How to Change The Default Drive Tools In XP

Windows XP bundles some utilities to take care of common problems. The defragmenter brings scattered data together to boost file access speed. Scandisk checks for and fixes disk errors. Disk Cleanup sweeps unwanted files off your hard drive, and Backup backs up your files. While these utilities do what they claim to do, there are many other utilities that can do the same and more. Let’s see how the default tools in XP can be replaced by such third-party utilities.


You first need to download those software, of course. I suggest the following three tools..

-> Diskeeper from .  This is a defragmenting tool which is an excellent replacement for the standard defragmenter in Windows.

-> Disk Cleaner, a freeware from A drive cleaning tool that can clean your system better than can the Windows utility.

-> Paragon Drive Backup Personal from —a versatile backup utility.


  • Note again that the tools specified here are only my suggestions. Any other similar software can also be used.
  • Install all these software to any location. You must remember the path to where the software is installed so that you can later retrieve the path to the .exe. Then open the Registry Editor.


  • Navigate to the Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer
  • This has four keys named Backuppath, Cleanuppath, Defragpath, and Namespace.
  • First click on the Backuppath key. You’ll be able to see its “Default” Value on the right side: “%SystemRoot%\system32\ntbackup.exe”
  • Change this to new value—give the path of the backup utility executable. Now it becomes something like “C:/ProgramFiles/paragon/diskbackup.exe”.
  • Do a similar operation for the other two. For example, for Defragpath, click the key and change its Default Value to “C:/Program Files/diskeeper/Diskeeper.exe”. And similarly for Cleanuppath.


  • If you want to replace Scandisk with a third-party utility, modify or create a key called “ChkDskPath” at the same level as the before mentioned keys. Click the key then change its Default Value to “C:/ProgramFiles/DiskScanner/Diskscan.exe” Note that the path and  the program file name in this case are dummy values—replace them with the proper values for the program you want  to install.


Close the Registry Editor. Refresh the Desktop or log off and log back on. You’re ready to use your own tools as the defaults in Windows XP.  Launch the new drive tools from the same old dialog.


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