What to do when defrag won’t finish

Optimizing a DX4/75. Talk about bottom fishing! But I do what I have to. This DX4/75 was driving me batty because it was taking a minute and a half to boot, and 30 seconds to load Word. Hard to believe this was once considered acceptable, even good, performance for Win95. But I couldn’t do much about it because with 16 MB RAM, Defrag kept getting interrupted. I fixed that. I opened win.ini, found the line that read shell=Explorer.exe, changed it to read shell=defrag.exe, rebooted, then defragged. Defrag was able to run without interruption, and significantly faster since it wasn’t competing for limited CPU cycles and physical memory.
When it finishes, the quickest way to get regular old Windows back is to hit Ctrl-Esc to bring up Task Manager, hit File–>New Task, type Explorer.exe, then edit win.ini and change the default shell back to Explorer.

But if you gotta get a system defragged absolutely as fast as possible, try the shell replacement trick. I’ve never seen this documented anywhere, and to tell you the truth, I thought of it in a moment of desperation. But it worked.

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