinContig (and the main reason I downloaded it) is that it can defragment ISO files.
I downloaded the new Windows 8 preview and wanted to add it to my list of bootables on my multi-boot thumbdrive and it would not run because the files needed to be contiguous. Defragmenting the thumbdrive itself did nothing to help (the drive wasn’t defragmented). WinContig was able to defragment the contents of the ISO file and thus solve the problem.
(I’ll write a separate article on building my thumbdrive.)
Anyway, now in my utilities folder I have a copy of WinContig (separate 32 and 64 bit executables). Great to have that in my pocket. Hope it helps you live a little better.