I used to normally defrag my hdd when windows recc'd, but my last HD crashed while I was defragging it...so I was wondering is it better to defrag a HD or just do a quick format and reinstall the OS. Which of the two will cause less wear and tear to the HD.? Timewise it will the same I think. It might even be faster to re-install the OS rather the defrag. Thanks.
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Neither should cause significant wear/tear on a HDD.
If your HDD Crashed while Defragging, it was going to die anyway.
Reinstalling Windows would likely give the biggest performance boost, but honestly, I never really find the need to do either.
I'm anal about defragging...perhaps I need not be. Considering the OP's question, I'd say its better to defrag. ...and I agree with the above poster...if your HDD gave in to the dark side while defragging it was likely going to give in to it anyways. I guess it depends on the complexity of your OS about the re-installation of Windows. I'd consider imaging your system, defragged, and offer that you could re-image it when disk performance seems questionable. Again, it depends on the complexity and customization of your OS.
...but like I said, I'm anal about defragging, even on my RAID 0'd Raptors.