De-fragmentation software. Use a computer long enough and you are sure to know the term defrag.
When you are saving files, the file is not necessarily saved as an entire file or folder in a contiguous space. The files are saved in the first available space on a volume. After a large portion of the volume has been used for file and folder storage, most of the new files are saved in pieces across the volume. When you delete files or folders, the empty spaces left behind fill in randomly as you store new ones.
Questions..? No worries, it’s actually very easy and beneficial to defrag your computer.
Running defrag optimizes your hard drive file system. It’s important to be familiar with defrag because nearly everything that you do on your computer will cause your Windows file system to fragment.
Do you install software, copy photos, view streaming video, create documents or browse the internet? All of these things can/will cause fragmentation eventually.
As files are added/deleted they become spread out over the hard drive. This in turn causes the hard disk drive head to have to seek the surface of the hard disk platter for each chunk of the requested file. Once the hard disk drive head has located each fragmented memory space and read the data, the appropriate action to take for requested file can finally be accomplished. If the hard drive is defragmented regularly, it may have to seek only a few times as opposed to a few hundred times. This boosts overall system performance and applications load time.
How to Defrag…aka Just get to the point!
*Click Start, Run. Type “Dfrg.msc” without quotes & press enter. This will launch the Disk Defragmenter MMC.
*Take a look at the top bar graph titled “Estimated disk usage before defragmentation”. Fragmented files are listed in red. The more fragmented files, the worse your fragmentation level, thus PC performance. Blue files are contiguous which is what we want. Green files are in use and cannot be moved. The white space represents free space. In order to run properly, defrag will need 15% free space.
*Close any open programs (including as many as possible from the taskbar (down by the clock).
*Within Disk Defragmenter, click the volume that you want to defragment (generally C:), and then click Defragment.
**The time required to perform a defrag depends on several factors such as: Level of fragmentation, the amount of free hard drive space, speed of PC, etc. If the hard drive is severely fragmented and is taking too long, pause the defrag and start it back up before going to bed.
You are in luck in the sense that the defrag tool runs automatically thanks to Task Scheduler. This is a great perk as automatic defrag is not possible in Windows XP without using 3rd party software as the Windows XP defrag tool is not accessible as a scheduled task.
See more great features of the Windows Vista hard disk defragmentation utility at the Microsoft Support Website.
Wiki provides great background and more in-depth definitions for Degragmentation.
And for those of you who knew the term defrag all too well when we started our discussion but read this far anyhow, I hope to introduce you to my good friend Defraggler. Piriform Defraggler is a (free) rock solid tool from the makers of CCleaner.
Download Defraggler today!
You’ll be glad you did.